Dragonsbane, my most recent novel as of this writing, is live. A somewhat immense story, it’s been published as five volumes of more conventional length. They're available through Amazon as paperbacks and e-books.
As the copy at Dragonsbane’s web page observes, there are no dragons in this book. The title refers to a poison which is purported to be sufficiently lethal to kill dragons, in the event that any were to turn up. In that dragons don’t actually exist, this product may never be required to do what it says on the box.
The characters in Dragonsbane have found other applications for it.
Any reasonably comprehensive attempt to synopsize the plot of Dragonsbane would itself probably run to the length of a novel. It takes place a long time ago and it involves a lot of people who want to kill each other. Further details can be found immediately after the large 1 on the first page.
Dragonsbane required a substantial portion of a decade to write — thanks to everyone who e-mailed during that time asking when I was going to do another book. This is it.
I sincerely hope it proves to be the novel everyone was waiting for.
Dragonsbane The Magus Edition
We’ve been asked if it might be possible to offer Dragonsbane as a single volume. One of the thoroughly enjoyable aspects of Amazon’s on-demand printing is that projects like this one can be attempted without burying thousands of dollars in a speculative print run.
Dragonsbane The Magus Edition includes every word of the original five-volume book set — 549,436 words, in fact — and it succeeds in confining them between a single set of covers. This said, it does embody a few compromises.
Amazon’s hitherto mentioned on-demand printing presses appear to have an upper limit of 828 pages per book, and then only if they’re asked to print on white bond paper, rather than traditional book paper. In order to get all of Dragonsbane into a single book, we selected a somewhat larger trim size than is usually found in fiction, and type that was one point smaller than the original.
Contrary to what we initially predicted, the resulting book does not require some manner of hydraulic support to read it. It’s less expensive than the original five-volume set, and easier to carry, should you want to transport the entire tale at once. Its ten-point type is still one point larger than is found in most paperback mass-market fiction.
The Order was my second novel. I rarely re-read my old books, as in doing so I always encounter things I could have written differently, with the benefit of a few decades of hindsight.
When the original print edition sold out, it migrated to an Amazon e-book edition.
CreateSpace, Amazon’s original print-on-demand paperback book channel, seemed like a superb renaissance for my older books. With no financial commitment to a large print run, no need to warehouse lots of books and no call to have Alchemy Mindworks’ shipping department mail them at the Canadian post office’s exorbitant parcel rates, print-on-demand offered all the fun of small-press publishing with pretty much none of the downside.
CreateSpace has been inhaled by Amazon itself at the moment, which probably won’t make much of a difference to readers of the books they print, but it does constitute something of a streamlining for authors.
In preparation for its reprinting, I decided to dust off The Order and revise it. The undertaking turned into something of a total re-write.
I’d forgotten how raw, violent and licentious The Order was. In another age, it would unquestionably have been banned in every civilized country on earth, and become a timeless best-seller.
The Order has just been released... or re-released... as I write this. I like to think that it’s preparing to outrage readers who weren’t born when it was originally published.
LizardLand was something of a “lost” novel for a time — I knew exactly where it was, but several literary agents and publishers made a point of pretending they didn’t. One of them said with considerable weight of authority that satires just don’t sell. I asked him what does sell, and after some consideration he suggested a book having to do with teenage vampires. No doubt he was right, but that was a manuscript I could have lost with real enthusiasm.
After almost a decade of pondering over it, we decided to do LizardLand as an electronically-published work through Amazon Kindle. Aside from being state-of-the-art and massively cool, Kindle represents something of a proving ground for speculative books. Publishing a book to Kindle doesn’t involve sinking a big blue barrel of money into a press run, and then potentially having stacks of unsold books hanging around for the rest of time to embarrass everyone involved with the project.
It subsequently appeared as an Amazon print-on-demand book, for everyone who likes to turn real pages.
Cat lovers are going to go ballistic over this one. So will parents, orthodontists, psychiatrists, documentary film-makers, paleontologists, gift-shop owners, natives of Alabama of German descent... the list is extensive. With a bit of luck, they’ll all want to buy a copy of it so they can become outraged and delete it or burn it in protest.
Darkmatter has been released as an Amazon print-on-demand book.
Set in an alternate history London, in a 1961 nobody’s ever been to, Darkmatter is a re-imagined cold war in which there never was a second world war, and as such, no Manhattan Project, no atomic weapons and no Soviet Union to steal them. Actually, there’s still a Soviet Union, but they’re busy stealing something much more dangerous.
The physicists who brought us “the bomb” have brought this lot “the project,” a barely understood, barely working technology to project things through time.
You don’t want to think about what the KGB has in mind to project through time if they manage to pinch it.
Legacy was my first proper sequel — it’s a continuation of Coven, my first novel. It was the first of my older works to be re-edited, tidied up and polished to be re-released as an Amazon print-on-demand book.
As with The Order, earlier at this page, I hadn’t looked at Legacy in ages. It was surprisingly enjoyable to return to it, improve on the original prose and story line in a few places and fix a few typos.
Having it printed with larger type on nicer paper was pleasing as well.
Legacy has attracted a substantial amount of e-mail over the two decades or so since it was initially released — both praise and flames. A whole lot of people still seem to think that witches do nothing but ride around on brooms and turn the unwary into newts. What that it were...