So after seven months of wrangling (can you tell my day job is contracts manager?) we've finally agreed a contract, which is nice. ;0) actually, a bit more than than, given it's publishing the books I want to publish on the schedule I want to use! But as much as anything it's a big relief that we've got a contract finally agreed given yet more things are going wrong with the house (I've never enjoyed builders say flippantly, 'you could always just get a new boiler') so….
If all goes to plan, and it should comfortably:
The God Tattoo, and Other Stories of the Land – will be published next year, about April. Not as long as the novels but a nice mix of stories I think and pretty much all of them having links to the greater plot of the Twilight Reign.
Then later that year, probably a year after Dusk Watchman is published (edits finally done on that BTW) we'll have Moon's Artifice – a novel that's probably going to be more commercial than Stormcaller et al unless I'm deluded/mistaken. Until someone tells me otherwise, I'm describing it as a fantasy action-thriller – and interestingly enough it lacks a lot of the reasons people haven't got one with The Twilight Reign. Not that that was hugely intentional, most of it anyway, I just knew I'd want a change and a chance to do something a bit different while not running away completely from what my brave fans seem to like.
So yes, there'll be killing and daemons still… ;0)
So anyway, it's set in one city, has a more modest cast of characters, is shorter and less complicated than any of my last, and will be set over just a about a week. I've posted it before, but now might be a sensible time to post the blurb again:
In a quiet corner of the Imperial City, Investigator Narin discovers the result of his first potentially lethal mistake. Minutes later he makes a second.
After an unremarkable career Narin finally has the chance of promotion to the hallowed ranks of the Lawbringers. Joining that honoured body would be the culmination of a lifelong dream, but it couldn’t possibly have come at a wrong time. A chance encounter drags Narin into a plot of gods and monsters, spies and assassins, accompanied by a grief-stricken young woman, an old man haunted by the ghosts of his past and an assassin with no past.
On the cusp of an industrial age that threatens the warrior caste’s rule, the Empire of a Hundred Houses awaits civil war between noble factions. Centuries of conquest has made the empire a brittle and bloated monster; constrained by tradition and crying out for change. To save his own life and those of untold thousands Narin must understand the key to it all – Moon’s Artifice, the poison that could destroy an empire.