Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

Publisher: Orbit Books - Pages: 400 - Buy: Book/eBook
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

Ann Leckie can dance.

When her debut novel, Ancillary Justice, released in 2014, nobody expected it to hit the science fiction community like a nuclear bomb. But it did. And Leckie was dancing the whole way through.

It was a firecracker of a novel — small and intense — but the unusual narrative structure and Leckie’s bold take on gender might have limited the audience to the most passionate and feminist-minded readers. Instead, the exact opposite happened: Ancillary Justice wasn’t a small snap, crackle, pop in a corner of fandom, it was a conflagration of love and adoration heard ’round the community.

Ancillary Justice won almost every major literary award for science fiction and fantasy in 2014, including the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel, and has sold over 30,000 copies to date, proving that not only is there a market for progressive, thoughtful space opera, there’s a thirst for it among readers. Ancillary Justice was a huge critical and commercial success, but with that success comes a lot of pressure for a sequel that lives up to its predecessor and satisfies its many fans. Writing under that sort of pressure can be the first stumbling point for many first time novelists, but Leckie never misses a beat. Read More »

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Ana Grilo and Thea James, of The Book Smugglers, are no strangers to the publishing industry and good story telling. Since they first started smuggling, way back in 2007, and reviewing in 2008, Grilo and James have nurtured one of the finest speculative fiction blogs and were awarded for their hard work this year with as Hugo Award finalists for “Best Fanzine”. Now, the talented duo are set to apply their passion and eye for fiction to a new venture: Book Smugglers Publishing. I caught up with Ana and Thea to chat about the new venture, the challenges they’ve faced along the way, and why the speculative fiction community should be so excited for this new short fiction market.

In 2014, Grilo and James co-edited Speculative Fiction 2013, the follow-up to the Hugo nominated and British Fantasy Award winning non-fiction collection, Speculative Fiction 2012, and the experience opened up a whole world of options for the Smugglers. “It just seemed like such a natural progression for us,” said Grilo. “Unlike many of our fellow bloggers, we have no interest in becoming writers, but we do love stories and the publishing world.

“We’ve been editing our own blog for seven years, and during that time we’ve had the opportunity to beta-read a lot of novels. After our experience editing Speculative Fiction 2013, we felt ready to take the plunge into publishing short fiction as we felt we could make a contribution to the SFF world–by publishing diverse, feminist fiction. True Fact: we had not talked about publishing anything until this one day when we were having a discussion about What Comes Next™ for The Book Smugglers, and we both at the same time said, ‘let’s do short stories.’ And then we did.” Read More »

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The science fiction and fantasy publishing community was abuzz with rumours over the past couple of months about various buyers for Angry Robot Books, a popular imprint that most recently caught the attention of readers with Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire. News broke yesterday that Angry Robot Books finally founder a new owner: Watkins Media, spearheaded by American entrepreneur Etan Ilfeld.

I reached out to Marc Gascoigne, Managing Director & Publisher for Angry Robot Books, to chat about the his excitement for the sale, and what it means for the imprint and its authors moving forward. Gascoigne was quick to excite. “Huzzah! Onwards!” he said, summing up the thoughts of everyone in the company in a couple of words.

“The sale of Angry Robot has been several months in coming to completion, as the break-up of the Osprey Group proved very complicated,” he continued. “As a result, we’ve been in an uncomfortable place, unable to talk freely about the situation, and having to respond to concerned questions to which we, as mere employees, were unable to answer or action. As you can imagine then, we’re extremely pleased with the sale to Watkins Media. Read More »

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This Heron-mark Sword, designed and smithed by Fable Blades is inspired by the famous weapons of the Blademasters from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, including protagonist Rand al’Thor.

The sword, which measures 45.25″ from tip-to-tip, is made of twice-tempered steel (blade) and ebony (grip) and features beautiful detailing, such as Rand’s iconic heron mark, Aes Sedai-inspired symbols, and an engraving that Wheel of Time fans will recognize: “Death is Lighter Than a Feather, Duty is Heavier Than a Mountain”.

According to a post on Reddit, the sword has been designed with realistic weight, size, and mass production possibility in mind. However, Fable Blades produces only one-of-a-kind pieces on commission only. Read More »

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Dirk Loechel, a visual artist from Germany, loves spaceships. So much so, that he created a beautiful scale chart of hundreds of spacecraft from many of the most popular science fiction IPs, including Warhammer 40k, Star Trek, Gundam, Final Fantasy, and even Spaceballs. If you’ve got a favourite ship, it’s probably in there!

The scale of the chart hit me when I spent five minutes looking for the Enterprise D, expecting it to be among the middle-ish of the pack in size. I had to squint to find it. Loechel’s chart uses a pixel:metre scale of 1:10, making the chart itself 57km tall and 43km wide. That’s a lot of spaceship.

(Full chart after the jump.) Read More »