Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie is one of my most anticipated novels of the year and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I was excited, then, when Abercrombie recently released Chapter One of the novel on his web site.

The cover art for Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold.

Here’s what he has to say about it on his blog:

Proofs of Best Served Cold have slaughtered their guards, escaped from captivity and burst out into the wild, so I daresay we can expect the blogosphere to CATCH FIRE with reviews over the next week or two. In the meantime, for those of you unfortunate (or should that be fortunate) enough not to be an internet sf&f reviewer, I have a little something to whet, and, indeed, wet, your appetites for high-quality hilarious yet extremely violent and morally questionable fantasy fiction.

For the ENTIRE first chapter of Best Served Cold is available HERE, NOW on my website, free of charge, for your READING PLEASURE.

You lucky bastards

The excerpt can be read HERE.

The first rumblings started just a couple of days ago, but now Solaris has made an official statement about the sale:

ANNOUNCEMENT

GAMES WORKSHOP PUTS SOLARIS BOOKS IMPRINT UP FOR SALE

Games Workshop PLC today announced its intention to make its Solaris Books publishing imprint available for sale.

BL Publishing, the publishing division of Games Workshop, has two imprints, Black Library and Solaris. Its core business is the Black Library, an imprint which publishes fiction set in the dark fantasy worlds of Games Workshop’s Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 settings. It has seen consistent double
digit like-for-like growth over the last 3 years.

Solaris is an original fiction imprint of BL Publishing and releases around 20 science fiction, fantasy and horror titles a year. Renowned for its back-to-basics approach and innovative marketing, this imprint was started in 2006 and has very quickly become established as a global brand in midlist, mass market fiction.

Both the Black Library and Solaris are distributed in the UK and US by Simon & Schuster.

Games Workshop’s Head of Publishing, George Mann, said in a statement: “In recent years our Black Library imprint has more than doubled in size and scope and we have decided that we should focus all our attention in growing this core part of our business. Whilst we see plenty of growth potential with
Solaris, we are looking for a buyer who is interested in developing this global brand.”

Source: Speculative Horizons

Also interesting were some comments made on my original post, especially one by fantasy author Mark Chadbourn, who originally broke the story on his twitter:

I have heard rumours of a surprising potential buyer.

Well known bloggers, Adam from the Wertzone and RobB from SFFWorld, speculate:

RobB

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Prometheus/Pyr swoop in – something of a synchronicity and partnership (Lou Anders editing a Solaris anthology and Solaris publishing MMPB of Edelman’s novels) already exists.

Adam

Rob B: this would be interesting, especially if Pyr wanted to put a toe in the UK market as well (Solaris publishes in both).

One other interesting addendum to this speculation is that Chadbourn has a publishing deal with both Solaris and Pyr Books. This could be coincidental, of course, but it could also mean that Chadbourn has a bit of inside information from both sides of the fence. Pyr/Solaris teaming up would certainly make them a force to be reckoned with.

Adam also has word on Kearney’s upcoming omnibus editions of The Monarchies of God and the future follow-up novels to his recent The Ten Thousand:

According to Paul the Monarchies reprints are going ahead whilst the new Macht books are on hold.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on any movement in the Solaris camp.

Mark Chadbourn, author of the Jack of Ravens series, and writing machine (seriously, I don’t think the guy sleeps) has some disheartening news about Solaris:

The Solaris SF/F imprint has been put up for sale by its owner, Games Workshop. Solaris is publishing Lord of Silence in July, and I’m told that publication will still go ahead, as will every book announced up to early 2010.

Hopefully the Solaris, who have been very supportive of A Dribble of Ink from the start, can come out the other end of this even stronger. Best of luck, all!