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Progress Report November ’22

I blink and it’s been 5 months since I did a progress report, god damn it, so HERE IS ONE.

I’ve finally finished part 3 of The Devils, and sent it off to my editors. We shall see how they respond. Hated it while I was writing it, which isn’t entirely unusual, but somehow always comes as a surprise. I’m feeling reasonably pleased now I’ve given it a savage and unsentimental edit, though. The first draft of this part was an overweight 76,000 words, and I’ve ended up cutting it down to 63,000, which is a lot better, but still makes it the longest part of the three I’ve written. I was aiming at 150-175k for length overall when I started, and it looks like the book’ll be more like 220-240k, which puts it on a par with some of my longest – Last Argument of Kings and Best Served Cold.

Next I’ve gotta plan out the final part and write it – the idea with this book was to freewheel a little bit, feel my way through it, take my time and experiment, so I’ve probably got a less firm grip on how the end will work than I have with any book I’ve written. Bit of a planning task to do therefore, followed by a lot of a writing task, and then there’ll be a major editing task, because getting an end in mind will settle a lot of questions about how the rest of the book needs to be, which will then need a fairly thorough prune and rewrite. I want to take a while to revise it too, work on the detail and the character voices. I think I’m generally more an architect than a gardener if that oversimplified distinction really means anything. We’ll see in the long run whether this slightly more garden-y approach produces a decent book, but as far as the process goes I think it’s probably made it feel like harder work – though first books in a new world generally are tougher than entries in an established series.

Over the last few years I’ve tended to post here less and less, and turn more and more to the quick gratification of twitter. Who knows what’ll happen to that site over the coming months, I very much doubt it’ll vanish entirely, but it may well become a less useful and appealing place to be. For now I don’t really see any compelling alternative on the social media side, but I may well dust off some of the cobwebs over here and post a bit more. The audience is smaller, but I very much doubt the place will be bought up by any mercurial billionaires (though hey, if any are reading, I am open to offers).

And, for the time being, that is all…

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Progress Report June ’22

I’m conscious that my progress reports have been few and far between lately. I’ve got a lot going on but not that much that I can actually announce or discuss, which makes progress reports every two months a bit of a pointless exercise… The first draft of my next book The Devils is grinding on, […]

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Curious King Limited Editions

Very pleased to announce that UK specialist publisher Curious King has just opened up the preorder book for a high end limited edition of that seminal subversive fantasy classic of the mid 2000s The Blade Itself. I’ve been pretty thoroughly consulted (and made as much of a pain in the arse of myself as you’d expect) on […]

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2021 in Review

What’s that you say? It’s New Year’s Eve, I must be 47 goddamn years old today, and ANOTHER year passes under the bridge? Those bastards keep coming, don’t they? And this one has, I think it’s fair to say, been particularly hard work on the whole. I don’t think any of us really imagined a […]

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The Wisdom of Crowds – Out Today

And so The Wisdom of Crowds is published in the UK (by Gollancz) and the US (by Orbit) this very day in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook read by the magisterial Steven Pacey. Always a bitter-sweet moment for an author, like dropping your kid off at college and hoping they’ll get on okay without you, but […]

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Wisdom of Crowds Tour – Update

With the book coming out in a mere 4 days (I know, so exciting) a little update on events: London Piccadilly is now sold out but if you’re in London you can see me the following day at Forbidden Planet. And the Virtual event with Steven Pacey is now going to be on Monday 20th at […]

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Wisdom of Crowd Extracts

With the Wisdom of Crowds coming in less than three weeks, it’s time to get some extracts out there, so we’ll be posting the first three chapters around the internet over the coming days (the third in two chunks, cos it’s a big one). The first you can find right now on the relevant book page […]

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Progress Report June ’21

That time again already? Honestly, it’s been a slow couple of months. Lot of tedious administrative stuff to do, and I’ve been grinding away in a rather unsatisfactory manner on the new book, but I’m trying not to worry too much about it and let it take as long as it takes. If there’s one lesson […]

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The Wisdom of Crowds US Cover

And Orbit’s hardcover of The Wisdom of Crowds in the US will look something like this: As with the other books in the series, art by Sam Weber and design by Lauren Panepinto. The three of us did a little event yesterday to celebrate, talking about the design process and answering some audience questions. You […]

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Progress Report April ’21

The progress report is a couple of days late, this time around, probably because I could hardly believe that May has come around so quickly. Honestly not a huge amount to report. UK cover of The Wisdom of Crowds was revealed, and the US cover is pretty much finished and should be revealed soon. I’ve […]

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