Em's place

Writing, anxiety-wrangling, tea.

A launch and a challenge

By Emma on November 21, 2016

In case you missed it, my latest sci-fi novel, After Atlas was recently launched at Forbidden Planet in London. (You can buy a signed copy of it as a result! Limited stock and FP do post internationally.) The event was wonderful and lots of people braved the awful rain to come, for which I am very grateful.

Once the signing was over, a few of the attendees stayed on and volunteered to do a mannequin challenge before we headed off for milkshakes and the video of it is below. It’s just something silly that I wanted to do as a memento. Thankfully you can’t see my face because it was so damn hard to keep frozen for thirty seconds or so and I was struggling not to giggle throughout. Everyone else did an amazing job though! Big thanks to Spindles of the Wonky Spanner podcasting network for filming and editing it. Oh and don’t worry – there’s deliberately no sound.

This might help

By Emma on November 8, 2016

Scary things are happening today. For all of us: the US Presidential Election. For me: the release of my latest novel, After Atlas.

I thought this might help


Please be kind to each other today. And if you’re able to, please vote.

Em xx

P.S. Info on After Atlas
P.P.S. There’s a launch event at Forbidden Planet, London, Saturday 12th 1pm. I’d love to see you there if you can make it!

Sleepless nights

By Emma on November 1, 2016

afteratlascoverIn seven days time, there are two nerve wracking events taking place:

The US Presidential election AND the launch of After Atlas, my next science fiction novel, set in the Planetfall universe.

They are incomparable, of course, but both are keeping me from sleeping well, so they get to share a blog post. Here is an insight into what my brain does when I am trying to sleep:

Brain: Hey, Em, I know we’re exhausted, cos we’ve been working insanely hard, but let’s think about your new book coming out, and all of the terrible things that might happen.

Em: No, please don’t. Let’s talk about something else.

Brain: So. That election eh? I wonder who’s gonna win?

Em: I know who I really don’t want to win.

Brain: Yeah, surely they wouldn’t elect someone like that.

Em: Yeah, it’s going to be fine. They are incomparable. One candidate is clearly a million times more awful than the other. Surely, surely the worst won’t happen.

Brain: Yeah. Surely not. That would be terrible. Hey! Remember Brexit?

Em: (Starts panicking) Oh God. Let’s think about something else.

Brain: So… new book coming out-

Rinse and repeat…


I’m not going to talk any more about the election because URGH! So I guess that leaves the whole book coming out thing….

So! Here’s a little bit of a Q and A for you. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, ask in the comments!

What is After Atlas about?

Here’s a handy blurb that my publisher wrote (you can tell it wasn’t me as I could never call myself “acclaimed author Emma Newman” without dissolving into a puddle of British embarrassment):
Acclaimed author Emma Newman returns to the captivating universe she created in Planetfall with a stunning science fiction mystery where one man’s murder is much more than it seems…

Gov-corp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas’s departure, it’s got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room—and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation.

To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There’s more to Casales’s death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes…

Is this a sequel to Planetfall?

No. It’s set in the same universe, but it has completely different characters and is set on Earth.

When can I buy it?

Well, you can pre-order now (and that would be amazing, please do that if you can!), or you can wait until November 8th 2016 to buy it in shops.

Where can I buy it?

Here is a handy page containing linky goodness.

What about a signed copy?

You can order a signed copy from Forbidden Planet.

Are you having a book launch?

Why, yes, I am! Come and join me! It’s at Forbidden Planet, Shaftesbury Avenue, London on Saturday November 12th 1-2pm. Afterwards we’ll decamp somewhere to have milkshake/hot chocolate/booze. Here’s a Facebook event thingy for it.

Will there be an audiobook version?

There will! However, I haven’t narrated this one, as the protagonist is male. When I have all the details for it, I’ll add them here.

What if I haven’t read Planetfall?

You can read After Atlas first if you like. Even though they are connected and set in the universe, they can be read in any order.

What if I’ve only read the Split Worlds series?

Well, you’re still awesome. All I would say is that my science fiction novels have a different feel as they are written from the perspective of one character that you follow through the story.

What if I want to try this but I don’t read science fiction?

I’ve had lovely letters from people who have said they loved Planetfall even though they don’t read in that genre. If you generally stay away from sci-fi because you’re worried it’s too focused on tech and not on people, you don’t need to worry about that here. My books are about people first, tech second. And it’s really cool tech too.

I’m still not sure. What have other people said about it?

Well, Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review and have listed it in their best books of 2016. Which is nice.

And Starburst Magazine gave it 10/10 stars and said “Expect to see this book on various award shortlists in 2017. It’s that good.”

And Barnes and Noble said it’s “painfully good Sci-fi” 

Okay, okay, blimey, enough already! So this pre-ordering lark, why is that a good thing then?

Well, it’s good for you and for me. It’s good for you, because it means the book arrives as soon as it’s released. It also means that if you pre-order the e-book, it will be there, waiting for you, ready to take you away from the US election.

It’s good for me because these days, a book has to perform very well, very quickly in order to increase its chance of success and also make it more likely that I get to write more books and have them published by Roc (and I really want this to happen as they are brilliant). Pre-order sales are the best way to reassure the publisher and the book stores that there is demand for the book, and that they haven’t made a mistake investing in me.

In short, if you possibly can, please pre-order. And if you want it signed, pre-order from Forbidden Planet.

So there we go! If I’ve left anything out, ask me in the comments! I’m off to build a blanket fort.

Two birthdays in one day!

By Emma on August 2, 2016

A-Little-Knowledge-coverSo today sees me turn 40 but MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY also sees the book birthday of A Little Knowledge, the fourth novel in the Split Worlds series.


It’s available to buy in all sorts of places but I’ll link to a few below to set you off on your way. (There will be an audio edition, but I don’t have a release date for that yet.) If you can help me to spread the word about it, that would be brilliant. I’m tempted to say something cheeky about the best birthday present being buying A Little Knowledge, but I can’t quite bring myself to do it 😉

Anyway, I’m off to spend the day roleplaying, which is quite frankly the best way for me to celebrate turning 40! If you’re one of the many people who’ve waited a long time for this book, I hope you enjoy it!

A few places you can buy A little Knowledge

In the UK

Amazon PaperbackKindle edition

The Book Depository (free worldwide postage)

In the US

Barnes and Noble – Paperback Nook

Amazon PaperbackKindle


A Little Knowledge and A Lot of Years

By Emma on July 4, 2016

Good grief. It’s July. JULY?! I have neglected the blog, but for the very best reasons: work and LARP, mostly. There’s all sorts of things going on, so I’m going to whizz through them and then show you some amazing photos, okay? Actually, let’s get one of the photos up here right away, to whet your appetite.

Lord Poppy, picture by Tom Garnett

Lord Poppy, picture by Tom Garnett


That’s a picture of Lord Poppy from the Masked Ball LARP that took place in May. Doesn’t he look amazing? But anyway, I’ll come back to that later.


A Little Knowledge

The 4th book in the Split Worlds series will be released in less than a month! HOORAY! It’s been such a long wait and I am so excited to be able to release the next part of the series into the world! The launch date is August 2nd and it’s being published by the wonderful Diversion Books, who have also re-launched the first three books with gorgeous covers (I have been so lucky with covers!) You can pre-order it on Amazon and the Book Depository, but if you are free on August 5th, there is a party and book launch happening at The Mitre in Oxford. You can see all the details on Facebook. The actual launch is at 8pm, but we’ll be there from 4pm for board gaming, yarning etc. Oh… and the other bit…

A Lot of Years

‘A Little Knowledge’ comes out on my birthday – my 40th, no less! So that party on the 5th is also to celebrate the fact I’ve somehow managed to stagger my way into my fourth decade with all limbs intact. It sounds far too grown up for my liking. Makes me sound like I should be a responsible adult or something.

Bits and pieces

Oh, before I forget, I’m delighted to announce that Planetfall is this month’s Reddit book club book! And After Atlas, my next sci-fi novel, is available to pre-order from all sorts of places.

Tea and Jeopardy has been ticking along too, I just keep forgetting to post about it here. If you go to www.teaandjeopardy.com, you can find all the episodes there. All 55 of them! And the two sets of advent calendars. Blimey.

I will be a guest of honour at Edge-Lit on July 16th in Derby, so if you are going, I will see you there!

Some nice news

Did I tell you that I’ve signed with Tor.com for two novellas? The first is called Brother’s Ruin and you can read the announcement here.

The Split Worlds Masked Ball LARP

I planned to write this part of the post about 6 weeks ago, but then I was in the recording studio a lot (recording 5 audio books no less!), had a novella to write and I also started playing another LARP, so time has been squeezed.

Before the ball, I ran a competition for forfeits and I am belatedly announcing the winner! The prize is a prop from the ball that is also featured in ‘A Little Knowledge’ so it is something I hope will really excite the winner, Matt Dillon, who sent in: “Attempt to seduce the Censor of Aquae Sulis using your vast knowledge (imagined or otherwise) of cheese.” The reason I picked this one was because it created an amazing conversation in the game which I still laugh about almost 2 months later whenever I remember it. The player who was unlucky enough to draw the forfeit made a valiant effort and it was so hard not to laugh at the time (I played the Censor of Aquae Sulis) as I knew exactly why it was happening out of character. Thanks Matt! I will be in touch privately to arrange where to send it.

I wanted to share some of the photos from the Split Worlds Masked Ball LARP and to publicly thank Katie Logan and the crew – and the players! – for making it such a fantastic success. Katie runs the amazing Tumblr Ladies Who LARP which I wholeheartedly recommend.

Apparently, the Masked Ball LARP has made history as the first ever LARP run in the universe of an ongoing book series (with the author in the GM team) in which the players can alter events in later books and carry out actions that become canon. And even more exciting; because of it being a first, an academic paper is being written on the event!

I could gush for DAYS about the ball. It was, quite simply, one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I think I’ll leave you with some of my favourite photos (so hard to choose as the photographers Beth Dooner and Tom Garnett did such an amazing job) in the hope that they’ll convey a taste of that event’s magic. (There are already some photos of the Censor of Aquae Sulis here.)

One of the highlights of the ball was a duel between Nathaniel Reticulata-Iris (in the white shirt) and [redacted to avoid spoilers for book 5!] You can click on these to see a larger version.


It was all very tense… Picture by Tom Garnett


Picture by Tom Garnett

Of course, the photos don’t convey the gasps of the crowd (there was even a swoon I think!), nor the vicious insults being exchanged by the duellists! Picture by Tom Garnett


Picture by Beth Dooner

Everyone knows that Nathaniel is the best swordsman in Albion, right? Picture by Beth Dooner

Picture by Beth Dooner

Princess Rani was there, in all her regal glory. Readers met her very, very briefly in Between Two Thorns, but you’ll be seeing more of her in A Little Knowledge… Picture by Beth Dooner

Picture by Beth Dooner

Here’s another picture of Lord Poppy. Did I mention how beautiful he was? Picture by Beth Dooner

Picture by Tom Garnett

And here is the last picture taken on the night. I think a few players aren’t in this shot, but it’s the vast majority of us all and the wonderful, wonderful crew who played all the NPCs. Picture by Tom Garnett

There are literally dozens of amazing shots, I wish I could share them all! Suffice it to say we made a sliver of the Split Worlds real that night. Ahhhh, LARP. How I love thee.