Em's place

Writing, anxiety-wrangling, tea.

An extraordinary summer

By artemisadmin on September 8, 2017

Here I am, dusting off the blog again, feeling bad for not updating it with all the stuff that’s been happening over the past few months. The thing is, I was so busy doing all those things that I didn’t have a spare moment to write about them!

So much has happened since March (March! For heaven’s sake! It’s now September!) that it feels kind of ridiculous to try and write about it all, so I’m going to list some edited highlights. It’s been that kind of summer.

The Split Worlds series is finished!

All Good Things cover

Yay! The series is complete!

It’s been a long, and sometimes rocky and painful, journey, but the fifth and final Split Worlds novel, All Good Things, came out in June and I am so thrilled that the story is finished and out there in the world. It was quite a challenge to end that series, after four other novels and over fifty short stories. You can find all the linky goodness here if you would like to buy it.

Oh, and if you haven’t dived into the Split Worlds yet (very British urban fantasy with mad sorcerers, evil Fae and lashings and lashings of feminism), you need to start with Between Two Thorns, as it’s one of those series that really needs to be read in order.

Awards, and the winning and losing thereof

It’s been a good year for After Atlas, my second science fiction novel in the Planetfall universe. It was shortlisted for the Locus Best Science Fiction Novel award and shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award too!

The latter was a real milestone for me. I’ve followed the Clarke Awards for years and simply getting onto the shortlist meant so much to me. I was a nervous mess at the awards ceremony and I confess, even though I was obviously disappointed not to win, I was rather relieved that I wouldn’t have to give a speech!


Tea and Jeopardy was also shortlisted for the Hugo Award for Best Fancast, and I cannot believe I am actually writing this, but we won! It was such an exciting, terrifying, nerve-wracking and bizarre evening and I won’t lie; I still look at the rockets we received and smile. The Hugos are another award I’ve been following for a long time and it was such an amazing feeling to bring one home.

All the travelling!

I was astounded to be invited along on the Writing Excuses Cruise as an instructor. Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells and Howard Taylor gathered an amazing team of people together to offer a week long writing course/retreat during a Baltic cruise.

Reader, it was phenomenal.

I could write about ten posts about that week alone (I don’t have the time, alas!) but highlights included visiting Tallin, Stockholm, Copenhagen and St Petersburg as well as getting to meet, hang out with and develop an even deeper admiration and respect for Ken Liu and Jasper Fforde. I met so many wonderful people and it was an honour and a privilege to be involved.

And, happily, my general life rule of “What would Mary Robinette Kowal do in this situation?” was proven to be excellent yet again.

We had literally one day at home before racing off to Helsinki for Worldcon 75. Such a wonderful city and the people were so friendly and helpful it was a joy to visit. Oh, for that public transport system to be in England too.

Obviously, the Hugo nomination and nerves leading up to the ceremony played a big part in that week, but that was almost eclipsed by the sheer terror of doing a live Tea and Jeopardy show with none other than George R.R. Martin as our special guest! The room we performed in was the largest available, seating, I estimate, over 800 people and they were turning people away at the door. It was a great success and there will be a video of it released very shortly.

In another panel, I had to sing the lyrics of “I’m Too Sexy” to the tune of Frere Jacques. That was all Lee Harris’s fault and I will never be able to hear either of those songs without twitching again.

Wild Cards

So the whole interviewing GRRM on stage was a really big deal, but before that, he became my editor, which is something I still can’t get my head around. He and Melinda Snodgrass invited me to join the Wild Cards team for a new book set in the UK. My new character, Stonemaiden, will be appearing in Knaves Over Queens as George wrote about here. I am tickled pink. Also: sending off a short story draft to George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass was one of the sharpest experiences of Imposter Syndrome I have ever been lucky enough to experience.

A pause for breath

You know, writing this all out is making me really appreciate how wild this year has been so far. So much has happened, in such a short space of time, I am still reeling.

Audio books

My audio book narration career has also been ticking along nicely and I’m currently narrating Adrian Tchaikovsky’s astounding novel ‘Guns of the Dawn’. I have gushed about this at length on Twitter and to anyone who will listen elsewhere. Seriously, read it, or wait until November when you can listen to me read it to you, but either way, you need this book in your life.

Looking ahead

Weaver's Lament coverThe next novella in my Industrial Magic series (gaslamp fantasy set in England, 1850 where the industrial revolution was brought about by advances in magic, rather than science), Weaver’s Lament, will be released on October 17th (2017) and is available for pre-order now. Incidentally, pre-ordering is known to give a +5 bonus to Charisma, so… Whilst each novella is a self-contained story, I think you’ll enjoy Weaver’s Lament more if you’ve read Brother’s Ruin first.

The next release on the horizon is in April 2018 for Before Mars, my third novel set in the Planetfall universe but as that is a little way off, I’ll write about that more another time. Though I will say that the pre-order Charisma bonus is stackable…

I’m thrilled to say that I will be Guest of Honour at Rikon 2017 in Croatia in early October, which is very exciting for me as I’ve never been to Croatia before!

I am also a guest at Utopiales 2017 in Nantes, France at the beginning of November!

And if all of this hasn’t been exciting enough, I am also going to be teaching a course on writing science fiction and fantasy for Arvon. I mean… this year… I can’t quite believe this is my life!

Sprinkled in amongst all of that are three audio books to be narrated (and more may come in), two short stories to write for a couple of anthologies and a new book to start writing. I guess what I’m saying is, please bear with me if it’s a while before I write another blog post!

That being said, you are far more likely to find me on Twitter (@emapocalyptic) or on Facebook.

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