Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekly Update #110

Editor's Note

So I realize now I need to rethink my reddit strategy. For those who don't know, The Update has their own subreddit at /r/ahwupdate/. I don't post to it often although I have gotten better recently due to my fear of being considered a spammer by most of the reddit community. I could probably avoid said stigma if I just commented more and posted other things beside my own blog posts. The problem is, however, I have a day job and a lot of other writing responsibilities, so my ability to surf the Internet and interact with other people is extremely limited.

So if you are an experienced redditor, hit me up at ahwupdate at gmail dot com. I just want to ask some questions about using reddit to promote The Update. Also if anyone can suggest any subreddits that are more tolerant about blog promotion, I would love to hear about them as well.

So this week I have cancelled New Releases due to a lack of new books coming out, but I will be announcing the winners of the DBWI contest tomorrow along with my plans for future contests. I also have four different reviews coming out this week, one of them a 2012 Sidewise nominated work, so stay tuned.

And now the news...

Monster Earth 2 Is Coming!

Mechanoid Press, a small imprint specializing in science fiction and more, is publishing the sequel to their giant monster anthology Monster Earth, titled appropriately Monster Earth 2. Editors include James Palmer (Blackthorn: Thunder on Mars) and Jim Beard (Captain Action and the Riddle of the Glowing Men).

“This is going to take the monster action to a whole new level,” explains Palmer. “I thing fans of the first book are really going to love this one.”

I am intrigued by these anthologies because of the alternate history setting of the series. According to Mechanoid's press release, the new anthology will bring the action closer to the present day, with the nations of the world experimenting with genetic manipulation of the various monsters. Add a secret death cult trying to herald the end of days, and you've got a volatile recipe for mayhem and destruction.

Returning for this volume are Edward M. Erdelac (Mighty Nanuq), Jeff McGinnis (The Beast’s Home) and Fraser Sherman (Peace with Honor). Joining them will be Thomas Dejah (How the West Was Weird). Just as in the previous anthology, Beard and Palmer will also contribute stories.

Artist Eric Johns is also returning to do the cover. “Jim did a great job with the bible on this one,” says Palmer. “Between that and all the readers who have asked about a sequel, I knew we just had to do another book.”

Monster Earth 2 is scheduled for either a late December or early January release, and will appear in both Kindle and trade paper formats.

Update: Cold Steel by Kate Elliott

Recently released Cold Steel by Kate Elliott, the final book in the Spiritwalker Trilogy, has gotten some buzz on the Internet. In case you missed it, here is the description from Amazon:
Trouble, treachery, and magic just won't stop plaguing Cat Barahal. The Master of the Wild Hunt has stolen her husband Andevai. The ruler of the Taino kingdom blames her for his mother's murder. The infamous General Camjiata insists she join his army to help defeat the cold mages who rule Europa. An enraged fire mage wants to kill her. And Cat, her cousin Bee, and her half-brother Rory, aren't even back in Europa yet, where revolution is burning up the streets. 
Revolutions to plot. Enemies to crush. Handsome men to rescue. 
Cat and Bee have their work cut out for them.
Paul Weimer on SF Signal gave the book 4 out of 5 stars and said: "A satisfying and strong conclusion to the Spiritwalker trilogy." In case you would like to learn more about the author and the series, you can read a guest post Kate did on Orbit's website.

Telos Moonrise Launches with Steampunk and Horror

Telos Publishing has a new Digital and POD imprint, Telos Moonrise, launching this September with two new titles. David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker, Editorial Directors of Telos Publishing, have acquired world rights in a collection of Victorian-themed ghostly short horror stories, and in a trilogy of steampunk novella-length adventures.

Raven Dane's collection Absinthe & Arsenic is a varied and spooky selection of horror fiction. "I love ghost stories," said David J. Howe, "and Raven manages to effortlessly capture the sense of the Victorian fascination for ghosts and spirits. Her tales chill and terrify while remaining rooted in an English sensibility of honour and propriety. I love her writing and imagination. These are fabulous stories in a classic tradition!"

Next we have Dr Tripps’ Kaiju Cocktail, the first in a trilogy of steampunk novellas by noted comedian and big-game hunter Kit Cox, whose alter ego Major Jack Union penned a guide to some of the fantastic creatures he has encountered on his expeditions around the world.

Telos' Commissioning Editor Sam Stone said, "The minute I started to read Kit's story I realised it would be perfect for Telos' Steampunk imprint. Dr Tripps' Kaiju Cocktail merges both the Steampunk and Dieselpunk genres and is an all round, satirical medley of fantasy fun. I was in awe of Kit's imagination and creativity. We believe it will make an excellent addition to the line-up of new fiction being assembled for Telos Moonrise."

Telos Moonrise is offering an attractive 60% eBook royalty to authors for books published in its Moonrise imprint, so aspiring authors should check them out. "We felt it was important to offer our authors the best deal we could," said David J. Howe. "It's always been one of our driving forces that Telos Publishing be turned to by readers for the quality of the books we publish, and by authors for the quality of the deals we offer."

Brazil Gets Some More Genre

I don't get many readers from Brazil, but for my few Brazilian fans out there in the aether, I have some news you might be interested in. Charlotte Humphrey, Rights Manager at HarperCollins, has sold exclusive Portuguese language rights for Brazil in The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt (book one of six Jackalian novels) to Portuguese publisher, Saída de Emergência (Emergency Exit), who are setting up an office in Brazil.  This will be one of their first titles.

Saída de Emergência, Portugal’s largest genre fiction publisher, is becoming one of the first European publishers to attempt to break into the rapidly expanding Brazilian fiction market. As well as setting up a local office there, Saída de Emergência will be launching a Brazilian edition of their genre fiction magazine Bang! In Portugal, Saída de Emergência published a number of leading British and American genre authors into Portuguese, including George R.R. Martin (Wild Cards), and others.

All Portuguese language editions of Saída de Emergência will be further translated into Brazilian to accommodate differences in the written word between Portugal and Brazil, prior to publication.

This news got me thinking about Portuguese language alternate history and Uchronia actually has an extensive list of works that have been either published or translated into Portuguese. Hopefully with Saída de Emergência expanding into Brazil we might see even more alternate history works in that language.

Europa Universalis IV - With God on Your Side

If your dreams of leading a global empire have lain dormant for too long, the time to take action has arrived now that God is on your side. Paradox released a brand new video developer diary for upcoming empire-building game, Europa Universalis IV, focused on the power of religion. Check it out below:
Project Lead Thomas Johansson details the intricacies of religion in countries throughout the world, and how differences between sects can both benefit and hinder your progress to historical greatness. Will you allow reformation when it rears its head in Europe or stand your ground for Catholicism? Will you forego Christianity entirely and become a champion of the Muslim or Buddhist faiths?

Strategy fans can fulfill their quest for global domination by pre-ordering Europa Universalis IV. The pre-order bonus for the month of July has been revealed today—The Purple Phoenix DLC. Anybody who pre-orders Europa Universalis IV, regardless of when they pre-order, will receive all DLC included in the pre-order campaign including secret, yet-to-be-revealed pre-order bonuses.

Europa Universalis IV is the latest installment in the award-winning series, with more than a million copies sold, and will release worldwide on August 13, 2013. The game gives you control of a nation to guide it through the years and create a dominant global empire in the age of exploration. Following on the success of the critically acclaimed Crusader Kings II, Paradox Development Studio is ready to make you experience the drama that only the grand stage of history can provide.

Calender of Events

July 9-13: D.B. Jackson on Tour for Thieves’ Quarry.

July 14-18: Dirigible Days will screen at this year’s annual Whitaker St. Louis (MO) Filmmaker’s Showcase.

August 12: Last day to fund the ASSAULT:19XX - A game of epic 1930s dieselpunk action Kickstarter.

Also check out a list of steampunk events in July made by Steampunk Romance.

Links to the Multiverse

Articles


12 Epic Quotes From Terry Pratchett at GearFuse.
BLACK MASQUERADES: Steamfunk, Dieselfunk & Rococoa Step Out In Style For Black Speculative Fiction Month! at Chronicles of Harriet.
BOOK TRAILER: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars at SF Signal.
Cover designs for books that don't exist (but should) by Lauren Davis at io9.
Genre Mashups by Michael J. Martinez at Bryan Thomas Schmidt's website.
Graham Storrs on The Physics of Time Travel (+ Worldwide Giveaway!) by John DeNardo at SF Signal.
Harry Turtledove on Writing at Vickey Kalambakal.
Lists: Alternate History Fantasy by Stephanie Whelan at Views From the Tesseract.
Mark Hodder, A Finalist for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History! at JABberwocky.
TOC: ‘The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF’ Edited by Mike Ashley at SF Signal.
Southampton Artist Expands Popular Steampunk Book by Brendan J. O'Reilly at Southampton Patch.

Book Reviews

The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen at British Weekly.
Mainspring by Jay Lake at Shelf Inflicted.

Counterfactuals

Debunking the Myths of Gettysburg, 150 Years Later: Historian Allen Guelzo at Yahoo! News.
Rick Perry's Counterfactual Cheap Shot by Gavriel Rosenfeld at The Counterfactual History Review.
Unreal Worlds: Two Americas by Kennon “the Universe” Bauman at The Illuminerdy.
Use Counterfactual Thinking for a Creativity Boost by Adam Dachis at Life Hacker.
What If Robert E. Lee Accepted Command of the Union Army? by Thomas Fleming at History News Network.
Why America would have been better off without its revolution at Yahoo! News.

Films

15 Scifi Mockumentaries That Will Leave You Questioning Reality by Lauren Davis at io9.
An engineer tries to flee a dark storm in this stylish steampunk short by Lauren Davis at io9.

Games

Bioshock Infinite Review: Existence, Choice, and Alternate Histories by Esther Wright.
Enter a gothic world of steampunk in our review of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing by Charlotte Woolley at Gamercast.
The Order: 1886: Everything we know so far by Prarthito Maity at GameNGuide.

Interviews

Alison Morton at Book Professor.
Richard Ellis Preston, Jr. at Clarkesworld Magazine.
Bee Ridgway at TNB Fiction.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. His new story "The Enchanted Bean" can be found in Once Upon a Clockwork Tale from Echelon Press. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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