Oct 29, 2009

More Books Announcements from Pyr

While everyone probably things I'm a pupper blog for Pyr, I'm not. I enjoy their stuff and they do a great job of making announcement easily available. If you are an editor with book news, let me know. I love book news!

But back on topic, in the past few days Pyr has made a pair of announcements. The first is a Victiorian-set steam punk tale entitled Burton & Swinburne in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack or something to that effect. (It's a little long and not so easy to remember). This is the first book in a planned series by Mark Hodder. Anders provided a description:

It is 1861, and the British Empire is in the grip of conflicting forces. Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labour; Libertines oppose restrictive and unjust laws and flood the country with propaganda demanding a society based on beauty and creativity; while The Rakes push the boundaries of human behaviour to the limits with magic, sexuality, drugs and anarchy.

Returning from his failed expedition to find the source of the Nile, explorer, linguist, scholar and swordsman Sir Richard Francis Burton finds himself sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, employs him as “King's Spy.” His first mission: to investigate the sexual assaults committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack; to find out why chimney sweeps are being kidnapped by half-man, half-dog creatures; and to discover the whereabouts of his badly injured ex-friend (and new enemy), John Hanning Speke.

Accompanied by the diminutive and pain-loving poet, Algernon Swinburne, Burton's investigations lead him back to one of the defining events of the age: the brutal assassination of Queen Victoria in 1840; and the terrifying possibility that the world he inhabits shouldn't exist at all!
Now a poet doesn't sound like the most interesting of sidekicks but all the rest is pretty intriguing. Sex, murder, and politics, what's not to like. Plus chimney sweep abuse! Anders also gave high praise to Hodder's worldbuilding. Apparently it's less of a steampunk fantasy and more of an alternate history based on a singular key change. Burton & Swinburne is expected to debut sometime in fall 2010.

The second announcement concerns Jasper Kent, who has sold US rights for a pair of novels, Twelve and Thirteen Years Later. These are vampire novels, but not your Twilight brand of vampires. These are the unstoppable-evil monster type vampires, the kind that have lived for centuries and accumulated years and years of deadly combat experience and don't mind selling their services to the highest bidder. These are type of vampires I wouldn't mind reading about.

Lou Anders was quoted in the press release:

‘I'm thrilled to be welcoming Jasper Kent into the Pyr fold,’ says editorial director Lou Anders. ‘TWELVE is a magnificent blend of a historical novel and a dark fantasy novel, that could appeal equally to readers both in and out of genre. Jasper is a skilled storyteller, whose compelling prose had me hooked from his opening chapter. The book is "un-put-downable," and I love that he has brought back a real sense of threat and danger to the classic monsters, something that has been lacking with too many vampires lately. I cannot wait to spring this on US readers.’
Now somehow or other I ended up with a UK copy of Twelve. Probably something to do with the great cover and killer summary. And no more emo vampires. That's always a plus.

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