„It’s really hard to pick between my children, as it were, but we have three books coming out that I’d love to bring to your attention. The first:
This month (April) sees the debut of James Enge’s Blood of Ambrose, a swords & sorcery fantasy that is very much in the tradition of such greats as Fritz Leiber, Robert E. Howard, and Michael Moorcock, but with a modern slant. Enge mixes dark humor with gritty action in a similar vein to our author Joe Abercrombie. He has the same darkly humorous tone, the ability to move between comedy and very grim reality, only Blood of Ambrose is self-contained, and perhaps ends in a happier place than Joe’s trilogy. It’s also a step closer to the Fritz Leiber tradition, a bit like Scott Lynch in that regard, and like Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard books, the character continues in planned future books (This Crooked Way, The Wolf Age) even if Blood of Ambrose itself has real resolution.
In the words of New York Times best seller Greg Keyes, “James Enge writes with great intelligence and wit. His stories take twisty paths to unexpected places you absolutely want to go. This isn’t the same old thing; this is delightful fantasy written for smart readers.”We’ve had great reviews in Publishers Weekly and the Romantic Times, and everyone I’ve personally given it to to read have all told me that it’s something really special. But I already knew that! If you want to see for yourself, the first three chapters are up at the Pyr Sample Chapters blog as are two full short stories starring the same character, one original to the site.
Last month, we released Matthew Sturges‘ Midwinter, a fantasy that stands out by being set entirely in the realm of the fae. It’s about a disgraced member of Titania’s royal forces, who is serving out a life sentence when he’s offered a chance at redemption, but only if he’ll lead a suicide mission into the Uncontested Lands between the forces of Queen Titania and Queen Mab.
Sturges himself is pretty big over here, as the writer of a number of very popular comic books for DC/Vertigo, including the Eisner-nominated Jack of Fables (co-authored with Bill Willingham), as well as Shadow Pact, Blue Beatle, House of Mystery and Justice Society of America. For me, Midwinter hews close enough to traditional fantasy to have broad appeal, but the things he does with Faerie (and the fact that the Fae realm does intersect with our realm, and in ways you might not at first expect), make this book surprisingly refreshing and different. We’ve signed him up for a sequel, The Office of Shadow, which will be an espionage tale, again in another realm. Again, there are sample chapters up at pyrsamples.blogspot.com.
Finally, June is going to see our first mass market paperbacks, as we are bringing Joel Shepherd’s Cassandra Kresnov series out in this format, beginning with book one, Crossover, and continuing with Breakaway and Killswitch. Joel is the first science fiction writer I have encountered who really internalized Masamune Shiro’s brilliant Ghost in the Shell and responded to it.
There are plenty of books and movies out there about a the android that wants to be human, but very few about an android who knows she’s human that really explore the ramifications of both the similarities and the differences. Joel writes effortlessly about what it would mean to have your mind wireless enabled, and he does so in a world that is startlingly realized. He’s adroit at the nuances of socio-political situations, whether its interpersonal office tensions, interdepartmetal politics, the rivalry between security branches of the same government, or the rivalry between planets. Whenever I emerge from a Shepherd novel, he makes everyone else seem niave in their grasp on „how it really is.“ We’ve already had great success with Cassandra Kresnov, but I’m thrilled that the mass market format will let us reach even more readers. Again, sample chapters at pyrsamples.blogspot com.“