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Archive for January, 2011

Everything’s Coming Up Harmony

Harmony has received another accolade—this time making critic Adam Roberts’ best ten SF novels of 2010—the list is explicitly international and unusual, and we’re quite happy!

In the old days of publishing, back before inventory was considered nothing but a burden and the midlist an evil to be destroyed, an editor could work to slowly build up a book’s reputation. It might take months to find the right reviewers, the proper bookstore buyer, the best way to get some media attention for the title, but it could happen. Then came the miseries of the 1980s and 1990s—we had more books than ever to choose from, but good luck keeping them on the shelves for more than ninety days, or in print for more than a year or two. If a book wasn’t a hit, it was toast. Plenty more where that came from, after all, and tons of authors suffered.

These later days of the Internet do seem to be changing the game once again. Ebooks don’t involve inventory, and online booksellers can keep millions of titles more or less active, even if the brick and mortar stores run out of or return their titles. And word travels so fast—one good review can excite dozens of other people to not just read a book, but then blog about it, Tweet it, or tell their friends in a dozen different countries. And months after initial release, a book can find new life, as Harmony is doing.

So please, if you happen to like one of our books, hit the Internet and tell the world. You never know who might be listening…

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Mardock Scramble is ready to eat…uh, read!

With all the excitement around the award nomination for Harmony, I nearly forgot to mention that Mardock Scramble hits bookstore shelves today. It looks like this:

Go get one! Hell, go get five!

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HARMONY nominated for the Philip K. Dick award!

It’s been a great couple of weeks for Harmony by Project Itoh. First it got a great review by io9.com on New Year’s Eve, and thanks to a million people having gotten Kindles and iPads for Christmas a week before became an ebook hit! Then io9.com named Harmony one of its best books of the year. And io9.com is not alone in its appreciation—Harmony was also just nominated for the Philip K. Dick award! Here is the list of nominees:

YARN by Jon Armstrong (Night Shade Books)
CHILL by Elizabeth Bear (Ballantine Books/Spectra)
THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS by Alden Bell (Henry Holt & Co.)
SONG OF SCARABAEUS by Sara Creasy (Eos)
HARMONY by Project Itoh, translated by Alexander O. Smith (Haikasoru)
STATE OF DECAY by James Knapp (Roc)

It’s great to see some other independent presses on the list, and we’re especially happy given the nature of the award, which is for the best paperback original science fiction title of the year. Poor Philip K. Dick wrote tons of books, nearly all of which were paperback originals or paperback only (he miiiight have had a book club title or two) back in the days when paperback originals were basically considered disposable junk.

Of course, today Dick is widely appreciated by fans, critics, and Hollywood, and by us…what is “Haikasoru” after all but a Nipponized pronunciation of the words “High Castle”? As in The Man in the High Castle. As in that PKD book about the Japanese taking over San Francisco and the western United States. As in, you know, us!

So we’re thrilled. See you science fiction fans in Seattle at Norwescon 34 and congratulations to the other nominees!

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And the winners of the MARDOCK SCRAMBLE giveaway are…

Lots of great entries in our contest this week. Thank you all for participating. My favorites, and the four winners of the free book are…

Sean C., for making up in length what he might have lacked in coherence. I’m just teasin’, good job, Sean!

And then I liked the comment from Adonisus, as it connected SF history here in the US with recent Japanese heroines.

Then we have Seth C., who knows that I am a sucker for a sonnet.

And finally, yin, who rather took apart the whole question of “kick-butt” succinctly.

I’ll be sending you all email to get addresses. And if you didn’t win, don’t worry, we’ll be playing again with some upcoming titles, maybe sooner than you think…

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