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OUT NOW: The Edition of The Coldest War

January 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

Hooray!  Calloo, callay, oh frabjous day!

Thanks to alert and super considerate reader Steve Halter, I can confirm that The Coldest War is finally out in the wild.  The edition of Milkeed #2, the sequel to Bitter Seeds, is now available!  It went up this morning at, and it also appears (this morning, as of January 17) on their "Just Added" page.  And right on schedule-- as I posted here last month, the original release was slated for December, but the narrator, Kevin Pariseau, had a scheduling conflict that required moving the release back a few weeks.  January 17 was the target date provided to me by Audible, and they hit the mark. has been a very enthusiastic supporter of the Milkweed books, and I can't wait to give it a listen.

It's been a long time coming, so it's a great feeling to know that The Coldest War is finally making its way into the world.

See?  I told you guys it was a real book.  (But who could blame you for experience moments of doubt, given all the delays?)

This is the audiobook release, but there's also the hardcover/ebook edition coming in July.  It is rather strange to have the audio edition out before the hardcover, but then again, this book's journey to publication has ever been anything but normal.  But I reckon anybody reading this already knows that.

Below the cut, I'll reiterate the current release schedule for all editions of the Milkweed books, insofar as I know it at the moment.

So here's the most up-to-date publication information I have at the moment:

January 17, 2012:  The audiobook edition of The Coldest War is now available from!

May, 2012 [shipping April 24, according to online sources]: The mass market paperback edition of Bitter Seeds hits shelves (Tor)

I just reviewed the galley pages for this one, and sent them back to my publisher last week.  So it's well along the publication path -- there's nothing more for me to do on this particular book.  I'm excited about this, because it contains not one but TWO bonuses.  In addition to a sneak peek excerpt from The Coldest War, it also contains "What Doctor Gottlieb Saw", a short story set in the Milkweed universe.  It's sort of a murder mystery set at von Westarp's farm, starring my favorite precognitive sociopath.  Since it takes place in the multi-year gap between the Prologue and Chapter 1 of Bitter Seeds, it seemed perfectly natural to include this story in the paperback edition.

December, 2012 July 12, 2012:  The UK release of Bitter Seeds (Orbit UK)

This will also contain bonus material of its very own.  I just carried out a very fun and interesting interview with the good people at Orbit; the transcript of our Q&A will appear in the UK edition of Bitter Seeds.

July 17, 2012: The US hardcover and ebook edition of The Coldest War will appear in the wild (Tor)

This book has been through editorial revisions, copyedits, and galleys.  Meaning it's also past the point in the publication process where I contribute to the process.  (And, of course, we know it already has snazzy cover art in place.)

There are very very minor differences in wording between the audio and hardcover/ebook editions of this book.  That's because worked from the copyedited manuscript, while the other editions will be produced based on the galleys.  And because I'm an incessant tinkerer, I made minor corrections to the galleys after the CEM went to Audible.  The changes are all very minor, and have no effect on the plot or story.  All it means is that Kevin Pariseau had to do his best with some sentences that were clunkier than usual.

December 21, 2012: Mayan Calendar Apocalypse (Cthulhu; various Elder Gods)

I confess to being less excited about this than the other stuff on this list.

February 2013: The UK edition of The Coldest War hits shelves (Orbit UK)

April 2013:  The US hardcover/ebook edition (Tor) and the UK edition (Orbit UK) of Necessary Evil will be released simultaneously.

And that's the state of things at the moment, at least insofar as I can talk about it... 

I'm ready to burst with more news, but I can't share anything else quite yet.  But very soon, I hope!

In the meantime, I hope those who decide to give the audiobook a try enjoy the heck out of it.  Thank you to everybody who has waited so patiently for the sequel to Bitter Seeds.


Steve Halter January 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm
I'm 40 minutes in now. Very nice, I chortled in my joy. It's interesting hearing the German pronounced properly vs. my own rough pronunciation.
Ian January 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm
Hooray! I'm glad you're enjoying it. I hope the remaining 13 or 14 hours hold up... One of my favorite Gretel moments of the entire trilogy takes place in the first chapter of Coldest War. I can't pronounce German AT ALL, which makes readings at conventions really amusing for the audiance.
Steve Halter January 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm
Yes, Gretel's fore-action in Ch. 1 is pretty amazing. Nicely done.
Ian January 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm
You've made me very happy. I kind of worried that the long gap between books would obfuscate the 20-year payoff between what she sets up in Bitter Seeds and how she takes advantage of it at the start of Coldest War. Her BIG moment comes at the end of the book, of course ;-)
EEGiorgi January 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm
Woot! Congratulations!
Chrsi Bachmann January 18, 2012 at 8:57 am
What a great new item to wake up to.
Ian January 18, 2012 at 9:37 am
Thanks very much, Elena and Chris!
Sara G. January 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm
Thoroughly excited congratulations! I've decided I'm gonna wait til July to have a delicious book reading experience, so this will be a good test of my will power. So glad everything, finally, is going according to the new, new plan.
Ian January 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm
Thank you, Sara! I'm torn... I want the audiobook to be very successful, but I also don't want it to cut too deeply into sales of the physical and ebook in July. It's a tricky situation. Mostly, though, I just hope that readers enjoy it, and that it proves worthy of the overly long wait, regardless of whether they read it with eyes, ears, or noses.
James Hardman January 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm
I've been waiting for this! The Coldest War is an awesome keep. Congratulations!
Ian January 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm
Thank you very much, James! I hope the book proves worth the wait.
DMS January 19, 2012 at 8:35 am
This reader is certainly enjoying it.
Ian January 19, 2012 at 9:43 am
That's very welcome news. Thanks, Dawn.
Mehdi February 18, 2012 at 4:01 am
Hi, I finally purchased the audiobook this morning !!!!...I had some difficulties but now it's ok and I will be able to listen to it on my computer or iphone...I'm looking forward to it, The coldest war will be my first audiobook, and you can be sure I will buy the book too, I'll buy Bitter Seeds too, just to have the serie with the new covers. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I'm looking forward going back in your alternate universe with Gretel and Marsh and the others... Mehdi
Ian February 18, 2012 at 11:20 am
Thank you very much, Mehdi! It's extremely kind of you-- I really hope you enjoy the story (in whatever format it eventually makes its way to your ears and/or eyes). I can't tell you how grateful I am for such patient and enthusiastic readers like you.
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