I’ll get back to the usual inane ramblings about the price of helium and the smell of Gene Simmons after this.
But, in the meantime, there have been some exciting developments, so I wanted to give another update on the Milkweed books.
The mass market paperback of Bitter Seeds should be out in the May/June timeframe next year (2012). What’s cool about this (in addition to the wicked cover art) is that the mmpb edition will also contain the Milkweed short story “What Doctor Gottlieb Saw.” This standalone story fits between the prologue and first chapter of the book, and covers an event referred to only in passing in the novel, so it seemed quite natural to append it to the paperback edition. I’m pretty happy about this.
The hardcover and ebook editions of the sequel, The Coldest War, should hit stores the following month, around June/July 2012. (July, according to the very nifty advertisement that Tor recently ran in the Bubonicon program book.) As I mentioned recently, the book has been through editorial revisions and copyedits. The next stage will be to review the galley proofs, and then that’s it! But see below for more…
Milkweed #3, Necessary Evil, is scheduled for April 2013. I already have editorial guidelines for the revisions; my editor and I discussed the book this week, in addition to earlier conversations. I hope to have the revised draft on my editor’s desk by Thanksgiving.
I’m delighted to announce that Audible.com will be producing an audiobook version of The Coldest War, just as with Bitter Seeds. Kevin Pariseau will again be giving voice to Marsh, Will, Gretel, Klaus, and the rest. (And when I say “…the rest,” I mean Kevin has a particularly challenging job ahead of him this time around…. Heh heh heh.) Audible.com already has the manuscript and will start production soon.
And that’s where it gets weird, exciting, and nerve-wracking all at the same time: The audiobook edition of The Coldest War will be released on December 20, 2011—in advance of the hardcover and ebook editions.
Obviously it’s a little unusual to release the audiobook edition prior to the print editions of a novel. But this book’s journey to publication has ever been anything but typical. We decided to try this experiment as a way to help bridge the 2+ year gap between the paper publications of Milkweed #1 and #2. The idea came about after a conversation between my fabulous agent and the great people at Audible, who have been enthusiastic supporters of my work. We tossed it around a bit, and then presented the idea to Tor (my publisher for the paper and ebook editions of the Milkweed books). The consensus is we’re engaged in an unusual but worthwhile experiment.
In case anybody’s interested, here’s the catalog copy for the second Milkweed book. It may appear differently in the actual catalog, but this is the original text. Consider it a non-spoilery capsule summary of The Coldest War.
Someone is killing Britain’s warlocks.
Twenty-two years after the Second World War, a precarious balance of power maintains the peace between Great Britain and the USSR. For decades, Britain’s warlocks have been all that stands between the British Empire and the Soviet Union—a vast domain stretchin from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the English Channel. But each death is another blot blow [oops… corrected 16 Oct 11] to Britain’s national security.
Meanwhile, a brother and sister escape from a top-secret research facility deep behind the Iron Curtain. Once subjects of a twisted Nazi experiment to imbue ordinary people with superhuman abilities, then prisoners of war in the immense Soviet research effort to reverse-engineer the Nazi technology, they head for England.
Because that’s where retired spy Raybould Marsh lives. And Gretel, the mad seer, has plans for him.
As Marsh is once again drawn into the world of Milkweed, he discovers that Britain’s darkest acts didn’t end with the war. And while he strives to protect queen and country, he is forced to confront his own willingness to accept victory at any cost.
Thanks for listening.