It doesn't matter where we come from, or even what we look like. The only thing that matters is who we are now....
And at the heart of Spirits in the Wires are Saskia Madding and Christiana Tree, both of whom are tied to perennial Newford character, the writer Christy Riddell. Are either Saskia or Christiana real? Christy's girlfriend, Saskia, believes she was born in a Web site, while Christiana is Christy's "shadow self" - all the parts of him that he cast out when he was seven years old.
At a popular Newford on-line research and library Web site called the Wordwood, a mysterious "crash" occurs. Everyone visiting the site at the moment of the crash vanishes from where they were sitting in front of their computers. Saskia, disappears right before Christy's eyes.
Now Christy and his companions must journey into Newford's otherworld - where the Wordwood, it transpires, has a physical presence of its own - to rescue their missing friends and loved ones, and to set this viral spirit right before it causes further harm.
Hardcover / $27.95
6 1/8" x 9 ¼" / 448 pages
Well, there are plenty of turns in these two new collections. The stories gathered here will take you from the streets and environs of Newford and Ottawa to the might-have-been past, the might-be-future, and the borderlands in between.
Waifs and Strays (Viking, hardcover, October 2002) is my first Young Adult collection, gathering stories written throughout my career that feature teenage protagonists. Here you'll find tales set in Newford and in Ottawa, in high fantasy and near future settings, and in Bordertown, too. Some have appeared in other collections, but many of them are from more obscure YA anthologies and magazines, with one new novelet, "Sisters." The cover art is by John Jude Palencar.
Tapping the Dream Tree (Tor Books, hardcover, November 2002) is my 50th book and collects a new batch of Newford stories written after those that appeared in Moonlight and Vines. As in the previous three Newford collections (which also include Dreams Underfoot and The Ivory and the Horn), you'll meet old friends and hopefully make some new ones. It includes one previously unpublished story, "The Witching Hour." The cover art is by my pal Charles Vess.
For readers who don't live in North America, there are no plans for foreign editions of either of these two collections at the moment. But happily with the Internet, they can be readily ordered and shipped anywhere in the world. You can find links to larger images of the covers at the bottom of this page.
Originally, Tor had planned to release all three of the horror novels I wrote under the name "Samuel M. Key" in one omnibus, but now they're publishing them in separate editions instead. Angel of Darkness (Orb Books, trade paperback, November 2002) is one of the darkest books I've written, and probably the most gruesome as well, so if you don't go for that sort of thing, I want you to be forewarned. From a Whisper to a Scream (Orb Books, trade paperback, January 2003) is the first full-length Newford novel I wrote and while it's dark, it's no darker than other books and stories set in that city.
The cover art for Angel of Darkness is by Steven Kenny. The cover for From a Whisper to a Scream is an early mock-up and I'm not sure of the artist yet. I'll let you know when I do. And yes, the typo on the cover copy will be corrected. You can find links to larger images of the covers at the bottom of this page.
Still to come from Orb Books (probably in 2003) is I'll Be Watching You, a straight thriller also set in Newford, and - finally! - a North American reprint of Mulengro, which is set in Ottawa and environs.
I'm delighted to have these two books back in print. They're both published by Firebird in mass market, October 2002. The cover artist is Cliff Nielsen. You can find links to larger images of the covers at the bottom of this page.
Firebird will also be publishing Wolf Moon and The Harp of the Grey Rose in a similar format in 2003.
Here is an advance peek at the covers for three of my 2003 titles.
A Handful of Coppers is a hardcover coming from Subterranean Press, cover art by MaryAnn Harris. It's the first of a projected series collecting all my early stories, this volume concentrating on those in the heroic fantasy vein. For those of you who have been fruitlessly trying to track down a copy of "The Fair in Emain Macha," you'll not only find it in here, but also the three Colum stories that preceded it.
Spirits in the Wires is my next hardcover novel coming from Tor Books, cover art by John Jude Palencar. For those of you familiar with the regular Newford cast, it's the story of the two women in Christy Riddell's life, both born of mysterious origin.
A Circle of Cats is a hardcover picture book coming from Viking, cover art by Charles Vess. It tells the story of Aunt Lillian's adventure with the awful dreadful snake, alluded to in Seven Wild Sisters (Subterranean Press, 2002; also collected in Tapping the Dream Tree, but without the interior art of the Subterranean Press editon). It will be fully painted with Charles V.'s gorgeous artwork.
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