15 May

Operation Arcana is now out in audiobook!

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Operation Arcana is now available. It is unabridged and produced by Skyboat Media, the production company of acclaimed producer and narrator Stefan Rudnicki. It features the vocal talents of narrators: Paul Boehmer, Gabrielle de Cuir, Richard Gilliland, Sunil Malhotra, Arthur Morey, and Stefan Rudnicki.

(Via ABOUT THE AUDIOBOOK – Operation Arcana : Operation Arcana.)

More anthology details:

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In the realms of fantasy, the battlefield is where heroism comes alive, magic is unleashed, and legends are made and unmade. From the War of the Ring, Tolkien’s epic battle of good versus evil, to The Battle of the Blackwater, George R.R. Martin’s grim portrait of the horror and futility of war, these fantastical conflicts reflect our highest hopes and darkest fears, bringing us mesmerizing visions of silver spears shining in the sun and vast hordes of savage beasts who threaten to destroy all that we hold dear.

Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams is sounding the battle cry and sixteen of today’s top authors are reporting for duty, spinning never-before-published, spellbinding tales of military fantasy, including a Black Company story from Glen Cook, a Paksenarrion story from Elizabeth Moon, and a Shadow Ops story by Myke Cole. Within these pages you’ll also find World War I trenches cloaked in poison gas and sorcery, modern day elite special forces battling hosts of the damned, and steampunk soldiers fighting for their lives in a world torn apart by powers that defy imagination.

Featuring both grizzled veterans and fresh young recruits alike, including Tanya Huff, Simon R. Green, Carrie Vaughn, Jonathan Maberry, and Seanan McGuire, Operation Arcana is a must for any military buff or fantasy fan. You’ll never look at war the same way again.

And here is the Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION—John Joseph Adams
RULES OF ENCHANTMENT—David Klecha & Tobias S. Buckell
THE DAMNED ONE HUNDRED—Jonathan Maberry
BLOOD, ASH, BRAIDS—Genevieve Valentine
MERCENARY’S HONOR—Elizabeth Moon
THE GUNS OF THE WASTES—Django Wexler
THE GRAPHOLOGY OF HEMORRHAGE—Yoon Ha Lee
AMERICAN GOLEM—Weston Ochse
WEAPONS IN THE EARTH—Myke Cole
HEAVY SULFUR—Ari Marmell
STEEL SHIPS—Tanya Huff
SEALSKIN—Carrie Vaughn
PATHFINDER—T.C. McCarthy
BONE EATERS—Glen Cook
BOMBER’S MOON—Simon R. Green
IN SKELETON LEAVES—Seanan McGuire
THE WAY HOME—Linda Nagata

You can read ‘The Rules of Enchantment’ for free at Baen, the story is here.

Some opening lines?

Sure:

You’d think arrows are pretty silent compared to gunfire, but there’s no mistaking that bristly whistle as it whips through the air just past your head before it thwacks into someone’s Kevlar. Everyone eats dirt, and you’re checking your ammo with your back against a tree trunk wondering how the wood elves flanked you when you realize how stupid a question that is: this is their territory.

You’re new to the squad, so you’re still nervous. Every crack in the brush and shaken leaf has you jumpy. We’ve all been teasing you. Rookie this and rookie that.

I’m about fifteen feet away. I can see that your face is pale and shaken, but you have your rifle cradled and ready, looking for orders. The rest of the squad is spread out. Diaz is pulling an arrow out from his body armor and looking a bit chagrined. Orley is slowly crawling through dirt; he’s got a bead on the shooter. “Sergeant: got eyes on the woodie,” he reports.

“Hold,” I order.

This is the rendezvous point. But we’re dressed in robes that make us look like peasant travelers. I can feel Orley objecting already to the suspicion in my head, but even though our minds are all linked up into one single group mind via the Spell of Tactician’s Weave, only one of us is still in charge.

Me.

“Ditch the robes,” I order.

“Sergeant Cale . . .” Orley really doesn’t want to do this. He wants to engage.
Diaz forms up a memory. A story he was told about a couple of African-American special forces who stumbled in out of the night with bows and arrows. Scouts setting out to blend into the local land. They ended up getting shot by jumpy sentries on the way back in who thought they were orcs.

Diaz is half-black. The realization that some people see black skin, bows, and right away think orc and go straight to trigger-pulling leaves a bad taste in all our mouths.

Teachable moment about making assumptions aside—and believe me, Diaz has laid plenty of those thanks to the intimacy of the Tactician’s Weave—Orley gets Diaz’s point and eases up. Now everyone’s on board with my line of thought: that the elves are looking at us and seeing the Enemy, not US Marines.

We all shrug off the cloaks, displaying our standard Marine Corps digi-cammies and gear. My staff sergeant insignia is quite visible, making me the high-ranking target. I narrow my eyes at the shadows.

A bird whistle from the tree canopy pierces the air. They’d had us marked from the get go.

Shit.

If it wasn’t for body armor, Diaz would have been a bloody piñata. And you, rookie, would have gotten a nasty surprise from up above.

Yeah, look above your head, rookie. That grinning visage looking down the bark of the tree is a wood elf. Remember what they taught you about high ground? That includes firs. You need to be better about your situational awareness; clear up and down, not just the two dimensional plane.

Operation Arcana has a whole page with more free reads and interviews at John Joseph Adams’ website.

14 Nov

Audible launches the Xenowealth novels in Audiobook with all new narrators

Guys! Guys! Guys!

So I’ve been sitting on this news for… just about forever.

I pointed out on twitter while traveling that Hurricane Fever had been turned into an audiobook, which meant both Arctic Rising and Hurricane Fever were available to be listened to.

But today you can find the whole Xenowealth backlist now in audio, right before the Tor relaunch coming this January!

The Books!

If you don’t want to listen to me blather any more, here we go, click on a cover to go to the Audible page.

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The cover to The Apocalypse Ocean should be updated shortly, in a few days, they’re using the older one.

The Narrators!

Okay, the previous audio versions of these books did not have narrators familiar with the Caribbean dialect. I got… emails about that. I didn’t get to work closely with those versions, alas, but Audible has been very cool about working to get Robin Miles, who does the audiobooks for Nalo Hopkinson and Karen Lord, involved in the casting of the books. Robin suggested and worked with Prentice Onayemi to do the narration of Hurricane Fever, Crystal Rain, and Sly Mongoose. And, in a total dream come true for me, Robin herself narrates Ragamuffin and The Apocalypse Ocean.

This was such an amazing thing. Robin called me many times to go over pronunciations for things in the book. In fact, if you saw me hunched over in a corner with a pad and paper while at Worldcon in London, I was probably sounding out things with her on the phone.

So I’m very, very happy about these audio versions and how hard Robin and Prentice worked on them.

So if you enjoy audiobooks, please check these out!

14 Dec

Audiobooks: An Open Comments Thread!

I just finished listening to China Mieville’s Kracken, narrated by John Lee. Like most of China’s stuff, I enjoyed it, though not as much as the New Crobuzon novels (Iron Council, Perdido Street Station, and particularly The Scar). Primarily because I spent the first few chapters trying to figure out what sort of genre the books was, before it settled down for me. I know, that’s a genre reader’s obsession, but I kept framing the book differently with the opening chapters.

My main problem with enjoyment was that John Lee keeps emphasizing wrong words, at least according to my brain. It’s entirely subjective, but it’s taken a whole month of listening to this audio book a snippet at a time at night before bed before I could fully relax.

So I’m getting ready to download a new book. But I have more than one credit. What audiobooks have you enjoyed recently that you’d recommend I listen to?

Comments are open for suggestions.