It’s just occurred to me that I have the manuscripts of three different books at three different publishers, in three different genres, at once, all together, simultaneously, and at the same time. This has never happened before.
The Beowulf Effect: Fossils, Evolution and the Human Condition is a work of popular science which in many ways dusts off my book In Search of Deep Time, but brings it up to date – and goes very much further in terms of concept. It has been at the publisher for a few weeks now. As it’s with a University press it gets peer-reviewed, much like a research paper. I’ve had one review, which is absolutely delightful, and I’m hoping that the other, yet to arrive, will be as positive [Ah! Such delicious irony. How the other half lives, eh? - Ed.]
The Science of Middle-earth is technically a work of literary criticism but really belongs in the subgenre of books of the formulaic title The Science of X, where X is the fantasy or SF effusion of your choice (Star Trek, Harry Potter, Discworld, the X-Files, His Dark Materials and so on and so forth in like fashion.) This was first published in paperback in 2004, but my agent is publishing it as an e-book later this year, timed sneakily to come out just before the Hobbit movie. This gave me the opportunity to go through the text, writing a new preface, correcting some mistakes and adding some new material.
The Sigil is an epic bonkbustin’ SF trilogy, which has had a long and chequered history, and which, hope against hope, has now found a publisher in ReAnimus Press. I’ve been pulling together the various files, cutting, rewriting, cutting, recasting, cutting, revising, and did I mention cutting? I am relieved to say that formatting hasn’t been an issue, given that the text – written at various times since 2005 – started on four different computers with three different operating systems. Contracts have been signed and exchanged, and I have now delivered the first two volumes, Siege of Stars and Scourge of Stars, to the publisher. While I am working on volume 3 (entitled Rage of Stars) the publisher is getting some cover artwork done and has been planning a release schedule. The Sigil will be published as three separate e-books, with a print-on-demand option.