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Archive for the ‘two serpents rise’ Category

Monday Night Linkstorm!

I continue to be Everywhere on the Internet.  In case you missed it—

I did a swing of articles on ThinkProgress last week which were a lot of fun!

In the non-ThinkProgress universe, here are a couple more posts:

  •  Building an Analogue World, or: writing fantasy novels if you don’t live in a castle, on All Things UF
  • Mosaic Worldbuilding, in which I talk about the power of perspective in writing—because not everyone’s the good guy, but most people think they are.

More of a recap on the Enigma Signing tomorrow—oh, and, cool new thing!  If you’re in the Wellesley area, you can come see me at their Fresh Voices Author Night this Thursday, Nov. 14!

Reddit AMA Today!

Friends and neighbors: do you have some question you desperately want answered about me, my books, or the universe in general?  Swing by Reddit today and ask me anything!

How it works:  Click here.  Then type a question in the box and hit ‘save.’  (If you don’t have a Reddit account, you may be prompted to create one.  It’s not a difficult process, and they require no personal information, so hah.)  The rest of the madness will take care of itself!


Dragons! Cities! Two Serpents Rise Giveaway!

Some things for you today:

  • On ThinkProgress, I write about how dragons are fractal representations of the fantasies in which they appear.  It makes sense in context.  Trust me.
  • Over on Bastard Books, I write about the uniqueness of cities in fantasy.  Also, Bastard’s giving away copies of Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise!
  • Reviews for Two Serpents Rise have started to appear in the wild!  Fantasy Book Critic had this to say: “I love how organically all of these issues work in the social and political framework, the characters, everything. I love that there are no taboos on sexual orientation or on having sex at all. The characters are all riveting, even when I don’t like them — I particularly loved the Red King, who is creepy as anything and completely amazing.
    All this and I haven’t even gotten around to mentioning the whole story is built around economics and the logistical realities of providing water to an urban settlement in the desert and the risks of water conflict — I challenge anyone who thinks fantasy doesn’t deal with reality and is purely about escapism to take a harder look at this one.
  • TOMORROW, I’ll be doing an AMA on r/Fantasy.  Come by the r/Fantasy website around 9pm Eastern Time.  Ask me questions!  Ask me any questions you can possibly imagine!
  • November 9 I’ll be signing at Enigma Books!
  • And, on November 14, I’ll be part of Wellesley Books’ Breakout Author Evening—so come by if you’re in the neighborhood and see me break out of things.  I think that’s how this works.

Two Serpents Rise All Around the Internet

We had a great time at the book launch Tuesday!



Plenty of volumes sold, and great questions asked, including “Will you show the rural side of the coin in these books?” (Yes) and “What creatures won’t we see in the Craft Sequence?” (Elves.)

I’ve been hosted liberally around the internet in the last few days, too!  Consider the following essays a peek behind the curtain.  You may never recover!

For the next week, I’m also guestblogging over at ThinkProgress!  So far my posts have included:

Because when life hands you a platform, why not use it to promote work you love?


As of today, TWO SERPENTS RISE, my next novel, is available wherever books are sold.  I’m a bit overwhelmed.

I spoke with Alyssa Rosenberg of ThinkProgress about the book, magical economics, the Craft Sequence, and other insanity—the interview ended up being really great, and you should check it out!

I also dropped by SF Signal to write about how “You got your fantasy in my science fiction!” and vice versa.

Books, Bones, and Buffy came out with a great early review of the book, which I’ll stick up on the wall with PW’s Starred Review, the review where Locus compares me to Tolkien, and the bit where the RT called it a “stellar, engaging read.”  Because this process is scary, y’all, and it helps to be reminded that some folks think I’m getting it right.

So why wait? Buy the book today on AmazonIndieBoundBarnes and Noble, or Powell’s, depending on your personal preference.  And if you want a bit of a teaser, I assembled this TWO SERPENTS RISE TEASER TRAILER SCRIPT, which if you read it should give you a decent movie trailer’s worth of an idea what you’re in for.

Thanks so much, everyone.  Happy reading!


Greetings human beings from Planet Getting Ready For Book Launch, where we spend our days listening to Vienna Teng and Cake as we prepare for our book to come out NEXT TUESDAY AAAAH.

I am compiling schemes with regard to the plans I mentioned yesterday for Two Serpents Rise giveaways—expect more on that when I’ve assembled a sufficient lead time on my various guestblog posts and interviews.  In the meantime, I thought I’d fill y’all in on signing plans for TWO SERPENTS RISE, and announce an awesome sale Tor’s running for the rest of the month.


  • Tuesday, October 29: LAUNCH PARTY at Pandemonium Books and Games, 4 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA, 7:00 PM!  Come say hello, have a pastry, hear me read, recommend me books, grill me about magic systems, discuss your favorite Star Wars theories, communicate with me in Hawkguy-creepy-Russian-speak (basically you just say bro a lot), have a great time!
  • Tuesday, November 5: Reddit AMA at r/fantasy!  I did one of these super question-and-answer sessions last year, and it was a blast.  I look forward to even more blasting.
  • Saturday, November 9: New York City Signing at Enigma Bookstore, 33-17 Crescent Street, Astoria, New York, 7:00 PM!  I am informed that Astoria is actually within New York City, even though it’s not within New York County, which—awesome!  I’ll be signing with some other folks here—Laura Ann Gilman and Hal Johnson—and we should have an excellent time.
  • Tuesday, November 19: Signing at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street, Cambridge, MA, 7:00 PM! Back in the habit, just like Sister Act 2.  Readings.  Signings.  Possible performance art!  Probably no performance art.  But still, not an event to miss.
  • December 6-8: Anonycon in Stamford, CT.  Last year we ran a game based in the Craft Sequence world.  This year, possibly more games?  Also I’ll be there writing and hanging out and signing books, so come and say hi!

More madness will transpire throughout the next several weeks, but those are the in-person and / or live highlights.  However!  You may be interested to know, in case you didn’t already, that in preparation for the TWO SERPENTS RISE launch, Tor Books has cut prices on THREE PARTS DEAD ebooks down to $2.99 for the rest of the month of October.  Always wanted an electronic copy?  Get one now!  Available wherever fine ebooks are sold!  For example, available on Barnes and Noble! iBookstore! Those Guys Named After The River!  Other places too, I’m sure.

Time to run, but rock on folks!

ComicCon Panel Today, Signing Tomorrow!

I’ve been an absentee blogger for the last couple weeks, I know, but it’s been for a good cause.  If all goes according to plan I’ll have an Exciting Announcement or two in a few weeks.

Today, I break radio silence because I want to fill you all in on my New York Comic Con schedule.  Read on!

Myth and Magic in the City

Today (Friday Oct. 11), 2:45PM, Room 1A17

Speakers: Anna Jarzab, Anton Strout, F. Paul Wilson, Jeff Hirsch, Max Gladstone (that’s me!), Benedict Jacka, Tonya Hurley

What’s the deal: Alternate histories, parallel worlds, mages and saints shape modern day fantasy and new legends in the making. Join Max Gladstone (Two Serpents Rise), Anna Jarzab (Tandem), Jeff Hirsch (The Eleventh Plague), Anton Strout (Stonecast), Benedict Jacka (Chosen) and Tonya Hurley (Precious Blood) as they discuss the art of writing Urban Fantasy with F. Paul Wilson (Dark City), one of the originals of the genre.

(This’ll be interesting!  Once again it looks like I’m on the borderline, with Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise both set in fantasyland circa late-millennial capitalism rather than in, say, Kansas City with fantasy elements.  Should make for a great discussion.)

Also today (Friday Oct. 11), 4PM, Autographing Table 21

Right after the UF panel, everyone runs over and signs books at Autographing Table 21!

TOMORROW (Saturday Oct. 12), 5PM, Tor Books, Booth #2223

SIGNING (AND FREE BOOKS!) With me, myself, and I.

Tor has copies of Three Parts Dead, and we should have a few early finished copies of Two Serpents Rise for giveaway.  Come by, say hello, and let me scribble on your stuff!

Okay, I need to eat breakfast and then run off to this madhouse convention, but rock on, team internet, and I’ll see you soon.

Romantic Times Loves Two Serpents Rise. Also, xo Orpheus Anthology launches today!

xo Orpheus launches today!  If you liked my story Drona’s Death—about fatherhood, war, gods, and close air support—check out the other myths re-imagined and reconfigured in this anthology.  I’m here, Kit Reed is here, Brian Aldiss is here, Emma and Peter Straub are here, Madeline Miller’s here—august company.

On a related note, Romantic Times Book Reviews (reviewers of basically all genres in addition to romance) gave Two Serpents Rise four and a half stars—their highest rating!  (The story behind why Romantic Times doesn’t give out five star ratings is pretty awesome, and can be found here.)

According to RT Book Reviews:

Newcomers and fans of the series alike will enjoy the mystery, demon-caused mayhem, and fast-moving plot in this stellar, engaging read.

I hope you’re not surprised that this book contains mayhem.  Minor spoilers, I suppose.


TWO SERPENTS RISE Cover Reveal and Details!

It’s been an insane week, so why not make it a little madder?  Yesterday I received the final cover for Two Serpents Rise from Tor, and now it’s time to share!


2SR Cover


Once again, Chris McGrath’s cover does not disappoint.  Pyramids and stone carvings and a city in the background, cards and snappy suits, and Caleb.

Two Serpents Rise is set in the same corporate fantasy world as Three Parts Dead, but it features a new cadre of characters, in a new city.  Alt Coulumb was a city living with its god, and shocked by His death.  By contrast, the citizens of Dresediel Lex rebelled against their pantheon sixty years ago in the God Wars, and killed most of them—only to find that after you depose the gods, you have to take their place.

I’m excited about Two Serpents Rise for a lot of reasons.  It fleshes out the consequences of the God Wars, and shows people living with their scars.  We see the world the Craftsmen built and struggle to maintain, and discover how it feels to live there.  More politics, more necromancy, more demons, more intergenerational strife, more magic, more revolution, more class dynamics, more love (or something like it).  Late millennial capitalism never looked so much like human sacrifice.

Initial buzz is really positive.  Publishers Weekly gave Two Serpents Rise a starred review:

“Gladstone outdoes himself in this exciting and imaginative return to the brilliantly realized world of Three Parts Dead.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

And Locus devoted a whole quarter-page to their review, which puts me in some elevated company.

“The advantage that the best science fiction can give you as a reader is to teach you how to fall into an unfamiliar world.  You learn how to give your trust over to the author … [and] the author will reward that trust.

Heinlein was great at this… Banks’ Culture books did this, as did Tolkein.  Either the reader could accept the ambiguity, or not.  Those that could were richly rewarded.

Max Gladstone excels at this.  Two Serpents Rise drops us in Dresediel Lex, a city where the residents act like we do—the main character isn’t a mighty warrior but a risk manager for a corporation—but the ground rules are changed… Then stuff gets weird in the best ways. …

[Cutting some plot info]

For those who can hand Gladstone the reins, a rich, compelling ride is in store.  No, it’s not a typical transparent fantasy quest story, but is, instead, a satisfying story that muses about environmental catastrophes, troubling father-son relationships, and corporate mergers.” – Locus

Here’s the back-cover copy:

Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc — casual gambler and professional risk manager — to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father — the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists — has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire… and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.

I am excited, folks.  Less than two months to go!  Mark your calendars for October 29!  And get your preorders in gear at AmazonPowell’s, BN, or some other retailer of your preference.

And in the meantime, looks like we’re giving away a few copies at Goodreads—so get on that if you want free books!