Friday, 26 June 2009

New Daniel Abraham series on the way

With the publication of The Price of Spring, the final volume of Daniel Abraham's magnificent Long Price Quartet sequence (the most underrated fantasy series of modern times), due in just a few weeks, the author recently spoke on the forum about his planned new five-volume series, The Dagger and the Coin.

"Now It Can Be Told.

Bad news first: The new project didn't get picked up by Tor. That's a bummer, because I really liked working with those guys, and I'll miss them. But the economy's in the crapper, and apparently they're being very bottom-line conscious, and the Long Price books -- despite great reviews and all -- didn't move as many copies as they had hoped. I'm not happy about it, but I respect that it's business.

Good news next: My agent shopped the new proposal around, and we got a fair amount of interest from other publishers, with the upshot that Orbit (my UK publisher) bought world rights to the new series in what the trade papers are calling "a good deal." One thing I thought was particularly interesting: there's a clause in it that dock's a fair percentage of my advance if I don't turn the books in on time. So just be aware that the guys at Orbit have got all y'all's back.

But the new project -- The Dagger and the Coin -- starts up next year. It's a very different project from the Long Price books. I'm not using the same jump between books I did with Long Price. The magic system's totally different (and I love the hell out of it). The pace is faster. I'm very conscious of the influences I'm cultivating going into it -- Walter Tevis, Alexandre Dumas, Tolkien, J. Michael Straczynski, Joss Whedon, GRRM, Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen, Dorothy Dunnett, Tim Parks -- and I'm trying to take the things that I love about each one of them and make a stew out of it. It's set right at the friction point between the medieval period and the renaissance, so we've got knights and kings, but we also have merchant houses and finance. There's some magic of the understated magic. There's political intrigue. There's a girl who was raised as the ward of a Medici-style bank, there's a high nobleman who's gotten himself and his family in over his head, there's an emotionally scarred mercenary captain straight out of Dumas.

The point of it all is to make a book that reads to me now the way that the Belgariad did when I was 16. I'm going to be swimming in everything I think is cool for the next year. I'm *really* looking forward to it."

Exciting news. The Price of Spring is published on 21 July in the USA and in the UK, along with An Autumn War, as part of Seasons of War, the second Long Price omnibus from Orbit on 3 September.


Gabriele Campbell said...

That actually sounds more fun that the Long Price Quartet - I could never really get into the Japanese-ish setting. But Medieaval/Renaissance settings, mercenary captains, financial and political intrigues and hopefully a battle or two sounds right up my alley.

ak-Haru said...

This is old news - at least by The Wertzone standards... I read that post 20 days ago.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised and disappointed to learn that Tor didn't keep him. Abraham's simply brilliant and, I agree, the Long Price books are woefully underrated. That's a splash of cold water to hear.

Glad he landed on his feet, though. I'm both excited for the new books and quietly terrified at the competition. ;)

Adam Whitehead said...

Old news but still new news to a lot of readers ;-)

And yes, I think Tor made a misstep here. I think they decided that the LONG PRICE QUARTET's (relative, it's hardly bombed) lack of sales was down to its non-traditional, Asian-influenced roots more than their lack of marketing it and spreading awareness of the book (despite giving it absolutely gorgeous covers light-years beyond anything else in US SF&F publishing at this time). Abraham's series started coming out at the same time as Lynch, Rothfuss and Abercrombie and has attracted a tiny fraction of the attention despite being easily as good as any of them and now actually completed. The lacklustre UK publicity and the godawful cover that Orbit put on the first omnibus didn't help either.

The difference between the two is that Orbit appears to have acknowledged their mistake and are relaunching Abraham this autumn with a much bigger fanfare with two new, better covers and targetting the general fantasy market (effectively going after the people who bought Weeks at the same time last year). They've also decided that Abraham's new series is a more commerical and more mainstream work they can really sell, whilst Tor seem to have decided not to bother with it at all, a decision that could come back to bite them on the ass if the new series is a major hit for Orbit US.

Interesting to see how this goes. But if it gets more attention for Abraham, all the better.

ediFanoB said...

So far I only read an excerpt of A Shadow in Summer and it was mouth watering for me.
So I bought the book this month and will read it this summer.
A Betrayal in Winter and An Autumn War are on my to buy list for July 2009.
The description of his new series - The Dagger and the Coin - is very promising... And five books... I like epic fantasy so much...