And that’s pretty much it for this week of whippet development! In non-puppy news, there’s a giveaway for three copies of Iron Night, so you can enter to win one of those. I’ll also be signing the copies, so that’s kind of fun. Iron Night was also reviewed recently at Fantasy Book Café and All Things Urban Fantasy, and there’s also a fantastic review of Generation V over at Bibliotropic that I strongly recommend checking out. Finally, for those puppy-philes in the Rhode Island area – I’ll be doing a signing and reception at Books On The Square on February 28th. Since I’ve been told very specifically that they are “taking a chance on [me]”, spread the word if you live in Rhode Island and let’s see if we can change this bookstore’s mind about out-of-state speculative fiction authors!
Back at the end of January, my mother’s whippet, Jessie, had her litter of puppies. Mom made the fatal error of letting me name the puppies, resulting in a litter named after some of my favorite living sci-fi authors. Since whippets usually have large litters, and Jessie’s first litter consisted of eight puppies, I had originally expected to honor (if you call having a puppy named after you an honor – which, really, shouldn’t you?) several more authors. Bad luck, to Alastair Reynolds, who didn’t make the cut. (honestly thought there was one more puppy in that womb – oh, well. a whippet’s uterus is apparently a harsh mistress)
I also learned from that blog post that apparently adorable puppies + the names of famous sci-fi authors is blog hit gold. Who knew? (okay, apparently everyone knew except me) So here is an update!
Since the litter is half the size of a usual whippet whelping (say that ten times fast), the puppies don’t have to fight too hard for their meals, so they seem to be growing like a science experiment gone awry. I first saw them when they were two days old, and at that time they could lie in one hand. Now they are about the size of guinea pigs, and they require two hands to cuddle, due to all the puppy fat. Seriously, these puppies are so fat that they can barely lift themselves up. The only one who can maneuver with any kind of real agility (and even that is really being graded on a curve) is Scalzi, because Scalzi is the smallest puppy right now. By smallest I mostly mean “least fat.”
Seriously, these puppies are pretty much fat bellies, superfluous legs, and mouths.You’ll notice from the photos that their faces are changing a bit. They don’t have the long nose of their mother yet, but they definitely have more of a snout than before. I’m sure in a few more weeks they’ll have long and inquisitive noses, the better to counter-cruise like mommy. Fun fact – their noses have the most incredibly soft and velvety fur.
They have also matured a little from when they were a week old, and existed solely for the purpose of eating, then napping to get the energy to eat some more. They’re still very focused on eating, but after they fill their bellies there will be about a five second period where they will look around inquisitively before taking a nap. Their eyes are open now, and they seem to recognize people. If they see a person and their mother isn’t around, they will now start making little puppy whimpers until you pick them up and cuddle them – I think this is a heat thing, though my mother has the heat in her house pretty cranked right now, and their little tub is full of blankets and a few heating pads. Once you pick the whimpering puppy up, they kind of snuggle against you for a second, then begin exploring any exposed skin for the possibility of a nipple. You know, just checking about dinner.
Every time my mother or I walk into the room, their poor mother hops out of the tub (it’s one of those plastic swimmy tubs – it helps contain both wiggly puppies and their urine) and runs into the corner where her big fluffy cushion is. She’ll give the most hysterical, “Oh, thank god you’re here. YOU deal with them for a while,” expression.
….air, that is. Check out this excellent action shot that my friend Meagan sent me of Iron Night as her in-flight reading choice!
Iron Night is getting some incredible accolades – check out these:
Lee at SheWolfReads wrote:
ML Brennan has created one of my favorite new urban fantasy series with it’s original world and compelling hero. If you want a fresh new take on the vampire mythos, you would do well to start here.
Gikany and Una at That’s What I’m Talking About gave Iron Night an A+ and wrote:
If you haven’t experienced the Generation V series, you really need to pick it up. The struggle of Fort as a somewhat rebellious child (or a black sheep depending on the perspective) is entertaining – the wit and charm woven into the character of Fort is endearing. The comic relief and romantic tension that Suzume brings just enriches the overall feel of Iron Night. We have no idea what lies ahead of Fort, but one this is for sure: we can’t wait to read about it!
And Tori at Smexy Books had one of my favorite comments *ever* about my character progression:
Fort continues to be an engaging mixture of sincerity, bravado, and self deprecation. His character is evolving at a comfortable rate; not an instant warrior but no longer apt to be the first one killed anymore. He’s now the second.
Hee hee hee.
Congratulations to my mother’s dog Jessie Bell, who over the course of a very long day has had four puppies! (we’re not entirely sure if she’s done — there might be one still left in there, but since Jessie is now taking a break to eat dinner, it’s kind of a Shrodinger’s Puppy kind of situation)
My mother has agreed to let me name them (always the first mistake), so I have chosen to name these puppies in honor of some of the best living writers of sci-fi. (how did I choose this genre? well, in the interests of not being a total puppy naming hog, I chose the speculative genre that my brother and I both have the most overlap of interest in)
At the far left, and the first puppy born (and the one who looks most like Jessie in her coat pattern) is Asaro (named of course for Catherine Asaro, physicist and author of the amazing Saga of the Skolian Empire series). At the far right with the really funny spot pattern is Scalzi (named for John Scalzi, whose Old Man’s War series my brother and I both really love).
In the middle are Tepper (named for the amazing and prolific Sheri S. Tepper, whose books I discovered in graduate school and which utterly blew my mind) and Brin (named for Davin Brin, whose Uplift fantasy series is so beloved by my brother that he very seriously tried to get me to shlep all the books in the series down to WorldCon to get them signed). All puppy genders match their namesakes.
If there does end up being a Puppy #5, then it will be named (regardless of gender!) Reynolds — not for Mal of Firefly, but for Alastair Reynolds, because in my brother’s words about his book Pushing Ice, “Long journeys are the best journeys.” Let’s hope so, Possible Puppy #5! (I had the pleasure of being on a panel with Alastair Reynolds at Worldcon, and he is such an amazingly nice guy that I really hope he will not be INCREDIBLY CREEPED OUT by having Possible Puppy #5 named in his honor. I feel like Scalzi can accept this canine naming tribute in the spirit to which it is offered, and I have no basis to make a guess regarding Asaro, Tepper, and Brin, so I’m going to figure that what they won’t know certainly won’t hurt them).
There will be more photos to come over the next few weeks, but I hope that everyone enjoyed meeting Whippets…… in Spaaaaaace!
January 22 Update: Potential Puppy #5 turns out to be… not. Sorry, Alastair Reynolds! If she ever has another litter, you’ll be Definite Puppy #1!
Here’s a picture of Jessie and her 1-day-old puppies!
Whippets…… in spaaaaaace!
Like the picture? That’s from the release day of Iron Night — I went out with a bunch of friends and we bought out the entire supply of the Nashua Barnes & Noble, then went out for dinner. And, yes, all of those guys are engineers. (that’s how well crafted Iron Night is, people! believe me, engineers recognize good construction and materials!)
Let’s start with the fantastic news — Iron Night has ten reviews on Amazon, and Generation V is actually up to forty-one! This is just flat-out awesome, since the number of reviews apparently does something to the metrics that is good for me. Other authors have told me this. (what? I only KNOW engineers, people! you want an actual explanation of how site metrics work, you talk to Django Wexler, not me)
I’ve also been a busy little promoting author — two new guest blogs are up. You can read about how I designed the elves in Iron Night and also about how I developed the kitsune. Huge thanks to My Shelf Confessions and The BiblioSanctum, respectively, for hosting me.
Luckily it hasn’t just been me talking about the book — Justin wrote an amazing article about the publishing industry in general and Generation V in particular for his fantastic Under The Radar series at Tor.com. This not only gave me the coveted Landon Bump (seriously, two separate people have tweeted to me that they read the book because of this article), but also put me in excellent company, since Justin also wrote about Teresa Frohock’s Miserere .
What else fun is happening? Well, for one, I got a chance to be interviewed by one of my favorite bloggers, Julie at YM&KAC. Not only did we have a fun conversation, but she also got me to reveal seven hints about the upcoming third Fortitude Scott book, Tainted Blood.
Plus, new reviews!
Iron Night reaches Scotland! Lisa at Over The Effing Rainbow wrote:
I love finding urban fantasy that reaffirms why I love the genre so much, and that’s exactly what the Generation V series is doing. Given that the only two authors of urban fantasy books who have gotten me as excited about a UF series as Brennan has are Jim Butcher and Seanan McGuire – two of my absolute favourite authors, no less – I can say with gleeful certainty that Brennan is absolutely one to watch.
Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions wrote:
Vampires, trolls, elves, witches, foxes and ghouls. Just put down whatever other urban fantasy you were about to read and pick up Generation V and Iron Night instead. You can thank me later.
Bridget Keown at RT Book Reviews also had wonderful things to say:
Brennan’s second Generation V novel is a pitch-perfect addition to this imaginative, funny series. Balancing precariously between his painfully realistic, underemployed life and the paranormal world that lurks beyond the shadows, Fortitude Scott is an earnest, engaging hero with a heart of gold. Fans will delight to see the return of his sidekick, Suze, in all her wild glory, as well as the rest of this fascinating cast.
So Iron Night is officially out in the world — thanks to everyone who made my book pub day so wonderful, and a special thanks to everyone who pre-ordered or made such an effort (despite arctic temperatures!) to buy Iron Night during its first week on the shelves — those numbers are incredibly important, and I’m really hoping that your efforts help make the difference on whether or not the publishers will greenlight a Fort Scott #4.
Thanks so much to everyone who is spreading the word and posting reviews — Iron Night already has three reviews on Amazon and eleven on Goodreads! That’s so incredible, and so much faster than Generation V did all the way back in May! It’s all very exciting, and I’m so very grateful.
Right now I’m on edits for Fort Scott #3, Tainted Blood, which is scheduled for November 2014, so you guys won’t have to wait another year for more of Fort & Suze (just ten months!). And to everyone who has read Iron Night already, here’s a little something:
It’s the Iron Night book birthday! And I am just in awe of some of the reviews that it is getting. Check these gems out!
Nick at SF Signal wrote:
Iron Night is freaking awesome. Brennan has made vampires cool again, elves creepy, and urban fantasy feel fresh. In an over saturated genre this is no small feat. Fortitude Scott is a hero worth cheering for. He’s easy to empathize with, yet stands as a role model for justice (vigilante though it might be). This is truly a series with heart and I wish it a long run and Brennan many a success. I won’t be happy until this series is picked up for a crime procedural.
And Matt at 52 Book Reviews wrote:
If you like fresh takes on old tropes, characters you’d gladly drink a beer with, and laughing your ass off at three in the mornings, you should definitely give both Generation V and Iron [N]ight a try. M.L. Brennan is the best thing to come out in the urban fantasy market in years and you can even carry the book in public without shame.
Lisa over at Over The Effing Rainbow also made Iron Night the subject of her Tuesday Teaser, writing:
…a full review will be going up here very soon, but trust me. This one is worth your time – as is the first book in this series, Generation V, which you’ll want to start with if you haven’t already read it. *Pushes books at you*
Iron Night also shares a very prestigious book birthday — Diana Rowland’s Fury of the Demon is out today, along with Barb Hendee & J.C. Hendee’s A Wind in the Night! Need to put a few extra books in the cart to make the free shipping mark? Definitely check those out!
Happy Tuesday to everyone! It’s icy cold here, but so far I’m having an AMAZING book release day!
Sorry, couldn’t help it. But it is incredibly exciting to know that in less than twenty-four hours, my sophomore effort will be on sale in stores, and shipping through Amazon.
Also, Sarah over at Bookworm Blues wrote a review of Iron Night that was so amazing that I cried, so you should definitely go check it out. And then take your last chance to pre-order Iron Night, because it’s going to be available tomorrow!
Two days! Two days! Two days until Iron Night is published!
Listen, I think this book is pretty amazing. But I wrote it, and I have a bit of a stake in people buying it. So here are a few people who AREN’T me talking about it:
@BookwormBlues Dear Species: My bookish wisdom today is to read @BrennanML’s books. I can’t even wrap my head around how much I’m loving IRON NIGHT.
- Sarah of Bookworm Blues, January 2, 2014
Matt of 52 Book Reviews included it among his Most Anticipated Books of 2014 — and there are some REALLY awesome books on that list!
And Melliane of Between Dreams and Reality just posted a new Iron Night review!
If you do not know the series, I can only recommend you to read it. This is a beautiful discovery, a little different from what we can usually read all that with a clumsy hero who has a sense of duty and justice as anyone else. A new great surprise and I’ll eagerly wait for the third volume.
And Mihir put a great pre-review of Iron Night on Goodreads — here’s one of my favorite parts:
This is an excellent sequel that actually builds up on its predecessor and manages to outshine it in almost every department. Firstly kudos to the author for a strange and savage twist on one of fantasy’s most beloved creations. I was very excited to see how the author utilized an excellent murder mystery and then wove plot threads about family and lineage around it.
Two more days!