Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Lynch's 'Republic of Thieves' slips to 2010...

No real surprise there, to be honest. The news first seemed to break on which indicated that the publication date was 6 March 2010. This by no means meant that the UK/US release was being similarly changed - and still has a release date of 19 November 2009 for the trade paperback - however, Pat has been in touch with Lynch's editor, who confirmed that we're now looking at a Spring 2010 release at the earliest. Depending on when the manuscript is handed in, it could fall to summer or even later.

So, another one of 2009's 'big' releases slips into 2010. Still, at least we've finally got some UK artwork:

As Aidan's already pointed out, this is the exact same artwork that was being used for Lynch's novella The Bastards and the Knives, which I originally posted waaay back in January last year. Given that the novella doesn't look like it will be surfacing any time soon (if at all), Gollancz have clearly decided to do a quick cut and paste job. I always did quite like this cover, though I think I actually prefer the US cover:

The US cover received something of a mixed reaction a few months back when it first appeared, but I like it: I like the colour tones, I like the atmosphere. And in commercial terms, I think it's far more suitable than the UK version (and to be honest, I think that can be applied to the UK covers for the previous two novels in their trade paperback formats - they're nice to look at, but I get the impression they didn't really help to sell the books). Maybe that's why Gollancz slapped a totally different cover on the mass market version of The Lies of Locke Lamora. Come to think of it, they did the same for the MMPB version of Red Seas as well.

So, any opinions? UK cover or US cover?

I'm also wondering when we'll find out the reason for the delay. Various rumours have been floating around for a while about 'personal issues' that Lynch is having, but hopefully we'll get clarification at some point.


Mr. Cereal said...

Bah, I don't like the UK cover at all, it gives off too much of a secret-church-conspiracy, "Da Vinci Code" vibe. Or maybe it's just me.

T.D. Newton said...

I much prefer the UK cover for it's dark and foreboding appearance. Then again, it's more my style.

Iain said...

Hey James,

First off let me get this straight I am not in any way griping about authors and their problems with delivering second, third, fourth, fifth, or even eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth novels in a series. I understand the creative process takes time and that authors have lives of their own. I am adult enough to be patient and await the next novels that will eventually appear, but surely the well publicised troubles Lynch, Rothfuss, Martin et al are having in getting their books out should herald a re-think about how fantasy novels are written, marketed and produced?

Right, let me explain. Whether they (publishers and authors) like him or not, Tolkien still seems to cast a large shadow over the old fantasy world and his trilogy format still seems to be the marker for fantasy authors. Kind of, why have one novel when three will do, or four, five, six etc. I went off fantasy a few years back because I was fed up at seeing a novel with a subtitle 'Part One of the whatever cycle' etc. My socialist brain came to the fore and I felt that smug publishers were driving the authors to produce multi volume epics, such the terrible novels Terry Goodkind produces, purely for profit. To Hell with what the reader wants, as long as the cash registers keep on ringing. Who gives a fuck if the novels degrade in quality as the series progresses.

Now I know that George RR Martin had envisaged a mutli volume run for a Song of Ice and Fire and Scott Lynch has, rather charmingly, a 'Sequence' of novels, but is it really necessary for fantasy authors to feel the urge to produce these multi- volume epics? If they have the imagination and story telling techniques to produce a five novel story could they not direct their efforts into new projects? I get a bit fed up walking into a book store like Waterstone's or WHS (all we have in Belfast) and you see the same runs of novels by a select number of fantasy authors. There is little variation and despite the better efforts of authors like Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch or Patrick Rothfuss the genre is starting to feel a bit stale in my opinion.

I guess I am arguing (hopefully not too badly) the case of the stand alone novel. Is this wrong of me? Is the situation a case of profit for the publishing house or the author feeling comfortable within the world they have created and not wanting to risk failing at a new endeavour? I don't know, maybe I am being a bit naive. I'm guessing it's the ringing of the cash register.

Sorry about that being a bit overlong, but there wasn't much on offer at the book store today.

Adam Whitehead said...

It should be noted that the US publishers aren't the 'primary' publishers in Lynch's case. He was discovered by the UK publishers, who as far as I know will release the book first. What impact that has on events I'm not sure, since the previous publication dates were close but with the UK being about 4-6 weeks ahead. It is possible that Gollancz will be able to get the book out more quickly than Bantam US, maybe still even in 2009, depending on circumstances. I wouldn't be surprised to see go to 2010 as well in the near future however.

And yes, there is a slightly noticeable drift away from straight-up long series to series where each book stands alone a lot more (see not just Lynch but also Abraham). However, there will always be room for the series simply because if it hits big, a series will make a lot more money than a single novel.

Gabriele C. said...

Lord of the Rings IS a standalone novel, and it was finished upon delivery. The break into three books was neccesary for economic reasons, and Tolkien wasn't too happy about it.

The problem today is that book 1 is published the moment it's finished while the authors still have to WRITE the next books, and they don't have 12 years to do so, either. :)

If you count everything Tolkien has written in 'his world' (LOTR, Hobbit, Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Sons of Hurin ....) I bet the material comes close to the ten book Malazan series.

That said, I agree that some epic stories have kocked their authors uncoscious and now just grow, unchallenged, unrestrained. As long as those monsters sell, why should publishers and authors stop the madness? It's on the buyers side to stop it, that's how economics works.

There are still some standalones (Sanderson's Elantris, fe.) honest - and finished - trilogies (Abercrombie, Ruckley) and some epics I admit to continue liking after book 3 so far (ASOIAF, Malazan), but I agree, there are some bloated monsters as well (I don't count Goodkind, that one sucked right from the first page, lol). I just decided against buying Elliott's Crown of Stars because I don't want to invest 50something bucks into a 7 book series that gets mixed reviews. If someone tells me Liath is really a great character and not a whiny, always in need to be rescuaed doormat(some of my pet peeves with female characters except when written by RE Howard), or has almost no screen time, I'll rethink my decision. *grin*

The Writer said...

If you're looking for excellent fantasy that's not overlong, try Brandon Sanderson. Elantris is one volume. Mistborn is three, but they're already out. He's got another stand-alone, Warbreaker, coming out this summer. He always published a book a year. Give him a try. He's worth it.

Oh, and Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself if more of a George R.R. Martin fan.

Benjamin said...

I rather like the UK cover, though I'm not sure how they'll reconcile the fact that it shares the same cover with the novella. The US cover is okay. It would be better if it didn't have the woman in profile.

ediFanoB said...

To be honest I don't complain about the postponement of the release date because That gives me time to read book one and two first during Xmas time 2009 :>)

And I prefer the US cover. I bought book one and two with US cover.

Kerry said...

I prefer the UK cover. The little leather-clad-chicken-legged-one up on the roof does nothing for me. Oh and did the artist get five tubes of purple paint for his birthday? Meh.


Katharine said...

I think it's available to buy now, actually. According to the UK Amazon site, that it.

PyroMancer said...

I prefer the US cover. I think, unlike the UK cover, this one provides some insight into the possibilities of the story, if we're smart enough to see it.

If you ask me, the character on that cover isn't just some random person on a roof, but the "Sequence"'s most mysterious character...

As for stand-alone vs. long series, I think that some stories fit into a long-series format, such as A Song of Ice and Fire. There's a lot of story to be told, and so many characters to examine, that a single book, or even three, simply isn't enough.

One stand-alone Fantasy author I'm surprised no one has mentioned is Niel Gaiman. His stand-alones Stardust and Neverwhere are amazing, as is his two part story American Gods.

So I think the problem doesn't have an overall solution. It's more of a case-by-case kind of thing. Some long series should be long, and some should short. There really isn't a single rule that can be applied to all of them.

Anonymous said...

Glad I found this place - I was wondering what had happened to my copy! While I'm disappointed with the delay, there's not a lot I can do so I may as well finish catching up with the Malazan series (which I've come to really enjoy).

Regards the cover, I actually prefer the US version - I've heard a rumour that the girl on the left is Sabetha. I tend to agree with an earlier poster that the UK cover is too reminiscent of the Da Vinci Code for my liking!

Anonymous said...

With all this talk about over-long series and a lack of single-volume fantasy novels, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Guy Gavriel Kay. Now of course I haven't read everything out there, but I'm still willing to go out on a limb and say he has written some of the best--if not THE best--single volume fantasy ever. If you haven't yet, READ THESE BOOKS. Great stories and incredibly well written.
-A Song for Arbonne
-The Lions of Al-Rassan
-The Sarantine Mosaic (2 book series
-The Last Light of the Son

Kay is in a completely different league than Sanderson. I read Elantris recently, and although I liked the story, the characters were laughable in their two-dimensional simplicity. Face it, everyone, they were dumbed down. Kay's characters, on the other hand, are very real.

Anonymous said...

hmm.. the uk cover follows more along the lines of the two previous covers. Though i haven't seen the uk covers for the first two(if there even diffferent at all than the US) I get the same feeling when looking at that cover that i do at the previous two novels. Intense anticipation! i cant wait. i bought the first book almost two years ago and when the second one followed the drama was intense. the cliffhanger at the end of two nearly did me in, so ive been long waiting for this third installment. When Chapters/Indigo/Coles said the third book was to hit the streets Aug of 09 i was thrilled. Then the release date was change to Nov 2052! its a bit of a turn off, having to wait so long with so may changes to release dates. The same was with Rothfuss. I hate picking up a book and enjoying it only to get to the end, realize there's another book, but it doesnt come out for 1 to 3 years. Just a little frustrated. But being the avid fan that i am i will wait...and wait and wait...

dan said...

I absolutely LOVE stand alone novels, and Issac, heinlien, and Dave Duncan are masters of it! It is rare indeed when an author succeeds in creating characters and a works which justifies it. Three to five should be the max, tho'!

Magdalena said...

US cover for me is too "fantasy"-kind. This Sabetha shouldn't be so obvius - the best part in Lynch books covers is that looking and them they're not giving you simple answers to how the characters could look like. The same with this Venice behind - sure, Camorr is like the Venice, but still it shouldn't be shown on cover... So after all I like UK cover much, though it's Dan Browns' like.

Release date is sooo away, I really can't wait to.

There's nothing wrong in a-lot-of-pieces-books, when they're good to read. Closed stories are as good as the open ones, and both have good and wrong writers. It's way easier to write a sequenced story - always something new to add, new characters, new plot and all. Finished story can dissapoint reader - after ending a book you still want more, and what now? You know that there won't be next chapter after ending the last one. And the multi-parts books can easily become an easy-writing, simple, not needing thinking about characters - all you need is action. Both types got their good and bad sides, but you cannot say, this one is better for sure.

Glad I found this site :) Thanks for the news about "Republic..." :)

Anonymous said...

gabriele c. Tolkien wanted Lord of the rings released as 7 books not 1, the publishers insisted on releasing as 3.

Anonymous said...

I feel like the UK version better follows the style of the first two books, where everything is in a shade of one color. It gives appeal to the book because its secretive and nearly impossible to judge it by its cover. The US version just leaves more to speculate.

Magister said...

No, anonymous, Tolkien would have preferred to have LotR released as ONE volume because it is ONE novel. Read his biography.

Anonymous said...

Really i like the UK cover better. mainly because if theres a girl on th cover people are going to think that its about some girl who goes around flirting to still and i just think the UK version suits it more. but maybe not have it so dark at the bottom. just me tho =)

Anonymous said...

I want to respond to Ian's comment!

I fully agree!! I wanted to say all that, and you just did! Bravo! I've been saying that for years!

Which is why I am a huge fan of Dave Duncan's books!

He writes mostly stand-alones....or if it's part of a series, each can be read as individual stories with different protagonists!
I love it!

I look forward to rothfuss and lynch very soon...been waiting years, it seems.
Meanwhile, ambercrombie keeps going, Richard Morgan as well, and the amazing newcomer, Stephen Deas!

Strider said...

Hmm.. not really sure about this, I think i'm going for the UK cover as my copies of Lies and Red Seas are very much alike this cover ;).