This is an interesting upcoming release from Subterranean Press this month:
Subterranean Press is proud to announce a new novella by the enigmatic author of The Company and The Engineer Trilogy.
When his father, brothers and uncles wiped each other out in a murderous civil war, Nicephorus was forced to leave the University and become emperor.
Seventy-seven emperors had met violent deaths over the past hundred years, most of them murdered by their own soldiers. Hardly surprising, then, that Nico should want to fill the major offices of state with the only people he knew he could trust, his oldest and closest friends.
But there's danger on the northern frontier, and Nico daren't send a regular general up there with an army, for fear of a military coup. He turns to his best friend Phormio, who reluctantly takes the job.
Military dispatches, written in the purple ink reserved exclusively for official business, are a miserable way for friends to keep in touch, at a time when they need each other most.
But there's space in the document-tube for another sheet of paper.
Purple and Black will be printed in two colors throughout.
I really like this idea of using two different colours for the prose, purple for the military dispatches and then black for the personal correspondence. Sub Press are well-known for the aesthetic quality of the books they produce, so expect Purple and Black to look very swish indeed - especially if the striking, yet subtle, artwork is any indication.
As for the quality of the story, I've not read any of K. J. Parker's work before but I've heard some good things.