2018 Book News

Happy New Year!

After a quiet time publication-wise in 2017, I’m going to be BUSY over the next twelve months. Here’s a list of all the Reeve, McIntyre and Reeve & McIntyre titles which will be released in the UK during 2018.

Station Zero

 

This is the third book in the Railhead trilogy. I wrote a bit about it here, and I’ll be writing a lot more about it as publication date draws near. I’ve really enjoyed living in  Zen and Nova’s world for the past few years – in fact, I think it’s the best time I’ve had as a (solo) writer, and the best work I’ve done. I’ll be sorry to move on, but I hope Station Zero is a suitably grand and explosive way to bring the series to a conclusion. The cover illustration is by Ian Mcque.

Published by Oxford University Press, May 2018

 

Night Flights

Ian McQue is also going to be providing a cover and some interior illustrations for this book, which gathers together three short stories about Anna Fang, adding a bit of detail to the stories of her early life which are hinted at in Mortal Engines. The middle story is based on my long out-of-print World Book Day story Traction City, but I’ve re-written it to bring Anna to the centre of things – she made more of a cameo appearance in the original version. The other two are episodes from Anna’s life which never found a place in the original Mortal Engines Quartet, and which I think make good stories in their own right – I’m very much looking forward to seeing what images Ian puts with them. As there’s no artwork to show you yet, here’s a picture of Jihae, who plays Anna in the forthcoming Mortal Engines movie. (It was talking to her in Wellington last year which made me decide to do this book.)

 

Published by Scholastic, June 2018

 

The Legend of Kevin

By Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Work in Progress!

This is my fifth story book with splendidly-befrocked illustration legend and international celebrity hatstand Sarah McIntyre! The first four each had a different setting and central character, but The Legend of Kevin will be the start of a four book series. It seems to be set in the same world as Oliver and the Seawigs (the mermaids make a guest appearance, and those Sea Monkeys are up to mischief again) but our heroes this time are a boy called Max and a roly-poly flying pony named Kevin, who crash-lands on the balcony of Max’s flat one stormy night and decides to stay. Kevin made his first appearance in a story Sarah and I made up one Christmas here on Dartmoor. He was inspired by a plump Pegasus I painted on a bit of Brighton beach driftwood back in 1989 – little did I know where that would lead!)

Published by Oxford University Press, September 2018

 

When she isn’t slaving over the illustrations for our joint efforts, McIntyre is usually to be found creating picture books (Jampires and There’s A Shark In The Bath are borrowed from UK libraries more often than all the books I’ve written put together). She has two new titles coming out this year:

Dinosaur Firefighters

 

Dinosaur Firefighters is a follow-up to the very successful Dinosaur Police, and if you know any picture-book fans who like firefighters and/or dinosaurs, this is the book for them. Dipsy the Diploducus is desperate to join the Dinoville Fire Brigade, but is she too big and clumsy? SPOILERS: Of course she isn’t, and after a couple of comic catastrophes Dipsy finds her feet and saves the day. (I eagerly await the adventures of Dinosaur Paramedics, Dinosaur Coastguards and all the other dinosaur emergency services, but I think Sarah might feel it’s time to move on…)

Published by Scholastic, May 2018

The New Neighbours

Dinosaur Firefighters is bright, goofy, and fun, and it’s main purpose is to make small children laugh uproariously. Sarah’s other picture book this year is drawn and coloured in a slightly softer-edged, more subtle style, but it’s just as much fun and will have the same effect. It’s based around her Vern and Lettuce characters, and takes place in a tower block where each floor is home to a family of different animals. Behind all the charm and silliness and cute bunnies there is a gentle, generous, very McIntyre-ish lesson about tolerance and neighbourliness. It’s her picture book masterpiece, and it deserves to do very well indeed.

Published by David Fickling, March 2018

 

An Illustrated Guide to the World of Mortal Engines

(by Jeremy Levett and Philip Reeve)

With the Mortal Engines movie looming, it seemed a good opportunity to revise and expand the old Mortal Engines Codex, which had a very patchy e-book release a few years ago. Jeremy Levett knows far more about history and technology than I ever will, and he’s come up with an impressively plausible account of the centuries which separate the Fever Crumb books from the beginning of Mortal Engines, as well as lots of extra details about the cities, airships and characters who inhabit the books. There are glimpses of what the Traction era means for Australia, South America, and other bits of the world my stories never managed to encompass. And it will all be full of paintings, maps and diagrams by an illustrator (or illustrators) whose name (or names) I’ll reveal nearer the publication date.

Published by Scholastic, November 2018

 

These titles will be available from all good bookshops, and it should be possible to pre-order them from a few months before publication date. Page 45  in Nottingham ship internationally and stock the Reeve & McIntyre books  (and if you pre-order The New Neighbours from them you get a limited edition signed bookplate).

At time of writing, Amazon UK seems only to have a US edition of Night Flights for pre-order – it has the wrong publication date and a strange price – so UK readers should be careful to wait for the UK edition to be listed. The current Amazon listing also says there are four stories, but that’s wrong: there are three.

 

 

 

 

 

Mortal Engines: Where To Begin?

 

There has been a lot of interest in Mortal Engines since Peter Jackson’s big announcement last week, and a couple of people, astutely noticing the existence of prequels, have asked in what order the books should be tackled. It’s up to you, of course, but I’ve always thought they’re best read in the order they were written. So start with Mortal Engines, then go on to Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain. That’s the original Mortal Engines quartet, and it covers the final years of the Traction Era, the far-future age of mobile cities which I dreamed up in the 1990s.

cn6yqmawgaaprh8

Then, if you have an appetite for more, you could go on to read the Fever Crumb trilogy, (Fever Crumb, A Web of Air and Scrivener’s Moon) which goes back to the very beginnings of the Mortal Engines world. It’s a different setting in many ways – there are, for instance, no airships and no mobile cities. I think the books have a slightly different tone, too – the heroes of the Mortal Engines quartet are always zooming across continents and oceans, but Fever Crumb’s adventures all take place in London or in the island city of Mayda, until Scrivener’s Moon, when Municipal Darwinism finally begins to take off and there is a certain amount of charging about on ramshackle motorised fortresses.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-12-35-04

And if you still want more… tough, ‘cos that’s all there is*.

But in my latest novels, Railhead and Black Light Express, I’ve tried to take everything I learned about writing and world-building from the Mortal Engines books and tell a new story on the same scale, but set in a very different future world.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-12-40-06

(All the books mentioned above should be available from UK booksellers, and there are US editions of everything. The Mortal Engines and Fever Crumb books are published by Scholastic, Railhead and Black Light Express are published by Oxford University Press in the UK and Switch Press in the US. Station Zero, the third book in the Railhead trilogy, will be out next year.)

(*There is actually a 10,000 word World Book Day novella from a few years back, Traction City, about the young Anna Fang, and also a sort of encyclopaedia called The Traction Codex (written with Jeremy Levett) but they are only patchily available – I’ll let you know if that changes!)

 

PAOLO BARBIERI

I met so many interesting people at Lucca Comics and Games last week that they wouldn’t all fit in one blog post. One of those who I should have mentioned is the fantasy illustrator Paolo Barbieri. Many years ago Paolo did a cover for the Italian edition of Predator’s Gold (then trading as Freya della Lande di Ghiacco), and although Freya looks a bit too skinny to be Freya it’s one of my favourite covers and captures just the sense of pulp adventure I was after.

freya_italian

So it was great to meet Paolo at last, and between signing books for his huge queue of fans he took time to draw this sketch of London on the move in Mortal Engines!

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-10-04-02

SaveSave