I love hearing from my readers. I wish I had time to answer each and every question people sent me personally, but there are also those pesky new books to write. Sometimes I end up pointing people to previous interviews I've done. Here's a list of those, which you might find handy, particularly if you are a student writing a paper about my books. (With the White Pine nomination for The Scorpion Rules, this is happening more and more.)
This list isn't meant to be comprehensive -- it's just what turns up in an hour or so of Googling. But it's a place to start. I hope it's a help to you. I'd still love to get a note!
About The Scorpion Rules, The Swan Riders, and the Prisoners of Peace world generally
A Backward Story: How the Scorpion Rules got started, where I got the idea of hostages, and what I think of real-world AI, among other things.
Look! The Globe and Mail (Canada's national newspaper) reviewed The Swan Riders today. And they liked it!
Absolutely about The Swan Riders (including the flap copy) spoils the ending of The Scorpion Rules, and this review is no exception. But here is the spoiler-free beginning and end.
"In the follow-up to last year’s The Scorpion Rules (one of The Globe 100’s Best Books of 2015), Canadian fantasy phenom Erin Bow dives head-first into sci-fi – and it’s just as crazy smart and shocking as the first book. (...) Profound, unnerving and filled with tension, Bow just keeps outdoing herself.
May I say, parenthetically, how good it is to have a smart YA reviewer actually reviewing YA? Shannon Ozirny knows her stuff and would never try to get to you to take one part of YA seriously by dismissing the rest of the field, which is the default of many a major newspaper reviewer. These are at last the reviews YA readers deserve. Thank you, Globe and Mail!
My book THE SWAN RIDERS is out today! It's the sequel to THE SCORPION RULES; my very first sequel. It's a horseback adventure across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan, with a snarky artificial intelligence, a couple of cult members, the odd orbital cannon, and a horse named Gordon Lightfoot.
It's still early days for The Swan Riders -- the book won't be out till late September. But, I have some early good news. Here's the roundup!
Kirkus gave the book a very generous STARRED review that made me do an undignified little dance. They say: "This is a treatise on humanity and love and the importance of caring—and also a sharp science-fiction novel of a weirdly plausible future. Brilliant and compelling: don’t miss this".
Barnes and Noble listed the book among its most anticipated fall sequels, with Crooked Kingdom and Like A River Glorious, both of which I need now-ish please and thank you.
Kirkus made this list of books to look forward to in August and September. This Savage Song! Obelisk Gate! A new book from the she-is-as-a-god-to-me Connie Willis. And me.
On this day in 2011, I discovered an ending for The Scorpion Rules that didn't require me to kill off absolutely everyone. (If you've read the book, you know that there's a stretch in the back half where it looks like lots of the best characters are going down like Old Dan and Little Ann, so this was a real relief.)
Also, I discovered I was writing a duology.
I love stand-alone books. I still think The Scorpion Rules can be read as a stand alone. It has a real and satisfying ending. It just happens to be an ending that introduced a whole set of themes that I wanted another book to play with.
And I'm glad that I discovered The Swan Riders. It is in some ways a better book than The Scorpion Rules, and it is dear to my heart. I'm excited that soon I'll get to share it with everyone!
Look what came: first pass pages for The Swan Riders. (The Swan Riders is the sequel to The Scorpion Rules, and it's coming out September 20th.)
This is the stage where they lay out the text like a book and look for problems thus revealed. It's also, for me, the first time the book feels like a real book that other people might read, not just a dream of mine. And, honestly, I'm so proud of this baby! Look at ti!
Looks as if they've kept the interior design from The Scorpion Rules, even though that design related to the old cover. Still -- it's dangerously handsome.
And, look! Actual words! On a page! It's a real book, y'all.
Guys, guys, guys! I have been sitting on this for too long, but I finally get to tell you! The companion book to The Scorpion Rules finally has a title, and a cover. Behold, The Swan Riders, coming September 20th:
I wrote The Scorpion Rules to stand alone -- and indeed, I still think it can stand alone. But when I got about two-thirds of the way through writing it, I
a) discovered an ending which didn't require me to kill EVERYONE, and
b) introduced a whole set of new problems and themes that I suddenly wanted an extra book to play with.
So I wrote one. For now, there are two books in this world, and only two. It's a big world, and I might not be done with it forever (there are characters not in this book whom I'd like to write about) but this does make a nice mirror pair for The Scorpion Rules, and I only sold the two.
Here is the flap copy:
Greta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She was her country's crown princess, and a...