Engines of Destruction

July 10, 2009 - 4:25 am No Comments

Welcome to the official webpage of The Clockwork Century, an alternate-history world setting created by Cherie Priest.

Here, it is 1880 (or thereabouts). The Civil War is still underway, drawn out by English interference, a different transportation infrastructure, and a powerful Republic of Texas that discovered oil at Spindletop some fifty years sooner than real life allowed.

The competition of war has led to technological progress and horrors unimaginable, and many people have fled the combating states, hoping for an easier life out west.

Some of them have found it.
Some have found something else.

So stay tuned. This site will be updated periodically with publication information, upcoming plans, short stories, and every sort of related and pertinent miscellany. In fact, if you scroll down past this entry, you’ll find all the new content as it appears. Or, you can dive right into sample reading!

Thanks for stopping by, and welcome aboard!

FIDDLEHEAD AHOY!

November 12, 2013 - 2:21 pm Comments Off

Finally, you guys – the big day is here: Fiddlehead is now in stores in the United States and the UK! It’s been a hell of a ride, you guys, but this is the final full-length* Clockwork Century novel, and I promise you IT IS A DOOZY.

I mean, I don’t know about YOU, but MY definition of “DOOZY” is somewhere along the lines of “WILD-ASS 19TH CENTURY POLITICAL THRILLER UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE EVER READ AND I DO MEAN EVER.”

Oh, but I can already hear the protests: “MORE STEAMPUNK???! It is probably just gears on hats and curly mustaches for no reason and BESIDES if I haven’t read the other books, I’ll have NO IDEA what’s going on!”

INCORRECT.

THINGS YOU WON’T FIND IN FIDDLEHEAD no matter how hard you look (no for real I am SERIOUS):


  • Gears on hats.
  • Curly mustaches for no reason.
  • Stuff that makes no sense unless you’ve read all the other books.

THINGS YOU WILL TOTALLY FIND IN FIDDLEHEAD and you won’t even have to look very hard (I PROMISE):

  • MURDERY ESPIONAGE PLOTS
  • A KICKASS INVENTOR FIGHTING CRIME WITH SCIENCE
  • SECRET AGENTS WITH VERY SKETCHY PASTS
  • A LADY DETECTIVE WHO FIGHTS DIRTY
  • WICKED INDUSTRIALIST WARHAWKS
  • TWO PRESIDENTS UNDER SIEGE BY ASSASSINS
  • A ZOMBIE WHO TOTALLY DESERVES TO BE ONE
  • OH MY GOD PEOPLE THIS IS BARELY THE BEGINNING

That said, YES – FANS OF THE SERIES WILL GET SOME ANSWERS. Have you wondered what became of Croggon Hainey and the crew of the Free Crow? Curious about the mysterious Kirby Troost: is he full of hot air, or the badass he pretends? Pondering how the Civil War is going to end?

THEN KEEP READING, MY FRIENDS.
Because Fiddlehead is the cure for what ails you!

Publishers Weekly had some very kind things to say about it – to wit:

“Priest’s final Clockwork Century novel (after The Inexplicables) wraps things up nicely, once again turning a mash-up of too-worn genre tropes (steampunk, alternate Civil War, zombies) into a work of entertainment laced with social criticism. In 1879, as the Civil War continues to rage, scientist and ex-slave Gideon Bardsley’s invention, a massive computer called the Fiddlehead, has predicted that the zombie outbreak from the Northwest will overwhelm both sides if they don’t end the war. Working with ex-president Lincoln (long disabled from an assassination attempt), he enlists the Pinkertons, including their agent Belle Boyd, in an attempt to find allies in the South. Meanwhile, amoral businesswoman Katharine Haymes attempts to prolong the war for her own reasons. Priest again throws in a huge cast of characters, and the historical figures (Boyd, Lincoln, Grant) are as interesting as the fictional ones. New readers would benefit from starting at the beginning of the series, but returning fans will be satisfied by the elegant conclusion and will regret that a great series has ended.”

[:: flings confetti ::]
[:: deploys tee shirt cannon ::]
[:: performs ridiculous touchdown dance ::]

AND HOW DO YOU GET YOUR HOT LITTLE HANDS ON THIS BOOK? Let me help.

First and foremost, if you have the option – it’d be really nice if you’d hit up your local independent bookseller. If they don’t have it in stock, they can order it for you, easy-peasy; or if you’re not sure what’s out there, you can check this link at IndieBound for a store that carries it near you.

Failing that, here are some links to set you up with the usual suspects:


SO NOW WHAT?

So now…on a different note. (Because I can have as many notes in my post as I want, that’s why.)

This is the end of an era for me, and it is a bittersweet thing to send Fiddlehead out into the world. May you find it easily, read it happily, and share it with friends of a like-minded nature. Thank you all for your support, always – thank you for embracing this weird little series with the zombies and the gas, and the spies and the dirigibles, and giants and monsters and heroes.

Thank you for everything.
But most of all, thank you for reading.

~Cherie Priest



* Novella Jacaranda will be out through Subterranean Press late next year, I believe. It takes place 20 years after the events of Fiddlehead, and will be unrelated to the main arc.

Fiddlehead – Coming Soon!

November 5, 2013 - 11:21 pm Comments Off

Landing on November 12, 2014 … the final full-length book in the Clockwork Century: Fiddlehead!*

You can get a whole host of details on this project over at its entry at the Macmillan website – including, but not limited to, sample content, reviews, and the various formats in which it shall appear (with instructions re: how you can order/preorder them).

So what’s this one about, you ask? Well. Please allow me to direct you to its Publishers Weekly review – reproduced in its entirety as follows:

“Priest’s final Clockwork Century novel (after The Inexplicables) wraps things up nicely, once again turning a mash-up of too-worn genre tropes (steampunk, alternate Civil War, zombies) into a work of entertainment laced with social criticism. In 1879, as the Civil War continues to rage, scientist and ex-slave Gideon Bardsley’s invention, a massive computer called the Fiddlehead, has predicted that the zombie outbreak from the Northwest will overwhelm both sides if they don’t end the war. Working with ex-president Lincoln (long disabled from an assassination attempt), he enlists the Pinkertons, including their agent Belle Boyd, in an attempt to find allies in the South. Meanwhile, amoral businesswoman Katharine Haymes attempts to prolong the war for her own reasons. Priest again throws in a huge cast of characters, and the historical figures (Boyd, Lincoln, Grant) are as interesting as the fictional ones. New readers would benefit from starting at the beginning of the series, but returning fans will be satisfied by the elegant conclusion and will regret that a great series has ended.”

BUT HERE. Let me make this EVEN EASIER. Here’s a handy-dandy list of the usual suspects:


And DON’T FORGET – your local independent bookseller will either carry this book or be able to order it for you, NO PROBLEMO. (I always recommend you try and support your indies when you can.)

Thanks for reading, everyone – and stay tuned. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll bring this site up to speed and get it all shiny, to reflect Fiddlehead and its highlights. So please, if you would be so kind, go check this one out. I had a hell of a time writing it, and I’m very proud of the way things come together.

I hope you enjoy the ride.

:)



* Next year, there will be another one-off from Subterranean Press called Jacaranda … which will be set in this universe, but will happen some years after the original books, and will not participate in the main arc.

Here come the reviews!

November 8, 2012 - 4:40 pm Comments Off

I’ve been bad about keeping this page updated with the incoming reviews, but I’m back on the pony now – just in time for this great Shelf Awareness write-up. (Mild spoilers – nothing too major.) Click through and take a look!

Or if you like, click here to see more – including takes from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. I’m greatly relieved that the early reviews are skewing so positively; the ones that land before the book comes out are always the real nail-biters, because they can set the tone for the book’s reception.

But so far, so good!

Thanks of course to all the reviewers out there, whether you’re writing for a specific publication or their own websites. You’re an invaluable part of the process, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate you.

Coming Soon: THE INEXPLICABLES

November 6, 2012 - 6:27 pm Comments Off

November 13 – a great date for a multitude of reasons. First of all, by that date we ought to damn well stop hearing political campaign ads, and hopefully this whole presidential thing will be good and sorted. Knock on wood. Second, it is my husband’s birthday. I believe the record will reflect that I love me some Scorpios. Third – and most relevant to this blog post: This is the date that my new Clockwork Century novel The Inexplicables will finally be available!

THE INEXPLICABLES

So WHAT you may ask IS THE SKINNY ON THIS ONE? Well, I’ll tell you, starting with an amended version of the flap copy.

[Aside: Why amended? Because I'm a control freak, basically. Also because people who read the stuff that's actually on the back of the book tend to freak out and email me questions with lots of exclamation points. But I think it's important to remember that (a). I, personally, did not write the flap copy, and (b). if you want proper answers to your exclamation pointy questions, it will be more expensive and time-consuming to just buy the book and read it, yes ... but ultimately you'll find that course of action more satisfying than emailing me with your demands.]

    Rector “Wreck ‘em” Sherman was orphaned as a toddler in the Blight of 1863, but now he’s all grown up – and on his eighteenth birthday, he’ll be cast out out of the children’s home.

    But Wreck’s problems aren’t merely about finding a new place to live: for years, he’s been quietly breaking the cardinal rule of any good drug dealer and dipping into his own supply. Now he’s pretty sure he’s being haunted by the ghost of a kid he used to know – a kid who disappeared six months ago, and is almost certainly dead. If so, this old friend would have every reason to pester Wreck, since Wreck’s the one who got him inside the walled city of Seattle in the first place.

    Maybe the ghost is just a drug-fueled misfire of a guilty conscience, but Wreck can’t take it anymore. So he sneaks over the wall.

    Inside, he finds the wasteland of Seattle every bit as bad as he’d heard, chock-full of the hungry undead and utterly choked by the poisonous, inescapable yellow gas.

    And then there’s the monster. Rector’s pretty certain that whatever attacked him was not at all human—and not a rotter, either. This was something different. Arms far too long. Posture all strange. Eyes all wild and faintly glowing gold and known to the locals as simply “The Inexplicable.”


I’d say that’s pretty much the meat of it – but that’s definitely not the whole story. Inside The Inexplicables you’ll also find gangland mayhem, dynamite and time bombs, back-door deals, undead fauna, malicious chemistry, forgotten cemeteries, decrepit towers with treasure inside, Maynard’s jail, missing soldiers, fabricated zombies … and a whole lot more.

It’s true, this is my first book in the franchise without a female lead – though Princess Angeline and Mercy Lynch play fairly prominent roles; and it’s true also that people are assuming this is a young adult book, due to the protagonist’s age. And that’s fine – I hope young readers pick it up and enjoy it. But really, this is from the same planet as Boneshaker – a book written for adults and/or anyone else, but with a young person front and center.

I have been told that the young person in question is a disturbing, yet strangely compelling, jackass. I’m going to go ahead and take that as a compliment.

SO. If you’d like to read the first chapter of The Inexplicables, you can click right here and find it live on the Macmillan page. I’m not gonna lie – the first chapter is a little grim and weird, but I’m rather fond of it and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

When you’re finished with that sample, if you’re game and curious, you can click over here to Goodreads and throw your hat in the ring to receive a free copy from Tor.

At any rate! Below I’ve listed a series of links that will take you to listings for The Inexplicables at the usual suspects, including the known e-book formats. To answer the inevitable questions about an audiobook – I have no idea if there will be one or not. No one has said anything about it, and everyone in New York is a little busy right now with other things, so I’m just going to have to let that one go for now.

But in short and in closing, if you could be persuaded to preorder this book, I would be forever grateful. Publishers pay a great deal of attention to preorders, and preorders go a long way toward deciding how many more books they’re likely to pay me for.

So thank you to everyone for your time, your interest, and your readership. Thank you for everything.

The Inexplicables

March 15, 2012 - 8:22 pm No Comments

Inexplicables Ladies, gents, and the otherwise affiliated … I give you … the cover of The Inexplicables!

Click to view larger, natch.

This time around the art comes courtesy of Cliff Nielsen, not Jon Foster (as with all the previous covers).

I admit, I was a little worried about the shift – for the sake of consistency, if nothing else. But honestly I think it looks great.

Well played, Irene Gallo (of the Tor art department) and Mr. Nielsen!

Fine work all around, and I can’t wait to see this one hit the shelves this fall.