News and Events
Out of the Debauched Sloth
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The prospect of frost
What do Crater School girls do when they grow up? Ian Whates, publisher of NewCon Press, will be revealing the answer - or one of the answers - to this question, in the forthcoming novella Rowany de Vere and a Fair Degree of Frost.
Rowany de Vere: late of the Crater School, where she was a legendary Head Girl; recently graduated both from Oxford and from several unpublicised and unexpected schools across two worlds; home on Mars, working for an unnamed department of the Colonial Service. Some people call her a spy, or a spy-hunter, though she prefers "political agent". None of those labels is sufficient to contain her, for she is sui generis.
This is the tale of her first independent mission, where she is tasked to extract a Russian defector from a disreputable hotel in Marsport. He is almost certainly under surveillance by the Okhrana, the Tsar's infamous secret service; nevertheless, Rowany is tolerably confident that she can manage this. As, clearly, are her masters; why else would they have sent her in alone...?
While we wait for publication, the latest news from Mars is Dust Up at the Crater School, the second in Chaz Brenchley's ongoing 'Crater School' series, and a sequel to Three Twins at the Crater School.
Christmas is coming to the Crater School, so the girls must celebrate. So says the Earth calendar. But Mars does not respect school rules. Nor does the Red Planet have much respect for Earth weather. Why bother with a white Christmas when Martian weather can be far more dangerous?
Then again, perhaps this is for the best. The people most likely to arrive at the Crater School with snow on their boots are Russian spies.
Dust Up at the Crater School was published by Wizard's Tower Press on January 6th 2022; find purchasing links on their website.
"English girls' boarding-school stories. On Mars."
That was the original elevator pitch for Chaz'z Patreon: a very focused project, to let him write something from the heart that was not likely to prove commercially viable. His lifelong love for the Chalet School books of Elinor M Brent-Dyer is an open secret: one morning that coupled in his head with the Old Mars that he was already writing stories about, and he simply couldn't resist. "If Mars were a province of the British Empire," he argues, "of course it would need boarding-schools for girls (it was already canonical in the stories that boys were sent back to England for their education, but girls were not). Hence the Crater School, on the rim of a crater lake, taking girls from all over the colony, from the great cities of Marsport and New Victoria and Cassini to the pioneer farms on the frontier. With all the concomitant mischief-making, fire and flood, alarms and excursions, encounters with aliens and more. Sickly parents in the sanatorium across the lake. Old girls marrying doctors. Picnics and midnight feasts, secret tunnels and great revelations. Oh, and Russian spies for good measure."
There's more background here about Chaz'z Mars Imperial stories - the Crater School and beyond! Or just head over to Chaz'z Patreon and enrol right away!
News from Outremer
The new edition of Chaz'z fantasy classic The Books of Outremer from Wizard's Tower Press is completely revised by the author, and appears in six volumes of which the first two are already available. Find ordering details on the publisher's website for the first, The Devil in the Dust, and second, The Tower of the King's Daughter.
For forty years, the Order of the Knights Ransomer has been the sword-arm and conscience of the kingdom. Their stronghold, the Roq de Rançon, is the key to Outremer's defence. But nomadic tribes on the kingdom's borders threaten to reclaim this land that was once theirs, and their charismatic leader, Hasan, is a force to be reckoned with...
Marron, a young man training to be a Ransomer, and Julianne, a noble-born girl betrothed to a man she's never met, have come to the Roq. Here each of them is be put to the test, as they become inextricably bound up in the coming upheaval that will decide the fate of Outremer. And as The Devil in the Dust closes, there are secrets to be revealed.
What is the reason for Sieur Anton's shame? Who is the mysterious prisoner in the Roq's dungeons? Who is Rudel, really, and why does Elisande hate him so? Most importantly of all, what lies within the Roq's forbidden section, the place known as the Tower of the King's Daughter?
Publisher Cheryl Morgan says: "I read the Outremer series in 2004. At the time, Crusader imagery was regularly utilised in support of the war in Iraq, and depiction of queer relationships in fantasy was still a rarity. Consequently the series was a breath of fresh air in a world just starting to go mad. I'm delighted to be able to bring these books back to the reading public."
The Best of Chaz
Everything in All the Wrong Order, the Best Of collection of Chaz'z short stories, was published by Subterranean Press on 31st August 2021, and has been gathering rave reviews.
The Table of Contents has now been announced - thirty two brilliant stories of all lengths, plus an introduction by Elizabeth Bear. Publishers Weekly calls Chaz "gifted, prolific" and, in a starred review, says "Every entry enhances creative plots and plausible characterizations with outstanding writing."
Included in the 2021 Locus Recommended Reading List.