4 min read

July, July, July

or, This Is How You Lose the Time Tour

There is a secret at the end of this message.

You think it’s June 19 or 20, depending on where you are in the world when you receive this, but in fact it is July, a month that is not broken into days so much as spilling out before me like cloth of gold, shimmering, gorgeous, costly. In the last week of June and most of the month of July I will be almost entirely abroad, teaching at the Locus Awards weekend (with CONNIE WILLIS!) and at Clarion West before bouncing back to the East coast for Readercon. Throughout this I’ll also be reading from This Is How You Lose the Time War and signing books (which won’t technically be out until July 16, but, you know, ~timelines~ and all that), and I would love very dearly to see some of your shining faces, if you can make it to any of the following!

June 28-30 - SEATTLE - Locus Awards Weekend

July 2 - SAN FRANCISCO - Book Passage @ Ferry Building, 6:00 PM

July 9 - SEATTLE - University Bookstore @ Hugo House, 7:00 PM

July 13 - BOSTON - Readercon Launch Party @ Quincy Marriott, 8:00 PM

July 14 - BOSTON - Pandemonium Books & Games, 8:00 PM

July 15 - BOSTON - Brookline Booksmith, 7:00 PM

July 18 - OTTAWA - National Arts Centre @ Alan & Roula Rossy Pavilion, 7:00 PM

All the Boston dates include the exceptional Max Gladstone, who, by the way, has a shiny new book of his own out right now! Empress of Forever is a magnificent standalone space opera featuring one of my top three Gladstone characters ever (please do not ever make me choose between Tara Abernathy, Elaine Kovarian, & Zanj. Please. But you MUST meet Zanj!) As of this writing there’s a slim possibility Max might be able to make the Ottawa event too, so fingers crossed!

I start travelling in one week’s time. Oof. Deep breaths.

In other news, I’ve been so thrilled by the kind reception Time War’s had so far! It’s gotten three Starred reviews, in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal; Entertainment Weekly included it in their Summer Preview list, in the banner and everything; and over in the UK (where it will come out on July 18!) Stephen Bush kindly reviewed it for The Big Issue, saying “It sounds complex but the execution is engagingly simple. The intergalactic and historic sweep…services rather than overwhelms what is in essence a story about falling in love under a repressive dictatorship.”

Finally, Megan at Old Firehouse Books wrote a review that made both Max and me need to lie down and stare at the ceiling for a while:

I read This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, in one sitting, broken up only by pausing to yell about it on Twitter. I’m going to need at least a month to recover from this book, which means that by the time it comes out, I might be able to talk about it without gasping and clutching my heart melodramatically. I’m reeling and I couldn’t breathe after I finished it. This goes way beyond beautiful; it’s one of those books that reminds me that writing is also an art form.  

It is a 200-page prose poem, an epistolary masterpiece, a masterclass in allusion, a deep dive into character, a perfect manipulation of form and syntax and tone, a bending of the genre to create something that is intrinsically science-fiction and yet absolutely, gorgeously unique. It’s a Shakespearean sonnet, a John Keats love-letter, a Seamus Heaney translation. It’s ancient and new, twisted and twined, harsh and jagged and soft all at once, romantic and Romantic. It’s art.

I cried.

I cried so hard, my roommate asked me if I was okay, and I had to tell her no. I’m not okay, but it’s in the best possible way.

One dreams of getting reviews like this! And many, many thanks to everyone else who’s pre-ordered reviewed it, whether in passionate tweets or on Goodreads or Instagram or stunt sky-writing. It means all of time and space to me.

SPEAKING of pre-orders!

Shh this part’s the secret

You, who’ve entrusted me with your emails and the right to write to you — I’m giving you a special heads-up to do with what you will.

On Thursday, June 20, at 10:35 EST, Saga Press is launching a special pre-order campaign for This Is How You Lose the Time War.

It’ll work like this: if you’re in Canada or the US and send in proof of purchase to the email address set up for this purpose, you’ll get SWAG! We’re talking ENAMEL PINS (I am obsessed with enamel pins) & POSTCARDS & secret handwritten messages!

I’m giving you advance notice because the first 25 people to write in will get a SIGNED copy of the book (from both Max and me!) along with a handwritten note — so wake up early if you need to, keep your focus on Twitter or your inbox, keep that pre-order proof close to hand! Seek out your local independent, or check out these other places you can pre-order from, in hardcover, ebook, or audio:

Barnes & Noble
Chapters Indigo

If you’re in Ottawa, I would heartily encourage you to pre-order through Perfect Books, my favourite local independent, a place that I treasure (and where I worked for five years). The stock there will definitely be signed.

FOLKS IN THE WIDER WORLD, there’s a possibility at time of writing that Jo Fletcher Books (our beloved UK publisher!) is going to piggyback on this pre-order campaign and ship more internationally, but I haven’t gotten confirmation yet. Please rest assured that I want you to have swag too, and if they can’t make it happen, I’ll find a way to make some kind of extra special good thing apply only to you. This book is not called This Is How You Lose the Space War. We’ll figure it out.

Thank you so much for reading! Here’s a photo of me aboard the Pommern, a mighty vessel moored in the Åland islands I long to visit again, more on which soon! For now, that’s me away.