Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Ocean at the End of the Lane & other bits of publishery news

I had a meeting at Harper Collins. They showed me the mock-ups of covers for THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, my next novel for adults, which comes out in the US and the UK on June the 18th 2013. I really like the direction they are going in. I have no image to show you, though, not yet.

Here's a 1947 Life magazine (I think) photo taken in Weeki Wachi that I love, and that I sent to the publishers when we first started talking about cover designs, for you to look at while you're waiting for the real cover.

And here's a photograph of me climbing down a drainpipe in the spring of 1968.

The publishers' description of the book:

The Ocean At The End of the Lane is a novel about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when he was seven: the lodger stole the family's car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.  Creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed -- within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. 

His only defense is three women, on a ramshackle farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac -- as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.

And I'm really nervous. It's an astonishingly personal sort of a novel. (And, although it has a very young protagonist, it really isn't a book for children.)

I got a note from my Polish translator the other day saying that it made her cry, and I know it was just bought in Brazil, so I hope it will be coming out in other countries relatively close to to US & UK publication date.


There will be a uniform set of paperback covers for the first time in the US coming out over the next year -- different colours and images, but they'll look and feel a lot like this.

Harpers asked me to mention that they have a sale on right now on the Enhanced ebook of American Gods. It comes with some audio-visual content (although some people with regular Kindles have said on Twitter that they got the regular version when they bought it).

The sale runs until election day - November the 6th. The links probably won't work if you're outside the US. Sorry about that.


Last night I saw Helen and Edgar, Edgar Oliver's one man play/ performance/virtuoso piece of first person storytelling. It's in a small theatre, Theatre 80, at 80 St Mark's, and it runs until October the 27th.  

It was funny and it was heartbreaking, something both at the same time. It was a triumph, got a standing ovation, and as I listened to the people in the audience talking about coming back and bringing their friends, I thought I should blog about it now, because otherwise there will not be any tickets available if someone out there wants one.

And if you are in New York, you should want one. There is nothing like Edgar's voice, and his stories (all true, all personal) about growing up in Savannah as part of a family of three - his sister Helen, a year older than he was, himself, and is mother, who was quite mad, and a painter, and was thought locally to be a witch because when she was too troubled she would climb onto the roof and rant at the heavens -- are like no-one else's stories. 

When he did his last one man story, Edgar was reviewed in the New York Times thus:
Mr. Oliver is a living work of theater all by himself, and the gestures of his pale, long-fingered hands and the restless expressiveness of his hollowed-out eyes seem completely of a piece with his benevolent horror-movie voice.
But there's nothing horror-movie about Helen and Edgar (except for the story about the swimming pool and the watermelons, of course). It's really gentle. It's a love story about family, and how families buoy you up, and shape you, and how you escape them.


Finally, the Humble Bundle. Would you like a ebook of the graphic novel SIGNAL TO NOISE, by me and Dave Mckean? How about books by John Scalzi or Corey Doctorow, or Kelly Link? And would you like to be able to get most of them on a PAY WHAT YOU WANT basis? With money going to three excellent charities? And with you able to decide how much money goes to whom?

And it's DRM free?

Well, for the next two weeks only, you can. Just head over to

 It was launched yesterday and already over 31,000 have been downloaded. People have paid an average price of about $12 for their bundles so far.

(You have to pay above the average donation to get The Old Man's War and Signal to Noise. That amount has crept up over the last 24 hours.)

Head over and look at the Humble Bundle website, where you will learn that Mac users are more generous than Windows users, and that Linux users are the most generous people of all.

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