“The God Engines” Review in Publishers Weekly

The first review of my dark fantasy novella The God Engines is in from Publishers Weekly, and it is an excellent review. I won’t post the whole thing here, because it’s a bit spoilery of things I want unspoiled, but here’s the pull quote:

If J.G. Ballard and H.P. Lovecraft had ever collaborated… the results might have been like this: ferociously inventive, painfully vivid, dispassionately bleak and dreadfully memorable.

Yes, those are a couple of name checks I can live with.

The review also notes the novella is substantially different in tone than my science fiction, which is of course correct; this is me getting dark on y’all. I can’t wait for you folks to see my dark side.

On a related note, a quick update about artwork: there are going to be two covers. The cover you see here by Tomislav Tikulin, which really magnificently captures the classic 70s fantasy art vibe, will be used for the signed limited edition. For the unsigned trade edition, the cover will be by Vincent Chong, who has done the art for the Old Man’s War series limiteds from Subterranean Press; he will also be doing the interior art for all editions. I’ll post the Chong cover art when I get it.

Personally, I’m quite pleased; I like the idea of the two versions being just a little bit different. It’s also why I like working with Subterranean Press with this stuff. They go the extra mile on presentation.

38 thoughts on ““The God Engines” Review in Publishers Weekly

  1. A link to the review:

    [snipped -- JS]

    Yes, Scalzi’s description of the review is longer than the review itself.

  2. Christopher, the reason I didn’t post a direct link to the review is because I didn’t want people to see the significant spoilers there. As mentioned in the entry. I thought that was pretty clear. I don’t have an issue with the reviewer mentioning some spoilers (it’s hard to review the novella without doing so), but I also want to keep some things a surprise for people who don’t want to have everything revealed.

    If people want to see the full review, it’s at the Publishers Weekly Web site.

    Also, no, my comment on the review is not longer than the review itself.

    As a head’s up, I’ll be snipping out comments here of a spoilery nature.

  3. Can’t wait to read this one. Caught your reading with Peter Watts and JCG at Worldcon – by far the best (and gruesomest) multi-author reading I went to all weekend…

  4. Bryan, they’ll both die of swine flu before it can be released anyway so there’s really no reason to do that.

  5. Also, no, my comment on the review is not longer than the review itself.

    That was a joke. I guess I should have put sarcasm tags on it.

    And as for the link, I thought it would save people a lot of searching. Really, if you don’t want spoilers, don’t click the link. I thought the point was obvious.

    I must be over caffeinated this morning.

  6. It’s also why I like working with Subterranean Press with this stuff. They go the extra mile on presentation.

    Yeah, but what about the lunch buffet? Do they go the extra mile on the lunch buffet? What about open bar and those those little mints on your pillow, what about that?

    Not a big fantasy fan, but I’m looking forward to this one, Scalzi, like to see how you handle the darkness.

  7. I like the cover. Maybe if they put Darwin in a pose like that, that movie would have sold.

    Seriously: Subterranean Press just this morning sent out an e-mail advertisement for new releases. And guess what what was at the top?

  8. –I can’t wait for you folks to see my dark side.

    Does this mean that the John Scalzi cover of The Final Countdown is on its way?

  9. Unlike many of the people that post here, I’m a fantasy fan first, sci-fi fan next. And when reading fantasy I like it dark and scary. Scalzi, bring it on. This sounds like it’s right up my alley.

  10. I am a fantasy fan first, too, though I have read so much I’ve become selective over the years. I will snap this one as soon as it comes out.

  11. Lovecraft and Ballard indeed. Taunting us with intriguing reviews, knowing we can’t get our grubby little hands on this leather bound goodness till December.

  12. Are militaries and hierarchical structures a recurring theme in your works, Mr. Scalzi? The one counterexample I can think of partially involved a conspiracy inside a bureaucracy, which counts.

  13. It’s promising to be a sweet read. Argh! I’ve been reading too much hard sf lately. I need a change . . .

  14. …this is me getting dark on y’all. I can’t wait for you folks to see my dark side.

    Will there be cookies?

  15. no cookies… cuz if the dark side had cookies it would have been “The return of the sith” and Luke would have become Vader Jr.

  16. I particularly liked the part where [snip] [snipped] the [snip] and shoved the [snip] up the other [snip]‘s [snip].

    It was so [snip]

  17. The Review spoils the firsts 10ish pages. I did enjoy the book but nowhere to the extent that I enjoyed old mans war or the androids dream.

    The concept was cool but the ending was really fast and you don’t really connect to one character to really care about the sacrifice said character makes near the end. It seemed really deus ex machina to be honest.

    I dunno, maybe the style just isn’t for me. But I’m going to stop rambling now.

  18. ooo, I’m really going to have to start reading your stuff. I only started reading your blog a little while ago because you had a funny twitter which I found several authors following.

    Time to go all the Scalzi-way.

  19. “–I can’t wait for you folks to see my dark side.”

    And if I show you my dark side, will you still hold me tonight?

    Looking forward to this a bunch.

  20. Didn’t they use the same cover art on a book that came out last year sometime? I think it was called The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of Biff’s Basement.

  21. Re J Reynolds @ 34: No, I think it was the rejected art for the unpublished “Harry Potter and the Secret of Hagrid’s Rec Room.”

  22. I will travel from my country to England to buy this in February.

    [To be honest, book buying is teh reason why I will travel for a week in the Uk. I think I am nuts]

    Love the cover.

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