Calling Major Tom and Carrie Fisher

Version 2Back in February, when I was writing a sample chapter of what would become Calling Major Tom, I had a very brief scene in it where Thomas, on his way to Mars on the first manned mission to the Red Planet, speaks to Carrie Fisher back at Ground Control, a birthday present of sorts to him from the British Space Agency. Continue reading

Which Gideon Smith Character Are You?

GidSmithCharacterYeah, I gone and done one of those “humorous” quiz things on a site that looks a bit like Buzzfeed but isn’t. For the kids, really. Anyway, you can answer a load of daft questions and find out which character from Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl you are most like.

Please note, neither David Barnett nor his publishers Tor Books and Snowbooks, nor his agent, nor anybody, claims any responsibility if you get Aloysius Bent. You wanna cut down on your pork-life, mate. Get some exercise.

Anyway, to take the test CLICK HERE. And have fun. If you find it mildly diverting, share it on.

“Dear Home Office, do you have an X-Files department..?”

XfilesI’ve done my first piece for the website of the Lifetime TV channel, which is a tongue-in-cheek piece about the X-Files (which Lifetime is showing) and whether or not the security services actually have covert departments devoted to the investigation of paranormal activity. And yes, I did ask them… you can read the full piece here.

100 days of Gideon Smith

20130720-150015.jpg20130225-224610.jpgToday marks 100 days since the publication of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by Tor Books in the US and Snowbooks in the UK.

I had no real idea what to expect when the book was published. I’ve had other novels out through independent presses, of course, but this was the first release through big, mainstream, commercial publishers.

I tried to manage my expectations. I am an unknown writer, especially in the US, and with the huge number of books being published I was quietly preparing for Gideon Smith to simply disappear among the overwhelming flood of everything else.

To say I’ve been utterly delighted at the response would be a massive understatement.

Gideon Smith has had, by my rough estimate, about 50 positive reviews in newspapers, magazines and on websites – and that’s not counting the feedback on Goodreads and Amazon.

People have been overwhelmingly lovely about the book. Especially gratifying are the reviews or messages from people who said things like “this is the perfect book for people who think they don’t like steampunk”, “I didn’t think this was going to be my thing, but…” and “this book was so much fun!”

I’m grateful beyond words to everyone who made this book happen: my agent John Jarrold, the team at Tor – my editor Claire Eddy, Bess Cozby, Leah Withers, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Irene Gallo and artist Nekro, to name just a handful – and also Emma Barnes at Snowbooks, who has taken on Gideon as a personal project and recently bought the rights in the next two books in the series. Also my family for their support, and friends who’ve been so pleased for this happening. Those people who didn’t know me from Adam and loved and reviewed the book, and most of all those people who went out and bought it or borrowed it from their local library. You’re all brilliant.

I was made incredibly welcome by the steampunk community at the Haworth Steampunk Weekend, and I hope to make a repeat appearance next year, along with other events and cons.

Thanks also to all the famous people I admire who have had a copy of Gideon Smith forced upon them by me or one of my mates – off the top of my head they include Neil Gaiman, Jeremy Dyson, Mitch Benn, Jonathan Ross, Cory Doctorow, Paul Cornell… probably many others. Sorry for being a self-promoting pain in the arse, and thanks for being so gracious about it.

It’s been a brilliant three months or so for Gideon Smith, and I’m looking forward to Tor and Snowbooks publishing book two, Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon, in September 2014, with book three to follow in 2015. After that… well, there are more Gideon tales to tell, but we’ll just have to wait and see how sales are going.

And if you haven’t read Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl yet… what the hell are you waiting for? Christmas?

Gideon Smith nominated for BSFA Awards

BSFA-logo-Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl has been nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award.

The awards are presented every year at Eastercon, and nominations come from BSFA members, and are voted on by the membership and Eastercon attendees.

It’s a pretty strong field so far – Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls, Christopher Priest’s The Adjacent, James Smythe’s The Machine, Gareth L Powell’s Ack-Ack Macaque, Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice – and nominations are open to the middle of January so I expect there’ll be yet more great books from 2013 nominated.

But I’m delighted that Gideon Smith has made it to this first stage and thank you to whoever nominated the book.


Awesome giveaway – sexy literary T-shirt courtesy of The Affair

moby-dick.front.THE-AFFAIRSee this picture? It’s me wearing one of the fabulous new literary-themed T-shirts from The Affair. Actually, it’s not me. It’s a much uglier model, because if you were to see me in this very T-shirt – it references Moby-Dick – you might melt in a puddle of desire at my super-sexiness.

But guess what? You, too, can look as sexy as this model – or even me, if you’re lucky – thanks to the people at The Affair who, because they know readers of my books are inherently sexy and cool, have given me a T-shirt to give away. To you. To celebrate the UK publication deal for Gideon Smith books two and three. These things cost nearly 30 quid (though they’re well worth it) so you’re getting yourself a right bargain – for nothing.

What’s more, I’ll even post it to you for free. Because that’s how much I love you. UK readers only, I’m afraid – I’m not made of money, you know. And I’d like you to get this shirt for Christmas, if possible, so you can be all smug and literary and sexy while you’re tucking into the turkey.lost-city-of-z.zoom.front

The T-shirt you’re going to get is this snazzy white one based on David Grann’s The Lost City of Z. Here it is modeled by another ugly guy. It’s a size MEDIUM, about 40” chest. I have one to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment below this post. You don’t have to say how much you like Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, and I’m not saying that would improve your chances in any way, because it won’t, but do feel free.

I’ll pick a winner at random on, say, Monday December 16, so pop back here then as I might need to post your name so you can get in touch with me and claim your sexy literary prize.

The Affair has loads of cool designs on their website so check them out. Here’s some stuff from them so you know you’re not getting a T-shirt made by half-blind children in some airless sweatshop somewhere: “All our shirts are custom made in Portugal by old ladies who have years of experience, take long European lunches and have the whole month of August off every year. Some call this sweatshop free, but we prefer to think of it as an excellent approach to a sustainable life.”

So there you have it. If you want this T-shirt, give me some love below.

PLUS THERE IS A SPECIAL CODE YOU CAN USE TO GET A FIVER OFF ANY OF THE AFFAIR’S DEAD SMART T-SHIRTS. Simply use the code¬†BOOKTEES at checkout and it should knock you ¬£5 off.