Haworth Steampunk Weekend 2014

Had a wonderful time at the second annual Haworth Steampunk Weekend.

Met a lot of people who got copies of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl last year and came back for their signed copies of Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon.

Also met lots of people who had heard of the Gideon Smith books already, which was nice – especially as they wanted to know more.

The Haworth Steampunk Weekend is a really good vibe and some of the costumes on display are magnificent.

Thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome, and I’ll see you all next year with GIDEON SMITH AND THE MASK OF THE RIPPER…

Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon – cover smackdown!















In the red corner… the cover to Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon’s UK edition, as designed by Snowbooks’ supremo Emma Barnes. In the… well, it’s the sort of red and gold corner, the US edition from Tor’s art and design team under the head honcho-ship of Irene Gallo, with a wonderful illustration by Nekro.

But which one’s best..? There’s only one way to find out! COVER SMACKDOWN!

(Psst. You don’t have to choose. In fact, you could go out and buy both if you wanted… US edition out September 16, UK edition September 17. Go fill your little brass boots)

Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon – the US cover

Feast your peepers on this, the cover to the Tor edition of Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon, which is released on September 16th 2014.


20130225-224610.jpgYeah, I know. Brilliant, isn’t it? It’s by Nekro, the artist responsible for the cover to Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl and the illustrations for the two short stories in Gideon’s world which were published on Tor.com, Work Sets You Free and Business as Usual.

And here’s the catalog copy:

Nineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire, a teeming metropolis where steam-power is king and airships ply the skies, and where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world—including the east coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.

Young Gideon Smith has seen things that no green lad of Her Majesty’s dominion should ever experience. Through a series of incredible events Gideon has become the newest Hero of the Empire. But Gideon is a man with a mission, for the dreaded Texas pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen the mechanical clockwork girl Maria, along with a most fantastical weapon—a great brass dragon that was unearthed beneath ancient Egyptian soil. Maria is the only one who can pilot the beast, so Cockayne has taken girl and dragon off to points east.

Gideon and his intrepid band take to the skies and travel to the American colonies hot on Cockayne’s trail. Not only does Gideon want the machine back, he has fallen in love with Maria. Their journey will take them to the wilds of the lawless lands south of the American colonies—to free Texas, where the mad King of Steamtown rules with an iron fist (literally), where life is cheap and honor even cheaper.

Does Gideon have what it takes to not only save the day but win the girl?

You can pre-order Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon from Barnes & Noble, from Amazon.com, Indiebound, (and others). UK readers will have to wait a little while longer for the cover to the Snowbooks edition and pre-order details.

In the meantime, if you’re one of those people who hasn’t yet read Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, there’s a cornucopia of buying options 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?

Steampunks! Gideon Smith salutes you!

Me on my stall at the Haworth Steampunk Weekend
Me on my stall at the Haworth Steampunk Weekend

Had an utterly lovely time at the Haworth Steampunk Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

It was my first steampunk event and the first author appearance I’ve done since the publication of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, so I was a little nervous about what kind of reception I’d get.

I’m delighted at how welcome I was made to feel, both by steampunk enthusiasts who attended the event from all over the country and local people who stopped by to chat. I signed a truck-load of books and did a talk and reading.

It was interesting to find out that a lot of people into the steampunk lifestyle aren’t necessarily fans of – or indeed aware of – the movement’s literary roots, so it was good to talk about that as well.

It was wonderful to see so many people in fantastic costumes, and Haworth was a

With my temporary helper, son Charlie
With my temporary helper, son Charlie

great setting for the event – I hope there’s going to be a second one next year, and if there is, count me in!

It was really nice to have so much interest in Gideon Smith’s adventures, and I hope everyone who bought a copy over the weekend enjoys it – do come back here and let me know how you get on with it, or contact me on twitter at @davidmbarnett.

20130720-150015.jpgFor those who were asking if Gideon Smith is available on ebook – yes it is, and click here for the link to the Amazon listing.

Thanks again for all your support.

Haworth Steampunk Weekend

steampunkweekendIt’s the very first Haworth Steampunk Weekend this coming weekend, at which I will have a presence promoting GIDEON SMITH and the MECHANICAL GIRL.

From kick-off (around 10-ish) on Saturday you can find me in the market room at the Haworth Community Centre (Butt Lane, Haworth, BD22 8QJ) where I’ll have oodles of copies of the UK edition of the book, published by Snowbooks, available should anyone want a signed copy (the perfect Christmas gift for your steampunk granny!). I might even have a couple of copies of the Tor US edition kicking around.

At some point in the day I’ll also be doing a reading and a bit of a talk, plus Q&A session if anyone’s got any questions, about the book and its sequels. Not sure of exact timings as I write this but it’ll probably be just before lunch – listen out for the announcements on the tannoy if you’re there, and I think the reading will be in the Community Centre as well.

If you’re attending the event – which is raising money for the local Manorlands Hospice – do come and say hello. And maybe buy a book.


Steampunk in the mainstream

I know everyone, everywhere has already seen this IBM infographic predicting that steampunk will be totally mainstream by 2014, but thought it was worth putting up here. Largely for people I work with and my mum so I can direct them to this post the next time they say “people keep describing Gideon Smith as steampunk… what’s that all about, again?”