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, 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, 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?

Gideon Smith – Business As Usual

BusinessAsUsualAs previously announced, is publishing two short stories to coincide with the publication of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl this September. really pulls out all the stops with its fiction, which usually goes online each Wednesday, and the illustrations that Irene Gallo commissions to accompany the text are as wonderful as any book cover.worksetsyoufree

I’m delighted that has once again obtained the services of Nekro to illustrate the short story Business As Usual. Nekro has already done a great job on the first short, Work Sets You Free, and the Tor Books edition cover to Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl.

Business As Usual is a standalone story that focuses on the mysterious Mr Walsingham, who Gideon meets in the first book. I’ll update as soon as I know publication dates for both of these stories.20130225-224610.jpg


Britain vs America – the Gideon Smith cover smackdown



I like this Tor Books cover (left) of the US edition of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by the excellent Nekro… but I also like this Snowbooks cover put together by Emma Barnes (right) for the UK release.

Which one’s best?

There’s only one way to find out…

(click on both covers to enlarge and see them in their detailed goodness…) And all this is just for fun, remember.

If you want to add any further thoughts on both or either covers in the comments, that would be lovely. Perhaps one commenter will be chosen at random nearer to publication time for a freebie of some sort…

What they say about Gideon Smith #4: Matt Mitrovich at Amazing Stories

Amazing-Stories-Logo-R-375Matt Mitrovich runs the brilliant Alternate History Weekly Update blog, and has shown a lot of welcome interest in the Gideon Smith books. He also reviews for Amazing Stories – yes, officially THAT Amazing Stories – and I was delighted to see this review he did of GIDEON SMITH and the MECHANICAL GIRL.

All in all this was an excellent adventure story that really made you feel for the characters… I look forward to the next chapter in Gideon’s adventure (I believe there are two sequels forthcoming) and I hope you all pick up a copy of the book when it comes out in September. It is a long wait, but I think you will find it is worth it.