After too long a delay, and a great deal of anticipation, Liz Williams's The Iron Khan, the fifth Detective Inspector Chen novel, has been published -- in ebook formats only, so far -- by Morrigan Books.
The Iron Khan was originally to have been published by Night Shade Books, as they had published the previous four Detective Inspector Chen novels: Snake Agent, The Demon and the City, Precious Dragon, and The Shadow Pavilion. Liz delivered the manuscript for Khan to me on October 26, 2008. By mid-November I was emailing Liz with questions and suggestions, and this back and forth between us carried over into 2009. By the time I approved the final book layout of The Iron Khan on November 11, 2009, Liz and I had worked through nearly 75 emails, which is actually a low number of emails compared to some of the other books I have worked on.
I believe there was a delay (or two), but the book was scheduled for publication in March 2010. As fans and readers of Liz Williams's work know, that date came -- and went. In April, Liz expressed some frustration on her LiveJournal with the status of the Chen series, then some behind-the-scenes action took place, and the rights to the Detective Inspector Chen series were eventually returned to the author.
Fast forward to August 20, 2010: Morrigan Books posted the following announcement, which I have condensed a bit:
Morrigan Books can now announce that it is to continue the successful series of Detective Inspector Chen novels, written by Philip K. Dick Award nominee Liz Williams....
Iron Khan is due for release this December and Morningstar will be published in 2011. The covers for both books are to be designed by award-winning artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.
We are extremely excited by Liz Williams' choice to continue the series with Morrigan Books, and see this as a confirmation of the high standard we are setting in the independent press industry.
Though Stephanie Pui-Mun Law will be designing the covers for the print versions of each new book, the cover pictured above -- designed by Reece Notley -- is for the ebook editions only, which have just been released. The Kindle edition can now be purchased directly through Amazon.com; all other ebook editions (epub, LRF, PDF, and mobi, too, as well as other formats) are available from Smashwords.
Morrigan tells me that the print editions -- a trade edition as well as a limited hardcover edition -- of The Iron Khan will be announced soon. I also know that ebook editions of the first four Chen novels are also in process from Morrigan. And lastly, Liz is hard at work (don't tell her that I told you this!) on the next, the sixth, Chen novel, Morningstar. After working with Liz on the first five Chen novels over the past five years, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to work with Liz on book six as well. Keeping fingers crossed. As I commented myself on Liz's LJ post back in April: "Working on these 5 Chen books, well, it's like Chen, Inari, Zhu Irzh, Jhai, Mhara, and Robin have become extended family!"
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Update: December 27 blog post on the cover art for the print editions of The Iron Khan.
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For those waiting for my monthly wrap-up, November's Links & Things, my apologies as there will be a bit of a delay yet. I'm under a hard deadline to complete my review and copyedit of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Five, edited by Jonathan Strahan, for Night Shade Books. And since this volume is nearly 250,000 words (oy!), I'll need some time to complete this project. Cheers.