February 22, 2014

The Waking Engine Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Waking Engine by David Edison! Today I have an awesome guest post by the author to share with you and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post! Also, be sure to stop back soon to read my review of the book!

The Waking Engine
Author: David Edison
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Tor

Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.

Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.

Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.

Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.

 Top 5 Favorite areas of the City Unspoken

My top five favorite areas of the City Unspoken?  What are you doing to me, A Dream Within a Dream? This torture… Okay, I’ll narrow it down to five.  I will keep it free of direct spoilers, but if your imagination starts a-cookin’, don’t blame me.  Cool?  Cool.

1) The Apostery courtyard.  Deep underground, beneath a conical mountain, lies the Apostery—the Apostatic Cemetery, where the people of the City Unspoken bury the gods they once held dear.  At the center of the mountain, a cylindrical shaft rises from the depths of the Apostery to the sky, like a well or a bore or a cenote.  One enters at the bottom of this shaft, where a tunnel spills out.  The walls of the courtyard are covered with the facades of temples and churches from these deposed faiths—just the doorways, just the faces.  They scroll up the well all the way to the top, and legend says that whenever a faith dies, the face of one of its temples appears in the Apostery courtyard, and the mountain grows higher.  If you look at the streets and buildings on the mountainside, they show some evidence of changing elevation over the years…  I love it there.  Now I’ll stop because spoilers.

2) Bonseki-sai.  There’s a good reason I envisioned a district crafted in the shape of a Japanese decorative platter.  Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait till the next book for more than a suggestion of what that reason might be.  (There are overt hints that should point you in the right direction.)  This district is a bonseki plate writ large: a flat black bowl of resin on which all the homes and businesses are crafted to resemble stylized mountains, peaking waves, etc - with a giant tree at its center which isn’t really a giant tree, but a confabulation of set design and well-tended jade plants.  Within the false tree sits the vacant Jamaica Inn, which takes its name from the site of a famous haunting… and maybe a Tori Amos song.  A careful reader could find several Tori easter eggs in the book, and maybe a goddess, but I digress…

3) The Guiselaine, for which you’ll find a very thorough description in the first chapter.  It’s the equivalent of the Village and SoHo in NYC, or the Mission in SF, or the Marais in Paris—where danger and fashion and people all collide.  I run a shop there myself….

4) Godsmiths, an area you will not see until the second or third book.  A brief description won’t hurt, I promise: Godsmiths spans both sides of a canyon lined with permanent scaffolding and switchback trails (WoW players can think of a more urban Orgrimmar, if that helps).  In its unseen depths, fires and forges burn, glowering orange-red at all hours and belching smoke into the skies.  One side of the canyon is lined with massive black basalt columns carved to resemble clenched fists, with a massive chain running between them.  Here you’ll find a lot of actual industry: factories and smiths and larger-scale operations.  If the Guiselaine is a consumer district, Godsmiths is an industrial one, with a rougher character and even shadier dealings.  Whereas you might find a drug dealer or a prostitute in the Guiselaine—in Godsmiths, you’ll find a makeshift brothel and a drug den.  One area of the neighborhood has been reclaimed, and has begun to gentrify: old mansions have been reclaimed, their wrought-iron fences repaired and their gardens, perhaps abandoned for a good reason, have once again begun to bloom...

5) Île-de-Fé.  Long before the Guiselaine and Bonseki-sai were built, an island in the canals was home to what some say was an exiled faerie court, and others insist was merely an embassy.  In older times, the Third People stuck together, meaning the relationship between humans in the City Unspoken and the fey was a political alliance.  Since then, disaster has befallen the faerie courts, with the fey being scattered across the metaverse to combine and recombine—the Seelie and Unseelie courts are a distant memory, held dear by some and abandoned as obsolete by others.  In any event, Île-de-Fé remains uninhabited (mostly), and while the citizens of the City Unspoken would never admit to superstition (superstition is tangential to faith, which is blasphemy, at least officially), they don’t seem inclined to reclaim the island.  To be fair, there are vast tracts of the city which are unknown and unmapped in modern times, so Île-de-Fé is hardly alone in that regard.  You may see it in the books.  I haven’t decided.  (I am a cruel maker.)

As you can see, there are certainly parts of the city I did not get to explore in this first book.  That is, really, the primary reason the story will be a quartet of four books: I want to do this right, and there’s simply not enough room for the city-at-the-end-of-the-metaverse in 150,000 words.  They made me cut 200pp!  (They were right, btw.)  

It doesn’t help that I taught myself how to write a novel with The Waking Engine—I’m glad that some people are saying it doesn’t read like a typical debut, but it’s still my first time at the rodeo, and I learned so much that the self-critical part of me wants to scream The next one will be soooo much better!  But I am told not to undercut myself, so pretend you haven’t read that.  I am doing a hundred things differently this time around, and I will learn lessons on the second book that won’t show themselves until the third, and so on.  Gosh I’m rambly today.  

The other books will incorporate settings beyond the city itself, but while we’ll go off-world quite a bit, the city will remain the primary setting.  I am chomping at the bit to get back there.  Such fun we’ll have, drinking obsinto at the Guile & Gullet and watching the madness spin around us!  I hope to see you there.

Thanks so much for stopping by today David and sharing some of your favorite parts of the city with us!

Author Links:
Giveaway: (1) Hardcover copy of The Waking Engine - Open to US only!


1 comment:

  1. Interesante post!!! gracias por la información!!
    Un saludo
    Feliz fin de semana