Book Blog

Gender-fluid Fiction: False Hearts Author Laura Lam on Breaking Stereotypes

'Dystopias are more interesting from a narrative point of view, though I’m not enjoying living on the verge of one.' Author Laura Lam introduces her new fantasy thriller False Hearts and discusses dystopian fiction and how speculative worlds lend an ideal space to explore identity, sexuality and shatter gender stereotypes.

A Waterstones Exclusive Q & A with Samantha Shannon

It must be daunting to begin your career already being compared with J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman. In fact, Samantha Shannon has been making waves since she first burst onto the scene with her debut novel The Bone Season, the first in a fantasy series about a woman at the centre of a syndicate of dissident clairvoyants ruled by ruthless Mime Lords. Since then the series has grown with the publication of The Mime Order and now the much-anticipated third novel, The Song Rising; establishing the series and Shannon as an important new voice in contemporary fiction. We caught up with the author to talk to her about world building, the challenges of fantasy love stories and creating novels that break down the barriers of genre fiction.

A Letter from Ben Aaronovitch

Few fantasy series of recent times have had the impact of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London; its deviously brilliant fusion of old wizards, ghouls and a certain special division of the London Metropolitan Police quickly found an appreciative audience hungry for his take on a rather extraordinary London. It’s also a source of real Waterstonic pride too to say that our lovely shop in Covent Garden (of course!) once benefited from Ben’s bookselling presence, so we always consider Ben as one of our own. With the sixth in the seriesThe Hanging Tree published today, Ben was kind enough to pen a letter for readers, both for those already in love with the series and the rest who are about to be.

Kiran Millwood Hargrave: Where I Write

Kiran Millwood Hargrave is the twenty-six year old debut novelist whose immensely popular children's book, The Girl Of Ink & Stars, captured all of our imagination this summer with its deft mix of the very sweet and the very dark. Such success was hard-won however; here the author tells a very intimate tale of where she writes and how it reflects her state of mind.

Naomi Alderman: A Fantasy and Sci Fi Revival?

Today sees the release of the Penguin Worlds Series, five unmissable science fiction, fantasy and horror classics, reissued with spectacularly vivid covers designed by Notting Hill-based design studio La Boca with a firm eye on the publisher's SF heritage of the 1970s. To introduce the series for us, and to explore the ways in which Science Fiction and Fantasy may be seeing a renaissance, we are thrilled to present the following article by Naomi Alderman, voted in 2013 by Granta as one of their prestigious Best Young British Novelists and author of the highly anticipated novel, The Power.

Cover to Cover

Great book jacket design is often based on the unique harmony of design and illustration, a delicate balance that has the potential to make or break a title in a sometimes rich marketplace. Stormdancer creator Jay Kristoff’s epic new fantasy Nevernight provided HarperCollins designer Cherie Chapman with the opportunity to create one of the most striking covers we've seen this year and the chance to collaborate with master-illustrator Kerby Rosanes. Writing exclusively for Waterstones,  Cherie takes us from concept through to print.

Reviews: Glass Sword and Judged

Lucy Hounsom is a Waterstones bookseller and fantasy author who has reviewed two new Young Adult titles for us: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard and Judged by Liz de Jager.

Building something new over the familiar

Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, explains how historical fantasy books build upon the ruins of the past

Building a World

What does it take to build a world? Rebecca Levene found that there's much more to it than castles and place names.

Read The Queen of the Tearling

Read the first chapter of Erika Johansen's much anticipated dystopian fantasy The Queen of the Tearling.

Let's cosplay!

If your reaction to the above invitation is utter confusion, read on as Lucy Saxon introduces the ultimate hobby for fiction fans.

Knowing when to stop

From Alexandre Dumas to Stephanie Meyer, there's always an appetite for sequels which authors and their publishers have been willing to capitalise on. But how does an author know when to stop before they end up with the literary equivalent of Star Wars Episodes I-III? When Mark Lawrence found himself facing this problem with his Broken Empire series he chose to tackle it through a simple mantra - "character is the story".

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