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FEBRUARY 2016

Dear Folks,

February already? That can't be right, can it? I mean, it seems like only yesterday that I was urging you to contribute to the 2015 wine fund, and now here we are with all sorts of new ways for you to ensure that I, a beloved literary figure, do not have to work with a dry mouth. So start stacking your pennies, and ignoring all those other authors who don't care for you the way I do. Consider yourself hugged.

THE CHRONICLES OF THE INVADERS, Vols. II and III

Empire Dominion
On February 2, readers in the U.S. and Canada will be able to buy EMPIRE, the second volume of The Chronicles of the Invaders by me and my estimable partner, Jennifer Ridyard, in a lovely trade paperback edition.

EMPIRE finds our heroes, the Earth-born Illyrian Syl Hellais and the human resistance fighter Paul Kerr, a galaxy apart. Syl is learning the secrets of the mysterious Nairene sisterhood in the sealed convent of the Marque, while Paul has been pressed into service as a member of the captive Illyri Brigades. War among the Illyri themselves, however, has put events in motion that threaten the entire universe—and Paul and Syl must reunite if they are to save their people.

EMPIRE's been out in paperback in Ireland and the UK for some time—which is a good thing, because you'll want to be caught up in time for DOMINION, the third and concluding volume of the Chronicles, on sale in Ireland and the UK on February 25.

DOMINION begins with Syl, Paul and their friends on the run for their lives, as Earth falls victim to the terrifying Others, an alien race that has made a deadly bargain with a faction of the Illyri. Syl knows that The Others will not keep that bargain. To stop them, she and Paul must join forces with the new Archmage of the Nairene Sisterhood, the last person Syl could have imagined.

Copies of DOMINION signed by both authors will be available from our usual "home stores": The Gutter Bookshop in Dublin, No Alibis Books in Belfast, and Goldsboro Books in London. All those stores gladly ship worldwide. Doubly signed copies are pretty rare, so if you're still hoping to make a profit on me when I shuffle off this mortal coil, then the Chronicles are a good place to start. UK readers may also want to follow me on Twitter and keep an eye on Goodreads, where Headline will be giving away early copies of DOMINION between now and February 25.

The US/Canada edition of DOMINION goes on sale May 17, and is already available for preorder.

A TIME OF TORMENT

To answer the question most frequently asked on my Facebook author page, the next Charlie Parker novel, A TIME OF TORMENT, will be out in the UK and most Commonwealth countries on April 7, a few days before that in Ireland, and in the US and Canada on July 26.

I'll have more to tell you about A TIME OF TORMENT next month, including details of a UK tour, but for now I will say that it will, as suggested in A SONG OF SHADOWS, follow Parker into the next stage of his battle against a greater evil. Parker agrees to take on a client, Jerome Burnel, who claims to have been unjustly accused of a terrible crime. Before the investigation can begin, Burnel disappears. Parker, Louis and Angel follow the trail to an isolated community in West Virginia where secrets fester . . .

The book is available for pre-order in both the UK and the US, but there will be a limited signed UK edition, featuring another of our nice CD compilations—stay tuned.
A Song of Shadows
A SONG OF SHADOWS

Hodder & Stoughton published the paperback edition of A SONG OF SHADOWS in the UK and Ireland on January 14. The US paperback edition will follow on July 5.

A SONG OF SHADOWS in Musical Form

Regular followers may recall that the great Mark Kozelek set Chapter 8 of A SONG OF SHADOWS to music on last year's Down In The Willow Garden EP. Following on from that, a track on his recently released album Jesu/Sun Kil Moon features a track entitled "A Song of Shadows." The parent album is very good indeed and, in "Exodus," includes what may be one of the finest and most moving moments in a songwriting career already replete with highlights. You can hear a preview of "Exodus" here.

In Case You Need a Scorecard . . .

Sarimon Jurie, longtime reader and friend of this enterprise, put together a flow chart recently to keep track of the many characters of Charlie Parker's world. It's an extraordinarily useful document, even for me—but if you haven't read all the books, it may include some mild spoilers. So click here to see it, and download it for your own use, with our sincere thanks to Sari.

ABC to XTC: The 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s

My weekly internet radio show, ABC to XTC on RTÉ 2XM, celebrates my favorite punk, post-punk and electronic music of the late 1970s and 1980s. For the next several weeks, I'll be playing tracks from the albums on Classic Pop magazine's list of Best 100 Albums of the 1980s, with my own commentary about the worthiness (or lack thereof) of said albums.

Revisit your own past or learn something new about the music of an earlier age by tuning in on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. GMT—you can listen online, or via the free RTÉ Player app on your mobile device, and shows remain available for playback for four weeks.

Finally, do keep an eye on the newsletters over the coming month or so, for we shall have details to impart of something that you really won't want to miss. And that's as much as I'm prepared to tell you for now, because I'm like that. I believe in delayed gratification, if only for others. Therefore, look for further communications from me on matters large and small in about a month, and in the meantime, may you stay warm or cool, as you prefer, and be glad that each day is not, in fact, Valentine's Day.

Yours truly,

John

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