Early last year I wrote about a trio of books I discovered from a promising new publisher, Parvus Press. They were plenty interesting: Flotsam, by RJ Theodore, a steampunk space opera, and Vick’s Vultures & To Fall Among Vultures, the first two titles in Scott Warren’s Union Earth Privateers space opera. Parvus Press’s catalog was filled with an enticing assortment of new and forthcoming titles, especially for such a small company. They certainly made a fine first impression, and I made a note to keep close tabs on them.
While prowling the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore I spotted Colin Coyle, one of the co-founders of Parvus, and after badgering him for three solid hours he cracked like a nut and started spilling secret intel on their 2019 titles. In a dark corner of the bar he grudgingly gave up details, glancing nervously over his shoulder the entire time, while I hastily scribbled notes.
Okay, it wasn’t exactly like that, but it can’t hurt if you picture it that way, so humor me a little. Besides, I did get some good quotes and lots of juicy book details out of Colin, and I’m willing to share them with you, so stop being so negative. Here’s all the secret pre-release info I gathered on the spring 2019 titles titles from Parvus Press. Many bothans died to bring us this information, so listen up.
[Click the images for Parvus-sized versions.]
One of the first things I deduced, from code phrases Colin jotted on napkins (that he then ate) was that Parvus Press is are now under a distribution contract with Baker & Taylor Publisher Services. The mighty BTPS sales force will be going out and repping their titles to booksellers throughout North America. On the topic of the change, Colin said:
Moving to broad distribution is incredibly exciting (and a touch unnerving) for us. We believe wholeheartedly in our writers and in the fact that we are producing books as good as any coming out of New York or London, and now we get to truly put that to the test and see if readers will fall in love with these books just the same as we have. I’m confident that they will. Our challenge isn’t putting out great books, it’s in stepping up to the plate as a publisher and doing our best to be sure we put those books in front of as many readers as we can.
Parvus has three titles coming out with BTPS this spring.
If this Goes On
A science fiction look at the future of our politics. Edited by Cat Rambo (March 2019)
Cover Art: Bernard Lee. Cover Design: Michael Altmann.
Thirty of SF’s best writers look at what today’s politics and policies will do to shape our world a generation or more from today. Featuring stories by E. Lily Yu, Sarah Pinsker, Steven Barnes, Zandra Renwick, Scott Edelman, Andy Duncan, Nisi Shawl, Chris Kluwe, and others.
The Ragged Blade
Book One of The Century of Sand. By Christopher Ruz. (June 2019)
Cover Art: Connor Sheehan. Cover Design: Rekka Jay.
Epic fantasy gets an Australian voice in Christopher Ruz’s traditional publishing debut.
This is a story that doesn’t just bypass the common tropes of epic fantasy, it leaves them in the dust. Instead of the gullible farm boy, we follow the tale of Richard, a seasoned veteran of numerous campaigns who has come to realize that the Magician he serves (and who, on their first campaign together as young men, was his lover) is evil to his core. Determined to have nothing more to do with the Magician, Richard flees with his daughter into the desert.
He wants nothing more than to be left to himself to rebuild some semblance of a quiet life with his daughter, Ana, in the years that remain to him, but Ana is key to the next step in the Magician’s quest for limitless power and he will stop at nothing to get her back
By Nathan Sumsion. (April 2019)
Cover Art: Ronan Le Fur. Cover Design: Rekka Jay.
How do you solve a murder in the city of the dead?
Nathan Sumsion’s debut novel has this gem of a question at its heart and builds an underworld made up of the forgotten parts of our great cities. Lucas Art’s Grim Fandango meets Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere in this brilliantly imagined urban fantasy-cum-detective noir.
Colin also shared some personal thoughts on two of the spring titles.
I am immensely proud of all three of these books. Necropolis PD is one of my favorite urban fantasies in a long time. It’s a cousin to both Butcher’s Dresden Files and Gaiman’s Neverwhere and I honestly feel that it brings a new flavor to a genre that has been heavily tread in recent years.
The Ragged Blade has a very interesting history. The author, Christopher Ruz, is mainly known for his horror and is fairly well-known in the Australian horror scene. He was a finalist for the 2017 Aurealis Award.
Ruz originally released this novel as a self-pub in 2013 (Century of Sand, the first book of the Century of Sand Trilogy). After selling a few dozen copies, he submitted it to Parvus in our very first open submission period in the winter of 2016, asking if we were willing to re-launch it. I knew the book had promise and the writer had talent, but the story wasn’t where it needed to be and we weren’t sure about taking on an overhaul.
Fast forward to Summer 2017. Ruz was shopping a new book. I had been following him on social media since our first interactions, and I asked to read it. His writing had come a long way and I knew that he was definitely the writer he needed to be to pull of Century of Sand. I had loved the violin-string-about-to-snap tension in Century of Sand when I first read it and the book had stuck with me.
So instead of his new book, we made a three-book offer to him for his self-pub trilogy Century of Sand (Book 3 had yet to be written). Working with our Acquisitions Editor (and one of Parvus’ co-owners), Kaelyn Considine, Ruz treated the existing book basically as a rough draft and ended up dramatically re-writing 2/3 of the book, even combining two major characters into one throughout the process.
The end result is The Ragged Blade. It’s an impressive epic fantasy that turns a few tropes on their ears to create a compelling, high-tension adventure.
Another piece of news that Colin slipped me, sure to excite the aspiring writers out there, is that they are currently open to unagented submissions.
I wanted to let you know that we are currently open for novel submissions (www.parvuspress.com/submissions). If you know anyone looking for a small press that’s going to go to battle for their work, please feel free to send them our way!
Writers, sharpen your pencils.
Our previous coverage of Parvus Press includes two articles from last year.
Get all the details at the Parvus Press website.
See all our coverage of the best is upcoming SF and Fantasy releases here.