the Astounding Award!

Wow. Friday night was a wild ride. I went out to take the dog for a long walk around seven, only to return to a phone blowing up and so many Twitter notifications my app wouldn’t load. Somehow I’d forgotten the Hugo Awards were happening that night–I was convinced they were Saturday, but aha, time zones! New Zealand is in the future!–so imagine my surprise when I opened an email from my agent congratulating me on winning the Astounding Award for Best New Writer :O

Screen Shot 2020-08-01 at 9.25.49 AM

Industry awards are all pretty silly; I’ve been to enough conventions now to know that all they reflect is popularity within a very specific, biased set of voters who are in no way representative of the larger reading public. They’re still hard not to covet! I’ve wanted to win the Astounding Award in particular ever since I entered the genre; it seemed like the “you’ve made it” badge; the stamp of approval that would win me the respect of my colleagues; the moment which, ironically given the name, would mark my transition from “unknown debut writer” to “established SFF name.”

Does it actually feel that way? Not really, and all of those assumptions are pretty dumb to begin with, but knowing that a tiara and trophy are coming in the mail is cool. Knowing that I’m following in the footsteps of writers like Ada Palmer, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Jeannette Ng is also pretty cool. Anyhow, I’m just grateful to WorldCon voters for the recognition. I’m also delighted by the Hugo winners across the board this year, particularly Jeannette Ng’s win for Best Related Work. It’s a wonderful reflection of where this genre’s headed and what we’re capable of as we hurtle into the future, undaunted.

You can watch my acceptance speech here.

chatting with V.E. Schwab on No Write Way!

Hey friends!

Long time no update. I’m plugging away at the word mines over here in lockdown, but wanted to share an awesome conversation I had last week on Instagram Live with the incredible V.E. Schwab. I’ve admired her books for years (VICIOUS is a particular favorite), so it was thrilling to get to chat with her about writing craft, career evolution, and how to move on from one project to the next. It’s all been uploaded to Youtube now, so you can watch below:

More news to come about THE BURNING GOD soon. Stay safe and healthy!


Harper Voyager UK dropped the cover on their Twitter account this morning, and I think it’s pretty wonderful. The art is, as usual, by JungShan Chang, and I couldn’t be more in love with the way that Rin’s appearance has evolved over the trilogy.

THE BURNING GOD is out on November 17, and it’s available for preorder! Remember: if you preorder in the US, you get access to some deleted materials, perhaps featuring Altan/Chaghan or Rin/Nezha?

You can find the Waterstones link here if you’re in the UK, and all retail links here if you’re in the US. I strongly encourage buying from local/indie bookstores–they need our support especially during this time.



Melon 2019


I had a fantastic time at the Melon science-fiction conference in Hong Kong today. I was asked to give a presentation on the top 10 coolest trends in recent science fiction–which was fun, because I don’t actually write sci-fi, so I got to approach it as a very enthusiastic fan! Unfortunately my speaking time was quite short so I had to cut it down to five, but here are the slides I’d prepared for the longer version of the talk. Take a peek if you’re interested–I hope you find your next great read there 🙂



Hey readers,

Long time no see! I’ve been overwhelmed with life, settling into Cambridge (I LOVE IT HERE), drafting Book Three, and cranking away at revisions of Book Two.

Speaking of Book Two…

The Dragon Republic will be out from Harper in summer 2019! The B&N Sci-fi and Fantasy Blog ran the cover reveal today, as well as the synopsis AND an excerpt of the first chapter. You can read it all at this link.

Meanwhile, here’s the cover!

I absolutely love it. I think it’s so beautiful; the colors are perfect, Rin’s expression is spot-on, and the whole thing SCREAMS symbolism. The cover design process this time around was so smooth and easy. Every time my editorial team showed me what they’d done at each stage in the process I screamed YES, THAT IS WHAT I WANT!!! It really felt like we were all on precisely the same wavelength and had identical visions for the book, and I’m just so grateful I have such an amazing team to work with at Harper Voyager. Credit also due, of course, to the incredibly talented artist JungShan, who has managed yet again to capture exactly what Rin looks like in my mind.

I’m generally not a fan of covers that depict the characters themselves. So often they just go wrong; the characters look awkward, they don’t mesh with how I imagine them, they’re positioned funny, etc. I suspect that danger is why we’re seeing so many more abstract covers, or covers that focus on still objects or symbols, for fantasy releases. I lucked out. I’m biased, obviously, but I think I have the best covers in the world 😛  (Okay, the cover to Rebecca Roanhorse’s upcoming Storm of Locusts looks hecking RAD.)

I’ll try not to say too much about the symbolism because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. For now, let’s just all take some advice from the cover blurb:

Brace yourself!

it’s a map!

A few readers have been asking for an image of the map in THE POPPY WAR, since it doesn’t come with the audiobook. So here you go! All resemblances to real countries are totally, completely unintentional.

“But doesn’t that look like–”


“But that’s definitely–”



Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 12.49.07 AM.png

THE POPPY WAR Excerpt Live Now!

What’s good, friends?

To everyone who’s been asking when they can read an excerpt of THE POPPY WAR: the answer is NOW! The Barnes & Noble SFF blog ran the first chapter today. They’re calling it the “buzziest fantasy debut of 2018.” That’s right, motherforkers. I am an infernal horde of BEES.

Go check it out, and I hope you like it! (And if you do, won’t you consider pre-ordering? ❤ )

PS! If you dig the prose and still can’t wait for May 1, is running an excerpt of Chapter 17 later this month! It strikes an entirely different tone from the opening and it’s gruesomely creepy. I can’t wait for you to read it.