5th Feb Another translation deal I’ve just learnt about: Bastei Lubbe in Germany, who previously published Gridlinked and The Skinner, have now taken The Line of Polity and Cowl in a two book deal. The first will be published in May this year and the second in spring 2005. Brass Man is done and dusted (well, apart from the copy editing) and now I’m back on The Voyage of the Sable Keech I’ve just received the hardback and trade paperback issues of Cowl, and very nice they look too. That’s about it… 9th March The first reviews of Cowl are coming in (though it hasn’t actually been released yet) and things are looking good. ‘Dreamwatch Recommends’ and rates it nine out of ten, there’s a good one at http://www.computercrowsnest.com and now another excellent review from Russell Letson in Locus. Once again I’ve sold Snow in the Desert (nice double meaning there), this time for translation in a Czech SF magazine called Ikarie. Additional to the German sale below, I’ve since learnt that Bastei Lubbe took Cowl without even reading it. Now there’s a boost to the confidence. The Voyage of the Sable Keech is now rapidly approaching 140,000 words. I’m feeling particularly pleased with myself as yesterday I polished off the best part of 5000 words. People reading this may be tempted to ask, “But were they good words?” I’ve always found that when I’m churning it out that quickly it usually is good. It’s when I’m laboring over it that it often needs revision. 10th March Another excellent review of Cowl here at http://trashotron.com by Rick Kleffel. I’ve also learnt that Editorial Presenca in Portugal have bought the book for translation. All rather cool really: two translations and four excellent reviews before the book has even been released! 23rd March The limited hardback print run of Cowl has already nearly sold out, and now Macmillan are doing a second one. Hang onto those first editions – they’ll be collector’s items! 24th March In the Gallery on this site I’ve put up bookmarks (I hope this works) so if you have a colour printer and some A4 card you can print up you very own Neal Asher bookmarks. This is total self-promotion, but then what’s this website for? 5th April Tor Macmillan have received and offer for translation rights to Gridlinked, The Skinner and The Line of Polity from Eksmo publishers in Moscow. That’s seven countries now – I’m going to have to set something up in Excel to keep track of it all. I’ve just finished the first draft of The Voyage of the Sable Keech at 152,000 words. Still much to do as some areas need expanding and some need severely hacking, but I need to get away from it for a while so I can come back later and sort wood from trees. And a late addition here: those who want their typescripts checked over professionally should check out John Jarrold’s Script Doctor site https://www.sff.net/people/john-jarrold/ 30th May Now Macmillan have just agreed a new 2-book deal with Stefan Bauer of Bastei-Lubbe (Germany) for Brass Man and The Voyage of the Sable Keech. The first book not yet published and the second book I haven’t even finished working on. Apparently I am now also one of their top SF authors. Excellent reviews of The Skinner (American edition) have now appeared in the New York Times and in Science Fiction Weekly www.scifi.com Also, check out the ‘Gallery’ here for the German cover of The Line of Polity. 24th June Another draft of Voyage of the Sable Keech completed. I’ve written an epilogue for it now and linked chapter starts detailing life forms on Spatterjay as they apply to the story. It now stands at 160,000 words. Having printed that book up, and passed it on to various readers, time for me to turn my attention elsewhere: short stories, novellas, maybe the next novel. 27th July I’m now 40,000 words into book seven which may be called Polity Agent or Agent Prime Cause unless I come up with another title. The Romanian publisher Lucman in Bucharest have made an offer for the translation rights to Cowl and The Line of Polity. And my stories The Thrake and Watchcrab, in Hadrosaur Tales magazine and on the Agony Column (link in contacts) site respectively, received honourable mention in Gardner Dozois’s 21st Annual Year’s Best Science fiction. 4th Aug. I’ve now introduced on here a page where you can order signed copies, some of them first editions, directly from me.