Hey all, here’s a quick rundown of When the Sparrow Falls news and events for the rest of the month (honestly, this is as much a reminder for me as it is for you):
Dan Smith over at FanFIaddict gave Sparrow a very kind 10/10 review and you can read it HERE.
If, like me, you do most of your reading with your ears while doing the dishes that never stop coming no matter how many you wash, When the Sparrow Falls will be getting an audiobook read by Jake Fairbrother and produced by Penguin Audio.
23rd June: Read the Room
I’ll be taking part in a virtual panel for Tom Doherty Associates at 6pm ET on Wednesday, June 23rd.
Moderated by Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars), Django Wexler (Hard Reboot), Bethany C. Morrow (A Chorus Rises) Aggie Blum Thompson (I Don’t Forgive You) and myself will be discussing Surfing’ the Web: Techno-Summer Reads.
I had a great chat with Ron and Jake over at the Wrath of the Iotians sci-fi podcast and that will be going up 27th June. In the meantime, you can check out the rest of their stuff HERE.
29th June: BOOK LAUNCH!
Fountain Bookstore in Virginia have very graciously agreed to host the online virtual launch of When the Sparrow Falls! Join me at 6pm Eastern Time as my 300 page baby finally takes its first steps into the real world. Admission is free and you can book your tickets HERE.
Huge thanks to the good people at The Quill to Live for an absolute beauty of a review for When the Sparrow Falls:
“When the Sparrow Falls, by Neil Sharpson, is a great novel. The writing is excellent, the plot is thrilling, it’s extremely emotional, the characters are great, and the themes provide smart and insightful commentary on our current political landscape. It does all of this in a relatively small package of about 300 pages. It is probably the best thing I have read this year so far and it is a shoo-in for our best-of list at the end of the year.”
Hello peeps, if you happen to be on the internet at April 28th I’ll be taking over the Tor Books Instagram Account with fellow sci-fi author, the Nebula Award winning Max Gladstone (uh, the “fellow” part is us both being science fiction authors, not having Nebulas). Join us on Debuts After Dark where we’ll be talking about writing and science fiction and…I dunno…smooth jazz.
The link is here and I would love to see as many of you lovely folks there as can make it.
“Join Neil Sharpson, author of When the Sparrow Falls, and Max Gladstone, author of Empress of Forever, as they take over the Tor Books Instagram account LIVE for Debuts After Dark! Who knows what shenanigans they’ll get up to…”
Woke up today to learn that there was a review of When the Sparrow Falls on Publisher’s Weekly!
“Only if you believe the BIBLE OF MY INDUSTRY.”
“Sharpson’s provocative debut, adapted from his play The Caspian Sea, takes readers to the early 23rd-century Caspian Republic, an authoritarian nation-state reminiscent of Cold War–era Eastern Europe, where the remnants of pure humanity hold out against an artificial intelligence-controlled world. When a popular Caspian journalist dies and is discovered to have been an AI in disguise, his estranged AI wife, Lily, is dispatched from the outside world to identify the body. Nikolai South, a long-serving, unambitious State Security agent for the Republic is assigned as Lily’s liaison, only to be rocked by her uncanny resemblance to his own late wife. During their time together, South must determine if Lily is involved in a plan to smuggle digitally converted human consciousnesses out of the Republic—and along the way, he becomes caught between warring intelligence agencies and learns dark truths about the Republic’s origins. Sharpson skillfully evokes an atmosphere of paranoia, duplicity, and secrecy, while using the conflict between humans and AIs to probe themes of self-awareness, identity, and memory. As Sharpson pushes the narrative beyond South’s present and into an increasingly messy future, he showcases the untenable nature of the Caspian Republic and its corrupt framework. The result is a thoughtful sci-fi thriller that skillfully blends a retro spy aesthetic with future technology.”
“Nobody cares, when are you reviewing Raya?”
“When Disney + stops asking for my bone marrow in payment.”
This is the cover for the UK edition of When the Sparrow Falls and it is a feast for the eye.
See what I did there? Matt Needle, the artist, gave us three concepts for the cover and honestly picking one was one of the hardest parts of this whole process because they were all so beautiful. But I think we picked the right one. It manages to pack in so many of the themes of the book in one deceptively simple image. I love it. And if you want to get a first peek at the inside of the book, Rebellion have released and excerpt which you can read here.
My new novel, When the Sparrow Falls, is now available to pre-order!:
“Welcome to the Caspian Republic. The last bastion of true humanity in a world given over to artificial intelligence.
Stray from the path towards anything “machine” and the state will correct you.
When propagandist Paulo Xirau dies, and is discovered to himself be a “machine”, State Security Agent Nikolai South is given a new assignment he could hardly want less: chaperone the widow, Lily, the only “machine” visitor ever invited from the outside world, and help her determine what happened to her husband.
Nikolai knows it will be nearly impossible to complete the job without running afoul of the Party—but when he sees that Lily bears an eerie resemblance to his late wife, Nikolai stumbles on a larger plot, one that exposes all the lies he’s told himself and which may bring down the Republic for good.
WHEN THE SPARROW FALLS illuminates authoritarianism, complicity, and identity in the digital age, in a page turning, darkly-funny, frightening and touching story that recalls Philip K. Dick, John Le Carré and Kurt Vonnegut in equal measure.”
When the Sparrow Falls will be published by TOR on June 29 2021, but you can order it now from the following retailers!