Hopefully, if you’re reading this, you now know that the semi-mythical beast known as The Republic of Thieves has at last been captured in the wild and given official release dates: October 8th in the US and October 10th in the UK. You can read the Gollancz announcement here and the Del Rey Spectra announcement here!
So what’s the deal with all the wacky release dates we’ve seen over the years?
They were more or less artifacts of bookseller databases. Basically, if a book is going to be available for pre-order, it needs to have a release date attached, any release date, even a ludicrous or fictional one. That release date kept shifting as the book kept failing to appear. Eventually, my publishers stopped even consulting tea leaves and the projected dates became still-more loosely tethered to reality. Add inertia and hearsay to the mix (some sites continued to post long-outdated fictional dates, others falsely reported that the book had been published) and you have the ingredients for a gigantic confusion pie.
And how do we know this release date is the real one?
I have Tweeted several times that I would vouch for no release date until I formally shouted it, myself, from the ramparts of my own blog and other social media. This is me shouting from the ramparts. October, 2013 is not a random guess from some poor sod behind a database. My publishers in New York and London hold a revised version of the complete manuscript that pleases them both; with that in hand to work from they have set forth a release date that is not a mere prayer of hope muttered over an empty cocktail glass. In short, to prevent the release of this book, you must now obliterate the planet Earth. Good luck with that.
What about release dates in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, etc.?
I do not have that information at my fingertips, but as I acquire it I’m going to try to set up some sort of central repository of known availability dates.
Now, the next few items are mild spoilers, so if you’re the sort of person who wants to preserve as much of the surprise as you can, skip the rest of this entry until mid-October.
When does The Republic of Thieves pick up chronologically?
The “present day” thread resumes the story a few weeks after the end of Red Seas Under Red Skies. The flashback thread shows several episodes from Locke’s early years, and then a long adventure from when Locke, Jean, and Sabetha were about sixteen.
So Sabetha is actually in this thing?
Yes, Sabetha Belacoros is finally revealed in person for the first time and is a major character in The Republic of Thieves.
Do we find out more about the Bondsmagi?
The Bondsmagi are fairly integral to the plot. We meet several more of them and explore their home city of Karthain.
What else would you say to tempt us without spoiling?
Well, you’ll get to spend more time with Calo and Galdo Sanza, as well as Father Chains, and there are cameo appearances by a few other familiar faces from The Lies of Locke Lamora. You’ll find out how Locke and Sabetha met (you can read it right now, in fact). You’ll witness the very awkward teenage years of the Gentlemen Bastards. You’ll find out more about the customs of the hidden religion of the Crooked Warden. You’ll see Locke and Sabetha deploying the full panoply of their skills, against one another and against the world. You’ll discover who brought proper coffee-making to Therin society, and you’ll learn vital elements of crossbow safety!
Now that TRoT is in the bag, what are you doing?
My immediate project is to refinish a novella (another long overdue project) called The Mad Baron’s Mechanical Attic, which will be published by Subterranean Press.
Although TMBMA and its companion, The Choir of Knives, were conceived as prequels to The Lies of Locke Lamora, I have decided after lengthy reflection that I’m not willing to contribute another inessential prequel to our society’s towering heap of the damn things. Although I think TMBMA is a fun story with a great cast and setting, it ultimately revealed nothing surprising about Locke and Jean’s history and it stretched the boundaries of what I consider acceptable retconning. I have come to believe that prequels should cast some accepted facts of their universes in a new light, and I just didn’t have anything up my sleeve in that department.
What I am deeply interested in, however, is the further adventures of Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen now that I’ve recovered something of my ability to push them forward. Thus, I am retooling these novellas as a bridge story between the events of The Republic of Thieves and The Thorn of Emberlain, one that is entirely optional but hopefully enriching.
After that, I will resume work on The Thorn of Emberlain, already in progress.