Big Giant Deathless Post of Awesome

This is a book that broods but never stoops to cynicism, a book full of dream-logic and eros. Valente is a major talent, and this is some of her best work.

–Cory Doctorow

Oh my god! Deathless is out today! It’s been years in the making, really and truly–I started this book in a Cleveland Starbucks in 2008, and now it is a real live baby book, with the most beautiful cover, and I can’t wait for you all to read it. I think this is my best adult book to date, I really do. There is so much love in it, and so much hope. In brief terms, it is a retelling of Marya Morevna and Koschei the Deathless set during the Stalinist era and the siege of Leningrad. It is a return to fairy tales and the retellings of them. But it is also probably the funniest book I’ve ever written, (if you like dark humor), and plot/structurewise the most straightforward outside Fairyland. I am proud of it. I am afraid of it. I hope I have done well by the story, by Leningrad, by Russia and Koschei and Baba Yaga and Marya and all of them. I hope I have done right by you. I am so excited and so nervous! That means it’s time to get on with it!

If you are in NYC today, the launch party is tonight at Madame X at 7 pm (early cocktails start at 6) featuring   and all new songs as well as Anna Vasilevskaya, the Russian singer I’ve been raving to you all about for the last year–she’s graciously come out from Seattle to sing for us. Come party with us!

Without further ado, here comes the book post!

The Basics

  • First off, thank you to everyone who helped to bring this book into the world, most especially  , my publicist Aisha Cloud,  ,  ,  ,  ,  . Without Dmitri there would simply be no book, for without his and his family’s stories I would never have thought to write it. There are not enough thanks in the world for him. Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered copies throughout the last year and followed the LJ through this whole insane process, supported me and helped this book see print. And to everyone who has helped in the smallest way, linked and blogged and tweeted and answered when I called out, who bore witness to the path that lead to the adventure of my writing life, which has included the blogosphere since before there was a blogosphere: thank you, thank you.
  • The audiobook will be available in a few days–I’ll let you know the minute it is!
  • If you want your copy signed, mail it to me with the cost of return postage and I will sign it for you. Email me for my address if you don’t already know it. Or find me on the tour at any one of the readings and conventions I’ll be doing in 2011. There are a lot.
  • I know there are some of you who just can’t afford it, but genuinely want to read it, even at Amazon’s 30% off. If you really, really honestly can’t afford it, I have a few spare copies and I’ll consider trades. Good old bartering system.

How You Can Help (if, you know, you’re inclined to do things like helping out young authors. And if you like the book, which is by no means certain.)

  • Buy the book. Obviously. I mean, this is the most direct way, and pretty important–if you haven’t bought a copy already, snap one up. Sales mean I get to keep writing books and do not have to go work at Starbucks…er…have been fired from Starbucks in the past, so cannot even work there.This is my first book with a new publisher, and my first major-press book since Palimpsest. I have to show my stripes, so to speak. Even if you never buy another of my books, please give a thought to buying this one.
  • Come to my readings in the next months. Come the show, be part of the tribe. As new dates are added, I’ll announce them here and on my soon-to-be relaunched website. I’m in NYC this week, at KGB this weekend, and next weekend I’ll be in Philadelphia, speaking to the PSFS, reading at Between Books in the Philly area on April 7th, and at Towne Book Center on April 9th.
  • Review it. On your blog, or elsewhere if you work for a review site or a magazine. I can send a PDF if you haven’t gotten the book from other sources. Physical ARCs are also available. I’d like to hold review copies for people who review for venues, however. Also, keep in mind that if you don’t like the book and give it a bad review, I am not going to hate you. I promise not to flame you or call you in the middle of the night. Obviously, I hope you like it, but if you don’t, you don’t. It’ll sting, but I won’t curse your progeny unto the end of time or respond to your Amazon reviews or anything.
  • Put up a review on Amazon. Totally easy and a nice way to get the ball rolling over there. Amazon provides a couple of ways to help out–you can make a Listmania list or a So You’d Like to guide that includes Deathless. You can also start a discussion in the forums. But if you like the book, or don’t, don’t just tell me, tell Amazon.
  • Ask your local booksellers to carry it, if they don’t already. This is important, as it is still hard to get into those damn chains, especially if your last book didn’t do so well.
  • Check it out from your local library. If they don’t have it, request it. This can result in both you reading the book for free, and increased library orders, which are awesome. Also, libraries, we need them, yo.
  • Use one of the icons around LJ and forums. made these gorgeous icons for us! Comment if you take one, and please credit her!


  • Link to the book in your journals/websites–Spread the word! And if you are or have the ear of any of the high-traffic bloggers, see if they’d/you’d like to wear the pimp hat for a day. Please do get the word out, if you can. All books need help, especially if they are non-linear and not about vampires or werewolves or both. If you want me to cross-link to any of your work in exchange, let me know.

If you link to Deathless in your journals, blogs, Twitter, or Facebooks any time in the next week, leave a comment with the link in THIS POST and I will enter you in a drawing to win one of two Deathless prize packages!

The prize boxes contain:

A copy of Deathless
A copy of the Deathless comic by myself and  
A Fairyland ARC
A bottle of The Witch’s Repast BPAL (from their Russian fairy tale collection)
A 20th Anniverary of WWII (1965) ruble
A solid chocolate egg wrapped in Faberge foil

The grand prize box also contains a Young Pioneer’s scarf (a major object from the book) with provenance certificate and a copy of Ventriloquism!

Fun Stuff

You can read the first several chapters of the book for free here.

You can read The House Committee, the 11-page teaser comic, here.

BoingBoing reviews Deathless!

Green Man Review reviews Deathless!

And finally, the Deathless trailer:

I think that’s everything. Thank you to anyone who does any of the Helpful Things. Thank you to anyone who buys the book. I so hope you like it, and I so hope to see some of you tonight at the big party. I will try not to bite my nails as my baby goes out into the world.

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