Guilt Is Here!

If you’ve been paying any kind of attention (dunno why you would, but eh), you might have noticed that I had a book in the works called Chronicles from the World of Guilt: a collection of short pieces spanning millennia of an increasingly strange and broken planet. In case you’d not noticed, see this thread with all the images and videos I made in the run-up to the announcement (I’m quite proud of some of them!)

Anyway, no need to worry about the pre-release promotional stuff, because it’s time for… the post-release promotional stuff! ‘Cos the book’s out now! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Before I do some acknowledgements and stuff, you should go buy the book. That’d be cool. A fuller list of places it’s available can be found here, along with what I hope is a comprehensive set of content warnings for those who’d like to make sure they won’t be reading anything they’d prefer not to.

OK! Time to say some thank-yous! (This is literally just the acknowledgements from the book with some links added, but I think it bears repeating.)

As ever, I owe the fact that this exists at all to Hannah.

I’m extremely grateful to everyone who read, reviewed, or otherwise supported my first novel, Each Little Universe, too – taking the plunge and putting that story out there made me realise (as if I didn’t know it already) that this whole writing lark is really what I want to do, so every kind word about ELU directly contributed to my ability to get this next volume complete.

I owe some thanks, I think, to French metal band Gojira. I didn’t realise until after I’d written a fair bit of what’s in this book, but… well, their album ‘From Mars to Sirius’ features a song named ‘Flying Whales’ and also has a whale flying around the Earth on the cover, so I imagine there was probably some inspiration there. (Also, several of their albums have been excellent writing music, so merci very much.) Plus there’s actually a song called ‘The Gift of Guilt’ on another album of theirs, ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’, so… the connection wasn’t deliberate but may well not be a total coincidence either!

Oh, and anyone who worked on Final Fantasy X, since there’s a giant space-whale-ish thing in that game that the people call ‘Sin’. A fantastic video essayist by the name of EmceeProphIt did some brilliant analysis of FFX’s world, especially around its inhabitants’ attitude towards this ever-present apocalypse in the sky, so I recommend checking that out.

My friend Tessa Hastjarjanto, author of Tales of Lunis Aquaria, must not go unmentioned, since it was reading her wonderful collection of fairytale stories that made me realise that something like Chronicles from the World of Guilt might be possible in the first place. (And then Chris Vandyke went and made a whole biannual anthology out of the lots-of-stories-in-one-world concept, so that proved even more clearly that it was a workable thing!) 

EM Harding deserves a quick shout-out too, since a misunderstanding of the premise of their excellent novella Moon-Sitting inspired the story ‘My Friend, The Moon’ in this book. And ‘A Game Not Word Playing’ is my shallow imitation of Sarah Parker’s extraordinary style of deliberate disregard for the conventions of spelling and punctuation, so thanks to Sarah too.

Every member of the Facebook writing group ‘Scribimus’, but in particular Emma O’Connell and Ellie Owen, also played a part in the generation of this idea (and were critical in the fact that I kept writing stuff between drafts of ELU and therefore didn’t lose motivation and all that), so to them: thanks a lot.

To everyone who offered to help with beta reading – Ellen, Issy, J.R., Laura and Sam, Olivia, Craig, Alex, Erin – I am extremely grateful. Not to seem less grateful to the others, but Alex and Erin in particular were a great help making this an overall better book in some big ways. (I was kind of amused, though, to find that in almost all cases where someone had suggested removing something, someone else had said it was one of their favourite bits, so in fact less might have changed than I was expecting!)

Natasha Mackenzie did an astounding job taking what really amounted to a crayon scrawl and a few ramblings from me and turning those into the gorgeous cover that the book now bears. Go to missnatmack.com to see more of her work and perhaps get her to do some for you, because she’s brilliant.

Josh Somerville-Jacklin created the fantastic icons you see used as chapter headings throughout this book, and he did so unbelievably quickly. He’s a real pro, so if you ever need some art I can highly recommend checking him out on Twitter or Instagram. And Aaron Hockett produced the incredible double-page art spread based on the simple brief: ‘space whale, please’. So big thanks are certainly due to those two, as I think their contributions make the whole thing just feel so much more polished and cool.

Scott and the rest of the crew at Three Ravens believed in this book enough to want to publish it, and I’ll always be grateful for that. Scott put up with me having generally no clue about the process of taking this from a manuscript to a published book, and answered all my questions with at least as much kindness as they deserved and probably a fair bit more besides.

And finally, thank you for giving this odd book a chance. Every reader means a lot to me as an independent author. If you’d like to make my day, leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or anywhere else is the absolute best way of helping indie writers like me to a) reach more readers and b) feel like we’re doing something worth doing.

… And that’s that! I mean, I’ve definitely missed out a lot of people who deserve thanking, and that’s entirely my fault, but I’m grateful to everyone.

I don’t know why you’re still here. Go buy the book!

Published by Chris Durston

Writer of stuff. Y'know. Words and that.

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