Last week I made the announcement that I will be releasing THE FAILED CITIES—DEFINITIVE EDITION as a pan-format ebook next month.
This week I’m going to show you all exactly what that means, beginning with the cover.
This is a very special book to me, and I wanted the cover to be equally special. I found the maddest graphic design and illustrative skills I could bend to my will and we spent a laborious period of time perfecting the following, which I am now proud to submit for your approval (click to enlarge).
What you’re seeing was created by Scott Pond of Scott Pond Designs. This is the first time the Failed Cities have been fully illustrated in this manner, and I’m slightly awed by the results. If you know the world then you’ll recognize the landscape. If you’re new to the Failed Cities then I hope you’re intrigued by the topography, at least enough to want to visit its streets.
It’s a beautiful cover. I’m very proud of it.
But it’s what’s inside this bad boy that really counts. Let’s dig into the official Table of Contents.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword by Scott Sigler New Introduction by the Author: “Genesis of the Steel Gospel” The Failed Cities Monologues The Failed Cities: Hath a Darkness Steel Graffiti: Stories from the Failed Cities Afterword: “Reflections”
I’m not calling this thing the “Definitive Edition” as a marketing tool, kids. This is essentially two full-length books worth of content. It’s every scrap of Failed Cities fiction I’ve ever penned, plus a slew of extra “behind the page” content for those who care about such things.
With the said, let’s break down the TOC and what you’ll actually be getting.
THE FAILED CITIES
This definitive edition features the complete and unabridged text of The Failed Cities Monologues. A good chunk of that text was edited for purposes of performance, pacing, etc., so even if you’ve listened to the original series a hundred times you’ll find a lot of new material here. There are twenty-four monologues comprising a novel-length story. All of the characters are there. It’s the centerpiece of the book.
The Failed Cities: Hath a Darkness is a holiday novella I released in December of 2007. Set one year after the events described in the Monologues, it features most of the original characters as well as some new additions. It’s written in the same style as the original story and is told by the characters themselves. The plot revolves around a very special Christmas gift that touches the lives of several Failed Cities residents and chronicles their efforts to keep it from The Nicodemus Consortium.
Steel Graffiti: Stories from the Failed Cities is a brand new, never-before-released anthology of short fiction. Most of the pieces were written over the past several years, at odd times, whenever I felt the need to return to the Failed Cities for a while. I released one or two of these pieces, but the bulk of them have never been available before. Steel Graffiti is all brief glimpses of dark corners in the Failed Cities we might have heard about before in passing, but have never seen. There are some new places, as well. You’ll also hear from prominent side characters for the first time ever, and experience a few new voices.
I asked New York Times best-selling author and podcast fiction pioneer Scott Sigler to write the foreword to this ultimate edition of The Failed Cities. I’ve known Sigler for as long as I’ve been publishing fiction, and have been a fan of him and his work since day one. A prickly-skulled dynamo of an author, we both share a penchant for testosterone, ultra-violence, and the deep, often scarred pathos of the warrior mentality. He was also one of my earliest and most influential fans. He still is. I couldn’t think of anyone better, or bigger, to write the foreword to this book. He kindly agreed, and I’m grateful to have the Future FDO (the only time I ever have or ever will refer to him as such) put the Failed Cities into context for readers both old and new.
“Genesis of the Steel Gospel” is an introduction/essay written by me exclusively for this edition. It covers the earliest origins of the characters and the story, the writing and production of The Failed Cities Monologues, the reaction, the fandom, and why after six years it’s still something vibrant that’s worth putting all of this time and effort and energy into, instead of some early-work piece of shit of mine on a zip drive in a closet somewhere.
Finally, the afterword I’ve assembled for this book is something very different and something I feel is pretty special. It’s not written by me, or by some fancy-ass guest author. Instead I reached out to the cast, critics, and diehard fans of the original series and asked them to write their own reflections on the Failed Cities if they found themselves moved to do so. I received several dozen short reflections about how they came to the story, their experience of it, what it meant to them, and why it has stayed with them. I collected, culled, and collated the most impacting and representative of the bunch, and the result will be the final word on the Failed Cities.
These are all people who took the time and are continuing to take the time to be a part of something more than simply listening to a free audiobook. It pleases me greatly to include their voices in this definitive edition and give them the opportunity to tell you why.
THE FAILED CITIES—DEFINITIVE EDITION will be released Wednesday, November 14th and will be available in the Amazon Kindle Store as well as through Matt-Wallace.com for all you desktop, Nook, Kobo, and Sony e-reading needs. No digital format will be left out.
I can’t make it any more awesome than this, folks. The rest is up to you.
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