Balticon 2022 Schedule and Book Launch!

May 26, 2022

Here’s my Balticon schedule and where you can find me if you happen to be in Baltimore, MD this coming weekend!

https://schedule.balticon.org/#part/14503

Most importantly, there will be a launch party celebrating the upcoming release of The Middling Affliction on Saturday! Come join us for food, drink, and giveaways, meet the publishing team at Arc Manor/Caezik, be among the first to buy a copy and if you do, you’ll be entered into an extra-special giveaway! What sort of rare and precious artifact might you win? Stop by the Caezik Press booth any time starting Friday afternoon to find out!


New Flash Story and Early May News

May 2, 2022

Loads of news and links to share, with more coming as I ramp up publicity for THE MIDDLING AFFLICTION. Here goes:

  • There will be a launch party for the book at Balticon (in Baltimore, MD.) It will take place on Saturday, May 28 and feature raffles, food and drink, and the chance to buy copies of the book, of course! More details on this in the coming weeks.
  • I’m the guest on The Fascinating Podcast this week, talking about the book with some very smart and kind hosts.
  • If you won’t be in Baltimore, please preorder the book soon, in your favorite format! You can get it from all the usual sources, as well as request that your local store or library order it for you. Some helpful preorder links below:
    – Amazon
    – Barnes & Noble
    – Bookshop.org

Affliction News and Sweet, Sweet Discounts

March 28, 2022

As we release date approaches, there will be many, many #Conradverse posts. Brace yourselves.

First, we have an updated cover. The awesome art by Tulio Brito is still the same, of course, but but the book now has the series title and a very kind blurb from the bestselling author of the Nightside series, the Deathstalker series, and the Drood books Simon R. Green (who, along with Mike Resnick, is largely responsible for how the young-me processed and the not-so-young me eventually wrote humorous urban fantasy.) Here’s what the cover will look like when the book hits store shelves:

Second, OrangeSky has revealed the narrator for the audio book in the preorder listings, so I guess I’m allowed to talk about it. The book will be narrated by the film, TV, and theater actor Patrick Boylan and I can’t wait to hear his interpretation of Conrad and the gang!

Third, both the audiobook and the ebook are available for preorder. Better yet, you can snag them at a discount! The audiobook is $14.99 which, if you buy audiobooks, you already know is a bargain. But Amazon has it up for preorder at the rock-bottom price of $11.02 (I guess the $0.02 is for the option to share your thoughts as a review afterward.)

What’s more, the ebook is on sale as well. You can preorder it for $4.99 instead of the regular price of $6.99 upon release.

Preordering helps a lot, as it drives the book up Amazon’s charts and convinces them to stock more copies upon release. So, if you haven’t already, please grab a copy here in your favorite format:

https://amzn.to/3lwpKDV

If Amazon isn’t your preferred marketplace, rest assured the book will be available in all the usual places, too, either as a preorder or upon release!


Heliosphere 2022 and Vital Virtual Reading

March 25, 2022

I’ll be at Heliosphere in New Jersey this Saturday and Sunday. Here’s my schedule: https://heliosphereny.org/?speaker=alex-shvartsman

Saturday, March 26
11:30am-12:45pm – Books-n-Brews: Alex Shvartsman and Mike McPhail
1:30pm-2pm – Autographs – Session 2
2pm – 3:05pm – Readings with Keith DeCandido, Alex Shvartsman, and Chris Burke

Sunday, March 27
10am-11:15am – Judging a book by its cover panel
2:20pm-3:30pm – Before you sign on that dotted line… panel

If you’re not attending Heliosphere, you can also hear my (prerecorded, since I can’t be in two place once) reading for the Vital anthology event. It’s free to watch online, details are here:


Publishers Weekly Reviews AFFLICTION, and Other Good News

March 16, 2022

There’s a fabulous review of THE MIDDLING AFFLICTION over at Publishers Weekly and I’m so very stoked. It’s a treasure trove of great pull quotes to paste onto books, marketing materials, and possibly my forehead:

“Shvartsman delivers a laugh-out-loud, snarky adventure, throwing out pop culture references and wry observations with dizzying frequency.”

“Shvartsman takes a kitchen sink approach to urban fantasy, packing enough plot into this volume to span a whole series.”

“His supernatural New York City is vibrant and authentic, and Conrad fits right in with wisecracking fan favorite heroes like Harry Dresden and Simon Canderous.”

“A thoroughly satisfying romp.”

At the moment, my grin can be seen from space.

Meantime, the audiobook is now available for preorder from all the usual platforms, and you can preorder it for as little as $11, which is super inexpensive for an audiobook! Or just throw a credit at it on Audible. Both paperback and audio can be found here, and I expect the ebook preorder will join them soon.

Meantime, my translation of another century-old Yefim Zozulya story, “The Living Furniture” is live in the current issue of F&SF. And a new translation of “Incommunicado” by Andrej Kokoulin will appear in a forthcoming issue of Analog.

Finally, a new issue of Future Science Fiction Digest is now live. It features the following stories, as well as my editorial on the invasion of Ukraine.

“A Friend on the Inside” by Will McIntosh (USA)
“Four-Letter Word” by Alexy Dumenigo (Cuba), translated by Toshiya Kamei
“Rat’s Tongue” by Xing Fan (China), translated by Judith Huang
“Vagrants” by Lavie Tidhar (UK)
“The Sweetness of Berris and Wine” by Jo Miles (USA)
“Paean for a Branch Ghost” by Filip Wiltgren (Sweden)

Cover art: Oleksandr Kulichenko (Ukraine)
Cover design: Jay O’Connell (USA)


Audio Rights Sold for The Middling Affliction

March 8, 2022

Thrilled to announce that the audio rights to THE MIDDLING AFFLICTION were picked up by Orange Sky in a deal negotiated by Susan Velazquez of Jabberwocky Literary.

I’m being told the audio will likely be published alongside other formats on May 31!


The Rosetta Archive anthology

February 27, 2022

The Rosetta Archive anthology has been published! Edited by Alex Shvartsman and Tarryn Thomas of Future Science Fiction Digest, it features a selection of notable science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories, which were translated into and first published in English in 2020. This anthology features the winning entry and the stories shortlisted for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Rosetta Awards. Cover art and design is by K.A. Teryna.

The following stories are included:

ROESIN by Wu Guan, translated from the Chinese by Judith Huang
WHALE SNOWS DOWN by Kim Bo-Young, translated from the Korean by Sophie Bowman
THE GREEN HILLS OF DIMITRY TOTZKIY by Eldar Safin, translated from the Russian by Alex Shvartsman
RAISING MERMAIDS by Dai Da, translated from the Chinese by S. Qiouyi Lu
MATER TENEBRARUM by Pilar Pedraza, translated from the Spanish by James D. Jenkins
VIK FROM PLANET EARTH by Yevgeny Lukin, translated from the Russian by Mike Olivson
BIOGRAPHY OF ALGAE by Martha Riva Palacio Obón, translated from the Spanish by Will Morningstar
THE POST-CONSCIOUS AGE by Su Min, translated from the Chinese by Nathan Faries
JUST LIKE MIGRATORY BIRDS by Taiyo Fujii, translated from the Japanese by Emily Balistrieri
THE WITCH DANCES by Thiago Ambrósio Lage, translated from the Portuguese by Iana Araújo
FORMERLY SLOW by Wei Ma, translated from the Chinese by Andy Dudak
MENOPAUSE by Flore Hazoumé, translated from the French by James D. Jenkins
THE MOLE KING by Marie Hermanson, translated from the Swedish by Charlie Haldén
THE ANCESTRAL TEMPLE IN A BOX by Chen Qiufan, translated from the Chinese by Emily Jin
NO ONE EVER LEAVES PORT HENRI by K.A. Teryna, translated from the Russian by Alex Shvartsman
COUSIN ENTROPY by Michèle Laframboise, translated from the French by N. R. M. Roshak
THE CURTAIN FALLS, THE SHOW MUST END by Julie Nováková, translated from the Czech by the author

Here are some of the best ways to obtain a copy while supporting Future Science Fiction Digest:

Other options:

Paperbacks will be available worldwide via the Ingram catalog as of Monday, February 28.


New publication: The Tale of Ak and Humanity by Yefim Zozulya

January 29, 2022

My latest translation is up at Tor.com and while this story is new to the Anglophone readers, it was written and published in Russian over 100 years ago! It also happened to have inspired Zamyatin’s We and launched the anti-utopian genre!

If you like this story, there are two more Zozulya translations forthcoming this year. “The Living Furniture” at F&SF, and “Cain and Abel” at Galaxy’s Edge.

Read it here:


New Publication: A Dark and Stormy Night (A Conradverse Tale)

January 14, 2022

While we all anxiously await the publication date for The Middling Affliction (which is currently May 31, mark your calendars!) a brand new Conradverse story was published today! This story appears in Silence in the City, an anthology edited by Shaun Kilgore.

“A Dark and Stormy Night” is chronologically set after book 2 in the series (Kakistocracy, which is written and I’m revising now, and you will likely get to read in 2023) and gives you a sneak preview of one of the many problems Conrad will have to deal with in book 3.

The story is written in such a way that you do not have to have read any previous Conradverse stuff to enjoy it, and there’s only one minor spoiler that reveals something that happens to a minor character in book 2, so it should be safe to read before you delve into the novel.

Here’s a little preview:

A Dark and Stormy Night

A Conradverse Tale

by Alex Shvartsman

IT WAS RAINING in Brooklyn. Scratch that, it was pouring cats and dogs, raining men, drizzling grizzly bears, showering wallabies, and sprinkling an occasional elephant out there. I peeked out the window and could hardly see the street through the torrential downpour. It seemed I could take an evening off from patrolling the borough. Even monsters and warlocks generally preferred to hatch their dastardly schemes while wearing dry socks. I settled onto the couch and reached for a TV remote.

My phone rang.

“Hello?” I dearly hoped the unfamiliar number was only a scammer trying to sell me an extended car warranty, and not a cry for help that would result in me chasing a slime elemental through the sewers. Again.

“Conrad Brent,” the familiar voice grated in my ear. “Beware the gathering storm. The forces of darkness are amassing in the deep. The three islands face deluge. In order to save us all you must open your heart to an old enemy.”

“Agnes?” I asked gormlessly. The Oracle of Eighty-Sixth Street was a powerful prognosticator but she was not in a habit of unloading her often-alliterative prophecies on unsuspecting people over the phone, especially when those people weren’t paying customers.

“Shush,” said the Oracle. “Time’s running short. You must ride a reluctant steed into battle, ally with a serpent, and when the time comes, choose the left one—”

The line went dead. The lights in my apartment went out, as did all lights outside. It looked like the storm had caused a neighborhood-wide blackout.

I tried to activate the flashlight on my phone, only to discover that it was also dead. I had just charged the battery. Did the oracle’s magic somehow brick a smartphone? I thought that sort of thing only happened in fantasy novels. In the real world clapping doesn’t bring faeries back to life and technology is totally indifferent toward magic.

I reached for the lantern of Diogenes. It was an arcane lie detector, designed to flare up whenever falsehood was spoken within earshot. Under the circumstances, it would make do as a night light. I hefted the lantern and said, “It’s bright and sunny outside.”

Nothing happened.

Exasperated, I tried increasingly bold-faced lies. “Pasadena is the capital of Maryland. Chicago pizza is superior to New York pizza. Nickelback albums are music.”

The lantern remained dead as Diogenes himself. With a sense of dread I reached for an assortment of charms and artifacts on my shelf. Every one of them was equally useless, like a bunch of mundane trinkets.

Something terrible was happening. Something the Oracle had tried to warn me about. Thanks for nothing, Agnes. The trouble with prophecies is that they sound like gibberish until it’s too late. I shambled through my apartment in the dark, getting dressed and knocking into furniture. I retrieved a revolver from my night stand. Although it was loaded with silver bullets doused in holy water, the gun itself was mechanical, which hopefully meant it would still work.

There was an insistent knock on the door. I slid the gun into the pocket of my unbuttoned trench coat and answered it.

Pick up a copy of Silence in the City in ebook or print format to keep reading.


My Worldcon 2021 Schedule

December 15, 2021

Here’s where to find me at Worldcon this week!

Thursday
2:30pm – Signing – Autographs 3

Friday
10am – Legal and Actuarial Supernatural Hypotheticals panel – Forum Room
11:30am – Reading – Capitol Room
1pm – Lost (or Gained) in Translation? VIRTUAL panel – Older
4pm – Translation Slam panel – Cabinet Room

Saturday
11:30am – Finances of Running a Small Press panel – Forum Room
2:30pm – Pre/Post Iron Curtain Fiction in Eastern Europe panel – Calvert Room

Sunday
11:30am – Assembling an Anthology panel – Blue Room

Otherwise the best way to find me in the wild is to visit the dealers room during its operating hours. I will be spending as much time as possible at the Caezik Press/Arc Manor booth.