Playlist for The Quiet at the End of the World

 

 

Not long now until the book comes out! There’s already been some AMAZING reviews:

“I’m still sobbing quietly over how beautiful and heart-wrenching this novel was. Seriously, this might be my favourite sci-fi book? Of all time? I JUST CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO EXPRESS HOW MUCH I LOVED IT. Can I pluck all the stars from the night sky to give to this glorious bound paper creation?” – Written Word Worlds 

“I loved the science and the take on “what does it mean to be human?” – a beautifully complex question answered so well. There’s twists and turns, so much love, characters you’ll root for and so much intrigue.” – Steph A Little But A Lot 

“It’s sending shivers down my spine. It feels too real, too much like a warning of what’s to come.” – Sectumsemprah

“The world in this book is richly described and frighteningly believable. I love how Lauren’s books are realistic and grounded in science, at the same time as being completely unique and unpredictable. It’s refreshing to find a book with such a creative, surprising plot and I had no idea what was going to happen!”- YA under my skin

“The Quiet at the End of the World by @Lauren_E_James just had a massive plot twist about halfway through and I am shook. I don’t know how she always manages to create such wonderful plot twists and I cannot wait to keep reading.” –  The Reading Fangirl

I’ve been waiting with bated breath for reviews, so I am UTTERLY THRILLED right now. People like it!!

If you’d like to read it, there’s a giveaway on my twitter you can enter:

And here’s the prologue:

TQATEOTW_Prologue

Finally, I wanted to share the playlist! You can listen to it on Spotify here.

This is a fun, cheerful, happy book, for the most part. The music I listened to when writing reflects that. These songs summarise the tone and affection in this book.

Last Party//MIKA

MMMBop//Hanson

Something Just Like This//The Chainsmokers

House Party//Sam Hunt

The Whip//Locksley

Holes//Passengers

Classic//MKTO

What’s Up?//4 Non Blondes

Folding Chair//Regina Spektor

Dance Apocalyptic//Janelle Monae

Don’t Lie//Vampire Weekend

Control//Halsey

Girls Chase Boys//Ingrid Michaelson

Stop the World I want to get off//Arctic Monkeys

Remember Me//Coco soundtrack

Marry You//Bruno Mars

Let me know if you listen to this, or if you have any suggestions for other songs for the book!

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Research trips I took when writing The Quiet at the End of the World

Research trips! There’s nothing better than writing about somewhere, and then going to see it for real. It brings fiction to life in a completely original way.

Here are some of the places I made sure to visit when I was writing The Quiet at the End of the World. I’ve previously visited Carlisle Castle to write The Next Together, and St Andrews, the location of The Last Beginning, as well as Bletchley Park when I was writing a short story Another Together, which you can read about here, 

The tunnels below London

I  explored the old WWII bomb shelters which were built under the London Northern Line to protect 10,000 people from the blitz. It was absolutely fascinating and it really helped me when I was writing the scenes in the first chapter of the book, where Lowrie and Shen explore the abandoned tube lines of London, at a time when it’s been shut down for decades.

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Giants Causeway, Ireland

I was in Dublin for a convention when I snuck away on an adventure. I’ve always been obsessed by this natural phenomenon of geometric rocks in the sea. The Quiet at the End of the World is all about geology and archaeology and the layers of fossils left behind humanity in the earth, so this was extra inspiring and special.

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Buckingham Palace

Finally, I went to Buckingham Palace, somewhere I’d never been before. It was very different from what I’d imagined it from seeing it in films and TV shows. I had no idea that there was a huge lake by the palace – or that the garden was so big. It felt like it wasn’t in London at all, except for the sight of one single skyscraper poking up between the trees.

Lowrie’s parents live in a place in a huge manor in the middle of an abandoned central London, so this was really useful when picturing what their life might be like.

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The Quiet at the End of the World comes out on 7th March, and here are some handy links:

Preorder a signed copy on my Etsy (comes with a free themed bookmark and postcards of my books)

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Foyles | Wordery | eBook providers | Signed copies from Forbidden Planet

Tumblr tag | Join mailing list to be notified on release day | Read the first chapter on Wattpad

preorderlaunch

Hugo Award eligibility + pins

Just a quick note to say that The Last Beginning and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe are both eligible for nomination in the Hugo awards this year, as they were published for the first time in the US in 2018.

If you’re coming to the Dublin WorldCon in August, you’re eligible to vote, and I would appreciate your nomination! You can choose them in the Best Novel or Best Young Adult novel category. I also believe that I’m eligible for the John Campbell Award as The Next Together was published for the first time in the US in 2017.

Also, the pin I posted about yesterday arrived! Check it out:

You can get the robot one here, the rocket one here, and the set of two here.

I like my pins to mean something, and not just be a reference to my books, because if I am going to wear something I want it to be worth the lapel space. So the rocket pin I made for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was also a shout out to fandom. This time, as well as being the old lichen-covered robot Mitch from The Quiet at the End of the World, this pin represents our generation, who’ve grown up as the first people online. Hopefully even if you’ve not read my books you can get behind the message of being digitally-minded like Mitch here.

Writing group & book shimmy award

From 23rd March I am going to be running a monthly Writers HQ writing retreat group in Coventry at Holy Trinity Church near the cathedral. You can find out more here and buy tickets (which are very limited).

The group doesn’t involve any teaching, just all of us writing together for a day, with food and drinks and snacks. I’m really excited about this because I’ve been building up my local writing connections this year by doing work with Writing West Midlands and Coventry University too. I’m hoping to do even more in 2019!

Also, a few things:

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If you pre-order The Quiet at the End of the World (thank you!) you can enter to win a set of swag including a lil robot pin, the bookmark I posted yesterday and some art prints. You have until March.

You can preorder a signed copy on my Etsy (comes with a free themed bookmark and postcard of my books) or get one from any of the following:

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones | Foyles | Wordery | eBook providers

In the category of OTHER WAYS YOU CAN GET AN ENAMEL PIN: this designer is launching ones for my books which you can buy here. I’m not involved in these, except that I LOVE them.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe has won the Under the Radar category in the Epic Reads book shimmy awards! Thank you to everyone who voted!

It’s having a run of good luck with the STEAM awards nomination too, hurray!

This month’s baking newsletter features The Best Cookies in the World.

And lastly, I bought a house!!

My favourite books of 2018

Merry christmas, everyone! I look forward to making this post every year, because I never get bored of shouting about my favourite books. I read 247 books this year, so obviously I have a lot of opinions about my favourites. These are all 2018 releases, with a few at the end which I adored but were published before 2018, that I needed to included.

Finally, a reminder from an author – if you’re making your own list of favourite books of 2018, please make sure you thank the author by adding your reviews to Amazon. It’s a small, quick thing that can make a huge difference to authors.

2017 favourites | 2016 favourites | 2015 favourites | 2014 favourites


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A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland (Goodreads/Amazon)

An old man is trapped in prison, accused of witchcraft. An old man who has spent his life learning how to tell stories, and manipulate perceptions. An old man who will do anything to get free. An old man, who single-handedley manages to take down an entire government from a prison cell…..

32802595Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers (Goodreads/Amazon)

Becky Chambers is such a reliable author, and her books never fail to make my heart brim with love for humans and her wonderful visions of aliens. Her books always offer such unique and optimistic looks on difficult issues like gender, social equality, racism and hope. I wouldn’t mind living in her future, which isn’t something I say often about science fiction.

39300354 (1)Death in the Spotlight (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries #7) by Robin Stevens (Goodreads/Amazon)

My favourite detectives had their best adventure yet. Robin writes the most diverse, authentic, wonderfully researched historical fiction. It’s full of BAME and LGBT characters of all ages.

 

 

 

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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell (Goodreads/Amazon)

I kind of wish I hadn’t read this because it was the most stressful book I’ve ever read. I want to simultaneously never leave my house again and do as many things as possible while I can because LIFE IS FRAGILE.

 

32993458Circe by Madeline Miller (Goodreads/Amazon)

This far exceeded my expectations, which were already far too high. I have no background in Greek mythology, and The Song of Achilles blew me away because it somehow made these complicated myths feel real, even with all the gods and nymphs running around. That book was a lot easier to root for, because it revolved around the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. This time around, there is not only a far bigger and more complicated cast, but there’s no central relationship to hook you into the story. Despite that, Miller has somehow managed to create a book that you are completely invested in, feels totally real and believable, and contains characters who jump of the page.

33160963The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Goodreads/Amazon)

One for fans of the You Must Remember This Podcast – old Hollywood royalty, publicity manoeuvring & more scandals than you can wave an Oscar at.

 

 

 

24100285Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente (Goodreads/Amazon)

This is described as ‘Eurovision in space’, which is EXACTLY what this is. A loving ode to Douglas Adams, updated for the 21st century, this is funny and imaginative and colourful. The alien performances were truly excellent.

34506912 (1)The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (Goodreads/Amazon)

The graphic novel about a prince that hires a dressmaker to make him dresses to wear is SO DAMN CUTE. It was so uplifting and positive and really cute.

 

 

 

33080122 (1).jpgThe Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Goodreads/Amazon)

A meteorite has hit Earth and triggered an extinction event. Humans have a decade or less to get off the planet before the sun disappears beneath skies of dust, and crops die off. But it’s the fifties, and the space race has only just begun. The remnants of the US government team up with space agencies around the world to fast track a moon settlement mission. The WWII pilots are chosen to train as astronauts – but only the men. Which isn’t much use when you’re trying to start a colony. The human calculators, all women, and WASP pilots, start a publicity campaign to be allowed to train for the mission. HIDDEN FIGURES meets INTERSTELLAR, this is part science-based adventure and part uprising for race and gender equality. Maths and feminism: is there any better combination?

40025070The Invitation by Keris Stainton (Goodreads/Amazon)

Keris’ books always make me feel like I can achieve anything I set my mind to. Heart-warming, body-positive, sweet and caring, I am going to be thinking about these characters for a long time.

 

 

 

 


Bonus – my favourite books published before 2018:

Think of England by K.J. Charles (Goodreads/Amazon)

This was the most excellent English country house heist/murder mystery, it was a RIOT. One of the best romances I’ve ever read!

The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin (Goodreads/Amazon)

This is – well, it’s a science fiction and fantasy series set in a world where extinction events destroy civilisation every hundred years, the survivors have to try and relearn how to create a society from the remains of cultures that surround them. This is exactly my sort of thing – archaeology as a means of survival. It’s about legend and science, and how to work out which is which. It’s about found families and slave races and something like magic.

It’s diverse and full of plot twists and changes in perspective and the most wonderful characters. But what makes this series really special is that it uses the writing in a completely different way from anything I’ve ever seen. It’s a masterclass in originality.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Goodreads/Amazon)

Science fiction short stories about the effects of birth, death and life on women’s bodies. The stories are all different – paranormal detectives, apocalypses & magical realism – but so very powerful.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Goodreads/Amazon)

A rejected son unexpectedly inherits the throne and has to learnt to become emperor in a court that wants to take him down. SO satisfying. Full of courtly intrigue and machinations.

Shortlisted for the STEAM book prize!

SHORTLISTED FOR THE STEAM book Prize_ THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE!

I’m thrilled that The Loneliest Girl in the Universe has been shortlisted for a second award! This is a brand new prize that supports fiction about science, something that is obviously ENTIRELY MY JAM. I was super excited just to hear about the creation of the award, so to be shortlisted is the best news ever.

The other YA titles are The Fandom by Anna Day, The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin, White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock (all of which I’ve read) and The Electrical Venus by Julie Mayhew and Jinxed by Amy McCulloch (which I’d better get to ASAP).

👩‍🔬👩‍🔧👩‍🏭