First review, latest excerpt, free sample – and how you can get it

Book launch details

August 21 is when you can get your hands on a copy of The Sovereign Hand.
I’m still talking with the publisher about pre-orders and getting e-versions out early, but the launch is at Matchbox Gallery 166 Cuba St, Wellington. An elegant space. Frivolity commences at 5:30pm, with some palaver from me and Stephen, and me reading something, probably from Part I (see below – I’m open to suggestions).  There will be nibbles, drink, and of course copies to purchase, at a special price. Just show up on the night.

Or just grab it from Amazon,, etc., or all the usual bookstores after that.


First review
The Sovereign Hand
has also had it first (frankly, glowing) review, from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of NZ. Steam Press have a quote (the full review isn’t up on the SFFANZ website yet). It is pleasing that someone who knows fantasy rates TSH as “possibly one of the best works of fantasy ever published in New Zealand”; but as the reviewer notes, it’s the particulars that make that true:

“[The] setting is quite unusual, an amalgam of High Fantasy and Steampunk, where science and magic both work… And not just that, it is a socially and politically evolved magical society where non-human sentients like gobelins, drakes and Taureans are being steadily integrated into the Primacy… Gilbert has dared to be different, to do the difficult thing, and by and large, he succeeds.”

This echoes what Bernard Beckett has said of the novel: “This is a fantasy that doesn’t simply draw a world for the purposes of its story, but rather draws its story from the richness of the world Gilbert has created”.

Critical feedback so far: people get it. I’ll post a link when the full SFFANZ review comes online.


Excerpts, & The Sovereign Hand (Part I: Thorn) – for free
If that leaves you wanting want to read more,  the major United StatesSFF site,, has posted a new excerpt from the novel. This makes for fantastic exposure and is a big tick for The Sovereign Hand’s value in a crowded and competitive global market.’s excerpt comes from Part I: Thorn, which Rise and Shine also comes from – and now Steam Press has the whole of Part I: Thorn available as a free download. Around 50,000 words! So if you enjoy the excerpts, I guarantee Part 1 has more goodness for you. And if you really like that, please share it around.


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