Aliette-de-Bodard

On November 20th, 2014, Aliette de Bodard announced that she sold a two book series, beginning with The House of Shattered Wings to Gollancz. Aliette de Bodard is considered one of the richest and most evocative writers in speculative fiction, and her past work has ranged from Aztec-influenced fantasy, to a science fiction universe where China discovered the Americas before Europe. The House of Shattered Wings is a murder mystery with “fallen angels, Vietnamese dragons, and entirely too many dead bodies.”

“Set in Paris amongst the aftermath of the Great Magicians War,” Gollancz compares the scale of The House of Shattered Wings and de Bodard’s ambition to the works of Mieville and Banks. Big names to live up to, but the Hugo-nominated and Nebula-winning de Bodard has proven her knack for subtlety and ambition with her short fiction, and handling of scope with her epic Acatl novels. Read More »

trial-of-intentions-by-peter-orullian

I’m a big fan of Kotaki’s (he’s even written for A Dribble of Ink!), but there’s something here that doesn’t quite work for me. I miss Kotaki’s usual sense of energy and action, or the intricacies of his armour design and landscapes. The cover for Trial of Intentions is static and ponderous, and lacks for wonder, which is something I never thought I’d say of Kotaki’s work.

The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy, however, they chained the rogue god—and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortalkind—in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that contains them has protected humankind for millennia and the monsters are little more than tales told to frighten children. But the Veil has become weak and creatures of Nightmare have come through. To fight them, the races of men must form a great alliance to try and stop the creatures.

But there is dissent. One king won’t answer the call, his pride blinding him even to the poison in his own court. Another would see Convocation fail for his own political advantage. And still others believe Convocation is not enough. Some turn to the talents of the Sheason, who can shape the very essence of the world to their will. But their order is divided, on the brink of collapse.

Tahn Junell remembers friends who despaired in a place left barren by war. One of the few who have actually faced the unspeakable horde in battle, Tahn sees something else at work and wonders about the nature of the creatures on the other side of the Veil. He chooses to go to a place of his youth, a place of science, daring to think he can find a way to prevent slaughter, prevent war.

And his choices may reshape a world . . . .

What’s more exciting, though, are the plans that Tor and Orullian are cooking up for the relaunch of this series. Trial of Intentions is the follow-up to Orullian’s 2001 debut, The Unremembered. Five years later, he’s returning with an author’s preferred edition of The Unremembered, one that better matches the vision he had for the series from the get go (snafu’d by a labyrinthine journey through the politics of book publishing and editorial authority), and by all accounts is more streamlined, easier to sink into, and more focused on introducing readers to the series without overwhelming them with a tidal wave of world building.

The “Author’s Definitive Edition” of The Unremembered arrives on April 7th, 2015, with Trial of Intentions following on May 26th, 2015.

My favourite part is when Muldoo, er… Indiana Jon, uh… Star-Lord becomes one with the velociraptors and leads them on an all-out assault against the hybridosaurus rex. All while riding a motorcycle, natch. Oh, and also the part where they forget about the fact that the first Jurassic Park was already about genetically modified dinosaurs.

Jurassic World hits theatres on June 12th, 2015. I’m already camping outside the theatre to get tickets.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

I wasn’t too impressed with the cover for Words of Radiance, the second volume in Brandon Sanderson’s mega-series, The Stormlight Archive. Despite being a big Michael Whelan fan, the cover felt phoned in, like it had gone through the ringer with the most vanilla focus groups ever.

I was doubly disappointed when the book released with a gorgeous painting from Whelan featuring Shallan, who features most prominently in the novel. Even the usually hyper-masculine /r/fantasy sub-reddit agreed. Why wasn’t that the cover? Sanderson answered that question today on Reddit’s /r/fantasy sub-forum: it wasn’t created until the cover was finished.

“Michael Whelan, the artist, is one of the few in the business who likes to read every book he does a cover for, if possible,” Sanderson explained. “In this case, he had to start working on the illustration before the book was actually done. So I sent him a description of the ending sequence, and he started sketching out the scene that eventually became the cover.” Read More »