Recent A Dribble of Ink interviewee Daniel Abraham (check the interview HERE) has been detailing his experiences at the mysteriously named “The Symposium”, where he sat in with authors such as George RR Martin, Ian Tregillis and Melinda Snodgrass.
Why does this matter? Because he’s got a lot of interesting insights into writing.
One topic he tackles are the definitions thrown at novels, something I’ve gotten into a couple of times at various places on the ‘net. More specifically he tackles the concept of “Second-World Fantasy” (or “Epic Fantasy” as it might be better known as).
As a writer, something Iâ€™ve always put a lot of thought into, and struggled with, to be honest, the use of 3rd-person narrative versus 1st-person narrative. I really feel that both are incredibly valid ways to tell a story, and each comes with its own pros and cons. As a reader, I enjoy both for different reasons as well and often get in moods where only one type of storytelling and narrative will satisfy me. I donâ€™t seem to be the only one who feels this way, either.
In preparation for this article I decided to go out and get an objective look at the subject, so I looked towards two of my favourite forums (Westeros and the Official Terry Brooks Forum) for some opinions. The subject prompted a lot of good, intelligent debate on the forums and I was pleasently surprised by what I found.
Daniel Abraham, author of A Shadow in Summer and A Betrayal in Winter, made some waves earlier this year with the release of his collaborative novel, Hunter’s Run. The interesting thing, however, is who he collaborated with: Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin. So how did a relatively new author like Abraham (who you’ll find out has perhaps been on the scene longer than some people realize) hook up with two legends? Well, you’ll just have to read an find out!
As many of my readers know, I’m always a sucker for a short, lean novels and that’s exactly what Abraham sets out to deliver with his first series of novels, The Long Price Quartet. Enough rambling! Read on and see what Daniel Abraham has to say. You won’t be disappointed.
Author – Brian Ruckley
Pages: 576 pages
Release Date: September 10, 2007
Winterbirth was a milestone for me. Orbit Books (the publisher) was the first publisher to approach me and offer to send me advance review copies of their novels and it seemed to validate the existence of A Dribble of Ink. Ironically, I actually received it a couple of months ago but agreed with Alex Lencicki (Ruckleyâ€™s publicist) that it would be best to hold of on the review (and interview) until Winterbirth was closer to its US publication date.
So, it was with great eagerness that I finally picked up Winterbirth and began reading. While my copy sat for several weeks, taunting me, I watched several other reviews roll in, all of which confirmed that I should be eager to read the novel. Winterbirth had a lot to live up to when I finally started reading it; the hype was sky high.
So the question is: did it live up to the hype? Well, Yes and No.
You may not know the name Mark J. Ferrari… but you will soon. His debut novel, The Book of Joby, has been released to critical success and is as unique as it is controversial. A standalone fantasy, set in our world, retelling the Book of Job with a comical twist? God and Lucifer are characters? What’s not to like?
Here’s the synopsis pulled from his web site:
Lucifer and the Creator have entered, yet again, into a wager they’ve made many times before, but this time, the existence of creation itself is balanced on the outcome. Born in California during the twilight of a weary millennium, nine year old Joby Peterson dreams of blazing like a bonfire against the gathering darkness of his times. Instead, he is subjected to a life of crippling self-doubt and relentless mediocrity inflicted by an enemy he did nothing to earn and cannot begin to comprehend.
Though imperiled themselves, the angels are forbidden to intervene. Left to struggle with their own loyalties and the question of obedience, they watch Lucifer work virtually unhindered to turn Joby’s heart of gold into ash and stone while God sits by, seeming unconcerned.
Grown to manhood, Joby’s once luminous love of life seems altogether lost, and Lucifer’s victory assured. What hope remains lies hidden in the beauty, warmth, and innocence of a forgotten seaside village whose odd inhabitants seem to defy the modern world’s most inflexible assumptions, and in the hearts of Joby’s long lost youthful love and her emotionally wounded son. But the ravenous forces of destruction that follow Joby into this concealed paradise plan to use these same things to bring him and his world to ruin.
As the final struggle unfolds, one question occupies every mind in heaven and in hell. Which will prove stronger, love or rage?
Mark was kind enough to drop by and give us a little bit of insight into exactly what to expect from The Book of Joby. You might be surprised by what he has to say (it’s not a piece of Christian literature, for instance) and wait until you hear the story of how he got knocked into being a novelist!