Monthly Archives: February 2008

Two great authors, two great excerpts from their upcoming novels. Both Steven Erikson and Tobias Buckell have just recently released excerpts from their upcoming novels, Toll the Hounds and Sly Mongoose respectively.

Steven Erikson

Toll the Hounds by Steven EriksonErikson’s upcoming novel, Toll the Hounds is, with the unlikely chance of a 2008 release for A Dance with Dragons, is the probably the biggest release of the year for a large portion of fantasy fans. Fans have been clamoring for the prologue of the novel for a long time now and the folk at Malazan Empire have finally got the go ahead from Steve and his publisher to repost on the prologue on the forum.

You can find it (in all it’s ill-formatted glory) HERE.

Also, in case you missed it the first time, I had the chance to hang out with Steve for a couple of afternoons and recounted my experiences HERE and HERE. There’re also a few tidbits about Toll the Hounds scattered throughout the two articles.

Tobias Buckell

Sly Mongoose by Tobias BuckellCarribean-born Buckell, author of Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin recently released the prologue to the third novel in his loose trilogy, Sly Mongoose. I absolutely adored Crystal Rain (REVIEW) and Toby was terrific to work with on the interview we conducted a few months ago (HERE). If you haven’t had a chance to read Buckell yet, you can find the first 1/3 of his first two novels HERE (Crystal Rain) and HERE (Ragamuffin).

The first chapter of Sly Mongoose can be found HERE.

Drew Bowling, author of The Tower of ShadowsYou may have noticed (based on the photo greeting you to the left) that Drew Bowling’s young. Not only is he young, but he’s a good looking, college-age guy who one might expect has better things to do – say traipsing the streets of Madrid, his life stuffed into a backpack, a beautiful woman hanging off his arm – than write Fantasy. You might also be worried that a hip, good looking college kid should stay far away from the writing scene. Well, Bowling’s not afraid to show you why you’re wrong.

Last year’s debut, The Tower of Shadows, surprised me by offering a quick, punch novel (so much a rarity in the Epic Fantasy genre these days), peppered with terrific prose, almost poetic at times, and really made me sit up and notice an author who is sure to make some waves as he grows and refines his craft.

Drew and I have been working on this interview for a good while now, so it’s with pleasure that I can finally bring it to the table. I think you’ll enjoy it.
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One subject that I often see pop up in areas frequented by aspiring writers is that of word count. I know it’s something myself have often wondered about, and so when I ran across these two great blog posts about the subject, I thought I’d pass them along to those of you who are hard at work on your first masterpiece.

The First is courtesy of Nathan Bransford, a literary agent (and great blogger) working for Curtis Brown Ltd., who, by his own admission, is a little lackadaisical about word count:

Within reason. If your (adult) novel is less than 40,000 words you’re in novella land (where publishers worry about how a bookstore is going to stock your book when it will have such a skinny spine). Children’s novels are generally shorter, but shouldn’t be TOO short. If your novel is going to be over 150,000 words and your name is not David Foster Wallace, Leo Tolstoy, or Vikram (Chandra or Seth), there had better be a darn good reason for it.

You can read the whole thing HERE.

The nameless scribe of Editorial Ass is a little more stringent when it comes to taking a look at submissions:

Either way, I have to admit my personal taste is toward shorter books. I really like submissions between 60 and 80k words. I’m relatively open-minded, but anything shorter than 60,000 words usually proves to be a little half-baked. (This is not always true, of course, but often it just comes up short–a good novel needs cohesive structure and enough development to pull a reader in, and often this can’t be accomplished in fewer than 60,000 words.) I also cringe whenever an agent tells me she’s sending me a 200,000-word debut novel. I think the upper limit of my patience for books I edit–even genre books–is about 120,000 words. I like all my books to cast off under 400 pages when they are typeset (and I like pretty spacious font so my readers don’t have to develop glaucoma over my titles).

You can check out the full post HERE.

Hopefully this shed’s a little light on the mystery!

Ahh, it must be a special day. I ran across not only the (awesome) cover for the fifth printing of Patrick Rothfuss‘sThe Name of the Wind, but also the cover for George R.R. Martin‘s upcoming (sometime) A Dance with Dragons

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss A Dance with Dragons

I must’ve done something special to get a cover for one of my favourite books and one of my most eagerly anticipated books released in the same day! To top it off, they’re both terrific! Between the recently revealed cover blurb and this new cover, an optimist might actually start to wonder if we might not see A Dance with Dragons before the end of the year.

Thanks goes to ardrhys11892 of the Official Terry Brooks Forum for pointing out the A Dance with Dragons cover!

Unshelved, a great web comic, had this great comic that made me chuckle. Apparently, according to them, Joe Abercrombie, author of such fine works as The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged and the upcoming Last Argument of Kings, is to Fantasy what Quentin Tarantino is to movies. As a Tarantino fan myself, those are pretty big (but fairly accurate) shoes to fill!

I won’t reprint the comic here (you know, credit where credit’s due), but you can check it (and the rest of their great site) HERE. Definitely a must see for any fan of Abercrombie’s work.