Monthly Archives: January 2010

From the new Tor Books edition of Michael Moorcock’s The Sword of the Dawn:

I’d not been aware of Vance Kovacs, the artist, before this, but he’s certainly on my radar now. Looking at his web portfolio, I’m absolutely blown away.

Seriously. As an art junkie, I feel ashamed not to have heard of Kovacs before. Can anyone point out any covers he’s done besides the Elric re-issues?

Judging by this cover image (and its striking similarity to THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS and THIS), I would like to break the news that George R.R. Martin has been kicked off of A Song of Ice and Fire. The series has been handed off to the prolific Raymond E. Feist and The Winds of Winter has been re-named At the Gates of Darkness. One can assume that Pug will be teleported to Westeros, be a supreme Deus Ex Machina badass and save the day single-handedly, thus ending the series one book early.

No. It’s not done yet. So if that’s all you’re here for, you can leave now. Disappointed and ready to smash an empty beer bottle and start a bar fight.

We’ve beaten that issue to death. Bringing it up again isn’t going to solve anything or make Martin write faster (or get skinnier, or die later, or whatever gripe about him is the latest trend). However, Martin did have another little update for us and a nice peek behind the curtain at how he works as a writer. From his blog:

Snowing like hell in Santa Fe today. I feel like Jon Snow on the Wall. White everywhere I look, and still coming down.

Of course, I’m writing about Meereen, where the weather is hot and muggy, oppressive. If the snow keeps falling, I better take it as an omen, switch to a Jon chapter tomorrow.

The good news: finished a chapter today.

The bad news: it’s one I’ve finished at least four times before.

This time, though, I think I finally got it right. We’ll see. Still whacking at the Meereenese knot.

I took an especially vigorous hack two days ago, by switching to a new POV. It seems to have helped. Helps to have a pair of eyes on the inside rather than the outside here. And back story works better in recollections than in dialogue.

Let’s hope that when next week comes, I still like what I did this week.

Writing, writing…

Say what you will of Martin and the length between his books, what really fascinates me is the process behind crafting one of the most complex and morally grey Fantasy series out there today. As a writer myself, who writes is a more or less linear fashion, it boggles me that Martin is able to keep things so straight in his head. That he’s able to jump around the story (like, say, moving on to Jon Snow and the Wall, or shifting the POV to tell the story in another way), is impressive enough, but even moreso when one considers how seamless it all feels in the final product (well, at least in the first four books, I suppose I can’t speak for A Dance with Dragons).

A Dance with Dragons may not be coming out for a while, much to the chagrin of you, me Bantam Spectra and Martin himself… but damn if it don’t have faith that all this hard work will pay off. I can’t be the only one who’s bloody curious what the Meereenese Knot really is and why its giving Martin so much trouble.

Last week, we got an early look at the first two chapters of N.K. Jemisin‘s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, a debut novel from Orbit Books that is raking in positive reviews. This week brings us the third, and final, sample chapter.

Should I pause to explain? It is poor storytelling. But I must remember everything, remember and remember and remember, to keep a tight grip on it. So many bits of myself have escaped already.


There were once three gods. The one who matters killed one of the ones who didn’t and cast the other into a hellish prison. The walls of this prison were blood and bone; the barred windows were eyes; the punishments included sleep and pain and hunger and all the other incessant demands of mortal flesh. Then this creature, trapped in his tangible vessel, was given to the Arameri for safekeeping, along with three of his godly children. After the horror of incarnation, what difference could mere slavery make?

As a little girl, I learned from the priests of Bright Itempas that this fallen god was pure evil. In the time of the Three, his followers had been a dark, savage cult devoted to violent midnight revels, worshiping madness as a sacrament. If that one had won the war between the gods, the priests intoned direly, mortalkind would probably no longer exist.

“So be good,” the priests would add, “or the Nightlord will get you.”

My anticipation for this novel builds. Chapter Three of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms can be read HERE.

From (via pornokitsch):

After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover and Locke must live with the fallout of crossing the all-powerful magical assassins the Bonds Magi. It is a fall-out that will pit both men against Locke’s own long lost love. Sabetha is Locke’s childhood sweetheart, the love of Locke’s life and now it is time for them to meet again. Employed on different sides of a vicious dispute between factions of the Bonds Sabetha has just one goal – to destroy Locke for ever. The Gentleman Bastard sequence has become a literary sensation in fantasy circles and now, with the third book, Scott Lynch is set to seal that success.

Yeah, it’s just an Amazon blurb, but with rumours of Lynch being on the verge of handing in the final manuscript, it might be worth a second look. That all said, there have been a few incidences when Lynch was ‘supposed’ to be on the verge of handing the book in, so I’ll wait for an official announcement before getting too excited.

As for the synopsis itself, frankly, it seems choppy and thrown together, full of typos (‘for ever’?) and weird sentences. I’d be curious to see where acquired it. If anyone at Gollancz has some better copy, I’d be happy to post that. Still, it’s a nice peek at the story. The most obviously interesting aspect is the prospect that readers finally get to meet the mysterious Sabetha, who has been hinted at and referred to through the first two volumes.

After the disappointing follow-up to The Lies of Locke Lamora, I think this will be a pivotal piece of the puzzle in determining if Lynch is near the top of the genre (as The Lies of Locke Lamora would suggest) or hovering just above the middle of the pack (as Red Seas Under Red Skies would suggest). Hopefully The Republic of Thieves does a better job than Red Seas Under Red Skies (REVIEW) at capturing what made The Lies of Locke Lamora so wonderful.