Monthly Archives: September 2010

Antiphon by Ken ScholesFrom the Tor Newsletter:

Readers clicking through the Kindle edition of Ken Scholes’s Antiphon, book three in the Psalms of Isaak, got a strange surprise in chapter 16: the book suddenly became Personal Demons , a new urban fantasy by Lisa Desrochers. Phone calls were made and new files uploaded, but Ken Scholes had a funny thought: how would the gypsy king Rudolfo really deal with the unexpected appearance of Lisa’s teenage trio? Thus was born chapter 15.5, “Intersections and Interlopers.”

And and excerpt from the chapter:

A cold wind moaned outside the command tent and Rudolfo blessed the warmth of his small furnace and the warmed cup of firespice he held loosely in his hands even as he considered the girl who stood with Lysias before him.

She was fetching enough, if young. Her garb was unlike anything he’d seen before and certainly not appropriate for deep winter in the northern reaches of the Ninefold Forest. She was short, with fair skin, long blond hair and blue eyes. And she wore clothing entirely unfamiliar to him. Her top—a sleeveless cotton bit—revealed more skin than was appropriate for winter or for most audiences with a king. And her pants were tight and made from a faded blue material. Her shoes were like nothing he’d seen before. But still, fetching she was despite her odd dress. With a few more summers behind her, she’d certainly become the type of woman he’d have pursued. Of course, since Jin Li Tam had fallen into his life he’d lost his appetite for any others, much to the disappointment of his former lovers. But there was something in the way she stood before him now that reminded him of his red-headed queen.

His eyes narrowed and he took a sip of the liquor, savoring its burn as it trickled down his throat. “Tell me again,” he said slowly. “Who are you and what are you doing in my forest?”

The slightest trembling of her lower lip was the only telltale sign of her fear. When she spoke, her voice was clear. “My name is Frannie Cavanaugh….” Her words failed and he watched her find them quickly. “And I don’t know.” She paused. “I’m not even sure what forest this is.”

Hah, this is absolutely classic. What a fun way for Tor Books and the two authors to work through a tough situation! You can read the whole chapter, which successfully spawns the broken Kindle version into it’s own spin-off series, on Tor.com. It’s good fun even if you’ve never read either of the authors before.

Over on his blog, Mark Charan Newton is running a poll to choose the cover for his next novel. The two candidates:

'The Book of Transformations' by Mark Charan Newton 'The Book of Transformations' by Mark Charan Newton

Now, Mark and I are good friends, and I’ve greatly enjoyed both of his novels, but, we’ve long disagreed about cover art. And, frankly, it looks like we’ll continue to disagree. For a series lauded for its originality and ties to the New Weird, we’re shown another bland, lowest-common-denominator cover; a far cry from the beautiful US and UK covers for the Hardcover edition of Newton’s first book, Nights of Villjamur. It’s like choosing between a turd and a Murphy Brown: Season 2 DVD. Mark did mention that the posted covers lack polish, so we can probably expect improvements similar to the ones applied to the MMPB cover of City of Ruin, but that likely won’t be enough to change my opinion. I have to admit, I just don’t understand the branding angle they’re taking with Newton’s work.

For all the hullabaloo about The Book of Transformations featuring a trans-gendered character on the cover… she certainly looks like a regular saucy Urban Fantasy chick. Not saying she should look like a man, but rather that her unique situation (that, presumably helps define her character in the novel) should lend a more unique take on her appearance. Newton’s trying to push at the boundaries of the genre… and his publisher’s lumping him right in the middle of the crowd.

For the record, the first cover, the close-up, is the far-and-away leader in Newton’s poll. So maybe I’m wrong. Drop by his blog if you’re interested in leaving your two cents.

Knicked from The Mad Hatter:

'The Unremembered' by Peter Orullian

The gods, makers of worlds, seek to create balance—between matter and energy; and between mortals who strive toward the transcendent, and the natural perils they must tame or overcome. But one of the gods fashions a world filled with hellish creatures far too powerful to allow balance; he is condemned to live for eternity with his most hateful creations in that world’s distant Bourne, restrained by a magical veil kept vital by the power of song.

Millennia pass, awareness of the hidden danger fades to legend, and both song and veil weaken. And the most remote cities are laid waste by fell, nightmarish troops escaped from the Bourne. Some people dismiss the attacks as mere rumor. Instead of standing against the real threat, they persecute those with the knowledge, magic and power to fight these abominations, denying the inevitability of war and annihilation. And the evil from the Bourne swells….

The troubles of the world seem far from the Hollows where Tahn Junell struggles to remember his lost childhood and to understand words he feels compelled to utter each time he draws his bow. Trouble arrives when two strangers—an enigmatic man wearing the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far—come, to take Tahn, his sister and his two best friends on a dangerous, secret journey. Tahn knows neither why nor where they will go. He knows only that terrible forces have been unleashed upon mankind and he has been called to stand up and face that which most daunts him—his own forgotten secrets and the darkness that would destroy him and his world.

Kekai Kotaki, once again proving why he’s one of the best in the Fantasy art business. I’ve been a fan of his since I first saw his art for the Guild Wars RPG series, and I’m more a fan every day. I also appreciate that Tor Books lets Kotaki’s art speak for itself, rather than adorning it with overblown typography. Beautiful.

The book itself sounds good (as much as I’ve grown broader in my tastes, I’m still a sucker for big Epic Fantasy; plus, like forests and bows and stuff. Reminds me of Elves in D&D, which I’m also a sucker for). I dunno about that title, though. How do you ‘unremember’ something? Nevertheless, I’m sure the book will let us know. Lord knows I’ve ran across a few things on the Internet that I’d like to ‘unremember’… not to mention a few novels.