Yearly Archives: 2012

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells, Art by Matthew Stewart

From Wells’ official website:

The good Raksura news: I will be doing four Raksura-related novellas for Night Shade Books, to be released as ebooks! The first three are due next year, but I’m not sure when they’ll be released. The first two will have Moon, Jade, Chime, Balm, etc, but I’m not sure about the second two yet.

Great news for fans of Wells’ Raksura novels, of which there are many. I love to see authors expanding their universes by tackling shorter stories, allowing readers to explore the nooks and crannies that may not be suitable to full novel-length stories. If you’re interested in learning more about Wells and her work, there’s a terrific interview with her on The Mad Hatter’s Book Shelf and Book Review (*phew* that’s a long name!). The Book Smugglers have also raved about her work, saying, “The Cloud Roads can be described as traditional Fantasy in a very fundamental level but it’s also a solid, un-clichéd traditional fantasy. In fact, this is quite possibly the best thing about the book, that it takes very traditional tropes and makes them fresh and imaginative, immersing readers in a world that is truly original and awe-inspiring.”

The novellas will be published by Night Shade Books in 2013.

A Portrait of Neil Gaiman by Adrien Deggan

A Portrait of Neil Gaiman by Adrien Deggan

A synopsis for Neil Gaiman’s next novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, has surfaced, and I haven’t stopped drooling since:

It began for our narrator forty years ago, when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.

His only defense are three women on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

It’s short and sweet, but hints at all the magic that I expect from Gaiman, who explains the novel as “a fable that reshapes modern fantasy” and “a novel of childhood and memory. It’s a story of magic, about the power of stories and how we face the darkness inside each of us. It’s about fear, and love, and death, and families. But, fundamentally, I hope, at its heart, it’s a novel about survival.”

The Ocean at the End of the Lane will release on June 18, 2013, and this blogger’ll be in line at the bookstore.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks - Art by Doug Beekman

The Sword of Shannara, Art by Doug Beekman

Via the Official Terry Brooks Page, Shawn Speakman, webmaster for Terry Brooks, announced that Brooks has started work on a new, standalone Shannara novel, likely set after the conclusion of the current trilogy, Dark Legacy of Shannara.

Terry has finished the first two chapters of a post-WITCH WRAITH stand alone Shannara novel. The “stand alone” will make many of you happy. The book will be about the same size as he has been writing the last 15 years. More information next year and as he progresses!

Astute Brooks fans might remember that the author had hinted that he was working on an entirely new novel/series, unrelated to any of his previous work. One such fan, remembering this news, asked Speakman about that project. Speakman replied,

When Terry finished WITCH WRAITH he knew exactly what story came afterward and just had to write it. Oddly enough, that led to two more stories that he’ll likely write after the first stand alone — and they will be stand alones as well, apparently. The new project not tied to anything he has written before will just have to wait.

Though I was excited to see Brooks venturing into new territory for the first time in 15 years, since the release of Running with the Demon, I also feel that his standalone Shannara novels, The Elfstones of Shannara and The First King of Shannara, are some of his strongest works, so that’s good news. I’ll bring more news about the standalone novel, and the two others that Brooks plans to write, as I come across it.

Jurassic Park 4
This is bizzare, and sorta fascinating. Ain’t It Cool News has a ‘review’ of the Jurrasic Park 4 script that has been floating around Hollywood for a few years. It’s the rumoured ‘Raptors with Guns’ script, and, well… just read it for yourself:

I’m pleased to report that this second Sayles draft of JURASSIC PARK 4 sees him working in full exploitation mode. I’ve talked to a number of people about this draft, and it seems to radically divide them in terms of reaction. Some people adore the premise and get excited as soon as they hear it. Some people (including the person who gave it to me) are convinced it’s the worst thing they’ve ever read and a signpost on the road to Hollywood Hell. Personally, I think it’s well-written and certainly inventive, but I also think it just might be the single most bugfuck crazy franchise sequel I’ve ever read, and I’m not sure we’re ever going to see this thing onscreen. It just doesn’t seem possible that Universal would make something this vigorously whacked out.


The script starts at a Little League game somewhere in America, an idyllic scene that quickly goes bad when pterosaurs attack the kids and their parents. It’s a cool scene, and I couldn’t help but immediately anticipate what might lay ahead. Dinosaurs in America. All-out warfare on home soil. This should be fun. In a series of television clips, we learn that this is the first attack on North American ground following months of this sort of thing in Central America and Mexico […] Hammond’s got a big idea: breed some new dinosaurs that can’t reproduce and introduce them into the wild population. A Judas strain that will kill off the dinosaurs within one generation. Easy enough, except the UN has outlawed any breeding of new dinosaurs by anyone and they’ve prohibited the sale, mining, or possession of amber worldwide. Hammond’s got scientists ready and waiting to go, but he needs genetic material to work with. As soon as Hammond mentions where that material might come from, I thought for sure that I was ahead of the script again. Oh, of course! The shaving cream can that Nedry stole. He’s going to hire this guy to put together a team of mercenaries, and they’re going to spend the whole film on Isla Nublar getting picked off one-by-one while trying to find the samples.


It certainly didn’t feel like it was just another rehash of the same formula. When Nick wakes up, he’s in the tower of a medieval castle in the Alps. […] There’s the eight-year-old-boy side of me that thinks that a DIRTY DOZEN-style mercenary team of hyper-smart dinosaurs in body armor killing drug dealers and rescuing kidnapped children will be impossible to resist. And then there’s the side of me that says… WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! Nick is put in charge of training these five dinosaurs, X1 through X5, and the first thing he does is name them. “Any soldier worth his pay has a name to answer to, not a number,” he says. So we are introduced to Achilles, Hector, Perseus, Orestes, and Spartacus, each of them a specially created deinonychus, which is sort of like a miniature T-rex. They have super-sensitive smell and hearing, incredible strength and speed and pack-hunting instincts, and they have modified forelegs, lengthened and topped with more dextrous fingers, as well as dog DNA for increased obedience and human DNA so they can solve problems well. All of this is topped off with a drug-regulating implant that can dose them with adrenaline or serotonin as the situation demands.

I don’t know if it’s the infectious enthusiasm of Moriarty, the author of the ‘review,’ detailing the events of the script, and a natural storytelling in his own writing, or the script itself… but, I’m sort of sorry we never saw this. Yeah, it’s off-the-wall weird, and a total bastardization of Crichton’s original novels, but, well, they were sort of campy to begin with and, as Moriarty points out, at least it’s not just another rehash of the same ol’ script used in the previous two sequels. And just look at that art! In the hands of the right directory, with a firm grip on the necessary balance between horror, comedy, action and campy sci-fi, like, say, Joss Whedon, I think there could be something there that could succeed entirely on its bizarre relationship to the original Jurassic Park. Am I wrong in thinking this?

Unfettered, edited by Shawn Speakman
Grim Oak Press has announced the start of pre-orders for Unfettered, an impressive anthology that contains many of today’s most popular Fantasy writers.

  • The Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks (a Shannara tale)
  • Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks (a precursor to the Word/Void trilogy)
  • How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss
  • River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (a Wheel of Time tale)
  • The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
  • Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey (a precursor to the Kushiel series)
  • Dogs by Daniel Abraham
  • Mudboy by Peter V. Brett (a Demon Cycle tale)
  • Nocturne by Robert V. S. Redick
  • The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian (a Vault of Heaven tale)
  • Untitled by Geno & R.A. Salvatore
  • Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood (a Summer Dragon tale)
  • Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
  • The Lasting Doubts of Joaquin Lopez by Blake Charlton
  • The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne (an Iron Druid tale)
  • Select Mode by Mark Lawrence (a Broken Empire tale)
  • All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
  • Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth (an Struck epilogue tale)
  • Unbowed by Eldon Thompson (a Legend of Asahiel tale)
  • Untitled by Naomi Novik (a Temeraire tale)
  • The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan (a Riyria Chronicles tale)
  • The Duel by Lev Grossman (a Magicians tale)
  • The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman (an Annwn Cycle tale)

I’m disappointed to see that Sanderson’s contribution is potentially only an excerpt from his work on the Wheel of Time novels, especially after enjoying his recent novella, ‘Legion,’ so much, but I understand that having Sanderson’s name attached to the anthology (and Jordan, for that matter), is valuable, regardless of whether it’s new material or not. Speaking with both Speakman and Peter Ahlstrom, Sanderson’s assistant, it looks like there’s a possibility that ‘River of Souls’ isn’t just an excerpt, but either a new short story set after A Memory of Light or content cut from the final version of the novel, repurposed into a short story. Either way, because of ‘River of Souls’ Unfettered cannot be published until after the publication of A Memory of Light. Good news for Wheel of Time fans, I’d say. Similarily, both of Brooks stories are older shorts that I’ve previously read, but haven been difficult to find for years, so that’s good. Daniel Abraham has written quite extensively about his story, ‘Dogs,’ which is worth a read. Rothfuss’ contribution, from what I understand, isn’t a piece of fiction, but a poem. Other than that, it’s looking like a very lineup from some of today’s best writers. I’d list the stories I’m most interested in, but, really, I’d end up listing 75% of the anthology, and that’d just be goofy. It’s all good, people.

Speakman sheds some light on the anthology:

With the help of stalwart friends and these wonderful short stories, Shawn has taken the gravest of life hardships and created something magical. Unfettered is not only a fantastic anthology in its own right but it’s a testament to the generosity found in the science fiction and fantasy community—proof that humanity can give beyond itself when the need arises.

You can pre-order physical editions of Unfettered on the Grim Oak Press website. Be warned, though, they don’t come cheap! Unfettered is set to launch sometime in Spring, 2013.