In a recent discussion on Goodreads, Saladin Ahmed, author of Throne of the Crescent Moon, gave a handful of juicy details about his upcoming projects, the two follow-up novels to his successful debut.
Ahmed is currently in the midst of writing the second volume of the trilogy, which has no title yet, and expects it to be ready for a mid-2013 release. He promises that the djenn, who are only briefly mentioned in Throne of the Crescent Moon, will play a more integral role in the second novel and also says that readers haven’t seen the last between the hilarious and painfully accurate teenage romance that started to blossom between Zamia and Raseed bas Raseed in the latter half of Throne of the Crescent Moon.
Most interesting, though, are his comments on the scope of the second and third volumes. He says:
The later books will explore a fair amount of the map included with THRONE. Specifically, Rughal-ba and the off-map ‘Warlands’ will become hugely important. [They] will move toward epic fantasy in scale and scope, even as they maintain a sword-and-sorcery flavor. The main conflict of Book III will be a classic epic fantasy ‘clash of the big ol’ armies’ which is also a kind of Crusades analogue.
Ahmed’s debut was praised for its throwback nature, embracing classic Sword & Socrcery stylings of Howard, Leiber and Moorcock, and the pacing and plot structure that generally goes alongside that type of storytelling. It will be interesting to see how Ahmed maintains that ‘sword-and-sorcery flavor’ while expanding the scope of the story to fall more in line with traditional Epic Fantasies. I’ll be curious to see how this affects the word count of the novels.
Fans of Ahmed’s short fiction will also be pleased to know that more characters from his old stories will appear in the future novels. Specifically we’ll see Layla bas Layla, a female dervish who first appeared (and went renegade) in “Judgement of Swords and Souls.” Ahmed concludes by dropping tantalizing hints of everyone’s favourite semi-fictional badasses, ninjas.
You can read my review of Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed.
Niall Harrison, Editor-in-Chief of Strange Horizons, announced today that Brit Mandelo was hired on to replace Karen Meisner and Susan Marie Groppi as Fiction Editor. No small task, given Groppi and Meisner’s hand in crafting Strange Horizons and positioning it as one of the premier online short fiction venues for genre readers.
From Harrison’s news post:
Communities are made by ideas as well as people, and there are some pretty important ideas shaping Strange Horizons. A belief in the radical potential of speculative fiction, in its ability to help us understand our past and imagine our future by showing us how things can be otherwise. A belief that, in the twenty-first century, speculative fiction must be a proudly global, inclusive tradition, and that Strange Horizons in particular should showcase work to challenge and delight by new and established writers from diverse backgrounds and with diverse concerns.
Which is why I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that the newest member of the Strange Horizons fiction team is Brit Mandelo. You may have read her critical writing on Joanna Russ and queer sf; you may be aware of her forthcoming Lethe Press anthology, Beyond Binary; you may also have read her fiction or poetry. Either way, you can find out a bit more about her on her website. But in everything she’s done, you can see Brit’s commitment to the ideas that underlie what we try to do here at Strange Horizons.
I have great respect for Mandelo and her work as a non-fiction writer (particularly for her work on Tor.com) and feel that her penchant for pushing fiction into uncomfortable places and expecting more from the boundaries place on it by a mainstream readership should fit well with Strange Horizons. I look forward to seeing the stories she publishes (and being rejected by her myself!)
Last week, I wrote a cage match between Moiraine and The Dagda Mor for the 2012 Suvudu Cage Matches. Moiraine stomped Terry Brooks’ demon lord into the ground and moved onto the next round to face Jardir from Peter V. Brett’s The Desert Spear. When the editors at Del Rey/Suvudu approached me about the opportunity to co-author the Moiraine vs. Jardir cage match with Peter V. Brett, I couldn’t refuse. Together, Peat and I cam up with a pretty wicked fight between the two powerhouse characters. If you’re into these cage matches, check out the Moiraine vs. Jardir match and defend me and Peat from the Wheel of Time fans ripping us a new one in the comments section!
Welcome to the new version of A Dribble of Ink!
As you’ve likely noticed (and if you haven’t, refresh your browser!), A Dribble of Ink has a whole new look. I felt that the previous design (which had been around, in some form or another, since the start of the blog four-and-a-half years ago) was starting to look a little long in the tooth; so, it was time to re-launch A Dribble of Ink with a whole new look, an early celebration of its fifth birthday.
I coded the template myself from scratch using HTML5 and CSS3, which has a lot of benefits for you guys, my readers. It’s a heck of a lot faster (this template is 50% the size of the previous template and relies on far fewer image files), it’s easier for search engines to find content (semantic coding and streamlined structure), and, overall, the design and ‘look’ of the site is simpler and cleaner, allowing the content itself to shine.
If you want to experience all the new fun stuff, and have A Dribble of Ink look its best, make sure you’re using a modern browser like Chrome or Firefox. It’ll work just fine in Internet Explorer, but Microsoft are a little behind the curve in integrating the new HTML5 and CSS3 features.
In addition to this, I’ve switched away from my previous webhost (GoDaddy *shudder*) to a new host that is more friendly with WordPress, meaning general performance of A Dribble of Ink should improve immensely. I was aware of the lagginess and slow load-times of the site in recent months and have worked hard to fix this.
Feel free (and encouraged) to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section here. I hope you like the new design!
In a new article in Entertainment Weekly, David Benioff, co-creator of Game of Thrones, the television series that launched George R.R. Martin and his A Song of Ice and Fire novels into super-stardom, confirmed that he and D.B. Weiss, the show’s other co-creator, were able to successfully convince HBO to increase the budget of season two by 15%, or, roughly, $9,000,000, enough to fun and extra one-and-a-half shows.
So, where’d the money go? Sorry to say, but you’re not going to get 11.5 episodes this season. Instead, you’ll be left with one heck of a rendition of ‘The Battle of Blackwater,’ the raucous conflict that provides the climax for A Clash of Kings. Most of the new money was funnelled into raising the production value and length of that scenario.
“This is season is about a country at war,” says Benioff, who along with Weiss, successfully lobbied HBO for a 15 percent budget increase to stage the second season. “And we felt like if we didn’t see the most important battle of this entire war onscreen, we’re going to shortchange viewers.”
But, really, are we surprised? HBO has been known to cut ties with series that begin to see inflating budgets *coughRomecough*, but with the roaring success of Game of Thrones, which has taken over not only geekdom but mainstream entertainment as well, you have to think that that nine million bucks will be quickly earned back, and will help to further cement the show as one of pop culture’s most successful literary/Fantasy adaptations. What remains to be seen is how the mainstream audience that bouys Game of Thrones‘ success will respond to A Clash of Kings, which takes the tighter, less action-packed narrative of A Game of Thrones and throws open the doors to more characters, more plot twists and a hell of a lot more violence and slaughter. Luckily, we only have to wait until April 1st to find out.
Now, back to my Game of Thrones Blu-rays. They ain’t going to watch themselves.