Several months ago, N.K. Jemisin, much-loved (and totally awesome and smart) author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (REVIEW) and The Killing Moon (REVIEW), announced that her next novel was going to be, “a postapocalyptic epic fantasy trilogy, set in a world of seismic magic users and enigmatic nonhumans called stone-eaters.”
That novel has been revealed, along with the gorgeous cover, by The Mary Sue, as The Fifth Season. Jemisin describes The Fifth Season:
The Fifth Season is set in a world which has suffered frequent, repeated Extinction Level Events for millions of years, and all life (and magic) in this world has adapted to it. Hundreds of years might pass between these events — easy, plentiful years in which great cities rise, and people have the leisure for art and science and rapid advancement — but then, again and again, the cities fall. The world is littered with the detritus of these times of plenty, and this cover hints at them: past ages of decadence, now decaying; stone that endures beneath flaking gilt.
The Fifth Season is set for release by Orbit Books in August 2014, which, right now, feels like an eternity to wait for what will, if her other books are any indication, be one of 2014′s best fantasies.
Bouyed by seeing the Internet’s recent enthusiasm about John Scalzi’s Redshirts winning the Hugo Award for ‘Best Novel,’ Steven Erikson has announced that his next novel will not be a Malazan novel (though, Adam Whitehead of The Wertzone reveals that Fall of Light, the second novel in the Kharkanas Trilogy, is still in the works, merely delayed), but Willfull Child, a satirical riff on Star Trek.
Willfull Child is described as a ‘smart, inventive and hugely entertaining spoof on the whole mankind-exploring-space-for-the-good-of-all-species-but-trashing-stuff-with-a-lot-of-hi-tech-kit-along-the-way type over-blown adventure.’
An excerpt of Willfull Child last year on on Tor.com.
More details are available via the Amazon.co.uk page for the novel:
These are the voyages of the starship, A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life life-forms, to boldly blow the…
And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback – a kind of James T Kirk crossed with ‘American Dad’ – and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through ‘the infinite vastness of interstellar space’…
Erikson is a delightful and sharply funny person, and I’ve always felt that this sense of humour was one of the highlights of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, so I’m glad to see him momentarily shifting away from the dark, sprawling world of the Malazan/Kharkanas novels into something entirely different. Mind you, it sounds alarmingly like Scalzi’s Redshirts, but Erikson and Scalzi are such stylistically different writers that I think the outward similarities only make me more curious to read Willfull Child.
Sexy, and a huge step up from the weird cover for The Tyrant’s Law.
Welcome to rural Sweden, sometime in the late ’80s. Citizens go about their mundane lives and children explore the countryside. But something isn’t quite right. Robots and hovercrafts are commonplace, and decaying science facilities sprout from the harsh Scandinavian landscape. There’s even a rumor circulating that dinosaurs have returned from the dead after some failed experiment.
As a huge fan of Valve’s Half-Life series, and particularly Viktor Antonov’s relentlessly haunting, but startlingly believable, visual direction and world building for a dystopian future, I was immediately drawn to Stålenhag’s art. Where Antonov’s vision was used to flesh out a videogame that, for the most part, requires the lead character to shoot his way to safety, Stålenhag explores a similar world, Sweden, post-disaster, and takes a snapshot of what civilian life might be like under those conditions.
In a profile of his work by Dante D’Orazio, Stålenhag explained that “the only difference in the world of my art and our world is that … ever since the early 20th century, attitudes and budgets were much more in favor of science and technology. D’Orazio described Stålenhag’s world and a future that looks, in many ways, like our present. “Despite developments in robotics and ‘anti-grav’ technology, the difficulties of the modern human experience haven’t changed,” D’Orazio said.
Stålenhag juxtaposes the looming threat of the decaying glory of a dystopian far future with the mundanity of everyday life, that effectively illustrates the idea that life happens no matter what else is going on around it. Children are featured in many of Stålenhag’s paintings and its through their eyes that we are shown the grandeur and lost history of a world that crumbled under its own weight.
More of Stålenhag’s artwork can be found at his profile on The Verge, or by visiting his portfolio.
When Fantasy Faction debuted the cover for Myke Cole’s Breach Zone last week, I was struck by the impact of the cover. Not just by the impactful art from Larry Rostant, or the aggressive pose of the woman, but, that, well.. there was a woman. Cole writes military fantasy (science fiction?) and the covers of his past books have featured male-heavy casts aimed to appeal at a particular crowd of reader. I’m still not terribly sure what I think about the cover, so I reached out to Cole and asked him for his thoughts on the new cover and, specifically, the inclusion of a woman. Continue reading