This was looking like a test-card week, but hey, look, Gollancz have announced the ten books they’ll be re-issueing for their 50th anniversary. I haven’t read Eric.
There’s a particular reason for bragging about this: I get to introduce Kvothe. MWAHAHAHAHAAAAA.
A full first draft of Dragon Queen, the other sequel to The Order of the Scales now exists. Proofing of The Warlock’s Shadow has finished. I shall be at the Debenham Arts Festival on the 23rd of this month. I may be repeating myself. If I am, that’s because it’s a . . .
a . . .
a SLOW NEWS WEEK.
Well it is of your news coverage is confined to the narrow limits of how many words I, specifically, have laid down on various works in progress. Unfortunately this is only going to get worse as, save for the occasional re-drafts of The King’s Assassin and Dragon Queen, the bulk of the next six months will be dedicated to Secret Project G about which little can be said except that it’s secret and involves the letter G. Although thast might be a code-letter. Add to that the demise (for now) of Diamond Cascade, and there could be weeks when I don’t blog at all. To avoid this horror from beyond imagination, I have made a series of
T E S T C A R D S
Further may occur when I can’t think of anything useful
I’m left thinking, after the events of the last week or so, about what genre fiction, and particularly fantasy, have to offer that’s relevant to the contemporary world. For me, fantasy is about a good story and about escapism, but the stories that have lingered most have generally been about individual men and women who’ve stood up for what they believed in against sometimes terrible odds and have somehow made a difference by so doing. I’m sure someone who can spare more time to think about it could sketch out an alternative version of Lord of the Rings with Rupert Murdoch as Sauron, or News International as the numberless hordes of the Nadir. Personally I get stuck when Hugh Grant becomes Frodo Baggins, or Nick Clegg becomes Druss the Legend, neither of which particularly work for me. It does seem, though, that the Forces of Darkness(TM) have had a blow struck against them by the combined might of a lot of cheesed off hobbits, barbarians and peasant-folk who, on the whole, prefer to quietly get on with their own lives, but who have, for once, raised their voices. Signing petitions and e-mailing MPs is hardly a trip to Mordor, but if there was a meta-message running through the fantasy genre as a whole back when I used to read a lot more than I do now, it was that when your back was pushed against a wall, you damn well stood up and fought for what you believed was right, and if you were going to be an aspiring Lord of Darkness, you made damn sure not to piss off the hobbits. Litfic, you can stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Oh, and the other meta-message, because every good fantasy epic has its sequels, is that the Dark Lord and the Wicked Witch WILL RETURN just as soon as everyone lets their guard down.
So here’s the US cover for the Order of the Scales. Which has been on the internetz elsewhere, so here’s the underlying art with a little more resolution and without the title box.
And so it was that Diamond Cascade stepped forth into the sunlight from the terrible ruin of once-great Mektropika to find the armies of the dragons awaiting. The vile dark dwarves of Durmijeron and treacherous Evilous, demanding the orb for their own; yet as Diamond Cascade plucked a first arrow against the numberless hordes, who should appear but the sultry shape of copper-skin, the half-dragon sorceress, with Wolfgirl and valiant Caleb and more of those who Diamond Cascade had once known, demanding the orb be turned to her; yet barely were the words from her mouth when the ground heaved and from the sands rose the dark elves of the drow, their demand silent, their cause unknown, their desire the same.
And so Diamond Cascade drew his sword, for perhaps the last time, and swore that none of them should have it.
Oh. Bloody. Hell.
To be continued?