Excerpt: SILENT HALL by N.S. Dolkart (Angry Robot Books)

DolkartNS-SilentHallSilent Hall is N.S. Dolkart‘s debut novel, and it sounds like a fun, epic fantasy adventure:

Five bedraggled refugees and a sinister wizard awaken a dragon and defy the gods.

After their homeland is struck with a deadly plague, five refugees cross the continent searching for answers. Instead they find Psander, a wizard whose fortress is invisible to the gods, and who is willing to sacrifice anything – and anyone – to keep the knowledge of the wizards safe.

With Psander as their patron, the refugees cross the mountains, brave the territory of their sworn enemies, confront a hostile ocean and even traverse the world of the fairies in search of magic powerful enough to save themselves – and Psander’s library – from the wrath of the gods.

All they need to do is to rescue an imprisoned dragon and unleash a primordial monster upon the world.

How hard could it be?

Silent Hall is due to be published by Angry Robot Books at the beginning of June 2016. To celebrate the upcoming release, they have allowed me to share the first two chapters. You can also find out more about the author and his work by checking out his website, and following him on Twitter and Goodreads.

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New Books (January)

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Featuring: André Alexis, Jennifer Armstrong, Rob Boffard, Ezekiel Boone, Algis Budrys, Matthew de Abaitua, Patrick Flanery, Ian Graham, Elizabeth Greenwood, Sarah Hilary, Joe Hill, Gregg Hurwitz, Davide Mana, Samuel Marolla, Vonda N. McIntyre, A.D. Miller, Tim Murphy, Daniel José Older, Chris Pavone, Aidan Donnelley Rowley, Adrian Selby, Nick Stone, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Fran Wilde

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Interview with PETER McLEAN

McLeanP-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Peter McLean?

I’m a married man and grandfather in my 40s, who has been writing for over twenty years, and actually taking it seriously for perhaps the last five years or so. Over the years I’ve also been a kung fu teacher, a Wiccan priest, a Unix technician and a chaos magician, and I am now an IT account manager at a multinational outsourcing corporation.

Your debut novel, Drake, will be published by Angry Robot. It looks pretty cool: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Thank you! I guess I’d describe it as “a Guy Ritchie movie with demons in it” – Drake is set in the ganglands of South London, but instead of a cheap gangster my central character is a cheap magician, a hitman who uses his magical abilities and the power of an enslaved Archdemon to summon demons and set them on people. Of course it all goes horribly wrong for him in fairly short order, and that’s when things start to get interesting. Continue reading

New Books… (October/November)

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Featuring: David Annandale, Tim Baker, David Baldacci, Brett Battles, Matt Bell, M.L. Brennan, Jonathan Carroll, Jonathan Coe, Noah Hawley, Matt Hill, Michelle Latiolais, Tim Lees, Barbra Leslie, Jack McDevitt, Victor Milán, Clare Morrall, Jo Nesbo, Emma Newman, James Patterson, Susan Philpott, Rob Sanders, Ken Scholes, Maureen Sherry, Marc Turner, Matt Wallace, Robin Wasserman, Catherine Webb Continue reading

Guest Post: “Intro to Genre” by Patrick S. Tomlinson

TomlinsonP-AuthorPicOkay, so you’re writing your first novel. Excellent! Now stop. Writing novels is for amateurs. There’s groundwork that has to be in place before you begin. The sort of preparations that will lay the foundations for your assured success.

First things first, you need to sit alone in your study and drink an entire bottle of single-malt scotch while all the illusions about the world and the people you hold dear slowly unravel, until you are face to face with a naked singularity of total truth.

Wait, you don’t have single-malt scotch in your liquor cabinet? Jesus Christ, kid, get yourself together. You’re in the majors now and you’re still acting like a Double A player. Have some self-respect. All the best writers are barely-functioning alcoholics. You’re not even allowed to call yourself an author until you’ve gone on this whiskey-fueled vision quest. Do you want this or not? Continue reading

New Books (October-November)

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Featuring: Fiona Barton, Robert Jackson Bennett, Lee Bermejo, Mike Brooks, Nick Cole, Steve Coogan, Nate Crowley, David Dalglish, Matthew Dunn, Kate Elliott, Christopher Fowler, Alexander Freed, Teresa Frohock, Christopher Golden, Charlaine Harris, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Mark Hodder, Drew Karpyshyn, Julia Knight, Victor Lavalle, Peter Liney, Peter McLean, Claire North, Megan O’Keefe, Steven Rowley, Jane Smiley, Paul Starkey, Tom Toner, Ian Tregillis

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Guest Post: “Influences & Inspirations” by James A. Moore

MooreJA-AuthorPicI have been asked to write an article on the works that have inspired and influenced me the most and I’m delighted to, because if there’s one thing I dearly love above all else, it’s talking about my favorite books and movies.

I dedicated the first of the Seven Forges novels to Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber. When it comes to naming the greats in Sword & Sorcery, you don’t have to look much further. Conan the Barbarian, King Kull, Solomon Kane, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. I dedicated the book to them because they were inspirations from the very first. They were my first discoveries in the world of Sword & Sorcery and they were a very hard act to follow.

Honestly, I can’t begin to imagine a better foundation. You can factor in later authors, like Michael Moorcock, who gave us the Eternal Champion in all of his myriad incarnations, and far more recently Joe Abercrombie, whose prose stuns me every time I read it. They have definitely left their mark in the field, but they are hardly the only ones. If you want to get picky you can go all the way back to Greek and Norse mythology for tales of heroes who fought against often overwhelming odds and took chances no sane person would consider. The thing about it is, there have been as many influences on what I’ve written as there have been books I’ve read and movies I’ve watched. Oh, and lest I forget, there are the comic books to consider, too. Continue reading