Interview with DJANGO WEXLER

WexlerD-AuthorPicWelcome back to Civilian Reader. For new readers, let’s start with an introduction: Who is Django Wexler?

Hmm. Fantasy novelist, games enthusiast, student of history and economics, once and future programmer, cat wrangler. Something like that?

Your latest novel, The Infernal Battalion, will be published by Ace in January. It’s the fifth novel in your Shadow Campaigns series. How would you introduce the series to a new reader, and what can fans of the first four books expect from this new novel?

The Shadow Campaigns is military fantasy set in a Napoleonic world – muskets, cannon, cavalry, and subtle and hidden magic. It follows the spectacular career of Janus bet Vhalnich, a young officer who rises fast amidst a revolution, focusing on the men and women who follow him and where their loyalties truly lie. Continue reading

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Interview with E.C. AMBROSE

AmbroseEC-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is E.C. Ambrose?

E.C. Ambrose writes The Dark Apostle series of adventure-based historical fantasy novels, beginning with Elisha Barber from DAW Books. An art school drop-out, the author is both a graduate of and an instructor for the Odyssey Writing workshop, and a participant in the Codex on-line neo-pro writers’ workshop. In addition to writing, E. C. works as an adventure guide, teaching rock climbing and leading hiking, kayaking, climbing and mountain biking camps. Past occupations include founding a wholesale business, selecting stamps for a philatelic company, selling equestrian equipment, and portraying the Easter Bunny on weekends.

Your latest novel, Elisha Daemon, will be published by DAW in February 2018. It’s the fifth novel in your Dark Apostle series. How would you introduce the series to a potential reader? And what can fans of the previous novels expect from the newest instalment?

The Dark Apostle is an adventure-based historical fantasy series about medieval surgery.  These books enter some grim territory, being true to the reality of 14th century life and medicine — the research was half the fun! Writing Elisha Daemon was a special challenge because it had to hit bigger and harder than the previous volumes and reveal the perfect climax for all of Elisha’s struggles. The perfect ending is both surprising (“Wow, I didn’t see that coming!’) and inevitable (“Of course that’s what had to happen!”).  I’m hoping I nailed it. It brings together old and new characters with the culmination of some of the ideas I’ve been playing with throughout the books. Continue reading

Review: AGE OF ASSASSINS by RJ Barker (Orbit)

BarkerRJ-AgeOfAssassinsUSAn interesting new debut fantasy series

It’s a game of assassin versus assassin

Girton Club-foot has no family, a crippled leg, and is apprenticed to the best assassin in the land.

He’s learning the art of taking lives, but his latest mission tasks him with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder — and his own.

This is the first new fantasy series that I’ve read in quite some time. In fact, it’s only the second this year (the other was Ed McDonald’s Blackwing). Long-time readers of CR may have noticed that I’ve been struggling with the genre for a while, but Age of Assassins really worked for me. This is the start of an interesting, engaging and entertaining new fantasy series. I’m really looking forward to the sequel. Continue reading

Interview with KEN SCHOLES

ScholesK-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Ken Scholes?

He’s just this guy. Sorry. Douglas Adams reference. I’m Ken Scholes. I’m a dad to a couple of wonderful twin girls. I am a civil servant and sometimes consultant who plays music in the gaps. And I write stuff.

My short stories have been showing up in print since 2000, and have been collected in three volumes published by Fairwood Press. In 2005, I won the Writers of the Future award and tackled my first novel. A year later, Tor picked it up along with the other four (unwritten) books in the series a decade ago this month. Lamentation came out in 2009, and the others have gradually followed.

Your next novel, Hymn, will be published in December by Tor Books. The final book in your Psalms of Isaak series, how would you introduce the series to a new reader?

The world’s most important city is destroyed on the first page of the first book and a mixed group of people impacted by that desolation set out to play their role in history as they try to solve who destroyed the city of Windwir and why. It is a distant future post-apocalyptic saga about human resilience and human nature. I reckon I would point them toward the first novel to give it a try. I am told that the books get progressively better after the first one. Of course, I am too close to it all to see it clearly. Continue reading

Interview with JOSHUA REYNOLDS

ReynoldsJ-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Joshua Reynolds?

I’m a freelance writer and semi-professional monster movie enthusiast. I’ve had around twenty odd novels published, and around two hundred or so short stories, over the past decade, since I began my career. Which is a lot, now that I think about it.

You’ve got a few novels coming out this year, so I thought I’d split this interview into sci-fi and fantasy.

Sounds good!

Black Library recently published Fulgrim, your latest contribution to the Horus Heresy series. In December, your second Fabius Bile novel, Clonelord is also due out. Both focus on the Emperor’s Children traitor legion. How did you approach the two novels, and were there any challenges to addressing the same Legion during different eras?

Not really. It was mostly a matter of building on the work of authors like Graham McNeill, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, James Swallow and Nick Kyme regarding the characters. I tend to approach all work in a shared universe – whatever universe it happens to be – the same way: I like to make sure that what I’m working on slots neatly into the meta-story set out by others, while still going in the direction I want it to go. Why write tie-in fiction, if you’re not going to tie-in to anything, after all? Continue reading

Upcoming: RED WATERS RISING by Laura Anne Gilman (Saga Press)

GilmanLA-DW3-RedWatersRisingUSNext year, Saga Press is due to publish the final novel in Laura Anne Gilman’s Devil’s West trilogy, Red Waters Rising. This is a trilogy that has been on my radar for some time, and I really should get around to reading it soon.

In the last novel of The Devil’s West trilogy, Isobel, the Devil’s Left Hand, and Gabriel ride through the magical land of the Territory to root out evil by the way of mad magicians, ghosts, and twisted animal spirits.

As Isobel and Gabriel travel to the southern edge of the Territory, they arrive in the free city of Red Stick. Tensions are running high as the homesteading population grows, crowding the native lands, and suspicions rise across the river from an American fort.

But there is a sickness running through Red Stick and Isobel begins to find her authority challenged. She’ll be abandoned, betrayed, and forced to stand her ground as the Devil’s left hand in this thrilling conclusion to The Devil’s West Trilogy.

The first two novels of the trilogy are available now: Silver on the Road and The Cold Eye. (Books 1 and 2 are also available in the UK.)

GilmanLA-DevilsWestUS2017

Also on CR: Interview with Laura Anne Gilman (2013)

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Interview with JAMES ALAN GARDNER

GardnerJA-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is James Alan Gardner?

I’m a Canadian writer and editor who’s written nine novels and numerous short stories. I’ve won the Asimov’s Readers Choice award (twice) and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, as well as being a finalist for the Hugo and Nebula. I have two degrees in Math, half a degree in Geology, and a second-degree black sash in kung fu.

Your new novel, the fantastically-titled All those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault, will be published by Tor Books. It looks rather fun: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It’s Book 1 of a series that takes place in modern times on an alternate version of Earth. In this world, vampires, were-beasts and demons came out of the closet in 1982; they offered to make anyone a Darkling like themselves in exchange for 10 million dollars. Within a few decades, most of the world’s rich and powerful had become Darklings.

Then superheroes showed up. They’re everyday people, members of the 99% who serve as a counterbalance to the supernatural power of the affluent 1%. The action of the book follows four university students who gain superpowers in a laboratory accident and find themselves entangled in Darkling shenanigans. Continue reading