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

HOODS! MOAR HOODS! (Upcoming Books)

AngryRobot-HoodedCovers

Ok, keeping with the Angry Robot theme, here are two more covers for upcoming books, both of which share a feature with each other and so many other fantasy and sci-fi books of late: the Hooded Man on the cover. Personally, I find the conformity rather amusing, and some of the covers are pretty great. These two are two of the better examples of Hooded Men Covers. Here are the synopses and details for the novels…

Jay Posey’s THREE, book one in the Legends of the Duskwalker, published in August 2013 (cover by Steven Meyer-Rassow):

The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.

But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantle of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Three For All | Apocalyptic Wasteland | A Journey Home | Fear the Weir ]

I like the rain-effects on this one.

James A. Moore’s SEVEN FORGES, published in October 2013 (cover by Alejandro Colucci):

The people of Fellein have lived with legends for many centuries. To their far north, the Blasted Lands, a legacy of an ancient time of cataclysm, are vast, desolate and impassable, but that doesn’t stop the occasional expedition into their fringes in search of any trace of the ancients who once lived there… and oft-rumoured riches.

Captain Merros Dulver is the first in many lifetimes to find a path beyond the great mountains known as the Seven Forges and encounter, at last, the half‐forgotten race who live there. And it would appear that they were expecting him.

As he returns home, bringing an entourage of the strangers with him, he starts to wonder whether his discovery has been such a good thing. For the gods of this lost race are the gods of war, and their memories of that far-off cataclysm have not faded.

File Under: Fantasy [Savage Lands | Vengeful Gods | An Expected Journey | Battalions at War]

A brighter cover, less brooding. There’s something about it that reminds me of the cover for Gail Z. Martin’s Ice Forged. Maybe it’s just a connection made by the cold climate and snowy mountains in the background portrayed… Colucci also did the cover for The Red Knight by Miles Cameron (Orbit US).