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    The Desert of Souls

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving…

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    The Bones of the Old Ones

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped…

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    The Waters of Eternity

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    Venture into the time of the Arabian Nights with stalwart Captain Asim and the brilliant Dabir as they hunt an unseen killer that craves only the eyes of…

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    Plague of Shadows

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In the third official novel in Paizo’s Pathfinder Tales line, the race is on to free Lord Stelan from the grip of a wasting curse, and only Elyana,…

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    Stalking the Beast

    Monday, August 13, 1066

      When a mysterious monster carves a path of destruction across the southern River Kingdoms, desperate townsfolk look to the famed elven ranger Elyana and her half-orc companion…

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    Beyond the Pool of Stars

    Monday, June 25, 1066

    Mirian Raas comes from a long line of salvagers, adventurers who use magic to dive for sunken ships off the coast of tropical Sargava. When her father dies,…

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Aug
26

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Later Savage Sword of Conan Volumes

savage sword 13I’m a late comer to The Savage Sword of Conan. You’d probably have figured that, much as I like sword-and-sorcery, I’d have a huge stack of old sword-and-sorcery comics, but I don’t. I missed out on Savage Sword when it was a mag, and I almost missed out on the Dark Horse reprints. There are 22 of the things, which is a heck of an investment. If, like me, you came upon them with little clue but were curious, you’d probably wonder where to start.

I think anyone who’s heard of these has likewise heard that only the first few compilations are good, because those were the ones with Roy Thomas and John Buscema, and only in the first three or four are they adapting actual Robert E. Howard stories. Their work actually continues on into Volume 6, although by that point they’re mostly adapting pastiche tales, and lesser writers are contributing to some comics in the collection. I have to say that sometimes there’s nothing Thomas could do to make the pastiche better, but sometimes he and Buscema really make it more Howardian than the pastichers ever managed, and occasionally they do even better than that.

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Aug
23

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Jacobson Wins Chesley!

Pathfinder-Tales-Beyond-the-Pool-of-StarsIn July I mentioned that the talented Tyler Jacobs0n was nominated for a Chesley award for the cover he drew for Beyond the Pool of Stars.

Well, I’m pleased to announce that he WON that Chesley award! Congratulations, Tyler!

You can find more of his fantastic art right here.

 

 

Aug
19

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Five Bloody Heads

5 headsAh, the plans we mortals make. Last night I planned to wake and after my morning calisthenics take a good half hour to write a proper post about an e-book I quite enjoyed.

The sleep gods beat that plan out of me by cursing me with insomnia. Not the productive kind, but the kind where you keep waking up all night long.

But I’ve been talking about a mysterious book for a long time and I want to say something about it even if I feel like someone just kicked the stuffing out of me. By necessity, I’ll keep it short.

Five Blood Heads is a grimdark tale of sword-and-sorcery shot through with veins of heroism and hope. I don’t like my sword-and-sorcery quite as dark as some modern practitioners, and writer Peter Fugazzoto is just on my side of the line. I’m glad, because he knows how to craft an action scene, and how to pace, and how to get you invested in characters you probably shouldn’t be caring that much about. Sometimes they have even more decency in them than they’re willing to admit in their inner dialogues, for they find themselves acting against their own stated philosophies.

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Aug
17

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Circles

hour of dragon 1It was a long (4 hour) drive north to drop my first born off at college yesterday and then a long (4 hour) drive back home. I had neglected to swing by the library to grab some books on tape, and with the kid driving separately that left me with no one to talk with. I called a few friends, of course, and I listened to the radio now and then, and I did a lot of plot thinking about three separate projects. Much as I hate long car rides, that kind of time to just sit and think about plot is a real luxury.

I happened to catch the end of a Fresh Air episode where a writer/actor/producer was being interviewed and she mentioned that she had no interest in Game of Thrones; that she drew the line right there at dragons. Apparently if something had dragons it was immediately off the list, and I recall thinking that was a peculair reason to exclude GoT, because for most of its running time there really aren’t many dragons… I remember smirking. What about even the hint of dragons, I wondered, made you immediately turn up your nose? Is it that you think you’re BETTER than that? Read More

Aug
12

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Rapiers Ride!

IMG_3623I’d intended to tell you about a nifty new sword-and-sorcery novel I read last week, but I’m away from home and short on time today and won’t be able to give the book the time it deserves. Look for details next week.

Today I wanted to remark upon how enjoyable the pulps can be. I’ve mentioned the wonderful collection I bought off of pulp scholar Alfred Lybeck 15 years ago. There are 14 of these volumes in all, and until recently I’ve just been reading an occasional story. This year I started selecting volumes and reading them, slowly, straight through. They’re more enjoyable that way, because Al knew how to pace a collection. A shame he never got to be a professional anthology editor.

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Writing

Character Design, Part 3: Character Voice

Friday, July 29, 2016

The other day my friend Mick swung by the site and asked if I had any advice about character design. Specifically, he was curious about how I: “find…

Point of View Arcs

Friday, July 22, 2016

After my first three published novels I’ve begun to play more and more with multiple point of view. I still miss writing from the restricted first person narrative…

Book News

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

With the first novel of my new series now in my editor’s hands, I started to work revising my rough draft of book 2 — only to get…

Dabir and Asim Return

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

For the first time this year I’ve sold a short story. I’m delighted to relay that the upcoming Skelos magazine will be carrying a never-before-published Dabir and Asim…

Chandlering Around

Friday, June 3, 2016

Between a whole lot of revising, thinking about revising, and a mess of home repairs and organizational stuff, spending much time updating the site has felt like a…