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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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Aug
19

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Return from the Con

great hall 2014

A low traffic moment in the Great Hall.

Last year I wrote a long account of my many GenCon adventures in part so those who’ve never been to the convention could have some sense of what it’s like. You can find those accounts here (part 1, 2, 3, and 4) if so inclined, as well as a post on why conventions are worth attending. This year I’ll be a little more to the point, owing to book deadlines and my own worry that so many blog posts about the convention might have bored visitors. Read More

Aug
15

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Elyana Action Figure

elyanaI’ve had limited Internet access and limited time, so I didn’t get to an update this morning. I’m having a fantastic time at GenCon and the Writer’s Symposium. The Paizo crew has always treated me wonderfully, but I had a special treat when I arrived at the booth Friday. Publisher Erik Mona handed me a MiniMates pack that features the main character from my first two Paizo Pathfinder novels, Elyana Sedrastis.

I’ve got to tell you — it’s pretty cool seeing an action figure based on a character that you created, and I heartily thanked Erik. Read More

Aug
13

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Off to GenCon

Trigger 1Late this morning I’m headed out on a comparatively short drive to GenCon. I’ll be there in a little under three hours, which isn’t too bad at all. I’m arriving a day early to meet up with friends and fellow writers from the Writer’s Symposium, one of GenCon’s best kept secrets. In my absence the home will be protected by a black belt, a brown belt, two dogs, and four man eating horses. Read More

Aug
11

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Alchemical Storytelling

brotherhood2I chanced upon a show a few years ago that began with potential and then delivered on it episode after episode. I found fabulous world building and strong character arcs.  I watched half hour after half hour the way I devour chapter after chapter in a great fantasy novel, poised on the edge of my seat wondering how things would resolve.

The show that so enthralled me is Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The series is set in an alternate world in the 1900s, one very similar to our own, except that alchemy is real. Those talented and diligent enough can transform matter from one state to another — fix a broken radio into one that works, or convert a metal bar into a sword. The story’s protagonists are a pair of young brothers of tremendous talent who used their powers to commit the ultimate alchemical taboo: they tried to bring their dead mother back to life. They paid a terrible price when the transmutation went horribly wrong, and spend much of the series trying to put things right.

As the young men search for solutions they uncover  hidden layers to the way alchemy, their country, and their world, truly work. As the mysteries deepen, so do the characters and the world. I really don’t want to say much more for fear of ruining the many unfolding surprises.

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Aug
8

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Princess Azula

tidesA few weeks back I mentioned that Azula was not only one of the finest villains in animated history, but that she was one of the finest villains ever scripted.

Part of the reason she succeeds so beautifully, of course, comes from the amazing voice work of Grey Delisle, whose delivery is always bone-chillingly perfect. According to some sources, at least one of her speeches was intended simply as a screen test, but was so well-done that the show creators worked it into an episode anyway.

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Ancient Arabia

The Wily Dalilah: Arabian Nights Feminist

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In a work as varied as The Arabian Nights there are naturally some portions more popular than others, probably because some are more easily adapted into standalone tales…

The Fantasy Adventures of Alexander the Great

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I think my favorite parts of Alexander the Great’s life involve his fight with the dragon, and the time he climbed to a mountain summit and saw the…

Link Day

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I need to hit the ground running today, so I’m going to hook you up with some nifty and eclectic links. First, a post from my talented writer…

Authorial Voice, Scheduling, and a New Review

Monday, January 14, 2013

I wrote my most recent post about Guy le Strange’s book on ancient Baghdad in one long sustained burst, and upon revisiting just noticed that I use the…

Ancient Baghdad’s Street Plan

Friday, January 11, 2013

When you’re researching you sometimes stumble onto books that seem to have been written just for you. I’ve read a long shelf’s worth of interesting and sometimes wonderful…