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Descent by Ken MacLeod

DESCENT Ken MacLeod

Author of 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated Intrusion tells a science fiction story for the twenty-first century – what happens when conspiracy theorists meet Big Brother?
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THE LASCAR’S DAGGERGlenda Larke

The start of a brand new epic fantasy trilogy from the author of the Stormlord series – full of scheming, spying, action and adventure.
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Posts Tagged ‘Adventure’

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With her brand new epic fantasy adventure THE LASCAR’S DAGGER out today, we asked Glenda to tell us a bit about the book and the story behind that title.

“What’s your book about?” It’s a question dreaded by every fantasy author.

After all, what if Tolkien had said, “A company of little guys with hairy feet who go on a long journey to throw a ring into some molten rock under a mountain…”  Would you have bought the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

With my latest book – THE LASCAR’S DAGGER – I discovered a new problem.

“What’s your book about?”

“A lascar, and the spice trade and –”

“Alaska? Really?” (At which point I am on the receiving end of a peculiar look.) “I didn’t know they had a spice trade! And have you even been to Alaska?”

Er, no.

So I usually end up telling people about lascars instead.

The word ‘lascar’ rather carelessly bundles together men of many different nationalities. The only thing they had in common was that they were south Asians who worked for Europeans. They could come from any country from Yemen to Indonesia. They were mostly sailors, although sometimes the term was applied to the servants of British army officers. Generally, they were worked hard and were poorly paid.

Possibly the very first lascar was an Indian who sailed with Vasco da Gama in 1498. By 1660, they were so common on board British ships that the British Government enacted a law to limit their employment to no more than 25% of the crew. By the First World War, there were over fifty thousand lascars actually resident in Britain; lascars were in fact the first wave of Asian migrants.

But THE LASCAR’S DAGGER is not just about a man and his knife. It’s about a western civilization on the cusp of change as it comes into conflict with cultures on the other side of the globe. It’s about ambition and greed and the spice trade. It’s a fantasy, set in a world that never existed, but which evokes a time when Asia and Europe were on a collision course. In our world, Asia lost, and most countries ended up under colonial rule. In my world … there may be a different ending.

The cast of my trilogy is large and varied: clerics and royalty, merchants and servants, assassins and beggars, a lawyer, a prince, a privateer and a woman wanted for murder … and more importantly, there’s the lascar — and his blade.

The lascar’s dagger is, in fact, a character too, one that can manipulate events. After all, I write fantasy and there’s got to be magic, right? Better still, with magic, perhaps one can change the course of history.

BLOODFIRE QUEST – Terry Brooks answers your questions

Bloodfire Quest, the second epic fantasy novel in Terry Brooks's Dark Legacy of Shannara series following Wards of FaerieToday we release the paperback of BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK|ANZ) – book two in Terry Brooks’s Dark Legacy of Shannara series following WARDS OF FAERIE (UK|ANZ). It’s a new epic fantasy set in the author’s core Shannara world, and it’s been knocking people’s socks off:

‘Explodes from the first page…the action doesn’t stop until the novel’s cliffhanger ending…Intense and exhilarating…Brooks is one of the best fantasy writers in the business’ ASSOCIATED PRESS

‘[Brooks] brings his distinct talent, giving a true grandeur to clashes involving terrifying creatures and powerful magic’ KIRKUS REVIEWS

‘A thrill ride that will leave readers wanting more…This volume, paired with the first, might be just the right place to introduce new readers to this fine writer’ BOOKLIST

The third book, WITCH WRAITH (UK|ANZ), is released very soon on 16th July.

Back in April, Terry did a very rare signing in the UK for the hardback release of BLOODFIRE QUEST. The queues at Forbidden Planet were phenomenal, and the signing went on for hours! See some pics of the event here.

For those who were unable to make it, we asked readers to send in their questions for this fantasy legend from afar. Now, we release Terry’s answers in the video below:

ps. Is it just me or is Terry awesome? No – the signs say it’s not just me . . .

Petrovitch is back! Presenting THE CURVE OF THE EARTH


The Curve of the Earth, a science fiction adventure novel set in the Philip K. Dick award-winning world of the Samuil Petrovitch novels - perfect for fans of Richard Morgan Coming up in March is something we’ve all been waiting for: a new novel in the mind-blowing Philip K. Dick Award-winning Samuil Petrovitch series by Simon Morden.
THE CURVE OF THE EARTH (UK | US | ANZ) is a pure hit of adrenaline-filled science fiction goodness. It features everyone’s favourite foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, cybernetically-enhanced, AI-implanted, sociopathic, mad Russian genius Samuil Petrovitch.

This novel is a great place for anyone new to the Petrovitch novels to start. If you’re a fan of the likes of Richard Morgan and his classic novel Altered Carbon (another Philip K. Dick Award winner) then this is certainly for you.

THE CURVE OF THE EARTH is set 10 years after the previous three Petrovitch books ended (EQUATIONS OF LIFE, THEORIES OF FLIGHT and DEGREES OF FREEDOM) and features more high-octane action in the gritty world of the Metrozone – a dangerous post-apocalyptic London full of crooked cops, mad cults and gun-toting nuns.

This story will again see Petrovitch come head-to-head with those people he just loves to hate: Reconstructionist America. But this time he’s on a trip to the frozen slopes of North Alaska to find out what’s happened to his adopted daughter Lucy…

See the blurb below and Prepare to be Petrovitched. Read the rest of this entry »

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