It’s almost time for the final showdown between the forces of dark and light in LAST BLOOD (US | UK | AUS), the fifth novel in The House of Comarré series. The covers for each of these books have been absolutely stunning so I urge you to take a moment and check out the rest of Nekro’s gorgeous artwork.
Posts Tagged ‘Dark Fantasy’
by June 26th, 2013-
Francis Knight’s novel FADE TO BLACK (UK|US|ANZ) and the just released BEFORE THE FALL (UK|US|ANZ) are set in Mahala – a towering, vertically-built fantasy city. It’s a place that has long relied on magic, but is fast becoming mechanised – and now the first prototype guns are appearing. Francis Knight discusses below just what the introduction of arms can do to a world – fantasy or otherwise . . .
Whenever a significant discovery or invention appears, everything changes. Not always in foreseen ways either. I don’t suppose Edison or Babbage ever thought that their discoveries/inventions would mean that you’d be here today, reading this on a PC or pad. Did Edison consider that electricity would be used to carry out death sentences? Would Babbage have continued if he’d known the end result would be Rule 34?
Unforeseen consequences abound in history. If I invent this, it will make life easier for everyone! Only then, a war, or a revolution or plague, people being people, or even just a lack of imagination on the part of the inventor means that it all turns out rather differently.
The same thing goes for guns. Yes, many fantasy worlds use just swords/siege engines/whatever. But what happens to warfare when guns are added to the mix? Are they what people expect? Possibly not. The inventor of the Gatling gun noted that more died in war of infection and disease than gunfire. In 1877, Gatling wrote: “It occurred to me that if I could invent a machine – a gun – which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a large extent supersede the necessity of large armies, and consequently, exposure to battle and disease would be greatly diminished.” And of course, that worked wonderfully. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re amongst the hoard of readers who loved this thrilling and original tale set in the vertigo-inducing fantasy world of Mahala, you’ll be interested to hear that the follow-up BEFORE THE FALL (UK|US|ANZ) is released today.
The latest book again features the reluctant hero, bounty hunter and pain mage Rojan Dizon. He’d love to keep his head down and out of trouble – but he needs to get some power back to the city, and his worst nightmare is just around the corner . . .
Then there’s not long to wait until the third and final book in the trilogy is released. It’s called LAST TO RISE – and it’s a truly explosive finale (yes I did cry…)
If you haven’t checked this series out yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Below, another Orbit fantasy star Benedict Jacka, author highly popular Alex Verus novels, interviews Francis on the towering fantasy world of Mahala . . .
Benedict Jacka: One way to describe the Rojan Dizon books would be dark fantasy – how did you end up moving into that genre, and what’s it like to write in compared to other things you’ve done in the past?
Francis Knight: By accident! It started off as an antidote to what I had been writing – romance – and went from there. I like to challenge myself each time I start something new, and this was it. Every genre has its restraints, and I wanted to explore not-so-nice “heroes” and not-so-Happy-Ever-After endings and lots of other things that a romance reader might be very disappointed to find in her book! In particular I wanted to explore how being a not particularly nice chap doesn’t have to prevent you from doing the right thing.
BJ: How difficult do you find it to write a protagonist of the opposite sex? Do you find yourself asking guys for advice on how a male character would react in a particular scene you’re writing?
FK: The first time it was hard, I have to say. I actually find I prefer it nowadays. It’s a lot easier to separate my characters from me for a start! Also I love trying to get inside a guy’s head, see what makes them tick. I do sometimes ask husband/male friends/betas for advice about whether a guy would do X – but it’s just not that simple. It’s not about whether he’s a guy or not, it’s about who he is. Some guys would do one thing, and others would do the opposite. They’re still both guys.
BJ: So, the scenes in Fade to Black which go into detail on exactly what Rojan and the other pain-mages do to themselves to fuel their pain magic . . . did you deliberately make them wince-inducing or did it just work out that way?
FK: I actually tried not to be too graphic there, but it was necessary to show something, I think, or it wouldn’t have been honest. There’s a fine line between glossing over something important and showing graphic things that are unnecessary. Of course, that line is going to be different for everyone. I inferred more than I showed (I think/hope), but that goes for lots of things. Read the rest of this entry »
We loved an io9.com review which said:
‘Breakneck pacing and nonstop insanity . . . It’s epic with a capital EPIC’
. . . as that just about summed it up for us.
With giants walking alongside men, monstrous serpents wreaking havoc and kingdoms doing battle with sorcery, we think this is ideal for anyone who likes their fantasy big, epic and about the ultimate clash between good and evil.
Whilst in some ways the series could be said to hearken back to the “old school” or “traditional” type of fantasy, in many other ways we really felt this series was one of the most original we’ve read in years – having a beautifully lyric, mythical tone and what we considered to be a very unique, distinguished style.
I could write a whole book answering this question, but I’ll try to contain myself.
Lord Dunsany was perhaps the inventor of the modern fantasy tale. His work never ceases to inspire me, and his novel The King of Elfland’s Daughter is an immortal classic. His gift for speaking with clever metaphor and concise imagery is stunning, even a hundred years later. Fantasy writers should study his works the way classical composers study Mozart and Bartok.
I’m also a big Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft fan, but Clark Ashton Smith is my favorite of the old-school Weird Tales writers. In my opinion Smith invented the whole dark fantasy genre. He had the lost cities, the sorcerers, the creatures from beyond space and time, the mummies, the vampires, the decadent dying empires of Zothique and the primordial ooze of Hyperborea. Read the rest of this entry »
We wanted to tell you that we’ve posted the answers to the urban fantasy quiz we created last week to celebrate the new book in Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane series, SILVER-TONGUED DEVIL, but while writing the blogpost we suffered something of a demonic visitation . . .
We interrupt our usual service for an announcement from Giguhl, the demon/feline sidekick of Sabina Kane, star of the urban fantasy novels by Jaye Wells.
Giguhl, the fifth-level Mischief demon, here. You’ve probably heard of my many accomplishments as the champion of Demon Fight Club and as the coach of the seriously bad-assed Manhattan Marauder roller derby team. But did you know that in my spare time, I am also the official sidekick of an urban fantasy heroine?
Her name is Sabina Kane. She’s half-mage and half-vampire and all sorts of trouble. And without me getting her back and providing color commentary, she’d be totally lost. I get lots of letters from beings who want to follow my hoofsteps into the sidekicking business. They think it’s all glamour and making sweet love to nymphs. Little do they know that it’s actual work. Today I’m going to break down the attributes required of every awesome sidekick . . . Read the rest of this entry »