Posts Tagged ‘Gail Z Martin’
Historian Bruce Catton, in one of his many books about the American Civil War, notes that civilization is a mask, and war gives permission to remove the mask and reveal the beast that always lurks beneath. I wager that one reason post-apocalyptic stories are so enduring is that the end of the world is one of those times when you find out what you—and your neighbors—are really made of.
ICE FORGED (US | UK | AUS) is a post-apocalyptic medieval adventure, set in the unlucky kingdom of Donderath. A devastating war with its neighboring rival has the unexpected—and unintentional—effect of destroying the bonds that made magic a power that could be controlled by people. Not only is the kingdom devastated by fire and storm, but the magic upon which their culture depended is now no longer controllable. In the chaos and anarchy that follow, my characters not only find out what they’re made of, but they discover a world that is now theirs to remake. Of course, they’re not the only ones who have ideas on what the new reality should look like—and that’s when things get interesting.
Whether you call it Catton’s “beast,” Freud’s “Id” or Jung’s “Shadow,” there’s always tension regarding the choices to be made. Perhaps Dumbledore said it best when he talked about the choice “between what is right, and what is easy.” Or maybe Babylon 5 was onto something in the dichotomy between the Vorlons, who asked “Who are you?” and the Shadows, who asked “What do you want?” When there are no rules, no law and no social constraint, men (and women) either rise to be the hero, or sink to their baser nature. Lord of the Flies is always just one catastrophic power grid failure away.
Blaine McFadden, in ICE FORGED, is acquainted with his shadow side. He killed his father, a minor lord, to stop him from abusing Blaine’s sister. Blaine expected to die for his crime, but the king was “lenient” and sent Blaine instead to a brutal prison colony in the arctic north, a place from which no one ever returned. Blaine survived six harsh years, first as an inmate and then as a convict-colonist, during which he learned just what he was made of and what he would do to survive. When the homeland is destroyed and magic fails, Blaine discovers he might be the only one who can restore the magic and put things right. He’s got a choice to make. Read the rest of this entry »
- September 9th, 2013
Another summer has come and gone, and here at Orbit, we’re already hard at work on next year’s exciting line-up! Here are some of the jackets we have ready so far with more to follow over the next few months.
Click on the images below to see a larger version and appreciate each cover in its full glory. Pin, tweet, and comment away with reckless abandon. Let us know which books have already piqued your interest!
Art Credits: Reign of Ash: Illustration by Larry Rostant; Heaven’s Queen: Design by Kirk Benshoff; Dance of Shadows: Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica & Michael Frost, Design by Kirk Benshoff; The Girl With All The Gifts: Design by Duncan Spilling; Cibola Burn: Illustration by Daniel Dociu, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Baptism of Fire: Illustration by BARTŁOMIEJ GAWEŁ, PAWEŁ MIELNICZUK, MARCIN BŁASZCZAK, ARKADIUSZ MATYSZEWSKI,MARIAN CHOMIAK , Design by Lauren Panepinto; Path to Power: Illustration by Raphael Lacoste, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Justice: Design by Wendy Chan; Broken Eye: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Silas Manhood, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Ripper Affair: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Craig White, Design by Lauren Panepinto; Cursed Moon: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Don Sipley, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Fifth Season: Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Widow’s House: Design by Kirk Benshoff
- - September 9th, 2013
As Summer comes to an end, here at Orbit we’re already looking forward to the amazing selection of books that next Spring brings. We’re very pleased to present a selection of covers for some of our exciting releases in the first half of 2014. It promises to be a very good year.
Click on each of the covers to see a larger version, and let us know your favourites.
Art Credits: Reign of Ash: Illustration by Larry Rostant; Heaven’s Queen: Design by Kirk Benshoff; Dance of Shadows: Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica & Michael Frost, Design by Kirk Benshoff; The Girl With All The Gifts: Design by Duncan Spilling; Cibola Burn: Illustration by Daniel Dociu, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Path to Power: Illustration by Raphael Lacoste, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Justice: Design by Wendy Chan; Broken Eye: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Silas Manhood, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Ripper Affair: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Craig White, Design by Lauren Panepinto; Cursed Moon: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Don Sipley, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Fifth Season: Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Widow’s House: Design by Kirk Benshoff
- - June 21st, 2013
ICE FORGED (US | UK | AUS) launched the popular new Ascendant Kingdoms Saga in January 2013, and Book Two, REIGN OF ASH, is coming in early 2014. Author Gail Z. Martin is doing her annual “sneak peek” Hawthorn Moon event featuring REIGN OF ASH beginning June 21 with an international blog tour, podcasts, excerpts, readings, giveaways and more. We asked her what readers should expect from Reign of Ash and afterwards show off the fantastic cover of the upcoming novel.
Q: What can you tell us about where Reign of Ash will take Ascendant Kingdoms readers?
A: Reign of Ash picks up right after Ice Forged, with Blaine McFadden’s quest to restore his homeland of Donderath. As Ice Forged readers know, the quest isn’t completed at the end of Book 1 because there is so much more to do, so much damage to overcome. It’s going to take all that Blaine and his friends have to give to survive!
Q: How have Blaine, Kestel, Piran and the other Ice Forged characters changed going into Reign of Ash?
A: Exile and prison brought Blaine’s group together, so they’re used to having each others’ backs. That serves them well in the very dangerous and unstable conditions in post-war Donderath. Now that they’re free, there will be choices to make. Blaine is still very much at the center of the group, and in Reign of Ash, several new characters get added to the circle, some old friends and new allies. Going forward, they will be at the heart of bringing the ruined kingdom back to life, and the paths they choose will determine Donderath’s future.
Q: Will we see more of Connor and Lord Penhallow?
A: Absolutely! Bevin Connor remains an important viewpoint character. We met him in Ice Forged fleeing for his life when Donderath fell, and see him emerge as an unexpectedly heroic person. No one is surprised at that more than Connor himself! In Reign of Ash, Connor grows into an even more important role, playing an enormously important part in the book’s life-or-death climax.
Q: Will Ice Forged’s bad guys be back for more?
A: Bet on it! Pentreath Reece and Vedran Pollard have their own agenda for the post-war wreckage, and their vision involves seeing themselves emerging as the ultimate power players. Anarchy breeds opportunists, so Reece and Pollard are in their element, and the only thing standing in their way is Blaine McFadden. Expect serious fireworks! Read the rest of this entry »
- - May 7th, 2013
In two weeks, the Nebula Awards Weekend will be taking place in San Jose, CA. Best of luck to all the nominees, but especially Kim Stanley Robinson and N.K. Jemisin, who both have works nominated for Best Novel this year! Here are some of the other conventions and events where you’ll find Orbit authors this month.
May 18-19: John R. Fultz @ Big Wow Comicfest, San Jose, CA
May 22: Catch Mur Lafferty, author of The Shambling Guide to New York City, in an online event at Shindig! More details here.
May 24-26: Mira Grant (as Seanan McGuire) @ OASIS, Orlando, FL
May 24-27: Mur Lafferty @ Balticon, Baltimore, MD
May 30: Michael J. Sullivan @ Audie Awards Gala, New York, NY
May 31 – June 2: Gail Z. Martin @ ConCarolinas, Charlotte, NC
- - March 25th, 2013
Wednesday, April 3: Terry Brooks @ Forbidden Planet, London, UK
April 5-7: Gail Z. Martin @ Ravencon, Richmond, VA, USA
Jesse Bullington @ StarFest, Denver, CO, USA
Mira Grant @ JordanCon, Roswell, GA, USA
April 25-28: Glenda Larke and Karen Miller @ ConFlux, Canberra, Australia
- - March 5th, 2013
Friday, March 15: Gail Z. Martin @ Lunacon, Rye Brook, NY
March 20-21: Marlene Perez @ Kennesaw State University Conference on Literature for Children and Young Adults, Kennesaw, GA
March 21-24: N.K. Jemisin and Mira Grant @ Vericon, Cambridge, MA
March 22-24: Gail Z. Martin @ Arizona Renaissance Festival, Gold Canyon, AZ
Thursday, March 28: Francis Knight at Fantasy in the Court, Goldsboro Books, London, 6 PM
Thursday, March 28: Amanda Downum @ Dragon’s Lair Comics, Austin, TX, 7 PM
March 29-30: Jaye Wells @ Dreamin’ in Dallas, Richardson, TX
March 29 – April 1: Eastercon, Bradford. Walter Jon Williams is a Guest of Honor; also attending will be Michael Cobley, Francis Knight, and Simon Morden.
March 29 – April 1: Swancon, Perth. Charles Stross is the International Guest; also attending will be Glenda Larke.
- - February 6th, 2013
A little late this month, but here’s what Orbit authors will be up to for the rest of February!
February 6 (today!): Jesse Bullington at Tattered Cover, Denver, CO, 7:30 PM
February 7: Miles Cameron at the Book Lover’s Ball, Toronto, ON
Gail Z. Martin at ShevaCon, Roanoke, VA
Amanda Carlson at Olde City, New Blood, St. Augustine, FL
February 15-17: Jaye Wells at Con DFW, Addison, TX
February 15: Gail Z. Martin at Books-a-Million Cotswold, Charlotte, NC, 1 PM
February 16: Gail Z. Martin at B&N Carolina Place Mall, Pineville, NC, 2 PM
February 19: Kate Locke at John Fluevog Shoes for “Shoepunk: Fashion and Fantasy,” New York, NY, 6:30 PM
February 22-24: Gail Z. Martin at Mysticon, Roanoke, VA
- - January 17th, 2013
Today John R. Fultz interviews Gail Z. Martin about epic fantasy and her new novel ICE FORGED (US | UK | AUS). If you’re just joining us, here is the first part of the discussion.
John R. Fultz: ICE FORGED is a “fresh start” in a new fantasy world, one that is separate from your previous five books (which were all set in the same world). Why start fresh after six books’ worth of fleshing out your first fictional universe? Along those lines, what was your initial inspiration for ICE FORGED and the Ascendant Kingdoms?
Gail Z. Martin:I love my characters and the world I created in my previous series (Chronicles of the Necromancer series and The Fallen Kings Cycle), but the action had come to a natural resting point. I still hope to tell more stories about that world, but there is a natural break in the action for the characters, so it seemed like a good time to go do something else myself for a while.
I got some of the inspiration for Ice Forged and the new Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series by turning a few elements of my original series upside-down. In my first series, my main character is a necromancer, with very powerful magic. In Ice Forged, my main character has very little magic, more on the hedge witch level of power. In the Chronicles of the Necromancer/Fallen Kings books, my main character keeps magic from failing. In Ice Forged, the magic upon which the civilization depends becomes impossible to harness and wipes out much of civilization. In my original series, my main character was wrongfully hunted as an outlaw. In Ice Forged, my main character not only actually committed the murder for which he is exiled, he is unrepentant about it.
Stories, for me, begin with the question, “What if?” What if…a civilization depended on magic like we depend on the power grid—and the magic could no longer be controlled? What if…the only one who might be able to restore the magic was someone exiled to the farthest reaches of the world? What if…the future of the kingdom depended on a handful of convicts?
My other favorite question is, “And then what?” As I think through a plot, I always ask myself, “And then what?” So they have a battle—and then what? So there’s a confrontation with the forces of the opposition—and then what? So they win a battle—and then what? Even after a victory, there are messes to clean up. For me, that’s where the story starts.
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- - January 16th, 2013
2013 is off to a great start, and if you’re a fantasy reader there are a ton of great books to choose from. With the releases of A MEMORY OF LIGHT (UK | AUS), ICE FORGED (US | UK | AUS), and now SEVEN KINGS (UK |US | ANZ), you have a lot of reading to do.
Today let’s talk epic fantasy with authors Gail Z. Martin and John R. Fultz. Below is the first of a two part interview about writing in the genre and the most recent projects of these two authors. Come back tomorrow for the second half.
Gail Z. Martin: SEVEN KINGS is your second novel, and you’ve said that you think it is even better than your debut work. What did you learn writing your first book, and how did that affect your new book?
John R. Fultz: What a great question… I think that writing SEVEN PRINCES was very freeing for me because at the time I wrote it I had no guidelines, no publisher, no deadlines, no expectations except those I built myself. I remember telling a friend: “I’m going to write this story and let it be as long as it wants to be, and take as long as it needs to take.” After years of writing short stories it was time to make the transition to novelist, and all the advice I’d been given said “First, you must write the novel—everything else will follow.” So I took a “damn the torpedoes” approach and wrote the novel that I most wanted to write, with all the elements that had fascinated and attracted me to epic fantasy for decades. I came up with some fascinating characters, dropped them into an interesting setting, and basically let them run. It was very cathartic, and I finished the novel in far less time than I thought I would—I had built up some serious momentum. I usually write novels over the summer when I’m not teaching, and I’ve written three more “summer novels” since then. Of course the “idea work” begins months earlier, but summer is my official “writing season,” when I go nocturnal and spend as much time as I want in front of the keyboard. With SEVEN PRINCES I also had some great advice from a local writing group to help me get the early chapters just right.
With SEVEN KINGS, things had changed. New challenges presented themselves, and my priorities were quite different. I had already established a great cast of characters that I loved writing about, as well as the world they inhabited and most of the major conflicts that drove the narrative. The rules of sorcery were there (if not fully revealed yet), as well as the threads of many plotlines that would carry throughout all three books. So my job with Book II: SEVEN KINGS was to “deepen” the pot. I wanted to introduce some new characters, and to reveal more of the mystery that is Iardu the Shaper, including his role in the history of the world. I had always planned to explore the dichotomy of Lyrilan and Tyro as the Twin Kings, two very different brothers attempting to rule the same kingdom. And I knew I would stay with Vireon and Sharadza, the Children of Vod. My Book I antagonists had been defeated but not completely vanquished in the first book, so I needed to take them to a new level. Finally, I wanted to explore more of the deep history of the Shaper’s world, and reveal some heretofore obscure regions of it. This is why I decided to begin SEVEN KINGS deep in the jungles of Khyrei, a nation ruled by wicked powers that the rest of the world hates and fears.
There were also some “happy endings” in SEVEN PRINCES that I always intended to reveal were far from “happily ever after.” For example, Sharadza’s marriage to D’zan seems like a fairytale ending in the first book, but in the second book you find out the marriage is a failure—and for a reason that Sharadza refuses to reveal. Likewise with Vireon and Alua’s seemingly “perfect” family…there is more going on here than either of them suspects and it takes seven years to manifest. Life rarely serves up genuine happy endings, and I wanted to reflect that in this series by going back and showing the consequences of the new situations established at the end of the first book.
I guess you could say my goal with SEVEN KINGS was to raise the bar on the conflict, the characters, the threat, and above all the sorcery. Someone told me that SEVEN PRINCES was really all about sorcery, and I agreed. If that’s true then it also applies to the entire series. In some ways I wanted to subvert all the victories of the first book and show that the real story is far more vast and complex, like magic itself. Hopefully this mirrors how difficult it is to be a King, as opposed to a Prince. A King actually has to rule the kingdom, fight the wars, confront the overwhelming threats, and live with the terrible choices he makes. Kings rarely get second chances.
In many ways SEVEN KINGS is the “Act Two” of the trilogy, and traditionally the second act of any drama expands and complicates the elements of the first act. This is also why the second part of any trilogy is often considered “darker,” and I expect that to be said of SEVEN KINGS as well. It is decidedly darker: The worst is yet to come for these characters and the world they have built. Also, Book II: SEVEN KINGS takes place seven years after Book I, but Book III will take place only seven DAYS after Book II. So there is a much more immediate connection between Books II and III than between I and II.
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