Posts Tagged ‘Terry Pratchett’

New Comic Fantasy from Tom Holt: The Outsorcerer’s Apprentice

Tom Holt’s latest comic fantasy, THE OUTSORCERER’S APPRENTICE, is now available in paperback and digital! This new novel – from an author many compare to Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams –  tells the story of a wizard who’s seen the profit in ancient prophecies and the investment value in a dragon’s hoard . . .

It’s a novel of overlords, underlings and inhuman resources. It’s THE OUTSORCERER’S APPRENTICE.

A happy workforce, it is said, is a productive workforce.

Try telling that to an army of belligerent goblins. Or the Big Bad Wolf. Or a professional dragon slayer. Who is looking after their well-being? Who gives a damn about their intolerable working conditions, lack of adequate health insurance, and terrible coffee in the canteen?

Thankfully, with access to an astonishingly diverse workforce and limitless natural resources, maximizing revenue and improving operating profit has never really been an issue for the one they call “the Wizard.” Until now.

Because now a perfectly good business model – based on sound fiscal planning, entrepreneurial flair, and only one or two of the infinite parallel worlds that make up our universe – is about to be disrupted by a young man not entirely aware of what’s going on.

There’s also a slight risk that the fabric of reality will be torn to shreds. You really do have to be awfully careful with these things.

Praise for Tom Holt:

‘Uniquely twisted . . . cracking gags’

‘Gratifyingly clever and very amusing’
Mail on Sunday

My top six anti-heroes in film and literature

Yes, it was supposed to be five but . . .

I love an anti-hero. I think they appeal to my non-conformist nature – they tend to do what they want, as far as possible, even if it gets them into trouble. Plus there’s that whole bad-boy vibe and, very often, a darkly cynical sense of humour, which I am a sucker for.

So, that said, here’s a few of my favourites.

© AVCO Embassy Pictures
© AVCO Embassy Pictures

6. Snake Plissken (from Escape from New York). I mean, what’s not to like? Under a totalitarian government, he thumbs his nose at them and does what he wants for the most part, at least until he’s forced to do what “they” want. Weirdly – and perhaps essentially – he appears sometimes to have more morals than the “good” guys. It does not hurt that Kurt Russell looks good in leather.

5. Conan the Barbarian. Your classic anti-hero. He’s out for himself, always. He’s dark, he’s brooding, he’s itching for a fight. But if you’ve got a bad guy you want rid of, he’s your guy. Just don’t expect him not to ravish your girlfriend while he’s saving you.

4. Sandman Slim. You don’t get much downer and dirtier than the Sandman. His saving grace is, apart from his black humour, no matter how bad he gets, pretty much everyone else is worse. He’s on your side for the right price, but if he hates the guys you want dead, maybe you’ll get a freebie. Plus he has a nice little redeeming feature of falling hopelessly in love. Even men from hell just want a bit of lovin’.

© Walt Disney Pictures
© Walt Disney Pictures

3. Jack Sparrow. He lies and cheats and steals, but he doesn’t hide it, he flaunts it. But of course he’s a pirate, and who hasn’t wanted to throw off the yoke and just sail about doing whatever you felt like, especially if it involves a bit of swashbuckling and derring do? Again, crucially, he has morals. They just aren’t quite the same as everyone else’s. (more…)

ARALORN & Mercy Thompson pin-up calendar!

Aralorn, an omnibus edition of two fantasy novels from Patricia Briggs, author of the Mercy Thompson booksTomorrow sees the release of ARALORN (UK | ANZ) from the multi-talented Patricia Briggs. It’s an omnibus edition of two gripping fantasy novels: Masques and Wolfsbane.

Aralorn’s a shapeshifter who rejects her noble birthright to live a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. (Check out the blurb here!)

I loved these novels and I’m pretty sure anyone who likes the Mercy Thompson books will really enjoy this too. Aralorn might be living in a different age to Mercy Thompson, but rest assured – she’s just as badass . . .

And speaking of Mercy Thompson, check out her recently released hot pic that will feature in an upcoming in this literary pin-up calendar. It’s drawn by the artistic genius Lee Moyer.

Image of Mercy Thompson, a character from Patricia Briggs' novels, featured in a literary pin-up calendar drawn by Lee Moyer and organised by Patrick Rothfuss
Image by Lee Moyer

The calendar’s being arranged by Patrick Rothfuss, and via his own charity Worldbuilders, the proceeds are going to a very worthwhile cause: Heifer International, who work with communities to end hunger and poverty throughout the world.

These calendars are going to be very sought after indeed, featuring twelve sizzling-hot babes from the novels of some of the most popular fantasy authors around – such as Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Jacqueline Carey, Terry Pratchett, George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb and N. K. Jemisin.

So it looks like Mercy and her trusty cross wrench will be in good company . . .