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Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes - Blending Magic and Technology in Epic Fantasy - May 23, 2014


Please welcome Mark T. Barnes to The Qwillery.  The Pillars of Sand (Echoes of Empire 3) was published on May 20, 2014 by 47North.



Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes - Blending Magic and Technology in Epic Fantasy - May 23, 2014




Blending Magic and Technology in Epic Fantasy
by Mark T. Barnes
There are varying opinions about blending technology, or science, with the arcane in fantasy stories. I don’t believe there’s a hard and fast rule in a genre that encourages authors to speculate about worlds other than the one we were born in, and for readers to suspend their disbelief. Provided there’s a valid reason for science and the arcane to coexist, that technology doesn’t preclude the ongoing study of the arcane, and that the reasons for coexistence are demonstrated to the reader and make sense, then I think it can work quite well.

For me it’s questions inherent in the world building:
• How do science and magic coexist?
• What factors make the ongoing study of magic feasible when compared with the relative simplicity of ongoing technological advancement?
• When did society make the choice to focus on two potentially divergent paths of improvement?
• Why doesn’t either the arcane, or science, dominate the other?
• What is the mindset of the prevailing cultures, or the elements of the world around them, that make the arcane a viable option?

When creating the world of Īa for The Echoes of Empire series, and developing it’s layered history of empires that had risen and fallen, there was a tendency for new cultures to borrow from the old. It makes sense to take what you need from what you’ve experienced, and leave what you don’t. Our own history is filled with similar tales where innovation has led to imitation. Īa is no different in that intelligent people will recognise the value in something, try to understand it, and then emulate it and build upon it.

The arcane was well developed on Īa, with a history of cultures being aware of, and connected to, the living mind and spirit of the world. Arcane energy was a renewable natural resource that could be manipulated. The catalyst came when the Starborn (Humans), landed on Īa. Within decades the humans came to blows with the indigenous peoples of Īa, and wars broke out. At first the human technology proved to be very effective, but it was static. The arcane was as strong: subtle and powerful, and highly adaptable. After more than a century there came a détente. But the humans had shown the indigenous cultures of Īa what it was like to have flying ships, to have powered vehicles, or weapons that fired energy, or to create life quickly and artificially. Soon the great minds of Īa had taken on these wonders and found ways to imitate what they had seen, to greater or lesser degrees.

By the time of the stories told in The Garden of Stones, The Obsidian Heart, and The Pillars of Sand, there has been a renaissance of arcane industrialisation. Technology, such as it is, is powered by the arcane, and stretches the known limits of hard science. The mindset of those who live on Īa is to work collaboratively with nature, as they know that the world is aware of what happens around it. Though the arcane is not practiced by everybody, access to the arcane devices and benefits of that imitation can be. Similarly the natural resources of Īa lend themselves to sustaining arcane effects, are mostly renewable, and reasonably accessible. There is no need to continue with the complexities of technology when the arcane can emulate what the people of Īa needed.

Even the humans have embraced the arcane, though some are aware of humanity’s glorious and advanced past. One of my new projects deals more with the humans and their study of ancient Starborn technology, where histories tell of the wonders of ancient human civilisation, and their ability to sail between the stars. But that article is for a different set of books.

Should the writer’s world building answer the questions I posed earlier, the blend of arcane and science can provide a rich and varied world that readers may enjoy.





Echoes of Empire

The Pillars of Sand
Echoes of Empire 3
47North, May 20, 2014
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 488 pages

Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes - Blending Magic and Technology in Epic Fantasy - May 23, 2014
The epic conclusion of the Echoes of Empire trilogy.

Prophecy declared that corrupt politician Corajidin would rule the Shrīanese Federation, even become its new Emperor—and sinister magic has helped him defy death in order to do it. But his victory is not assured, thanks to clashing rival factions that hinder any attempts to unify the nation. Though he has taken increasingly brutal measures to eliminate all obstacles in his path, the dark forces supporting him grow dangerously impatient. And the harder they press, the more drastic Corajidin’s actions become.

Soon, only his most powerful adversaries will stand in his way: Indris, the peerless swordsman and sorcerer who has long fought to end the Federation’s bloody turmoil; and the warrior-poet Mari, Corajidin’s own daughter and the woman Indris loves. Fate has torn them apart, forcing them into terrifying personal trials. But if Indris can bring to bear the devastating knowledge of the Pillars of Sand, and Mari can rise up as a rebel leader, Corajidin’s enemies will rally—and the decisive battle for the soul and future of the Shrīanese will begin.

This epic tale of intrigue, love, and betrayal, painted in the blood of allies and enemies by Mark T. Barnes, concludes the Echo of Empire trilogy that began with The Garden of Stones and The Obsidian Heart.



The Obsidian Heart
The Echoes of Empire 2
47North, October 15, 2013
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 438 pages

Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes - Blending Magic and Technology in Epic Fantasy - May 23, 2014
A plot to overthrow the Shrīanese Federation has been quashed, but the bloody rebellion is far from over...and the struggle to survive is just beginning.

Warrior-mage Indris grows weary in his failed attempts to thwart the political machinations of Corajidin, and faces the possibility of imprisonment upon his return to his homeland. Moreover, Indris’s desire for Corajidin’s daughter, Mari, is strong. Can he choose between his duty and his desire…and at what cost?

Left alienated from her House, Mari is torn between the opposing forces of her family and her country—especially now that she’s been offered the position of Knight-Colonel of the Feyassin, the elite royal guards whose legacy reaches back to the days of the Awakened Empire. As the tensions rise, she must decide if her future is with Indris, with her family, or in a direction not yet foreseen.

As he awaits trial for his crimes, Corajidin confronts the good and evil within himself. Does he seek redemption for his cruel deeds, or does he indebt himself further to the enigmatic forces that have promised him success, and granted him a reprieve from death? What is more important: his ambition, regaining the love stolen from him, or his soul?



The Garden of Stones
Echoes of Empire 1
47North, May 21, 2013
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 506 pages

Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes - Blending Magic and Technology in Epic Fantasy - May 23, 2014
An uneasy peace has existed since the fall of the Awakened Empire centuries ago. Now the hybrid Avān share the land with the people they once conquered: the star-born humans; the spectral, undead Nomads; and what remains of the Elemental Masters.

With the Empress-in-Shadows an estranged ghost, it is the ancient dynasties of the Great Houses and the Hundred Families that rule. But now civil war threatens to draw all of Shrīan into a vicious struggle sparked by one man’s lust for power, and his drive to cheat death.

Visions have foretold that Corajidin, dying ruler of House Erebus, will not only survive, but rise to rule his people. The wily nobleman seeks to make his destiny certain—by plundering the ruins of his civilization’s past for the arcane science needed to ensure his survival, and by mercilessly eliminating his rivals. But mercenary warrior-mage Indris, scion of the rival House Näsarat, stands most powerfully in the usurper’s bloody path. For it is Indris who reluctantly accepts the task of finding a missing man, the only one able to steer the teetering nation towards peace.





About Mark

Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes - Blending Magic and Technology in Epic Fantasy - May 23, 2014
Mark Barnes lives in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of the epic fantasy Echoes of Empire series, published by 47North. The series includes The Garden of Stones (released May 2013), The Obsidian Heart (released October 2013), and The Pillars of Sand (released May 2014). The Garden of Stones was selected as one of five finalists in the 2013/2014 David Gemmell MORNINGSTAR Award for Best Newcomer/Debut, with the winner to be announced in London in June 2014.




You can find out more at www.marktbarnes.com, his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marktbarnes.author, or follow Mark on Twitter @MarkTBarnes.


The View From Monday - May 19, 2014


Happy Monday. I managed to get some reading in this weekend in between trying to clean up some messy gardens. I was partially successful.  I also took time to see Godzilla. I'm a huge Kaiju Eiga fan and Godzilla is my favorite Kaiju of all (though I do have a fondness for Gamera too). Actually I like all the Kaiju, but Godzilla is my absolute favorite. So what did I think? I thought the Kaiju were great. The battles were terrific. And Godzilla was smart in this movie. I also have some observations about Muto, but don't want to spoil the movie so won't say more. I believe that even non-Godzilla fans well enjoy this movie. Do I remember the actual characters? Sure. I can tell you the story from beginning to end probably without missing much. However, I didn't really go to see the humans. In a movie like this there is no time to set up huge and meaningful character arcs and that doesn't bother me at all.  Yes, there were some emotional moments but honestly I was most concerned about the big lizard. I've watched every Godzilla movie available more than once. I knew what I was expecting. Godzilla (2014) delivered.

And now on to the books out this week!


The View From Monday - May 19, 2014


There are two debuts out this week:

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne;

and

The Man with the Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi. This is his first book translated into English and first release in the US.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

The Pillars of Sand (Echoes of Empire 3) by Mark T. Barnes. This is the final book in this trilogy. I really really liked the first novel, The Garden of Stones, and you can see my full thoughts on this novel later this week;

Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson 6) by Darynda Jones;

Delia's Shadow by Jamie Lee Moyer goes from Hardcover to Trade Paperback.



May 19, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Goddess Born (e) Kari Edgren PNR
Dragons & Dirigibles (e) Cindy Spencer Pape SPR - Gaslight Chronicles 7



May 20, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Island in a Sea of Stars: A Tor.Com Original Kevin J. Anderson SF - Saga of Shadow
Possessed by a Warrior and Possessed by an Immortal Sharon Ashwood PNR
The Boost Stephen Baker Th/Techno
The Pillars of Sand Mark T. Barnes F - Echoes of Empire 3
The Kraken King Part VI: The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls (e) Meljean Brook SPR - Iron Seas
The Girl in the Road (D) Monica Byrne SF
Thief's Magic Trudi Canavan F - Millennium’s Rule 1
The Severed Streets Paul Cornell UF - London Falling 2
Godzilla - The Official Movie Novelization Greg Cox SF - Godzilla
A Dance of Shadows David Dalglish F - Shadowdance 4
Suffer the Children Craig DiLouie H
The Chronicle of Secret Riven Ronlyn Domingue F - Keeper of Tales Trilogy 2
Temporary Hauntings (e) Craig Shaw Gardner UF - Temporary Magic 2
Fire Rising: Part 2 Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings
Commissar Andy Hoare F - Warhammer 40,000
Highfell Grimoires Langley Hyde SP/Th
Double Hexed (e) Allyson James
(Jennifer Ashley)
PNR - Stormwalker Novella
Nebula Awards Showcase 2014 Kij Johnson (ed) SF/F - Anthology
Untamed Wolf and Immortal Cowboy Linda O. Johnston
Alexis Morgan
PNR
Sixth Grave on the Edge Darynda Jones UF - Charley Davidson 6
The Three Sarah Lotz Su/Th
Ghouls Rush In H.P. Mallory PNR - Peyton Clark 1
Wizards: From Merlin to Faust David McIntee Myths and Legends
Among the Unseen Jodi McIsaac F - Thin Veil 3
Reaping the Dark (e) Gary McMahon H
The Man with the Compound Eyes (D - US) Wu Ming-Yi F
Cyador's Heirs L. E. Modesitt, Jr. F - Sage of Recluce 17
Delia's Shadow (h2tp) Jaime Lee Moyer F
Troll Mountain: Omnibus Edition (e) Matthew Reilly F/Sus/Su
The Wolf Siren and Demon Wolf Karen Whiddon
Bonnie Vanak
PNR
My Real Children Jo Walton SF



May 22, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Scorched (e) Erica Hayes UF



D - Debut
e - eBook
ed - Editor
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback


F - Fantasy
H - Horror
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
SPR - Steampunk Romance
Su - Supernatural
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel





What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 6


This is the sixth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) authors and their upcoming books for 2014. This update covers some of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge authors. Look for Part 7, covering more 2013 DAC authors, on The Qwillery later this week.


Part 1 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 2 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 3 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 4 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 5 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.




What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 6



Kait Ballenger

Immortal Hunter
The Execution Underground 2
Harelquin HQN, April 1, 2014
eBook

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 6
Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but at what price?

As an exorcist, David Aronowitz grew up the target of demonic assassins. Now he’s a member of the Execution Underground and hellspawn everywhere fear his name. But when a demon slips into the seductive body of the only woman he’s ever loved,

David must confront the heartbreak of their past to save her. The piece of her heart Allsún O’Hare gave to David so long ago left her trapped between two worlds: the Fae and the human. And when David comes to her rescue, fate reunites her with her greatest temptation—and her biggest mistake.

Now, as they’re swept together into a wicked game with the demon who controls her, David must decide if saving Allsún’s life is worth sacrificing his own—and the future of humanity itself.




Mark T. Barnes

The Pillars of Sand
Echoes of Empire 3
47North, May 20, 2014
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 

The epic conclusion of the Echoes of Empire trilogy.

Prophecy declared that corrupt politician Corajidin would rule the Shrīanese Federation, even become its new Emperor—and sinister magic has helped him defy death in order to do it. But his victory is not assured, thanks to clashing rival factions that hinder any attempts to unify the nation. Though he has taken increasingly brutal measures to eliminate all obstacles in his path, the dark forces supporting him grow dangerously impatient. And the harder they press, the more drastic Corajidin’s actions become.

Soon, only his most powerful adversaries will stand in his way: Indris, the peerless swordsman and sorcerer who has long fought to end the Federation’s bloody turmoil; and the warrior-poet Mari, Corajidin’s own daughter and the woman Indris loves. Fate has torn them apart, forcing them into terrifying personal trials. But if Indris can bring to bear the devastating knowledge of the Pillars of Sand, and Mari can rise up as a rebel leader, Corajidin’s enemies will rally—and the decisive battle for the soul and future of the Shrīanese will begin.

This epic tale of intrigue, love, and betrayal, painted in the blood of allies and enemies by Mark T. Barnes, concludes the Echo of Empire trilogy that began with The Garden of Stones and The Obsidian Heart.




M. L. Brennan

Iron Night
Generation V 2
Roc, January 7, (2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 6
Underemployed by day. Undead by night.

Underachieving film theory graduate and vampire Fortitude Scott may be waiting tables at a snooty restaurant run by a tyrannical chef who hates him, but the other parts of his life finally seem to be stabilizing. He's learning how to rule the Scott family territory, hanging out more with his shapeshifting friend Suzume Hollis, and has actually found a decent roommate for once.

Until he finds his roommate’s dead body.

The Scott family cover-up machine swings into gear, but Fort is the only person trying to figure out who (or what) actually killed his friend. His hunt for a murderer leads to a creature that scares even his sociopathic family, and puts them all in deadly peril.

Keeping secrets, killing monsters, and still having to make it to work on time? Sometimes being a vampire really sucks.




Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Wizard's Promise
Strange Chemistry, May 6, 2014 (US)
May 1, 2014 (UK)
Trade Paperback and eBook

Hanna has spent her life hearing about the adventures of her namesake Ananna, the lady pirate, and assassin Naji. She dreams of the same adventures, but little does she know she is about to tumble into one of her own. Hanna is apprenticed to a taciturn fisherman called Kolur, and, during a day of storms and darkness, are swept wildly off course.

In this strange new land, Kolur hires a stranger to join the crew and, rather than heading home, sets a course for the dangerous island of Jadanvar. As Hanna meets a secretive merboy, and learns that Kolur has a deadly past, she soon realises that wishing for adventures is a dangerous game - because those wishes might come true.




Ian Doescher

William Shakespeare's the Empire Striketh Back
The William Shakespeare Trilogy 2
Quirk Books, March 25, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 176 pages

Hot on the heels of the New York Times best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars comes the next two installments of the original trilogy: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return. Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter.

Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, these two plays offer essential reading for all ages. Something Wookiee this way comes!




William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return
The William Shakespeare Trilogy 3
Quirk Books, July 1, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 176 pages




Ariel Djanikian

The Office of Mercy
Penguin, January 28, 2014
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook, February 21 2013

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 6
“A cool and compelling” (Flavorwire) debut of a new postapocalyptic world for fans of The Hunger Games

On the screen and on the page, dystopian fantasies have captivated the public imagination. In The Office of Mercy, debut novelist Ariel Djanikian has conceived a chilling, post-apocalyptic page-turner that has earned her glowing comparisons to George Orwell and Suzanne Collins.

In America-Five, there is no suffering, hunger, or inequality. Its citizens inhabit a high-tech Utopia established after a global catastrophe known as the Storm radically altered the planet. Twenty-four-year-old Natasha Wiley works in the Office of Mercy, tasked with humanely terminating—or “sweeping”—the nomadic Storm survivors who live Outside. But after she joins a select team and ventures Outside for the first time, Natasha slowly unravels the mysteries surrounding the Storm—and the secretive elders who run America-Five.




K. M. Fawcett

Fearless
The  Survival Race 2
Forever Yours, January 7, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 6
TWO SOULS

Myia, a shaman-in-training, wants desperately to protect her peaceful village from the barbaric Highland invaders. To hone her powers of prophetic visions and healing, the village elders send Myia on a quest to heal the Highland leader's heart and stop a brewing war. Myia's mended many souls before, so this should be an effortless duty . . . until she meets the gorgeous, stubborn Highland warlord.

ONE DESIRE

Kedric, a gladiator who escaped enslavement, only wants to liberate the villagers from their common foe-a race that breeds humans for blood sport and genetic experiments. Fueled by his rage, Kedric is determined to take down the brutal enemy. So when a raven-haired beauty with a body made for sin tries to sabotage his mission, Kedric wants her gone. Yet no woman's touch has ever left Kedric more annoyed . . . and aroused. Kedric knows he should shun her soothing embrace-but he can't seem to stay away. As their passion grows, Kedric must decide between fighting his war or surrendering his rage-and his heart-for Myia's love.




Peter Higgins

Wolfhound Century
Wolfhound Century 1
Orbit, February 4, 2014
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook, March 26, 2013

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 6
Investigator Vissarion Lom has been summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist --- and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police.

A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown insurgents with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists.

Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head.









Truth and Fear
Wolfhound Century 2
Orbit, March 25, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 6
Investigator Lom returns to Mirgorod and finds the city in the throes of a crisis. The war against the Archipelago is not going well. Enemy divisions are massing outside the city, air raids are a daily occurrence and the citizens are being conscripted into the desperate defense of the city.

But Lom has other concerns. The police are after him, the mystery of the otherworldly Pollandore remains and the vast Angel is moving, turning all of nature against the city.

But will the horrors of war overtake all their plans?











2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR




2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR


It's time to vote for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR! Below you will  find the 12 mothhly winners in alphabetical order by book title (excluding "the")!

Voter for your favorite from the monthly 2013 Winners!

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on January 4, 2014.


Vote for your favorite 2013 Debut Cover
  
pollcode.com free polls 





2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  September  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  December  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  June  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  February  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  May  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  January  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  April  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  October  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  March  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  July  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  November  ~



2013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEAR
~  August  ~

The View From Monday - October 21, 2013

Happy Monday! Only 10 days until Halloween. It's finally become chilly here. There is frost on the lawns and a distinct nip in the air. I'm reading The Garden of Stone by Mark T. Barnes. This is the first novel in the Echoes of Empire series. The 2nd novel, The Obsidian Heart, was out last week. I'm really enjoying the lush world building. More on this when I'm done reading.

I did finish Prodigal Son (Truthseers 1) by Debra Mullins. I really enjoyed how Mullins is using the myth of Atlantis. The female lead, Cara McGaffigan, didn't do much for me. She became a stronger character as the novel went on, but I believe that she was not fully developed and was a bit one dimensional for me. The male lead, Rafe Montana, and his family were much more interesting. All in all it was a good story and I will continue reading this series. More on this in a longer review soon.



The View From Monday - October 21, 2013



It's a very light release week with 2 debuts:

Nightlife by Matthew Quinn Martin;

and

Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn.




October 21, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Hunter's Moon (e) Lisa Kessler PNR - Moon 2
Nightlife (D) (e) Matthew Quinn Martin H
Death Bringer (e) Kate Pearce PNR - Soul Justice 2



October 22, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Esrever Doom Piers Anthony F - Xanth 37
Spirit of the Century Presents: King Khan Harry Connolly F - Spirit of the Century
Knights Templar: A Secret History Graeme Davis F - Dark
Poe (D) J. Lincoln Fenn H
Ink Mage (Kindle serial) Victor Gischler F
Midnight's Promise: Part 3 (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Warriors
If Only In My Dreams (ri) Wendy Markham TTR
The Quorum (ri) Kim Newman H
A Bloodsmoor Romance (ri) Joyce Carol Oates Go/R
Captive A. D. Robertson FR -  The Forbidden Side of Nightshade
Waking Up Dead Emma Shortt Z/R - An End of Days Love Novel
Black and Blue Gena Showalter PNR - Otherworld Assassin 2
The Abominable: A Novel Dan Simmons Th/H
Doctor Who: Summer Falls and Other Stories Amelia Williams SF - Doctor Who


D - Debut
e - eBook
ri - reissue or reprint

F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
Go - Gothic
H - Horror
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
Th - Thriller
TTR - Time Travel Romance
Z - Zombies

The View From Monday - October 14, 2013


Happy Columbus Day (observed) to those in the US. And a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada.

New York Comic Con ended yesterday and I'm still recovering from Friday and Saturday. I didn't go yesterday, Kids' Day, due to other commitments. Trinitytwo was with me on Friday and we'll have some pictures and goodies to share with you. Also during the week, I'll share with you many many press releases about comics and more. If you look just below this post you will see the first 3. Just click "Read more >>" if the press release title interests you.


The View From Monday - October 14, 2013


It's a fairly light release week with 1 debut:

How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman.

(Don't forget to vote in the October 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - here.)


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

The Obsidian Heart (Echoes of Empire 2) by Mark T. Barnes. I saw the novel at NYCC. It has a gorgeous cover by Stephan Martiniere. I'm enjoying the first novel - The Garden of Stones - and have preordered The Obsidian Heart;

Copperhead (Ironskin 2) by Tina Connolly;

First Bite (Dark Wolf 1) by Dani Harper;

and

Pushing Luck (Pax Arcana eNovella) by Elliott James.


If you are a fan of Steampunk you are in luck this week with:

His Lordship Possessed (Disenchanted & Co., Part 2) by Lynn Viehl;

The Osiris Curse (Tweed and Nightingale Adventures 2) by Paul Crilley;

Fiendish Schemes by K.W. Jeter;

and

Luminous Chaos (The Mysteries of New Venice 2) by Jean-Christophe Valtat


Both Anne Rice and Christopher Rice (Anne's son) have novels out on the 15th:

The Wolves of Midwinter (The Wolf Gift Chronicles 2) by Anne Rice; and

The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice, which is his first supernatural novel.  It's really, really good!



October 14, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
His Lordship Possessed (e) Lynn Viehl SP/M - Disenchanted & Co., Part 2



October 15, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Red Country (h2tp) Joe Abercrombie F
The Obsidian Heart Mark T. Barnes F - Echoes of Empire 2
The n-Body Problem Tony Burgess Z/AP
Fury of Desire Coreene Callahan PNR - Dragonfury 4
How To Be a Good Wife (D US) Emma Chapman Meta/Ch
The Wasteland Saga: Three Novels: Old Man and the Wasteland, The Savage Boy, The Road is a River Nick Cole PA
Copperhead Tina Connolly HistF - Ironskin 2
The Osiris Curse Paul Crilley SP/M - Tweed and Nightingale Adventures 2
Tolkien: A Dictionary David Day F - Dictionary
The Entity Who Came for Christmas: A Holiday Novella (e) Cat Devon PNR - Entity
The Last Dark Stephen R. Donaldson F - The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant 4
The Greatcoat: A Ghost Story Helen Dunmore Gh/H
Man in the Empty Suit (h2tp) Sean Ferrell SF/TT
Midnight's Promise: Part 2 (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Warriors
Theodore Savage (ri) Cicely Hamilton SF - Radium Age SF Series
First Bite Dani Harper PNR - Dark Wolf 1
NOS4A2 (h2tp) Joe Hill Sup/Su
Pushing Luck (e) Elliott James UF - Pax Arcana
The Cusanus Game Wolfgang Jeschke SF
Fiendish Schemes K. W. Jeter SP
The Wolves of Midwinter Anne Rice UF/H - Wolf Gift Chronicles 2
The Heavens Rise Christopher Rice SF/H
The Making of Middle-earth: A New Look Inside the World of J. R. R. Tolkien Christopher Snyder LC
Luminous Chaos Jean-Christophe Valtat SP - Mysteries of New Venice 2
Come Back to the Sea: A Tor.Com Original (e) Jason Vanhee F



October 16, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Equoid: A Laundry novella: A Tor.Com Original (e) Charles Stross SF - Laundry Files



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp = Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint


AP - Apocalyptic
Ch - Chiller
F - Fantasy
Gh - Ghosts
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
LC - Literary Criticism
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
PA - Post-Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Su - Suspense
Sup - Supernatural
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes, author of The Garden of Stones - June 7, 2013


Please welcome Mark T. Barnes to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. The Garden of Stones (The Echoes of Empire 1) was published on May 21, 2013.  You may read an interview with Mark here.




Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes, author of The Garden of Stones - June 7, 2013




Something old and something new in ‘The Garden of Stones’
By Mark T. Barnes


Let me start by saying I read a lot, and a lot of speculative fiction: fantasy and science fiction mostly, with some horror and other elements to round things out, and provide some depth and breadth. I’ve always favoured those writers who provided an immersive, layered experience, not only in their prose, but in the complexity of their plots, their character development, and their world building.

In ‘The Garden of Stones’ I aim for something similar, but as unique as I can make it. Īa is an old world, where elements of culture have been inherited down the centuries as civilisations rise, and fall: or vanish, leaving barely understood legacies behind. Part of the world building process was making shifts from paths we walk so often. Taking the story out of something comfortably European was s starting point; dispensing with standard approaches to religion, and removing deities; having a world of reason and grand invention, rather than something reminiscent of the Dark Ages; refusing to slavishly follow historical gender roles, so that gender is mostly superfluous to what a character can do with their lives; and using language to give names to things that are meaningful to different cultures in a multicultural world.

The grass roots of my world and language building were found partly in the Mediterranean, but more so in Middle Eastern and Eastern World influences. Even then, these were a high level framework, almost an abstract, from which I could build something new. While not a native of these countries, I respect their traditions and didn’t want to copy them slavishly—or misrepresent them—but used elements to weave like pieces together into something new, that was still familiar enough for readers to hold on to. World building is hard enough, without making everything so foreign that readers have no anchor to hold them fast to the characters, world and story.

Social mores are something that interest me, and it constantly surprises me that we feel the need to reflect the wilful ignorance, if not the outright arrogance, of our own history in our fiction. Isn’t fiction—and in particularly speculative fiction—supposed to give as the broad strokes we need to write about something new? For me, raised in a non-sexist, non-racist environment, the idea that anybody was limited by their gender was ludicrous. When creating the cultures of Īa, I set simple rules: anybody can aspire to social and professional advancement; war is for those trained to wage it; and gender has nothing to do with your life opportunities. So you’re a woman and you want to be a soldier? Go right ahead. Want to lead your influential family? Of course you can! You’re a man, but you want to be a courtesan and give pleasure for a living? Absolutely. I think it’s important to break down the established views on gender, and look at ways where we can represent women and men, the rich and the poor, equally with regards to responsibility, accountability, authority, and opportunity.

I think one of the most fun parts was creating a new system of magic, and making mystics more than mages. Shifting to a Renaissance mind set, with its innovation, intellectual pursuits, its revolutions in science, and its approaches to diplomacy, gave me the chance to leverage some non-standard fantasy elements. Using the seeds of archaeology, of arcane engineering, of branches of magic as a science, etc, made the world building and story telling more interesting for me. Adding arcane devices, flying ships, mystic weapons and methods of healing, artificially created races who thrived to form cultures of their own, etc, added layers to the world. Writing a story in an age of reason gave me the chance to have characters who could be motivated more by curiosity and a desire to learn, and to adapt, moving away from the fear of the unknown.

The three point of view characters all have different histories and motivations, needs and wants. Readers get to see Īa unfold from these perspectives, sometimes seeing the same thing through different lenses, and having different impressions. I’ve tried to build a world people will find engaging, populated by people who actually live in it. Through their eyes, readers will discover Īa, it’s cultures, it’s people and it’s layered history, all things I hope readers will enjoy, and make Īa a place where they will want to spend more time.

‘The Garden of Stones’ is the first book in ‘The Echoes of Empire’, and reveals part of the world, the people, and the history that makes Īa the place it is. I look forward to sharing more of my world with people, as it unfolds with the release of ‘The Obsidian Heart’ in October 2013, and ‘The Pillars of Sand’ in May 2014.





About The Echoes of Empire

The Garden of Stones
The Echoes of Empire 1
47North, May 21, 2013
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 506 pages

Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes, author of The Garden of Stones - June 7, 2013
An uneasy peace has existed since the fall of the Awakened Empire centuries ago. Now the hybrid Avān share the land with the people they once conquered: the star-born humans; the spectral, undead Nomads; and what remains of the Elemental Masters.

With the Empress-in-Shadows an estranged ghost, it is the ancient dynasties of the Great Houses and the Hundred Families that rule. But now civil war threatens to draw all of Shrīan into a vicious struggle sparked by one man’s lust for power, and his drive to cheat death.

Visions have foretold that Corajidin, dying ruler of House Erebus, will not only survive, but rise to rule his people. The wily nobleman seeks to make his destiny certain—by plundering the ruins of his civilization’s past for the arcane science needed to ensure his survival, and by mercilessly eliminating his rivals. But mercenary warrior-mage Indris, scion of the rival House Näsarat, stands most powerfully in the usurper’s bloody path. For it is Indris who reluctantly accepts the task of finding a missing man, the only one able to steer the teetering nation towards peace.




The Obsidian Heart
The Echoes of Empire 2
47North, October 15, 2013
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook

Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes, author of The Garden of Stones - June 7, 2013
A plot to overthrow the Shrīanese Federation has been quashed, but the bloody rebellion is far from over...and the struggle to survive is just beginning.

Warrior-mage Indris grows weary in his failed attempts to thwart the political machinations of Corajidin, and faces the possibility of imprisonment upon his return to his homeland. Moreover, Indris’s desire for Corajidin’s daughter, Mari, is strong. Can he choose between his duty and his desire…and at what cost?

Left alienated from her House, Mari is torn between the opposing forces of her family and her country—especially now that she’s been offered the position of Knight-Colonel of the Feyassin, the elite royal guards whose legacy reaches back to the days of the Awakened Empire. As the tensions rise, she must decide if her future is with Indris, with her family, or in a direction not yet foreseen.

As he awaits trial for his crimes, Corajidin confronts the good and evil within himself. Does he seek redemption for his cruel deeds, or does he indebt himself further to the enigmatic forces that have promised him success, and granted him a reprieve from death? What is more important: his ambition, regaining the love stolen from him, or his soul?





About Mark

Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes, author of The Garden of Stones - June 7, 2013
Mark Barnes was born in September, 1966 in Sydney, Australia. Raised and educated in Sydney, he was a champion swimmer who also played water-polo, soccer, cricket and volleyball. Drawn to the arts at a young age he wrote his first short story at age 7 though was active in drawing, painting, and music as well.

His career stuttered in finance, slid into advertising then leaped into Information Technology where he continues to manage a freelance Organizational Change consultancy. It was not until January 2005, when Mark was selected to attend the Clarion South residential short story workshop, he began to write with a view to making it more than a hobby. Since Clarion South 2005 Mark has published a small number of short stories, worked as a freelance script editor and done creative consultancy for a television series.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013 Winner


The 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars winner for May is The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire 1) by Mark T. Barnes with 67% of the votes cast. The Garden of Stones was published by 47North  on May 21, 2013.  The cover artwork is by Stephan Martiniere.


2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013 Winner




The final results:

2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013 Winner




The May Debut Covers
2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013 Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue soon with voting on the June 2013 Debut covers.


Melanie's Week in Review - May 26, 2013


Melanie's Week in Review  - May 26, 2013


This has been a week that I can only describe as 'pants mcpantus'. I have had a week of almost 100% stress at work and looked forward to escaping into some really good books. I was mostly successful on this front.

Melanie's Week in Review  - May 26, 2013
For those of you have been checking out my 'week in review' you will know that last week I discovered Alex Bledsoe's Eddie La Crosse series. I enjoyed Blonde Edged Sword and Burn Me Deadly so much that I rushed to buy the third and fourth books of the series. I decided to be magnanimous and let the 'hubinator' read book 3 - Dark Jenny - before me.  I hope to be able to tell you a bit more about what I thought of these books next week.

Applause everyone!! I finished The Scrivener's Tale by Fiona McIntosh. This book has taken me an unusually long time to finish but I am reviewing it soon so keep your eye out what I thought of it.


Melanie's Week in Review  - May 26, 2013
OK....I confess.....I started a new series rather than reading one of the many, many books on my TBR. I got lured into buying a free book from my Kindle recommendations (can you buy a free book?) and am now on book 4 of the series.  So what tempted me to the dark side...the side of buying new rather than reading what I already have?  I ran across Lindsay Buroker's The Emperor's Edge series. Book 1  - The Emperor's Edge was for free, free, free, from Amazon and I really liked it so decided to get book 2 - Dark Currents. As my week turned more and more stressful from work I kept going on the series that I was already enjoying rather than risking something I hadn't read yet. So I finished Deadly Games today which was quite grisly and had a tiny bit more romance between our hero and heroine. I just started Conspiracy and its turning out to be another consistently good book from the series. These are self pubs and you won't be wowed by the covers but its what's inside that counts, after all.

I also started Mike Shevdon's The Eighth Court (Courts of the Feyre 4). I have enjoyed this series, especially the first two books. I am not that far into the book as I will be reviewing it and didn't want to read it too closely to The Scrivener's Tale.  


Melanie's Week in Review  - May 26, 2013
Lucky me also got J.T. Geissinger's new book Rapture's Edge from NetGalley. I have really enjoyed the Night Prowler series so far and I am certain to like this next installment. The nice people from Kindle also offered Mark T. Barnes's The Garden of Stones for £1.99 so it is now gracing my TBR. Another week of making my TBR grow rather than making it smaller!  At least I have some goodies to read next week.

I would love to know what you are reading so leave a comment or send me a tweet @mellidrama.  Wishing you a great week and Happy Reading!

2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013

It's time for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for May 2013! And hopefully the poll will work this time. No, really it will.


2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013


Since Cover Wars was so much fun as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge, we're doing it again for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge. Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2013 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when I have it.


Vote For Your Favorite May 2013 Debut Novel Cover
  
pollcode.com free polls 
Voting will close on May 31, 2013.

(Please note that when you click "View" above it will take you to the PollCode site. Please click "Back" there to come back to this post.)




2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013
Cover Art by Stephan Martiniere





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013
Cover Art by E.B. Hudspeth





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013
Cover Art by Jamie McKelvie





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013



Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes - Blending Magic and Technology in Epic Fantasy - May 23, 2014The View From Monday - May 19, 2014What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 62013 Debut Author Challenge - COVER OF THE YEARThe View From Monday - October 21, 2013The View From Monday - October 14, 2013Guest Blog by Mark T. Barnes, author of The Garden of Stones - June 7, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013 WinnerMelanie's Week in Review  - May 26, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2013

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