A year of sporadic berating, bemoaning, chivvying and chiving (is that a word?) has made, as usual, no difference to my authors' publication schedules. However, the last quarter of the year, no less than four of them have pulled their fingers out in order to bite the bull in hand. Two in December.
First to the big red button was Damon J Courtney, finally giving us the last instalment in the Dragon
Bond trilogy. The trilogy is an object lesson in how to become a fantasy writer. I'll be gushing a whole lot more about it next year, but suffice to say that this book is a lot subtler, and more sophisticated, that what came before, even if it seems like the plot is simpler... The Fate of Champions explores what it really means to be chosen by the gods to fulfil your destiny.
In November, Colin Taber released the sequel to United States of Vinland: The Landing. In Red Winter we see the Viking settlers face a new crisis. In The Landing, they survived shipwreck and the harsh Markland winter. In Red Winter the seeds of mistrust, mistreatment and brutality sown by the Lakeland Wolves finally yield the requisite whirlwind. (Didn't really mix enough metaphors there. Must try harder.) Meanwhile, back in Iceland, manoevres are afoot that could challenge the very ownership of the Lakeland vales.
First in December is Survivor. This is old school space adventure. Saff manages to combine some serious and hard imagining with a whole sackful of nods to everything in and a few things out of the genre, old and new. A hugely satisfying read, this is a sort of Lara Croft in space only written by a woman, so I guess what Lara Croft would be like if she was being scripted by, I dunno, Rhianna Pratchett?
Finally, and finally is the word, Jack Shilkaitis has at long last released the sequel to 2012's Apostasy on Christmas Day. Is he trying to tell us something? Atonement picks up more or less where Apostasy left off, but begins to deal with the consequences. The main character, Tokara, has killed one of the gods of his people. How will the other gods react, and if they can be killed, are they really gods at all? And how will his people react? Is he a heretic or a messiah? Or is he something else...?
Honestly, the blurb to Jack's books write themselves.
I'm looking forward to some exciting releases in 2015, including one on which I have an author credit (shock horror!) and some innovations here at densewords. Enjoy your Holidays, and keep writing.
Happy new year!