As the cold month of May approaches, I thought I'd warn everyone of a forthcoming announcement here at the blog - the revised release date for City of Masks, my first novel and opening to the Bone Mask Trilogy.
In celebration of the book's release I'll be posting a short interview on writing the book and sneak peaks of the opening chapter, along with details for a Goodreads Giveaway (for a hard copy) and a mini comp (for an e-copy) too.
In the meantime, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more announcements about other works I hope to have forthcoming this year!
I once read a comment, review or forum post, where a chap was disappointed with David (& Leigh) Eddings for ‘introducing irony to the epic fantasy genre.’
Years have passed and I’ve never been able to find that post. I pray that I didn’t imagine it, or that the unreliability of memory hasn’t ruined the accuracy of what I actually read.
But the disappointed chap (if real) brings up an interesting point.
Can David and Leigh Eddings be credited with such an introduction?
I dunno. Maybe it’s more like when Judas Priest claim that they didn’t invent thrash, they just ‘sped it [metal] up a bit.’ Not a bad way to approach it, and so maybe we could do the same for Eddings?
If you look back to 1982 when their first novel, Pawn of Prophecy was released, maybe a case could be made that not a lot of the biggest sellers of the era like Feist, Brooks, Weis & Hickman (and even Williams later in the decade), had quite the same tone. I see Williams as much bleaker, Brooks as having a more mythical feel for instance, and possibly Weis & Hickman as somewhat close to Eddings.
But the more I think about the original comment, the more I wonder if irony is exactly what I see the Eddings works and characters bringing to the genre. Part of me thinks it’s more self-deprecation/self-deprecating humour. The character of Silk comes to mind especially here, as does Sparhawk (in a different way) and many of the Eddings’ other characters too, in their unwillingness to take themselves too seriously.
Part of it seems to be the ‘reluctant hero’ aspect and part of it is the way the characters often make light of a given situation, using humour to deal with grim situations like battle. And so for me, maybe it’s more self-deprecation than irony. Therefore I guess it’s possible to claim that while the Eddings team weren’t solely responsible for introducing self-deprecating humour to epic fantasy, maybe they warmed it up a bit?
(One more thought – as a teenager Eddings was also my introduction the gender stereotypes that Robert Jordan especially, would later used in the Wheel of Time, where women see men as essentially stupid and men see women as essentially irrational – think of Vanion and Sephrenia for example.)
Thanks to sffnews for linking to artist Fan Ming - amazing stuff!
I feel like half a dozen stories leapt into my head the moment I saw some of these pictures, check out some more here.
I recently read an fascinating post on book piracy, where an anonymous person (drunk on their own sense of entitlement perhaps) posted a letter to author Chuck Wendig, where this person outlined their reasons for stealing Chuck’s books.
Well worth a read, especially Chuck’s responses.
But here’s my favourite point from the letter-writer:
1) I cannot afford buying all the books I wish to read; as simple as that.
Wow. I can’t afford a villa in the South of France. Guess I’d better just go take one.
I also can’t afford to buy every book or album I’d like to buy but I respect the art and the artist enough not to steal from them.
One of the classic responses thieves give for similar actions, is that by downloading art without paying for it, they’re “giving the artist more exposure.”
That later, they might go to a band’s show or buy a book and become a fan.
In my music class we often talk about piracy and its relationship to file sharing. I bring up the days of swapping mixed tapes with them, or use Metallica as an example of fans sharing and building a base with such tapes. We also discuss YouTube as a place to sample an album without buying it, much like a listening station used to allow in music stores.
So the sharing of content among users might build a set of loyal fans, which is awesome.
But we also discuss the revolutionary idea of libraries.
With libraries, it’s possible to obtain a book without paying for it, legally, and to become a fan and still support an artist. Tell a friend how much you loved the book. Save up and buy the artist’s next work. Review the book you borrowed, mention it online somewhere.
Do it without ripping artists off first. Because, what does it cost to borrow something from a library? Exactly.
[I understand some books are priced quite high, and that for some folks, libraries are distant or non-existent. But I still don’t believe in refusing to financially support an artist. Find a way.]
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Ashley Capes is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and very occasional non-fiction.
Imperial Towers (Never Book 5) - draft 1
Moss Dragon - draft 1
Reed Lavender (working title) - draft 1
Unnamed Spec Fic - draft 1
Whisper of Leaves (sequel) - Outline