River God Release Day! (Well, for certain hemispheres – just a few more hours and it’s the 1st of July in the US too).
For those of you following Never’s story you can see the ebook the print edition of the first 3 volumes below, (also available through other retailers – a small list is here)
e – https://www.amazon.com/River-God-Fantasy-Novella-Never-ebook/dp/B01GKE8R2M
p – https://www.amazon.com/Book-Never-Volumes-1-3/dp/0994528914
Two releases are right around the corner so I wanted to remind everyone that there's a few ways you can win yourself some books :)
First is the Book of Never Giveaway over on Goodreads - it's only open for a few more hours as I type this so be quick if you'd like a chance to win a print edition of the first three books in the Never series.
Next is River God - which is also due July 1st - and if you're confident that you know the first two books fairly well you might like to take on the Quiz! Just answer the questions correctly and I'll e-mail you a copy :)
River God Quiz
In the next couple of days I'll also reveal a giveaway for River God hosted on this blog - but if you're not familiar with Never and want to start his journey, you could also consider subscribing to my newsletter as part of the 'starter pack' you get upon sign-up includes The Amber Isle, the first of Never's adventures.
And finally a little update on where I am at with various drafts:
Greatmask (Bone Mask #3)
- draft 4 just went back to the publisher
The Peaks of Autumn (Never #4)
- draft 2 is 'resting' before I attack draft 3 in July
Moss Dragon of Brittlekeep
- draft 1, currently at chapter 6
Less than a week until River God goes live!
Here's the final preview chapter (#3) and stay tuned for details of a blog-based giveaway and a reminder or two about a few other giveaways I'm currently running.
A friend introduced me to Hugh Masekela a while back with this awesome live performance of Stimela (The Coal Train) - have a listen!
Yep, that’s right – A FREE SURVEY! No cost to you!
Okay, in all seriousness now, I’d love your opinion if you’ve got 1-3 minutes spare?
If you’ve ever read my poetry or fiction in the past I’m hoping you can help me decide what my next release should be. If so, check out this short survey below and grab a free e-book while you’re at it
Survey (via Survey Monkey)
Calling all Goodreads users!
I've recently opened a giveaway for the print edition of the Book of Never (featuring the first three of Never's adventures combined) and wanted to share the details here in case you'd like to enter - just click below :)
If you've been reading at the City of Masks blog for a little while, you'll know I tend to blather on about music a fair bit so here's another Top Ten Albums!
Haven't done one since 2015 (here's a link if you'd like to compare) and here's the same disclaimer too - this top ten isn't 'for 2016' or 'of 2016' or of any 'decade' today it's just my Top Ten as I'm feeling right now. The kind of list that has nothing at stake but which is hopefully a bit of fun.
Click each image to sample on youtube (mostly)
Here's a preview for Chapter 2 of River God :) (and here's one if you missed if from last week!)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Naushika) 1984
Not precisely a Ghibli film, since the success of Nausicaa was part of what enabled Studio Ghibli to be formed, but basically so – and always sold as part of the Ghibli collection.
Possibly my favourite Miyazaki film and looking back it’s easy to see the roots of what might now be called a classic mix of Miyazaki’s environmentalism, fantasy and use of a female lead whose ability to solve conflict with kindness is a key part of both plot and charactarisation.
Here’s something of a blurb, not a great or official one by any means:
Threatened by spreading toxic jungles, Nausicaa’s people rely on their own vigilance and the wind to protect their homes and people. When a ship carrying an ominous secret crashes in their valley, warring nations converge on the Valley of the Wind and it’s up to Nausicaa to save her people.
Part of why this film is so effective for me, is because the world building is detailed – you can feel that there’s so much more beneath the surface. The detail of the world, it’s interconnected environment and tensions, the prejudice of its peoples, it’s just as realistic as it is fantastical. (This is in part due to it’s basis in a multi-volume manga written by Miyazaki.)
The insects especially, are impressively drawn and varied but also complex creatures – not in the least being the almost majestic Ohmu.
Again there’s a beautiful soundtrack composed by Joe Hisaishi, this time with a electronic feel typical of the 80s, though the opening piece here is still quite orchestral. Below is a live performance for the 25 Anniversary, you can see Joe on the piano.
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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