[GUEST POST] Gail Z. Martin on What’s Ahead for DEADLY CURIOSITIES


Gail Z. Martin writes epic and urban fantasy, steampunk and short stories. She is the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, the Fallen Kings Cycle series and the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series of epic fantasy books, as well as the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy world and coming in 2015, Iron and Blood, a Steampunk novel, co-written with Larry N. Martin. Gail is a frequently contributor to US and UK anthologies. She also writes two series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures. Find her at www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com. She leads monthly conversations on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin and posts free excerpts of her work on Wattpad. An original novella set in the Deadly Curiosities universe, “The Final Death”, is available free on Wattpad

What’s Ahead for DEADLY CURIOSITIES?

by Gail Z. Martin

Imagine an antique and curio shop in historic, haunted Charleston, South Carolina that exists to get dangerous magical items off the market and out of the wrong hands.

Now picture, if you will, a family that has been the proprietors of that shop for over 350 years, along with their undead silent partner, secretly watching over the people of Charleston and averting disaster and supernatural destruction. The latest proprietor is Cassidy Kincaide, whose gift is the ability to read the history of objects by touching them. Add in Teag Logan, Cassidy’s best friend, who has the ability to weave magic into fabric or weave hidden data into information (best hacker ever), and their silent partner, Sorren, a nearly six hundred year-old vampire who has been tracking down and destroying cursed and possessed objects for centuries, and you’ve got the recipe for a lot of adventure.

Deadly Curiosities, the first book in my new urban fantasy series, came out in July of 2014. The second book (we’re still working on a title) comes out in 2015, and it’s already being written. So what’s in the cards for Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren?
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Gail Z. Martin on The Speed Bumps on the Way to Committing Fiction


Gail Z. Martin writes epic and urban fantasy, steampunk and short stories. She is the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, the Fallen Kings Cycle series and the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series of epic fantasy books, as well as the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy world and coming in 2015, Iron and Blood, a Steampunk novel, co-written with Larry N. Martin. Gail is a frequently contributor to US and UK anthologies. She also writes two series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures.

Find her at www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com. She leads monthly conversations on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin and posts free excerpts of her work on Wattpad. An original novella set in the Deadly Curiosities universe, “The Final Death”, is available free on Wattpad

Speed Bumps on the Way to Committing Fiction

by Gail Z. Martin

I wouldn’t have said that last year was an ideal time to write one book, let alone two. My dad died, and although he was ninety years old, there’s never a good way to say good-bye. I also discovered how incredibly complicated it is to be the designated person to take care of things when someone dies. I remembered a quote I read once (I think it was from one of Erich Maria Remarque’s books), something along the lines of: “It’s easy to die, but not to be dead.” I beg to differ. The person who has passed on doesn’t have to fill out paperwork.
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Today’s Kindle deal: Gail Z. Martin’s ICE FORGED, the first book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, for only $1.99!

Here’s the description:

Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, as the world’s magic runs wild, McFadden and the people of Velant must fight to survive and decide their fate …

From Gail Z. Martin, author of the beloved series THE CHRONICLES OF THE NECROMANCER and THE FALLEN KINGS CYCLE, comes a new fantasy adventure for the ages.

Welcome to the end of the world.

Welcome to the beginning of THE ASCENDANT KINGDOMS SAGA.

This price is good for today only, so act fast.


Gail Z. Martin is the author of Ice Forged in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga and the upcoming Reign of Ash (Orbit Books, 2014), plus The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn and The Dread) from Orbit Books. In 2014, Gail launches a new urban fantasy novel, Deadly Curiosities, from Solaris Books. She is also the author of two series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures. Find her at www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com.

Epic to Urban and Back Again

by Gail Z. Martin

I love writing epic fantasy–so why am I stepping over to spin some urban fantasy tales?
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

From Bilbo traveling to the lonely Mountain and Frodo’s journey to Mordor, to Steven Erikson’s Malazan novels having armies crossing fantasy continent after continent…the road trip, as it were, is a staple of science fiction and fantasy, particularly epic fantasy. See the scenery, meet interesting characters and explore the world! What could go wrong?

Q: What are your favorite “road trips” in science fiction and fantasy? What makes a good road trip in a genre story?

Here’s what they said.

Gail Z Martin
Gail Z Martin‘s latest novel is Ice Forged.

My favorite fictional road trips include Canterbury Tales, David Edding’s Belgariad books, and David Drake’s Lord of the Isles series.

A good road trip reveals hidden truths about the people who are traveling. If you’ve ever gone on a long car trip with friends or family, you know what I mean! You don’t really know someone until you’ve been stuck in a vehicle with them for 12 straight hours—or on a sailing ship on the high seas during a storm. Since things go wrong on long trips, they provide insight into resourcefulness and character. A really good “journey” story reveals the world and the characters simultaneously, while moving the story forward—no small feat!
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[GUEST POST] Gail Z. Martin on Digging Deeper Into Chaos


Gail Z. Martin is the author of Ice Forged in her new The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books), plus The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn and The Dread). She is also the author of two series on ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Series. Find her online at www.AscendantKingdoms.com.

Digging Deeper Into Chaos

by Gail Z. Martin

I like to take my fictional worlds apart and put them back together again, slowly and not in quite the same way they started.
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BOOK REVIEW: Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin

REVIEW SUMMARY: A different sort of fantasy adventure.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Condemned to a penal colony for killing his father, Blaine McFadden has learned to survive in a hostile environment. When the magic runs wild the world descends into chaos, Blaine and his friends must fight to decide their fate.

MY REVIEW
PROS: Not your average fantasy, Blaine makes for a good protagonist, strong imagery.
CONS: Unappealing change of direction, weak supporting cast, very weak ending.
BOTTOM LINE: Starts out with the swagger of a disaster/post-apocalyptic/fantasy hybrid but undergoes an unappealing change of course at the 2/3 mark and ends with a whimper.

I’ve been meaning to get around to reading Gail Z. Martin’s The Chronicles of a Necromancer for some time. It’s just one of those things, ya know? Too many good books on the market, not enough time. Well it might be a while before I get around to reading The Chronicles of a Necromancer but that’s okay because Ice Forged marks the start of a new series, The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. With Ice Forged, Martin answers the question, “What happens to a society dependent on magic when the magic vanishes.”

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[An addendum to the Mind Meld: Monarchies in Fantasy from Gail Z Martin]

Very often, in secondary world fantasy novels, the default political setup is to have a Monarch of some sort, often one that acts in a seemingly autocratic manner. Many times, this Monarch rules by some sort of divine right or providence.

Q: Why are kingdoms with monarchs the default political setup in many secondary fantasy world novels? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such political structures? What are some exceptions to this?
Gail Z Martin
Gail Z Martin is the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer and the Sworn Kings series. Ice Forged, in 2013, will begin her new series, the Ascended Kingdoms Saga

I think that fantasy inhabits monarchies for three reasons. First, democracy as a form of governance is very new. Monarchy, oligarchy, or a tribal elder format have been around for a very long time. Since a strong element in most epic fantasy is a setting “other than our own” and often in another time, a quasi-historical setting is likely going to default to one of the older forms of governance, especially if the author is basing the world, even loosely, on a previous Earth culture.
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Gail Z. Martin, author of The Fallen Kings Cycle series (The Sworn and The Dread), unveils her sneak peek of Ice Forged, Book One in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, coming from Orbit Books in 2013.

Gail is giving everyone a first look at the cover art for Ice Forged, as well as book excerpts, author Q&A and more as part of her Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event.  She’s got exclusive goodies spread out across more than a dozen partner sites, and you can find out about it all on Gail’s site.

Here’s what we asked Gail:

Q:  What are some things you learned from writing fantasy?

A:  One thing I’ve learned is a definite respect for the hardships which our ancestors endured—plague, famine, lack of clean water, lack of indoor plumbing and central heat, high mortality rates from curable conditions, etc.  At the same time, I’m intrigued by how much joy they were still able to take from life through family and friends, small comforts and conveniences, celebrations and holidays, and good food when there was food to be had.
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MIND MELD: The Non-Genre Influences of Genre Authors

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Usually when ask genre authors about the influences on their work we are expecting, and usually get, responses that name other genre authors. This week’s question, as suggested by an SF Signal reader, explicitly asks about non-genre influences. We asked our panelists this question:

Q: Which non-genre writers have influenced your work? How?
Kay Kenyon
Kay Kenyon’s latest work from Pyr is a science fiction quartet with a fantasy feel: The Entire and The Rose. The lead title, Bright of the Sky, was in Publishers Weekly’s top 150 books of 2007. At her website, she holds forth on writing, the industry and other curious pursuits.

This question is almost impossible to answer; I wonder if we ever know, or whether literary critics with a little bit of distance from the subject could best intuit how admiration for certain works inevitably leads to unconscious imitation. I doubt anyone writes novels thinking they will write like someone else. But you’re asking for influences, which is more subtle, and all the harder. This is especially a tough task since fantasy and sf books have always been my focus. However, here goes:

I remember reading Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing and feeling a sharp ache for what she had accomplished with language. The novel remains seared in my mind, but this was well before I thought that I would be a novelist. Still, I admire her work so thoroughly that I would be surprised if she were not an influence. I value wordsmithing. She is a master at this. Her environmental motifs went straight to my heart. Also: Early on Marge Piercy was a favorite of mine. Gone to Soldiers. Woman on the Edge of Time–although that last one must be considered science fiction; still, she is primarily a literary writer. Her feminism appealed to me, and the woman’s point of view presented with such stark emotion. The emotional dimension is a focus of my work. Writers like these likely showed me the depth that was possible. I’m always aiming for that depth.

I’ve been equally impressed with the big storytellers, especially James Clavell. Some of his books I wished would never end: Tai-Pan and Shogun, especially. The exotic locales of these books tied in to my love of strange worlds in science fiction. As it happens, worldbuilding is the feature most critics mention about my work. I always wonder at that, because I thought I did characters best. It’s a goal of mine to do both, like Clavell, but of course you always fall shy of your heroes.
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MIND MELD: The Best Sword & Sorcery Stories

My recent and long overdue discovery of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories made me wonder about other good sword and sorcery stories, so this week’s panelists were asked:

Q: What are some of the best sword and sorcery stories? What makes them so good?

Check out their excellent suggestions…(and share some of your own!)

Martha Wells
Martha Wells is the author of seven fantasy novels, including The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her publications also include two Stargate: Atlantis novels and several short stories.

I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of sword and sorcery, including the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series, and Robert E. Howard’s Dark Agnes stories. One of my earliest favorites was Charles Saunders’ Dossouye stories, which first appeared in the anthologies Amazons! and Sword and Sorceress in the early 80s. When I read the first one, “Agbewe’s Sword,” I was about fifteen years old and desperately looking for strong female protagonists. The setting of an alternate version of Africa, using cultures and myths that I wasn’t familiar with, also really set the stories apart for me. The stories are available now in a collection titled Dossouye, and I highly recommend it.

I also loved Tanith Lee’s sword and sorcery, like The Storm Lord and Vazkor, Son of Vazkor, the sequel to The Birthgrave, and her Cyrion stories, which had the main character solving magical mysteries during his adventures. The settings are so lush and rich and detailed, with the feeling of starting out in a strange place, only to follow the characters somewhere much stranger.

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MIND MELD: What Book Introduced You to Fantasy?

We’ve already covered first science fiction books, now it’s time to flip the coin with this week’s panelists. So we asked them:

Q: What book introduced you to fantasy?

Check below to see their responses. And tell us what book got you hooked!

Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is the author of Elantris and the Mistborn trilogy.

Brandon was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. That book, The Gathering Storm will be available in October 2009 and can be sampled on Tor.com.

The first fantasy I was ever given was Tolkien. For many, perhaps, that would be the end of the story. But I wasn’t a terribly good reader at the time, and though I read and enjoyed the The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings was like a big brick wall. I slammed right into it and couldn’t get past the barrow scene.

And so, I figured fantasy was boring stuff and went back to video games. (Atari 2600–state of the art.)

The real breakthrough came when I hit 8th grade. A teacher assigned me to do a book report, and I tried with all my conniving little heart to get her to let me do mine on one of the Three Investigators novels (which I’d enjoyed reading in second or third grade.) The result of this little power struggle was me, sullenly slinking to the back of the room where she kept her cart of books, bearing the instructions that I HAD to pick one of those to read.

And there, sitting in full Michael-Whelan-Covered-Glory, was Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly. I think angels might have sung (though it was probably the school choir class next door.) Anyway, that was beginning of the end for me. I LOVED that book; and right next to it in the card catalogue at school was a listing for Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey.

Eddings, Melanie Rawn, and Williams came next. I was thoroughly a fantasy super-geek by the time 1990 rolled around, and Eye of The World was published.

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SF Tidbits for 9/17/09

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