The third installment of The Completist looks at a military fantasy trilogy a little over a decade after the saga’s completion. The year was 1999, a new Century was on the horizon. In the Science Fiction and Fantasy publishing world, there were some very interesting books being written/published and read. We were in the middle of the Harry Potter saga, George R.R. Martin wasn’t yet the Epic Fantasy giant in the he is now, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time was still in what many consider its prime, Tad Williams took a break from Epic Fantasy with his massive Otherland SF saga, and Terry Brooks would soon return to his popular Shannara saga. Into this state of affairs enter John Marco with The Jackal of Nar, which launched both his writing career and his Tyrants and Kings trilogy. I immediately took to the series and was very pleased that a colleague where I worked at the time had also read and enjoyed The Jackal of Nar.
[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]
The first author I ever talked to was John Scalzi. I emailed him after reading The Ghost Brigades to tell him how much I loved the series and hoped to one day see it adapted as a video game. I may never get to play as a green-skinned Colonial Defense Forces soldier, wielding the versatile MP-35 and fighting a variety of aliens – but Scalzi is developing a First Person Shooter called Morning Star, with Industrial Toys (a studio formed by Alex Seropian of Bungie fame). As an avid reader and gamer there are plenty of books I’d love to see transformed into games – a real time strategy game based off of John Ringo’s Legacy of Aldenata series, Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim as an action-adventure hack n’ slash title à la Devil May Cry, or a crazy colorful role playing game set in the world of James Maxey’s Greatshadow. But enough about the books I want to see transformed into video games, let’s ask some professionals for their opinions!
We asked this week’s panelists…
Here’s what they said…
This is possibly the nerdiest question I’ve been asked in a while, and I’ll do my best to avoid restraint in my answers.
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Barnes & Noble Book Club’s reviewer Paul Goat Allen called John Marco’s works some of the best in military fantasy. A husband, a father, and a proud, admitted nerd, Marco can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to be a writer. His first novel, The Jackal Of Nar, was published in 1999. That launched his first trilogy, the Tyrants and Kings from BantamSpectra. Two more novels followed, then came his Bronze Knight series for Daw Books, the fourth of which, The Forever Knight, released this past Spring. He spends a lot of time on his blog and author site at HappyNerdJohn.blogspot.com and also on Twitter as @happynerdjohn. He’s also headlining Shattered Shields, a military fantasy anthology coming next year from Baen Books, edited by Jennifer Brozek and myself, which also features new Black Company from Glen Cook, new Runelords from David Farland, new Paksenarrion from Elizabeth Moon and an October Daye prequel story from Seanan McGuire, amongst others.
SFFWRTCHT: First things first, where’d your interest in speculative fiction come from?
JOHN MARCO: Maybe the covers. I loved the old book and magazine covers. Made me want to read them.
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