Tag Archives: Peter Higgins

[GUEST REVIEW] Ben Blattberg on TRUTH AND FEAR by Peter Higgins

Ben Blattberg is a freelance writer currently living in Texas. He blogs about movies and story structure at incremental-catastrophe.blogspot.com and makes jokes on Twitter @inCatastrophe.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In the sequel to Wolfhound Century (reviewed here), while war approaches the city of Mirgorod, ex-Investigator Lom and Maroussia Shaumian search for the power to change the world, while totalitarian police chief Chazia discovers secret government research into a new weapon.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: More and deeper views into this alternate magical Russian/Soviet history; interesting side stories.
CONS: Central character Lom pales next to secondary characters; abrupt ending cries out for next volume.
BOTTOM LINE: An exciting sequel to a solid series — which will hopefully be wrapped up nicely in the third book.

Pity the fantasy author working on the middle book of a trilogy. Or don’t. But at least recognize the needle-threading necessary for a successful middle book: the author has to move the story forward, but not finish it; has to increase characters’ powers and the danger they face, but still leave some space for the final book; and has to build on the first book’s setting — but, boy, do readers get jaded with even the most inventive worlds. “Sure,” we might say to Peter Higgins, “your first book showed us a unique World War II-era Soviet fantasy world that was engrossing and strange — but what have you done for us recently?” Considering those prerequisites for a successful sequel, it seems like a minor miracle that Truth and Fear is as good as it is. In short, if you liked the first book, you will probably like this one, which continues most of the pleasures and minor faults of the first book.
Continue reading

[GUEST REVIEW] Ben Blattberg on WOLFHOUND CENTURY by Peter Higgins

Ben Blattberg is a freelance writer currently living in Texas. He blogs about movies and story structure at incremental-catastrophe.blogspot.com and makes jokes on Twitter @inCatastrophe.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In a totalitarian, Soviet-like state, a police investigator tracks down a terrorist and discovers his links to a living angel that is poisoning the world.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Lyrical writing; fascinating world-building that mixes Russian/Soviet history with folklore and fantasy.
CONS: Abrupt ending; characters tend towards thinness.
BOTTOM LINE: While it doesn’t feel like a complete story itself, Wolfhound Century is an intriguing first volume, with a promising setting and some exciting plot threads.

Peter Higgins’s debut novel Wolfhound Century is an ambitious, lyrical, and occasionally messy mix of police thriller, Russian/Soviet history, and fantasy that lends itself to at least two drinking games.
Continue reading

[GUEST POST] Peter Higgins on Alternate History of the Disreputable Kind (+ Giveaway!)


Peter Higgins read English at Oxford University and Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford and worked in the British Civil Service. His short stories have appeared in Fantasy: Best of the Year 2007, Best New Fantasy 2, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Fantasy Magazine, Zahir and Revelation, and in Russian translation in the St Petersburg magazine Esli. His alternate history novel Wolfhound Century is out now in paperback and the sequel, Truth and Fear, it out next month.

Alternate History of the Disreputable Kind

by Peter Higgins

There’s a kind of alternate history which, for the sake of argument, I want to call respectable. The kind that has a Point of Departure, and apart from that one POD, everything is obedient to the rules of recognizability. There’s a frisson of pleasure in the familiarity, the nearness to truth, the kiss of its world against ours. Yes, it could have been like this. This kind of alternate history really is very respectable now. Pulitzer Prize winners write it. Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America.

And then there’s another kind of alternate history, and I want to call it disreputable. It’s not the counterfactual historian’s history. It’s something different. It’s the past as imaginative space, memory space, atmosphere: a place where histories and fictions, realities and fantasies, myths and legends, emotions and desires, morph and jumble and jostle in serious play. All is real and everything is possible in this marvellous junk shop. It’s a carnival.
Continue reading

Cover & Synopsis: “Wolfhound Century” by Peter Higgins

Amazon has posted the cover art and synopsis of the upcoming novel Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins.
Continue reading