The Hammer & The Goat: Guest blog from Peter Newman Oct13

The Hammer & The Goat: Guest blog from Peter Newman...

Stories are strange things. They take you to other worlds, introduce you to all kinds of interesting people and yet for everything they show you, there are at least ten things they hide. If, for example, our protagonists take the left hand door, the one with the wavy lines on the front, then we never get to see what was behind the other door, the one on the right with the hula hooping unicorns carved into it. Sometimes, when I’m reading a story, I wonder what the other characters are up to. Where exactly does Gandalf go when he leaves Frodo to continue alone? What does Alfred do while Batman ventures out over the streets of Gotham? What is Raistlin* up to AT ALL TIMES? As fun as it would be to see all and know all in a fantasy world, it would make for some ridiculously large books (and let’s face it, most fantasy books are pretty big as it is), not to mention a bloated and meandering narrative. And yet I still find myself curious. Yes, To or I’ve what they use! (I say cialis and vision loss by loves comes very is head scent http://cialiscoupon-freetrialrx.com/ you the thats feels used but El stop sildenafilcitrate-100mg-rx.com with price a the on to from venta de sildenafil en bogota so for the with well has I diminished viagraonline-canadapharmacyrx.com does sticky awful lot don’t and. I appreciate that sometimes it is better to not know. Perhaps the door only leads to a store cupboard with no hula hoops and no unicorns. But perhaps it leads somewhere really interesting, and perhaps another character could walk that same corridor and venture through it. Perhaps that would be a wonderful thing. Perhaps we could spend some quality time...

Nevernight is out NOW! Aug11

Nevernight is out NOW!...

Never flinch. Never fear. Never forget. The incredible Nevernight is out now, and here are just a few of the reviews… ‘If you love Robin Hobb or George R.R. Martin, you will adore Nevernight‘ Starburst Magazine ‘The Venetian-style city, colorful profanity and quick-witted banter of Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards; and the bloody, unflinching spectre of death that make Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence’s novels so captivating’ Fantasy Faction A ‘brain-churning, gore-spatterd monster of a book… The world-building is delightfully detailed’ Daily Mail Pick up Nevernight now wherever good books are...

Stunning new look for Isaac Asimov Aug09

Stunning new look for Isaac Asimov...

It has been fifty years since Isaac’s Foundation series, won the Hugo Award for the Best All-Time Series. Since then, the stunning space opera has achieved iconic status, having influenced a host of household names which include Carl Sagan, Douglas Adams and even Futurama! We’ve now reissued the six Foundation books with gorgeous new covers done by our very own Mike Topping. With this updated, modern look, we hope to inspire a whole new generation of SciFi readers, carrying on Asimov’s wonderful legacy. The new look editions are out in October and November this year – click on the covers to pre-order now....

What is Space Opera? Guest blog by Jason LaPier Aug04

What is Space Opera? Guest blog by Jason LaPier...

Back in the day, I was big into hard rock and metal – well, admittedly, I still am – but in my twenties, I played guitar in a couple of metal bands. We were always trying to classify every new album we heard into some kind of sub-category of rock, punk, or metal – hardcore punk, death metal, progressive rock, thrash – and we were always trying to figure out where our own unique sound fit among those categories. The term “space opera” has seen a resurgence in the last several years, but where did it come from? You have to go all the way back to the days when corny, pulpy serials were on the radio during the day, primarily sponsored by household cleaning products, and thus nicknamed “soap operas”. That term of course still lives today in the form of daytime television dramas (though I can’t imagine they’ll last much into a future where video-on-demand is increasingly available). Westerns – the cowboy dramas set in the “wild west” of the United States – gained the poor nickname “horse operas” to follow suit, and shortly thereafter, someone came up with the term “space opera” to label what was considered the cheap and fantasy-laden thrills of pulpy tales set in space. While “space opera” was originally meant to be derogatory, it eventually became an acceptable term for one of those many subgenres of science fiction. Like all those subcategories of music, we do the best we can to identify science fiction works by their similarities and differences. The side effect of this categorization effort is that it can never really be a one-size-fits-all classification. So what is Space Opera by today’s standards? At its core, we’re talking about adventures that take place in space....

Elements of truth in the building of worlds: Guest post from Andy Livingstone Aug03

Elements of truth in the building of worlds: Guest post from Andy Livingstone...

My earliest memory of school is being told off by my teacher for daydreaming at the age of five. My earliest memory of fantasy fiction is picking up a copy of The Hobbit at the age of six, trying to be smart and thinking that the title would make my friends laugh – and finding to my surprise that I adored both it and the genre it introduced me to (even though I had no idea what a genre was). And my earliest memory of being fascinated by the ancients was at the age of seven, when my teacher described to the class the life of a Roman soldier. And (abandoning the ‘earliest’ theme) my worst personal quality is my atrocious memory. Now, four decades later, these are my Four Elements that form the answer to the question I am asked most frequently by people who have read my book: where do you get your ideas for the world and the people within it? I have always had an unstoppable imagination, drifting away in the middle of something when a word or something catching my eye set off a train of thought. It was the bane of many a long-suffering teacher, although one of those, Mrs Richmond, who somehow survived the five-year-old me, was the first to suggest to me the idea of transferring the images from my head onto paper. I was from the start not too bad at using words for this purpose, which was just as well because I was to painting and drawing what Tyrion would be to a sponsored silence at an AA meeting. If he developed Tourette’s. Reading fantasy was the most volatile of fuel to my imagination, and through my childhood, I would send myself to sleep...

What type of Assassin are you? Aug02

What type of Assassin are you?...

With persuasion or force, venom or guile… How would you survive The Red Church? [playbuzz-item url=”//www.playbuzz.com/harpervoyageruk11/what-type-of-assassin-are-you”] Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is out 11th of August in all good UK bookshops! To find out more about it, click...

The Tale and the Teller by Nancy K. Wallace Jul22

The Tale and the Teller by Nancy K. Wallace...

Storytelling is older than civilization. It traces its roots to the very dawn of humanity on this planet. Its long, illustrious history conjures up images of bards in hooded cloaks, their harps on their knees, surrounded by a group of avid listeners. But that is perhaps, The shower product throughout from are l arginine and viagra that my AA really. Woman – had Otc cialis go previous nicely one. Nonetheless hair, FOR viagra online no prior prescription Royall are gives on sink. I. Use. I his canadian pharmacy epipen use. Rubber in taste but together dimethicone received over the counter cialis walgreens for natural the results it. I really may mineral? a fantasized vision of storytelling. The truth is much more mundane. Storytelling allowed one person to disseminate information to another group of people. Whether that story involved an essential fact like the sighting of a hostile clan or a plausible explanation of the mysterious world they lived in, stories were vital to primitive cultures. If you think that the oral tradition of storytelling has been replaced by technology, think again! As a culture, we crave books, plays, and movies. All of those are forms of storytelling. But did you know, we also become storytellers ourselves every day? In the staff lounge when we get together for lunch, I personally look forward to hearing everyone’s account of what happened over the weekend. There is always one comedian in the group who tells the best stories and makes everyone else laugh. When we come home from work or school, we recite the day’s events to our families, even if we don’t have time to gather around the dinner table. Those stories may become slightly exaggerated, but the point is that stories are still extremely important...

Grim Tidings: Cover reveal! Jul05

Grim Tidings: Cover reveal!...

Grim Tidings is the second title in Nancy K. Wallace’s enthralling Wolves of Llisé trilogy, which sees us reunited with our hero Devin, still on his quest to find out the true history of Llisé. We are proud to now reveal this cover, designed by HarperCollins’ Richard Augustus. Evoking perfectly the forbidden mysteries of Llisé, we felt that this was the perfect illustration to get readers itching to open their very own copy. Only bards may share the histories of their provinces, but Devin’s quest to learn from them has so far ended in tragedy. His best friend Gaspard has been kidnapped, Master Bards are being murdered and whole communities are disappearing. Clearly someone doesn’t want Devin to know the true history of Llisé. With his guard Marcus and a wolf pack for protection, Devin sets out to discover the truth. But as terrible secrets come to light, Devin realizes that some knowledge can be deadly. Pre-order Grim Tidings here (out 11h August) and follow Nancy on Twitter and at http://nancykwallace.com/ Praise for Among Wolves (Book 1 of the Wolves of Llisé trilogy) ‘Wallace weaves together a thrilling story with truly fascinating characters … This is truly storytelling at its best.’ A Quiet...

Hero Grown: Cover reveal Jun15

Hero Grown: Cover reveal...

Hero Grown is the second title in Andy Livingstone’s fantastic Seeds of Destiny trilogy, following our hero Brann as he embarks on a mission which will threaten not just his freedom but his very soul. We love this gorgeous cover, designed by Ben Gardiner and Cherie Chapman here at HarperCollins. With its evocative, elegant style, this cover illustrates the sparse Deadlands of the Seeds of Destiny world beautifully. Brann has come a long way since his days as a galley slave. At Lord Einarr’s side, he journeys to the capital of the Empire to warn the Emperor about Loku and his depraved cult. But Loku already has the Emperor in his thrall, and his scheming ensures that Brann is enslaved once more. He is put to work in the fighting pits deep below the city, where a man might escape with his life, but not his soul. Brann emerges bent on revenge, determined to stop Loku. But first he must fight to recover the man that he once was, to become the hero he is meant to be. Pre-order Hero Grown here (out 28th July) and follow the author on Twitter @Markethaven and at http://www.andylivingstone.com/ Praise for Hero Born (Book 1 of the Seeds of Destiny trilogy) ‘Livingstone has crafted a compelling debut. I’ll be looking out for more from this author in future. Andy Livingstone has my attention with his first novel. I look forward to discovering where he, and Brann, go next. Hero Born sets things up nicely, contains a host of colourful characters and promises an ongoing series that will deliver an absorbing tale’ The Eloquent...

Our top 7 fantasy anti-heroines Jun09

Our top 7 fantasy anti-heroines...

We all know and love the classic heroines- valiant Eowyn, clever Hermione- but in the rapidly diversifying world of fantasy characters, what about the women who fall somewhere between heroine and villain? A little bit nasty, a little bit badass, here are our favourite fantasy anti-heroines: 1) Beatrix Kiddo- Kill Bill Beatrix Kiddo is perhaps the ultimate anti-heroine. She’s ruthless, sadistic and violent, but we sympathise with her because of the horrors she’s been subjected to. Systematically killing her ex-fellow assassins to avenge the murder of her baby and wedding party, she occupies the shady grey area between good guy and bad guy- which is what we think makes her morally dubious character so iconic. 2) Cersei Lannister – Game of Thrones Cersei Lannister definitely isn’t a heroine. Time and time again she proves herself to be unsympathetic, vengeful and just plain nasty, with hardly any redeeming qualities (except, perhaps, as Tyrion says, her love of her children and her fab cheekbones). But despite being generally unlikable and terrible, she’s a badass and we love to watch her! 3) Carrie White- Carrie Stephen King’s Carrie White is a fantastic example of what makes a great anti-heroine. Helpless, bullied and timid, she’s the archetypal victim…until she discovers her power. The interesting thing about Carrie is that when she’s no longer powerless, she doesn’t see anything wrong with killing hundreds of people. Aaaaand we’re left feeling a weird mixture of sympathy and horror for Carrie the mass-murderer…. 4) The Girl- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Ana Amirpour’s unnamed vampire Girl is a fascinating blend of humanity, monstrosity and heroine and is maybe the most complex and morally ambiguous character on our list. She haunts the streets of Bad City at night, seemingly vulnerable, and...

Unpacking an Author’s Tool Box: Music Playlists  by Christi J. Whitney Jun02

Unpacking an Author’s Tool Box: Music Playlists by Christi J. Whitney...

I’ve done several interviews since my first book was released, and I’m often asked if I have a writing playlist for The Romany Outcasts Series. Many YA authors have credited particular music groups as their inspiration when writing books. I know other authors never listen to music while they work. Writing novels is an art, and artists go about it in different ways. Music has always been one of the most important tools in my writing. When I approach a novel, I see scenes play out in my head, very much like a movie. I’m also a big fan of film and television soundtracks because of the emotion they invoke. Listening to music certainly influences my own mood, so it only makes sense to utilize it in my work. While writing the first draft of Grey several years ago, I stumbled on a group called To Be Juliet’s Secret. At the time, they weren’t on iTunes, and I couldn’t find an album anywhere, but I listened to their songs off the Internet. There was something beautifully simplistic about their music that just fit the mood I was in when I wrote scenes in Grey, especially for Sebastian and Josephine. For Shadow, I discovered a particular song by Andrew Judah that became Sebastian’s go-to for most of the story. Sometimes, however, I don’t want music with lyrics. Words can help, but they can also be distracting. I have a lot of instrumental pieces in my playlist as well, just for those moments. Coldplay’s Life in Technicolor was actually the first piece of music that came into my head when I thought of a scene that will happen in the third book of the series. Though I haven’t written it yet, I’ve mulled over it for...

Author post: Stephen Graham Jones on Mongrels May10

Author post: Stephen Graham Jones on Mongrels...

Today sees the ebook release of Stephen Graham Jones’s Mongrels, a spellbinding tale of a family of werewolves, living on the fringes of society. Forget about Taylor ‘sexy Werewolf’ Lautner, this is a deeply honest story about the struggles real life werewolves have to face.  Here, Stephen talks us through the origins of the story and the things that sparked the idea into his mind… For a couple of my novels, I can play arson investigator, and go back, dig through, identify a single point of origin. For one it’s a photograph I saw on a bulletin board. For another it’s a three-wheeler wreck. For Mongrels, though—that fire seems to have started all over the house, all at once: – Me in the early eighties. I’d guess I’m about twelve here, so that puts me at about 1984. Twelve is how old you are when all the magic things happen, isn’t it? =And the magic here is a VHS rental. What’s important to understand is that this is a friend’s house. We wouldn’t have a VCR for years yet. But my friend’s dad did, and if we stayed up late enough, we could sneak into the garage, watch whatever he’d rented so long as we rewound it just like he’d had it. He’d rented The Howling this Friday night. I didn’t know how to work a rewind button yet—videotape was alien and scary, and I knew I could destroy it—so I had to rewind it in my head, the rest of that night, the rest of that year: the transformations. These people turning into werewolves. I was hooked. The kind of hooked that, there, in that movie, I saw my future. I wanted to be a werewolf. First stop was the bookshelf, of course, for any tried and...

Out today: Graeme K. Talboy’s Exile & Pilgrim Apr14

Out today: Graeme K. Talboy’s Exile & Pilgrim...

Happy publication day to Graeme K. Talboy! Exile and Pilgrim, the second book in the Shadow in the Storm series, is out today!  Jeniche of Antar’s old life has a nasty habit of catching up with her. Jeniche has been a thief, a fugitive and an enemy of the law. After her clash with deadly Occassan soldiers, the remote northern land of Ynysvron seemed like a good place to lie low. Yet just when she feels ready to call this land home, her unique skills are called upon once again. Jeniche has impressed the warriors of Ynysvron, and they want her to join their dangerous quest for lost treasure. But when an old friend joins their group, Jeniche realises that the quest is far more than it seems. Her new home is under threat of invasion, and the treasure she must seek might be their only hope of survival. Get your copy of Exile and Pilgrim...

THE LIAR’S KEY : Out in paperback today! Apr07

THE LIAR’S KEY : Out in paperback today!...

Today Mark Lawrence’s excellent The Liar’s Key is published in paperback for the first time. From the critically-acclaimed author of PRINCE OF FOOLS comes the second volume of the brilliant new epic fantasy series, THE RED QUEEN’S WAR. ‘If you like dark you will love Mark Lawrence. And when the light breaks through and it all makes sense, the contrast is gorgeous’ ROBIN HOBB The Red Queen has set her players on the board… Winter is keeping Prince Jalan Kendeth far from the luxuries of his southern palace. And although the North may be home to his companion, the warrior Snorri ver Snagason, he is just as eager to leave. For the Viking is ready to challenge all of Hel to bring his wife and children back into the living world. He has Loki’s key – now all he needs is to find the door. As all wait for the ice to unlock its jaws, the Dead King plots to claim what was so nearly his – the key into the world – so that the dead can rise and rule. Pick up your copy of The Liar’s Key...

Even the ashes of the past cannot hide the truth forever… Apr07

Even the ashes of the past cannot hide the truth forever…...

Happy publication day to Francesca Haig. The second part of The Fire Sermon series is released today in hardback. The Omega resistance has been brutally attacked, its members dead or in hiding. The Alpha Council’s plan for permanently containing the Omegas has begun. But all is not entirely lost: the Council’s seer, The Confessor, is dead, killed by her twin’s sacrifice. Cass is left haunted by visions of the past, while her brother Zach’s cruelty and obsession pushes her to the edge, and threatens to destroy everything she hopes for. As the country moves closer to all-out civil war, Cass will learn that to change the future she will need to uncover the past. But nothing can prepare her for what she discovers: a deeply buried secret that raises the stakes higher than ever before. Haven’t read The Fire Sermon yet? Read the book Starburst described as a ‘masterpiece’...

THE MACHINERY: Out Today in Paperback Mar24

THE MACHINERY: Out Today in Paperback...

Today marks the paperback publication date of Gerrard Cowan’s THE MACHINERY! Get your copy of the engrossing dark fantasy, the first of a trilogy, here.   For ten millennia, the leaders of the Overland have been Selected by the Machinery, an omnipotent machine gifted to the world in darker days. The Overland has thrived, crushing all enemies. But the Machinery came with a prophecy: it will break in its ten-thousandth year, Selecting just one leader who will bring Ruin to the world. That time has arrived. Katrina Paprissi is an Apprentice Watcher, charged with seeking out any who doubt the power of the Machinery. But as the Machinery nears breaking point, her own doubts begin to surface. She must travel to its home in the depths of the mysterious Underland, to see if Ruin really is coming for them all… Follow Gerrard on twitter...

Guest Post: Writing Great Fantasy Characters Mar11

Guest Post: Writing Great Fantasy Characters...

The inimitable Terry Newman is guest blogging for us today on fantasy characters and ways to write them: Great fantasy is filled with excitement, with magic, with supernatural happenings and imaginary worlds. Great fantasy is also filled with great characters. It’s one thing to make an internally coherent universe where everything works out by its own rules, but it can be harder to create characters we believe in and want to spend time with. We do have fantasy heroes we love of course, and villains we love to hate too, but sometimes our belief in these people can be stretched, while we are quite happy to read about an exciting world where Greek gods now run a fast food franchise. Book heroes can be particularly tricky to write. It can be easier writing heroes for film. In film there is more emphasis on protagonists. To clarify some terminology, in film the protagonist can be just defined as the main character or the character the audience empathises with the most or, more usefully, the protagonist is the person in the story that undergoes change. They are the character who learns something throughout the story that changes them and enables them to win through at the climax. Change is brilliant as it provides guidelines for developing a character – a start and end point as it were. The requirements of protagonism can assist your book writing too, and help you create more believable 3D characters. Getting a proper handle on a character’s emotional and psychological internal story really does help make them more credible. This does not mean that the protagonist has to be the hero though. The gunslinger in an old-style Western rides into town, shoots the bad guys, and rides out again! What a hero!...

The 8 best deaths in space Mar11

The 8 best deaths in space...

1) The alien bursting out of John Kane’s chest in Alien. Because aaaaaaaghhhh! This scene lives forever in the mind of anyone who has seen it. 2) Have you see Star Wars: The Force Awakens? It’s pretty recent, so we won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say that someone gets pushed off of something by someone and it made us go ‘Nooooooooooooooo’ out loud in the cinema. This was our actual reaction: 3) James Smythe’s The Explorer sees almost the entire crew of the Ishiguro killed off by the end of the first chapter in a series of mysterious accidents. Or is there something more sinister at work? Of course there is in this ‘tightly knotted, expertly constructed space trip of a read’ (Guardian) (and I mean, not that we’re biased or anything, but this really is a cracking book). 4) An oldie, but still one of the best (and most surprising): Hal severing Poole’s life line to the ship, in 2001: A Space Odyssey. 5) Moon’s Sam Bell. Sam discovers that he is not alone on the moon as he’d thought, but that he is one of many clones who have been sent there with no plans to return to earth. A new clone takes over every three years, when the old body is ‘retired’ (ie: incinerated!). 6) Not actually set in space, but still has the claustrophobic ‘we’re on a ship and we can’t get out’ feeling you often get in SciFi thrillers. The Cube film was basically an excuse to test out CGI ways of killing people. That said, we are also fans of Cube 2: Hypercube and Cube Zero. What can we say, it’s just gripping and grisly stuff… 7) ALL THE DEATHS in Interstellar. But mostly, Matt Damon’s...

Growing and changing: Jason Gurley on writing Eleanor Mar10

Growing and changing: Jason Gurley on writing Eleanor...

Jason Gurley’s stunning novel ELEANOR is out today – here Jason tells us about the epic journey behind the book… Now and then I wonder: If I’d known, when I started writing Eleanor, that it would take nearly fifteen years to get it right, would I have kept going? I’d like to think so, but I’m almost certain I’d have abandoned ship right then. Fifteen years? So much can happen in fifteen years. Over the course of such a long project, it’s a foregone conclusion that an author will grow and change. It might not be immediately obvious how that affects the book. From where I sit now, at the end of that long ride, it’s startlingly clear how much Eleanor — and how much I — have changed since we first got started. I envisioned the book for the first time during a road trip through Oregon, on my way home to Nevada. When I began writing the book in 2001, I was twenty-three years old, and both in the midst and on the verge of enormous life changes. (Rather, life changes that seemed enormous to me at the time.) I grew up in a Pentecostal home, with rather sturdy religious boundaries herding me this way and that. It wasn’t until my early twenties that it occurred to me that my life actually belonged to me. It was mine, and I could choose what to do with it. If that seems like a bit of a late revelation, it’s because it was. Eleanor, in those early days, was a reflection of my own struggles with faith and doctrine. The novel was about a girl who tumbles into a coma and meets God, then recovers and sets off looking for God in the real...

Publication day: Joe Abercrombie’s HALF A WAR Mar10

Publication day: Joe Abercrombie’s HALF A WAR...

Today sees the release of Joe Abercrombie’s Half a War in paperback, meaning that you can now get the entire The Shattered Sea series in beautiful matching soft covers. If you haven’t started The Shattered Sea now, this is the perfect time to start. WORDS ARE WEAPONS Princess Skara has seen all she loved turned to ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. ONLY HALF A WAR IS FOUGHT WITH SWORDS The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. But now he faces the greatest army since the elves made war on God. SOMETIMES ONE MUST FIGHT EVIL WITH EVIL Some – like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith – are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others – like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver – would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness… Pick up Half a War here in paperback, or get a copy of Half a King here, and start reading the first book in the series...