The inspiration for Coldmaker by Daniel A. Cohen Dec20

The inspiration for Coldmaker by Daniel A. Cohen...

COLDMAKER came out of two burning desires (pun intended). First and foremost, I very much wanted to explore a societal structure where the currency had a high inherent value, instead of just an assumed value. Basically I wanted to explore the barter system on steroids. I wanted the reader to feel the need for a particular currency, which in this world happens to be Cold itself, coming in five varying denominations (from least to most potent: Wisps, Drafts, Shivers, Chills, and the most holy of all, the Frost). Even though the cold/hot trope has been widely explored, I’ve always found the idea of barren landscape to be simultaneously poetic and devastating. How do native peoples, desert travelers, and vagabonds survive in such harsh conditions? It takes a certain level of ingenuity (enter MICAH, the inventor protagonist of COLDMAKER) and a driving sense of survival in order to carry on. I figured a land as hot and barren as they come would give me the perfect set-up for this kind of desperate world, making Cold itself the currency, which automatically bestows that inherent value. The World Cried is scorching. Terrible. Merciless. And there’s only one way to survive. The second desire I wished to explore came from my intense interest in the power of lies. As much as we don’t want to believe it, people lie. Why people lie is up to much scientific and theological research and debate (all of which is way above my pay grade) but the simple fact is that for some reason, humans are built with this mechanism with which to escape the truth. People lie. Some people lie a lot. Some people believe their lies so much that they aren’t even part of the lying process any longer. These...

Robin Hobb – PIEBALDS AND PRINCES Nov29

Robin Hobb – PIEBALDS AND PRINCES...

Suppose you were born with a magical ability, but the ability was so intrinsic to who you were that you were unaware of how unusual it was. Just as a child doesn’t know what a miracle it is to be able to see colours, or distinguish the different scents of flowers and fruit, you might assume that everyone was aware of animal life as keenly as you were.  You might think that all people were aware that sometimes an animal’s consciousness might brush against your own. You would not think of it as something dirty and disgusting.  You would not be ashamed of it. Until someone told you that the Wit was a bestial magic, and you deserved to die for practising it. This is the situation for young FitzChivalry Farseer when the reader first encounters him in The Farseer Trilogy.  His ability to use the Wit endangers him, and affects his relationships with everyone around him.  Those who value him must protect him and force him to conceal his magic. Those who wish to destroy him will use it as one more tool against him. We all know the saying, ‘History is written by the victors’. When my readers first began to visit the Six Duchies, in The Farseer Trilogy, the Skill was a highly prized magic.  The training and practice of the Skill was a closely-guarded knowledge, and only those of appropriate character were instructed in it.  Although it was known to sometimes appear ‘randomly’, it was seen as the magic of the Farseer nobility. The Skill enabled its practitioners to ‘see from afar’ as well as to communicate with others talented in that magic, or to influence weaker minds.  It was both a weapon and an art.  It was certainly not...

NaNoWriMo and What Comes Next by Christi J. Whitney Nov28

NaNoWriMo and What Comes Next by Christi J. Whitney...

November is nearly over, which means NaNoWriMo is also coming to an end – well, the writing part, at least. Anyone who has ever participated in this annual phenomenon will know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, here it is in a nutshell: NaNoWriMo presents you with the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. It’s a fantastic exercise in both creative writing and determined discipline. When I wrote Grey, the first book in The Romany Outcasts Series, I had no idea what NaNoWriMo was, much less how to participate. But shortly after finishing my novel, I joined a writer’s group and heard all about it. Since then, I have participated multiple times. Have I always finished? Absolutely not! But the point is to get writing, no matter whether you make the word count or not. But let’s say you did finish a novel. What next? The temptation can be to start sending your work out to everyone. (Believe me, I’ve been there.) However, since December tends to be a slow month in the publishing industry anyway, now is actually the perfect time to begin honing that story into a finely-tuned novel. December is the perfect time to revise and edit your manuscript. I know, I know . . . it sounds impossible, right? There are decorations to arrange, presents to shop for, and you have to navigate the general bustle of the season. But the winter months also provide early darkness, cooler weather, and opportunities for cozying up in front of the fire. Which means there is opportunity for revising.  Many people find that writing new material is the easiest part of the writing process. But I’ve never felt that way. Writing on a blank page...

Coldmaker by Daniel A. Cohen: TEN TRAVEL TIPS FOR VISITING THE WORLD CRIED Nov09

Coldmaker by Daniel A. Cohen: TEN TRAVEL TIPS FOR VISITING THE WORLD CRIED...

  So you’re planning a trip to the World Cried. Excellent choice of destination. It could certainly use the tourism, as things have been a little… stifled since the Great Drought. Here’s a list of the top ten things you need to pack, know, and see in order to have a gratifying travel experience, and more importantly, not die.   Make sure your suntan lotion is at least SPF 1000. The World Cried is a little on the scorching side these days. You’ve probably heard rumors of lush lands flushed green and alive, where you can walk a hundred feet in any direction and pick fruit as big as your fists. Where the Cold breaks on mountain rocks, cooling the air and the boiling rivers, so that you could swim and drink straight from the current. Alas, those were the glory days eight hundred years ago, before the Great Drought. Now the brutal Sun has free rein over the land and will scorch you down to the bones if you don’t protect yourself properly! A good hat won’t hurt.   The Paphos Library Scrolls and scrolls and scrolls galore! When visiting the capitol of the Khatdom, learn all about the history of the High Noble houses and the great deeds of the long line of Khat leaders. (Praise be to them!) There are also lots of nifty sculptures and paintings including ‘The Cause’, the famous oil-on-boilweed canvas which illustrates all the horrible things the Jadans did to anger the Crier way back when. Those pesky Jadans! So unworthy of the Cold that the gracious Nobles dole out of their own pockets.   The Crying This is certainly the main attraction you’ll want to witness of the World Cried, and is not to be missed...

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...