Sorry folks, but release of Magic's Resolve has been delayed to February 2018, rather than next month. It just gives you more time to re-read Wizards' Goal & Enemy Winter in preparation for the third instalment!
Authoring literature rooted in prehistory, even factual based fiction, raises the obvious dilemma for a writer. Recent paleontological discoveries, partnered by the advancement of new theories in behaviourism, paleoecology, physiology etc., can soon render the most up-to date research invalid, even obsolete.
When researching The Chosen One, I meticulously strived to maintain accurate representations of the dinosaurs depicted. In the intervening years since that novel was first published, non-avian feathered dinosaurs have become the accepted norm within the scientific community. Unsurprising, considering the widely held belief that birds evolved from saurian ancestors. The fossil evidence, particularly from China, is compelling.
So that raises the question, should works of dinosaur fiction be regularly updated to incorporate the latest findings?
In an ideal world, yes. In the cost conscious reality we live in, no. The expenditure in time alone required to rewrite a novel to avoid anachronisms is off-putting. True, Ogg and his nocturnal kin, Nightclaw, should be feathered to conform to the modern school of thought. But does their “nakedness” diminish the story? In my humble opinion, it does not. I freely admit in taking immense pride in my attention to detail in my novels and that The Chosen One characters were based on current paleobiology at the time of writing. But to edit the book every time new fossil evidence comes to light is impractical.
Take the Jurassic Park series of films. Discoveries that dromaeosaurs were fully feathered, made after the first film’s release, rendered the error of featherless Velociraptors an understandable oversight. However, that omission continued in the subsequent films, flaunting growing scientific opinion. (The one concession was the crest of ludicrously small quills adorning the heads of the male raptors in Jurassic Park III.) Even the latest instalment, Jurassic World, perpetuates the ongoing inaccuracy of raptors bereft of feathers. And Hollywood’s excuse? Aside from the plausible reasoning that the fictional dinosaurs are cloned representations of the originals and therefore not strict biological reproductions, the movie makers (rightly or wrongly) argue that the public’s perception is of scaly raptors, an image fostered by the original Jurassic Park. Much like Jaws portrayed great white sharks as mindless eating machines, when in actuality the animal is a complex apex predator which does not habitually prey on human beings.
I know what you are thinking. It is far easier to rewrite a book than reshoot a movie. But would you have asked the late, talented Peter Benchley to edit his landmark novel in order to produce a more scientifically accurate, yet perhaps an unappealingly sanitised version of a classic read?
I didn’t think so.
Dear readers. If you're wondering where the third volume in the Terrath saga is, every day that passes brings it nearer to completion. Almost five years (gosh, that long) have passed since Enemy Winter was published by SynergEbooks. Please bear with me a while longer, as it is a labour of love and I am an insanely dedicated when it comes to perfecting my storytelling. Just remember, it took J.R.R. Tolkien ten years to pen The Lord of the Rings and that was worth the wait. Hopefully, I shan't take that long. LOL.
I realise I have covered this topic before in previous posts (Dune: Fiction or Fantasy and Science Fiction or Science Fantasy) but after watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens I feel compelled to revisit it. Third time lucky, maybe?
When A New Hope hit theatres back in 1977 – yes, folks, nearly forty years ago! – it ushered in a golden age of storytelling on not just the big screen. Sci-fi became the new television western. Gunsmoke and Bonanza gave way to Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers. In later years a TV series by the name of Firefly successfully integrated the two genres. Whereas that wrongly cancelled show was clearly a Space Western, the Star Wars empire (couldn’t resist that pun) of movies, books, and merchandise increasingly fuzzed the line between science fiction and fantasy. Sure, we had weathered blasters and screaming starfighters, lovable droids and loathsome aliens – staple fare of the field. But thrown into the mix was the mystical, all-powerful Force and laser swords brilliantly termed lightsabres, both ably wielded by Jedi Knights (what better name invokes medievalism!).
Star Wars undoubtedly has its roots in fantasy. But could it simply be fantasy masquerading as sci-fi? The same might be said for 1983’s Krull, unashamedly a cheesy favourite of mine. More heroic fantasy than anything else, the ‘science fiction’ constituent was in the guise of the emotionless Slayers who enforced the nefarious will of their hideous master, the planet-conquering Beast. Aside from being an early vehicle for a young Liam Neesom and Robbie Coltrane, both playing riveting minor characters, Krull failed dismally at the box office but has since gained creditable cult film status. Yet like its illustrious predecessor it was a swashbuckling union of magic and imagined science.
In terms of speculative fiction comparable to Frank Herbert’s equally groundbreaking Dune series of books, wonderfully perpetuated by his son Brian and co-writer Kevin J. Anderson, should the multilevel creation of George Lucas be reclassified as Science Fantasy? That bone of contention rests on the individual reader and viewer to decide.
However, think on this: Darth Vader, cybernetic villain, infamously more machine than man, yet a powerful Sith Lord proficient in using the Dark Side of the Force. The corrupted Anakin Skywalker was a blend of elements from both Sci-Fi and Fantasy, much like the Star Wars universe he terrorised.
CHOSEN TOO is on sale for only $1.98 at SynergEbooks. Don't just buy Book 2 of the CHOSEN TRILOGY, buy all three for an awesome read!http://www.synergebooks.com/
Eamon Birdsley is on sale at SynergEbooks for just $1.98. So treat your child to an adventure in reading.http://synergebooks.com/ebook_eamonbirdsley.html
Check out my page at deviantART to see my book art, including the covers and never before seen personal illustrations inspired by my stories. More artwork will be posted later.
Buy Wizards' Goal for just $1.98 at SynergEbooks and enter the mystical world of Terrath. http://synergebooks.com/ebook_wizardsgoal.html
Fancy Some Fantasy?
Summer is the perfect time to catch up on reading. Visit my author's page at SynergEbooks and pick fantastic science fantasy novels from my Chosen Trilogy and Terrath series. Go on, indulge yourself.
My good friend and fellow author T.H.Morris needs our help.
He plans to self-publish his first novel, a paranormal adventure set in North Carolina, through a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter. But in order to achieve this Terrick requires to make as many people aware of his project as he can.
I have had the privilege of reading a sneak preview of The Eleventh Percent and fans of the paranormal genre will be well rewarded. It will literally leave you breathless, wanting more.
Check out my comments and others' praise, as well as an excerpt from the book, on Terrick's website: http://thmorris.weebly.com/
Novelist Alan J. Garner is author of The Chosen Trilogy and the fantasy series Terrath.