Fourth Chosen Tale
I have begun writing the next chapter (book!) in the Chosen saga. In a completely unforeseen and unplanned return to the diverse worlds of the Chosen books, I am delving into the prehistory of my native New Zealand. It is a land dominated by birds and precious few mammals. I will keep you all posted when publication draws near. And, yes, my next Terrath novel is underway as well. So the muse is busy!
Magic's Resolve is published!
After a long and sometimes difficult gestation, I am pleased to announce that the third instalment to the Terrath series is finally complete and ready for its public debut. So pop over to SynergEbooks and get your copy now from just US $4.88.
Magic's Resolve Teaser
Just a wee taste of what's coming in February 2018. Hope you enjoy.
Flung unceremoniously off the side of the overturning ship, his unavoidable dunking in bracingly cold seawater revived Maldoch quicker than a stinging slap to the face from his witch of an ex wife. Strange that what was probably his last thought should be of Norelda, a person he weirdly both loved and loathed.
That he was about to die came as no revelation to the trussed up wizard. Plunging headfirst into the abyss, dragged inevitably downwards by the weight of his waterlogged robes, Maldoch thrashed wildly, battling instinctively against his imminent drowning. Managing to right himself, he succeeded only in altering the inescapable. Sinking feet first now granted him an unobstructed view of the carnage overhead. Gagged and bound hand and foot by stout ropes incapacitated him not only physically but magically. Casting spells required the freedom to speak and, if necessary, gesture. Unable to do either consigned the mage to dying alone in an unmarked, watery grave.
It was a moot point anyway. Temporarily powerless, he lacked even the conjuring ability of any predatory sleight of hand confidence trickster frequenting the seedier side streets of Alberion. Above him foundered the stricken Otter merchantman, wallowing upside down like a harpooned whale. Her slayer, a needle-nosed multi-oared rowboat, slowly backed away, bumping aside other objects casts overboard by the capsizing: crates, casks, and corpses galore riddled with arrows. Goblin swimmers rapidly joined the floaters as a constant rain of Elven shafts mercilessly reduced the survivors to macabre pincushions.
Maldoch found a large barrel bobbing at the surface strangely fascinating in light of the pickle he was in. Silhouetted against the strengthening sunlight, the shadowy barrel seemed to sprout...legs! That oddity was followed up by a bout of weirdness in the form of a pole with a curved end dipping into the sea from the galley heaving alongside. Watching the wooden fishing gaff hook the barrel by its “feet” then bend alarmingly under the strain as it hoisted its bulky cargo upwards clear of the water, it struck him that he had just witnessed J’tard being plucked to safety.
Any thought Maldoch entertained of being similarly gaffed was a false hope dashed against the rocks of impossibility; he had already sunk beyond the reach of rescue from the surface.
Below the choppy ocean the undersea world was deceptively tranquil. That serenity infused the doomed wizard and he ceased struggling, reconciled to his looming demise. Half expecting his life to flash before his eyes like an unfurling scroll, disappointment was the order of the day. Nothing flashed. Not even a footnote on a page from a notepad.
Magic's Resolve delayed.
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 on Sale!
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 on Sale!
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.
Novelist Alan J. Garner is author of The Chosen Trilogy and the fantasy series Terrath.