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Showing posts from May, 2014

Guest post: Viewpoint in Historical Fantasy: Telling the truth or just plain crazy

Guest post: Viewpoint in Historical Fantasy: Telling the truth or just plain crazy by Clifford Beal As an old sub-genre, but one with ever increasing popularity, historical fantasy by its nature normally mixes the familiar with the strange. In many ways, this is part of the charm of the genre, immersing the reader in a time period they know or like and then throwing in the fantastic and the unbelievable. It allows for crafting some juicy and challenging plotlines. And it enables character development that invites readers to open their minds and to imagine how our forebears might have dealt with an adventure into the unknown. With historical fantasy there’s tremendous scope for playing with the concept of believability and denial of the fantastic within the setting of the novel. This is of course true with contemporary-based supernatural horror or urban fantasy. But with a historical fantasy setting, the believability factor can be set against the mores, social conventions, and b

Book Review: Blood Will Follow

Blood Will Follow by Snorri Kristjansson, The Valhalla Saga #2 Ulfar Thormodsson and Audun Arngrimsson have won the battle for Stenvik, although at huge cost, for they have suffered much worse than heartbreak. They have lost the very thing that made them human: their mortality. While Ulfar heads home, looking for the place where he thinks he will be safe, Audun runs south. But both men are about to discover that they can not run away from themselves. King Olav might have been defeated outside the walls of Stenvik, but now Valgard leads him north, in search of the source of the Vikings’ power. All the while there are those who watch and wait, biding their time, for there are secrets yet to be discovered… As I have mentioned before 2013 saw a lot of great debuts and another one that really stood out was Swords of Good Men . A book that was different from the mainstream fantasy and featured an interesting storyline, blood battles and lets not forget plenty of Vikings. Snorri K

Author interview with Jeff Salyards

Author interview with Jeff Salyards Author bio: Jeff Salyards grew up in a small town north of Chicago. While it wasn't Mayberry, it was quiet and sleepy, so he got started early imagining his way into other worlds that were loud, chaotic, and full of irrepressible characters. While he ultimately moved away, he never lost his fascination for the fantastic. Though his tastes have grown a bit darker and more mature over the years. Jeff lives near Chicago with his wife and three daughters. By day, he is a book editor for the American Bar Association; by night, he will continue to crank out novels as long as there are readers willing to read them. ---------------------------------------------- Hi Jeff, welcome over to The Book Plank and for taking your time to answer these few questions for us. BP: First off, could you give us a short introduction as to who Jeff Salyards is? What are you likes/dislikes and hobbies? JS: I like naps. And fantasy maps.

Book Review: Beauty by Sarah Pinborough

Beauty by Sarah Pinborough, Tales of the Kingdom #3 BEAUTY is a beautifully illustrated re-telling of the Sleeping Beauty story which takes all the elements of the classic fairytale that we love (the handsome prince, the ancient curse, the sleeping girl and, of course, the haunting castle) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It's fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of ONCE UPON A TIME, GRIMM, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and more. I have heard a lot of positive news about Sarah Pinborough's Tales of the Kingdom but haven't had the chance to pick up one of the stories. I have, however read Mayhem and Murder from Sarah Pinborough and with those books she really proved her worth. Managing both to scare the hell out of me and intrigue me to the fullest. So when the opportunity presented itself to review the third story in the Tales of the Kingdom, Beauty , I readily jumped to the occasion to read it. Though it is a fai

Author interview with Craig Cormick

Author interview with Craig Cormick Author bio: Craig Cormick in an Australian science communicator and author. He was born in Wollongong in 1961, and is known for his creative writing and social research into public attitudes towards new technologies. He has lived mainly in Canberra, but has also in Iceland (1980–81) and Finland (1984–85). He has published 15 books of fiction and non-fiction, and numerous articles in refereed journals. He has been active in the Canberra writing community, teaching and editing, was Chair of the ACT Writers Centre from 2003 to 2008 and in 2006 was Writer in Residence at the University of Science in Penang, Malaysia. Cormick's creative writing has appeared in most of Australia's literary journals including Southerly, Westerly, Island, Meanjin, The Phoenix Review, Overland, Scarp, 4W, Redoubt, Block, as well as in overseas publications including Silverfish New Writing (Malaysia) and Foreign Literature No 6 (China). He has