It’s that time of year, Halloween just past and in the UK Bonfire Night is upon us. It’s a time when ghosts may wander abroad and fires offer more than a place to burn the unfortunate Mr Fawkes, they give us safety against the drawing dark and the things that move within it.
So it’s the perfect time to release the Ghosts volume of Anne Michaud’s trilogy of short story collections.
Five Girls, Five Ghosts. Five Tales of hauntings and secrets. In this collection Anne Michaud brings us empathy and horror. Never underestimate the anger of the dead or the resilience of the living.
‘Anne Michaud’s writing is haunting, powerful and often beautiful’ – Amanda Rutter
The sequel to Hobgoblin’s Herald is now available in kindle and paperback formats on Amazon worldwide as well as in ebook formats via our own website! We are obviously very excited. If you haven’t read the first book yet, grab it quick and get caught up!
Time is the Death of Heroes. Time is the Eater of Names.The old knight is lost.Sir Aethed, disguised as a merchant’s bodyguard, travels the world seeking to reunite his crusading king Aaren with the mythical blade Moontalon, so that the crusader king might turn the tide against Ivak Mornscour and save Guien from his horde of travesties.But stranded on the frozen, windswept tundra of Ashebos, Aethed must face child-eating demons and mammoth gods, with the unwelcome aird of a wretched band of hobgoblins and the strange, savage girl who serves as their herald.
5 Girls, 5 Aliens. Five Tales of courage and outer space. In this collection by Anne Michaud the lesson is clear, never underestimate the power and resolve of ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances.
The world lies in ruins: overrun by an endless tide of self-replicating killing machines known as the Bugs. Only a fraction of its population managed to flee the planet aboard whatever ship would carry them, heading for jump points that would take them to new solar systems and, hopefully, to safety.
PROMINENT PROFESSOR STABBED TO DEATH AT KINGSLEY COLLEGE
Unfortunately, the murder may get lost in the confusion of new vice presidents, marketers, focus groups, assessors and protestors as the administration tries to make education profitable. There’s no time for mystery!
Time is the Death of Heroes. Time is the Eater of Names.
The old knight is lost.
Sir Aethed, disguised as a merchant’s bodyguard, travels the world seeking to reunite his crusading king Aaren with the mythical blade Moontalon, so that the crusader king might turn the tide against Ivak Mornscour and save Guien from his horde of travesties.
Still not sure? Read the opening chapters of all four in the free download on our front page.
Starfang 2 : Rise of the Clan by Joyce Chng
Starfang 3 : Will of the Clan by Joyce Chng
Children of Artifice by Danie Ware
Petra MacDonald and the Queen of the Fae by Shona Kinsella
American Monsters part 1
Short Fiction Contents of American Monsters
Santiago Santos: «A Carpet Sewn With Skeletons»
Sabrina Vourvoulias: «Time’s Up, Cerotes»
Ramiro Sanchiz: «The Pearl»
Paula Andrade: «Almamula»
Mariela Pappas: «The Eyes of a Wolf»
Solange Rodriguez Pappe: «The Entangler»
Daniel Salvo: «Jaar, Jaar, Jaar»
Flavia Rizental: «My Name is Iara»
Gustavo Bondoni: «Vulnerable Populations»
Fabio Fernandes: «The Emptiness in the Heart of All Things»
Teresa Mira de Echeverria: «Lakuma»
The Judgement Call (7506 words) by Simon Bestwick
Along the Long Road (5500 words) by Penny Jones
Cesar Alcázar and Eduardo Monteiro (art): «Cerro Bravo» – American Monsters
Paula Andrade: «La Perla del Plata» – American Monsters
Paula Andrade, Lynda Bruce, and Kieran Walsh – American Monsters internal art
Daniele Serra – American Monsters cover
Neil Williams – Judgement Call/Along the long road cover
Tabatha Stirling – Petra MacDonald cover
Sarah Anne Langton – Children of Artifice cover
Rhiannon Rasmussen-SIlverstein – Starfang 2 & 3 covers Editor (short form) Margrét Helgadóttir
A P.S. Our period columnist for Not the Fox News, Alasdair Stuart is eligible as fan writer and probably some other stuff, you should get on that. 😉
Today we are recommending another Fox Spirit skulk member, but not our own publications. That is because in addition to some incredible short stories with us, in the last few years James Bennett has been writing novels. Awesome novels with DRAGONS.
James is interviewed in two parts on Damien Seaman’s blog where he talks about his writing, his travels, the need for representation and getting his book deal
I have read the first two books in the Ben Garston trilogy and am very excited to get my foxy paws on the third.
And as we are reviewing this month here are my super quick reviews of the first two:
James Bennett takes myth, fairy tale, history and the almost real world and expertly pulls the threads together to weave a tale of dragons, daring adventures and ancient foes.
It’s also the heartbreaking and powerful story of a young girl’s desperation, betrayal and hope.
A fantastic story and a complete tale, with the promise of more to come.
The first novel in this series created a rich world where history, myth and fairy tale blend together and offered us a protagonist driven by duty more than heroism as it built towards a climax. This second volume picks up with the fallout of the previous years events, dropping the reader straight into the action as we discover that far from being allowed to fade back into the background, Red Ben is going to be fighting for his life.
The focus in the second novel is on the eastern and western guardians of the remnants and the lore and the machinations of the Envoy, leading us through Xanadu in the past, Paris in the present and of course, a little bit of London among others. The threads of loss, betrayal, longing and survival weave throughout the fantastic story telling and compelling characters. It’s faster paced than the first, full of visceral battle scenes, with the occasional potent moment of sorrow or despair, rooting it deeply in the readers heart.
James Bennett is a superb storyteller and this series is a must read for fans of knightly adventures, dragons or fantasy, or pretty much anyone who reads fiction really.
I would recommend reading the first, but technically I think you could dip straight in at book 2, Bennett drops just enough breadcrumbs to follow the plot without the full background, although I think it is a shame to miss out on book 1 personally.
Tej Turner has been kind enough to provide an early review of Children of Artifice by Danie Ware. So for those of you wanting to know a little more, here it is in full.
Children of Artifice is one of those novels where, from the very beginning, it is hard to know what to expect (and I mean that in a good way!).
Set within an enigmatic second world, where humans live within a secular city-state nestled within a gigantic crater, knowing nothing of what exists beyond the impassable ridge which surrounds them except for that they were placed there by a mythic race of mysterious beings known as the ‘Builders’ long ago, one could at first suspect that it is going to be a YA thriller of intrigue and discovery. The age it is set in appears to be historic, and yet the rich amalgam of technology and alchemy which sets the scene cannot be pinned to any particular age, and there is also magic. It has elements of fantasy and science fiction, but they have been blended together seamlessly and do not jar.
The author has described it as an ‘urban fairy tale’, which is very fitting. It does have that feel of old and new. It is quite gritty at times, and yet full of beautiful moments.
I do not want to say too much about the plot, because it is a novel which surprises you at every turn and right up until the very end, it is impossible to predict what is going to happen because there are always several paths it could take. So I will speak instead of its other features.
One of its focal themes is family – both the ones people are born with and ones they create for themselves – and the relationships between the characters are filled with nuances which are tender, tragic, uplifting and everything in between. Society – how it controls those within it, and the many ways (positive and negative) which people rebel – is another central theme, and there are some interesting parallels which can be drawn with our present day. It has a wonderfully crafted, vivid setting, and complex, believable characters that come alive from the pages and leave a lasting impression.
I am particularly pleased with this novel’s diverse voices. Both same-sex and heteronormative romances take place during the story but none are presented as bring particularly shocking and the characters are never given labels, and yet it still examines issues of identity, prejudice, and sexual fluidity which are relatable to a modern day reader. It is refreshing to read a novel written in such a way.
Children of Artifice has a fantastic story, one I would recommend to readers of any genre and age. It conjures beautiful imagery and puts you in a state of living dream, taking you on an emotional journey which stays with you. I am looking forward to the sequel.
Children of Artifice is live and available on an Amazon near you. It will also be available through Forbidden Planet from Mid July. We will post more information on store based events as it comes in, but for now, Danie Ware will be at Edge lit on Saturday 4th July, easily identified by her badge that says Danie Ware and her general new book bounce.
We will have copies of Artifice at Edge so you can get them signed, just pop over to the dealers room, or bring your own with you, or any of Danie’s books, we don’t mind, it’s just nice to see happy authors scribbling on people’s stuff.
Anyway, a bit about the book…
An ancient city, sealed in a vast crater. A history of metallurgical magic, and of Builders that could craft the living, breathing stone.
Caphen Talmar is the high-born son of an elite family, descended from the Builders themselves, his artistic career ruined when his ex-lover broke his fingers. One night, gambling down at the wharfside – somewhere he shouldn’t have been in the first place – he meets Aden. An uncomplicated, rough-edged dockworker, Aden is everything Caph needs to forget the pressures of his father’s constant criticism. But this isn’t just another one-night stand. Aden is trying to find his sister, and he needs Caph’s help. Soon, they find themselves tangled in a deadly game of trust, lies and political rebellion. And, as Caph begins to understand the real depth of the horrors they’ve uncovered, he learns that Aden is not what he seems. And Aden knows more about the coming destruction than Caph could ever have guessed.
Praise for Children of Artifice
“Danie does it again: a delicious tale that I didn’t want to put down.
All the people, all the detail, all the story – and none of the drag. A
one-sitting read of pure joy.” – David Devereux
“Slippery, smart and sexy: an heady alchemical brew of high politics and low magic that’s strong enough to lay anyone low.” – Simon Morden
“A skilful alchemy of raw emotion, renegade sensuality and emboldened fantasy. Ware tears out her readers’ hearts and dips them in molten gold, making every one of us a willing child of Artifice.” – Kim Lakin-Smith
“Children of Artifice has a fantastic story, one I would recommend to readers of any genre and age. It conjures beautiful imagery and puts you in a state of living dream, taking you on an emotional journey which stays with you. I am looking forward to the sequel.” – Tej Turner
Our latest Fantasy outing is Into the Blight by Jonathan Ward.
It is a time of turmoil and uncertainty.
For decades the Bask have ruled over the six clans of Arran. Now they rule no longer: overthrown by a creature from legend that wields terrifying power, and seeks to remake the land according to her own inscrutable designs.
Fearing that the creature might turn her attention their way, the rulers of the neighbouring kingdom of Taleria seek anything that could stand against her might. They find it in the past: in the tales surrounding a cursed land and an ancient power buried there. An expedition is mounted to claim this power for Taleria.
But there are some things in the world that should very definitely remain buried…
K.C. Shaw’s adventure of sky piracy and privateering is available now!
This is the first full length outing for returning favourites Lizzy and Jo from some of K.C. Shaw’s short stories.
Cover art by Jenny Haines
Get yourself on an adventure
Opening paragraphs of Skytown
Lizzy had no more gold nuggets sewn into the lining of her leather coat, the one that looked like it was made from a dead sofa. ‘Check again,’ Jo said. They couldn’t be out of money. They’d had so much.
Lizzy didn’t check again. Instead she folded the coat and laid it on her bed. ‘That gold was supposed to be for emergencies. Did you think it would last forever?’
Lizzy as a rule didn’t have much of a temper; she indicated her disapproval with silences, glowers, and a certain falling intonation of her deep voice. Jo fought the urge to shrink away in apology like a little girl caught doing wrong. ‘I didn’t think we’d spent so much,’ she said.
‘We’ve spent it all. Now we have to get more.’
It was early morning, barely past dawn, but the room they shared faced east and Jo could see quite well. Lizzy’s skin was so pale she practically glowed in the dark anyway. Through the open window, the surf crawled up and down the beach.
Jo said, ‘We can head farther south along the coast, I suppose. I’d like to see more of the world.’
‘If you want to continue eating while we see the world, we need to find airships we can take.’
Jo nodded. She must be practical like Lizzy and not squeamish about the profession she had, after all, chosen willingly. ‘Yes. It would probably be best to tread lightly in Hule; we can use it as a safe zone in case of trouble elsewhere. Besides, I’d like to come back to this village when we have money again.’
Andrew’s debut is a fantastic fantasy adventure for lovers of traditional fantasy and those looking for something a but different.
Cover art by Tabatha Stirling
There are monsters in the forests of Katahia, and not all of them are human…
When a poacher’s daughter saves one of their chieftains, she is drawn into the twisted world of the dreaded hobgoblins, where life is cheap and pity is weakness. Together, the girl and the malignant beasts must cross a realm on the cusp of dynastic civil war, in search of a land where they might thrive, or else be eradicated in the coming conflict.
As the road before her grows ever darker and her allies ever stranger, Mallory must choose which side she owes loyalty, and what she is willing to do in order to survive.