The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang (Fantasy Novel, 2018). Like many writers, this first-time fantasy novelist has drawn on elements of a real-life subject she knows about (in this case, Chinese history and mythology) as inspiration for an imaginary world series. There’s nothing wrong with that, yet I must confess to some slight ambivalence in […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Poppy War"
Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope (Paranormal Fantasy Novel, May 2018). An award-winning author of fantasy and paranormal romance, L. Penelope kicks off a new series, The Earthsinger Chronicles, with this sweeping imaginary world novel. Two nations, ancient and bitter enemies, take centerstage here and face each other across an ancient magical wall. Caught […]Read more "REVIEWED: Song of Blood & Stone"
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (Historical Fantasy Novel, 2018). This is the second in a series of novels that capably blends Russian folklore/fairy tales and medieval history into spirited adventure fiction in an exotic wilderness. Arden’s first novel introduced readers to Vasya, a young noble woman with the gift of seeing supernatural creatures […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Girl in the Tower"
Searching for the Amazons by John Man (History versus Myth, February 2018). Historian John Man specializes in topics related to Asia. In addition to being thorough and doing excellemt research, he is also a skilled writer, making the past come alive. For instance, last year’s excellent biography of Saladin, which I reviewed in an earlier blog […]Read more "REVIEWED: Searching for the Amazons"
I’m happy to report that I’ve sold reprint rights for another of my older stories. The story is entitled “Raven’s Last Trick” and no, it’s NOT porn (mind out of the gutter, folks!). It’s a fairy tale-like thing based on Native American (or as the Canadians say First Nations) mythology. It tells of the Haida […]Read more "Mythic Fantasy Story SOLD, Again!"
Outposts of Beyond, a quarterly science fiction & fantasy magazine from Alban Lake Publishing in Iowa, published its 5th Anniversary Issue in July. My long and detailed review article on Neil Gaiman’s latest book is among the featured contents. The issue, available as either a digest-sized print magazine (for $9.00 postpaid) or in e-zine form […]Read more "My Review Published in Sci-Fi Magazine!"
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Myth-Based Story Collection, 2017). In his new book, the incomparable Neil Gaiman (a multiple award winner and best selling author in a variety of genres) faces the challenge of converting the often fragmentary surviving myths from the Viking Era into a series of connected short stories accessible to modern readers […]Read more "REVIEWED: Norse Mythology"