Been having a few problems with my site the last while, but that’s no excuse for not posting…except of course when the site was down 🙂 Anyway, I thought I’d take a moment to update everyone on what’s been going on.
The premium mass market edition of Ashes of a Black Frost (that’s the extra tall paperback) will be hitting stores in September this year in North America. Around about that exact same time, I’ll be handing in my manuscript for my next book which is due out in 2013. Not sure when yet, but I think summer or early fall. I can’t recall if I’ve said much about it, but it’s something new and not connected with the Iron Elves. It’s going to be a fantasy (shock!) with a strong military component (double shock!) but set in new world with a new cast of characters. And no, I’m not going medieval although there will be crossbows, catapults, ballistas and more.
I enjoy exploring the tropes of fantasy and with this new book I am going to go deeper (and darker) into the racial and cultural tensions between the races. What better time period to borrow inspiration from then than the Vietnam War. I’m not aware of much fantasy using Vietnam as a launching pad which surprises me because there is so much in that conflict to work with. I’ve gotten to know a lot of Vietnam vets over a decade now as their editor. The stories and wounds from that war still reverberate today and I’m already deep into the alchemy of mixing fantasy and Vietnam into something that will be both classical and very new (and yes, as paradoxical as that sounds, I believe it is true).
Several of you have emailed asking about future Iron Elves adventures and while it’s true I am now writing something new, that doesn’t mean Konowa and the lads won’t suit up at a future date and march off to battle again. And as a way of saying thanks to all those who figuratively took the oath and joined the regiment, I’ll be holding a contest later this year where I’ll be giving away something very special. I think you’ll like it.
And while I am gutted that The Walking Dead is now over until the fall, it’s probably just as well because now I can get more writing done on Sunday night instead of hiding behind my chair while watching all the walkers and wondering who’s going to get eaten next!
Thanks for the update. My list of books to read next year is steadily growing. 🙂
I suspect most people writing about the Vietnam war (more or less directly) in the SF/F genre stick to science fiction. I know of a few authors who served in the war, and they write more SF than fantasy. Sounds like a cool idea, and I for one, already can’t wait to read it.
Glenn Cook’s “Black Company” novels were definitely at least somewhat inspired by the Vietnam war. Though depending how you’re planning to use technology and such, it’s hard to say if that’s what you mean by it.
Hi, Eric: I’ve heard great things about Cook’s Black Company, but didn’t know the series was inspired by the Vietnam War. In the case of my next book, I am writing what will be in one sense an analogy of the Vietnam War, but at the same time I am going to explore the various race and cultural relations between the species. I know there’s a trend in fantasy right now to eschew many of the traditional elements and tropes and go all human and uber-gritty/gorey/sexy, but I’m interested in seeing how gritty and realistic I can get using the old school touchstones. I’m taking the volatile and complex race relations between blacks and whites, Americans and Vietnamese, and old and young generations that made the 60s such a tumultuous decade and applying them to elves, humans, and dwarves. And there will be dragons, although not, I suspect, like they’ve been seen or used before.
Hi, Jessica: You’re right about most uses of Vietnam being more SF than fantasy. One of the great ones was Forever War. I keep hoping they’ll make a movie of that one day. I’m hoping to bring all the turmoil and strife of the Vietnam era into fantasy and do it using the traditional tropes and races. Instead of going all human, I’m doubling down on tradition because I think there’s so much more that can be done in fantasy. At the moment, I am refining the magic system. Not even sure it’s going to be called magic.