Games that Inspire – The Legend of Zelda

Usually, when an author discusses influence (or is asked about it), his focus is on books, not other forms of media. Perhaps there is some in-built prejudice against taking inspiration from other forms of media besides the mighty novel (although no writer ever seems to decry being inspired by Shakespeare). Maybe movies are too low-brow (certainly if you mention Star Wars); if so, games are positively Neanderthalic. Call me Ugg-ugg. There are many games that have inspired me as a writer, though not always for the writing that was within them. Games, since they utilize sound, music, visuals, words, and…

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Moonsong book 3 – Shadow and Smoke now available for pre-order

I’m proud to announce the conclusion of the first trilogy of Moonsong books, Shadow and Smoke, which is available for pre-order in ebook form. The physical (8×5 paperback) will go live several days before the ebook to allow for shipping time from Amazon’s print-on-demand facilities. Yes, I said the first trilogy. As I mentioned when I released the first book, City of Silver, this series was something I had already written 5-6 books worth of material for. So, why aren’t they all out? The short answer, which is also the answer to why this third volume took so long to…

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Wheel of Time, Episode 1 Analysis

Before I begin, let me say that my expectations for this show were low, simply because it is the year 2021, but also because the author of the source is now dead and the production is being funded by Amazon. I wouldn’t have bothered watching had my subscribers not specifically asked me to watch and review it, and were I not a fantasy author myself. I’ve read the Wheel of Time book series. It’s not my favorite, and I think some of the middle books are among the worst I’ve read, but I have a lot of affection for the…

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That Other World

Sometimes, somedays, you can almost get there. You can just see it, like it’s on the edge of your periphery, with its blending of slanted light among bright, endless colors. You can lay in a dark room and see it, just for a few moments, without really going there, and you get a smell of the grass, of the wind, of the water running through it. Just a few fleeting seconds… perhaps even a minute, where the mind is free of its shackles but before sleep finally takes you to its churning chaos. The fields stretch on, for forever and…

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The Greatness of the Hobbit

I’m not talking about the movie, which was so far from the greatness of the book it deserves its own dissertation, I’m talking by the original work by JRR Tolkien, originally published way back in 1937. This book was a landmark for fantasy in a whole host of ways, and many of those ways are not at all obvious to those of us who have inherited the literary landscape of Tolkien. None of those new and original things would have mattered, however, if it hadn’t been a great yarn. Let’s talk about a few big ideas: The main characters are…

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FANTASY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR 2019

For a limited time only, you can get all of my published books in one mammoth volume – $9.99 for the ebook or (very appropriately) $20.19 for the gigantic paperback. I thought this would be a fun way to offer all of my stuff in one place, and also to publish a very large, very red book. The paperback is A4 size, set in two columns at size 10 font to pack everything in under 600 pages, making the volume quite affordable for the rather large amount of content within. Check this thing out!   This will be GONE come…

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Crown of Sight – scene 5

Talel threw another knife. It slid its way through the armor of the Draesen, the enchanted edge slicing through the steel mail like it was paper. It stopped halfway into the grey-skin’s neck. Dark blood erupted as he slid off of his horse, landing near the first scout Talel had killed, a human.
The elf looked over his shoulder and nodded. Mardrel padded up, his sword drawn. He was followed by the rest of the scouts, who bore bows and crossbows.
“So far, so good,” Talel said to the captain.
Mardrel peered around the boulder, taking in the steep slope up to the enemy palisade, tracing the wooden fortifica-tions with his eyes until they disappeared into the night.
“Do you think we can remain hidden?”
Talel nodded. “Well enough to get close, yes. The problem will be getting away.”

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Crown of Sight – scene 4

Darathel stepped up to the door and held forth his hand. The darkness rippled like water, then faded, revealing a sun-lit room filled with furnishings. Darathel and Faedra stepped in. The dark curtain formed behind them. When it did, the room grew darker as well. A halo of light surrounded a bed on the far wall. As if seeing it for the first time, Darathel flinched, then walked toward it.
On the bed lay an elf, breathing slowly. His eyes were open, and he wore a grim expression, though he stared at nothing. Bedsheets covered him to his chest, but he wore no shirt. His head reclined on a pillow, and on his golden hair sat a detailed circlet of golden-white metal that glowed with its own light, illuminating the dark space.
“Can you hear me, father?” Darathel said.
The elf blinked, then looked at Darathel. His voice was clear and slow. “My son. It is good to see you. How long has it been?”
“A day.”
“So little time. It felt like years.”
“It might have been longer to you, King Pelanel,” Faedra said.

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Crown of Sight – scene 3

“What is there to sabotage, sir?”
Mardrel took his eye away from his telescope for a moment to look at Talel, who stood leaning against a charred tree trunk, his face wrapped against the chill of the fog that billowed per-petually from the Fay Lands close at hand.
“Much to sabotage,” Mardrel replied, “but very little we have the capacity to affect.” He handed the telescope to the scout and sat down on a nearby rock.
Talel brought the brass-barreled device to his eye. His grey cloak and gambeson made him blend in well with the tumbled stone and old ash of the burned-out grove, but he made a stark silhouette against the glow of the Fay. There, the trees grew of their own light, stretching in a golden green sheet behind the city.

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