Guest Post: Tim Marquitz – The Only Constant is Change

demonsquadinitiativeLast year Tim Marquitz visited the blog for an Author Query on the occasion of the publication of his novel Dirge. Today he’s back to promote his current Kickstarter for the tenth novel in his Demon Squad series. I started wondering about whether if an author spends so long with the same characters whether their feeling for those characters change. So I asked Tim about it and you can read his reaction below. If you like what you read about Frank and the Demon Squad universe, don’t forget to check out Tim’s Kickstarter.

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Guest Post: Bryony Pearce on Anti-heroism in the Phoenix Series [Blog Tour]

bryonypearce-phoenixburningToday I’m welcoming Bryony Pearce back to the blog with a guest post that is part of her tour for her latest novel Phoenix Burning. Last year I really enjoyed the first book in the Phoenix duology, Phoenix Rising, and I was really looking forward to the sequel. I finished the book this morning and it was awesome, so look for a review later today. In the interview I did with Bryony last year she mentioned she wrote about pirates because she loves a good anti-hero and it made me wonder about the anti-hero in the Phoenix series. I asked Bryony whether she could elaborate a little on that and the post below was the result. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Read More …

Guest Post: Adrian Tchaikovsky – The Beast Within

adriantchaikovsky-tigerandwolfToday’s guest post is one I’m really excited about sharing with all of you. This Thursday February 11 will see the publication of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Tiger and The Wolf, his new epic fantasy standalone. It features shapeshifters, competing tribes and a young heroine torn between them. The hardcover is also extremely pretty in person — never let it be said I can’t be swayed by a lovely cover — and, as I’ve come to expect from Adrian’s books, big enough to thoroughly maim someone if you hit them with it. But please don’t do that, that’s not what books are meant for. Anyway, Adrian was kind enough to send this guest post my way on the shapechangers in this book and the way their natures influenced the shaping of the narrative (pun intended!) Enjoy and do check back for a review in the future as I’ll be starting the book once I’ve finished my current read.   Read More …

Guest Post: T. Frohock – A Primer for The Spanish Civil War

tfrohock-withoutlightorguideI’m currently in the midst of reading T. Frohock’s latest novella Without Guide or Light. It is the second book in the Los Nefilim series and I’m really loving the setting and characters. The first book In Midnight’s Silence was wonderful and halfway through Without Guide or Light is even better, so you should absolutely pick it up. But after reading the first book I found myself googling and searching Wikipedia for some of the history underpinning the setting, as I wasn’t as familiar with the Spanish Civil War. Since I figured I wouldn’t be the only one, I asked T whether she could write me a sort of cheat sheet. She did me one better and sent me the following text. A great companion piece to this post can be found on Bibliosanctum where T provides the origins for Los Nefilim.
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Guest Review: Kieran Shea – Koko the Mighty

Wiebe is back with another review today. This time it is book two in Kieran Shea’s series featuring his ex-mercenary heroine Koko Martstellar.

kieranshea-kokothemightyAfter narrowly escaping death, Koko Martstellar [ex-corporate mercenary] and Jedidah Flynn [depressed former skycop] are busy putting their lives back together, running a saloon/brothel on The Sixty Islands-the world’s most violent and decadent resort. But when bounty agent Jacky Wire comes to collect the outstanding price on Koko’s head, it’s time again for Koko and Flynn to make tracks. Fleeing pell-mell across the Pacific and shipwrecking along a thought-to-be uninhabitable coast, things only go from bad to worse for our heroes… But hey, that is the 26th century for you. Buckle up buttercup. Only the mighty survive.

I read Koko the Mighty directly after I read the first book in the series, Koko Takes a Holiday. There was very little backstory leading on from its predecessor in this instalment, which I liked, especially since this book was fresh in my memory. We continue the story exactly where book one left off— with the last bounty hunter standing about to make an entrance. Again we only get glimpses of this utopian resort of violence and sex called The Sixty islands, since Koko has to run again to avoid death. Taking the mortally wounded Jedidah with her in a submarine, they shipwreck after crossing the Pacific. They end up in a region that might have been Koko’s former work environment as a mercenary, if it hadn’t been for the environmental contamination and its lack of economic value. In this abandoned wasteland they find a strange commune.  Read More …

Guest Review: Kieran Shea – Koko Takes a Holiday

Today I have something different for you. It is a guest review by my husband Wiebe. He is a very different reader than I, putting books away if they don’t work for him or if he gets bored by them. He’s a very picky reader. There are a number of books that I get sent, which for reasons I don’t get around to reading and sometimes Wiebe will pick them up—or even fight me to read them as soon as they enter the house. I’ve long teased him that if he’s reading my review copies, he should review them and he’s finally taken me up on that. It’s his first review ever, so be gentle with him. Hopefully, this will be the first of many!

kieranshae-kokotakesaholidayFive hundred years from now, ex-corporate mercenary Koko Martstellar is swaggering through an early retirement as a brothel owner on The Sixty Islands, a manufactured tropical resort archipelago, known for its sex and simulated violence. Surrounded by slang-drooling boywhores and synthetic Komodo dragons, the most challenging part of Koko’s day is deciding on her next drink. That is, until her old comrade Portia Delacompte sends a squad of security personnel to murder her.

Koko Takes a Holiday by Kieran Shea is a book I picked up because of its cover. It looked like anime/manga art and reminded me a bit of Cowboy Bebop, with a bit of retro styling in bright colours. The blue hair reminded me of anime in particular. Coincidentally enough, it read a bit as an anime series as well. It has a dense world full of stuff, but set in the background of a fast action shounen story.  Read More …

Guest Post: Ria Bridges on the mixed victory of the 2015 Hugos

hugo_rocketLast weekend saw the culmination of months and months of tension and thousands and thousands of words on the Hugos vs Sad Puppies that dominated conversations in the field this past year. But with the defeat of the slates, the Hugos problems are far from over as discussion is once again rampant and people already seem to be gearing up for a repeat next year. When I saw my friend Ria, of Bibliotropic fame, bemoan the fact that they were on a blog hiatus because they had thoughts and opinions on events, I offered to host their post on A Fantastical Librarian. Here are their thoughts.  Read More …

Guest Post: Gerrard Cowan on Worldbuilding and maps

gerrardcowan-themachineryThis week HarperVoyager UK is celebrating the launch of their digital-first line by organising a #VirtualVoyager blog tour. I’ve already read two of the books in this line, Darkhaven and Among Wolves, and enjoyed both of them tremendously and I’m currently reading Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf, which is quite funny. So when I was approached about being part of the tour I gladly said yes and was very pleased to host Gerrard Cowan with a post about maps, because who doesn’t love a good map?  Read More …

Guest Post: Susan Murray on Historic Influences

susanmurray-waterborneexileSusan Murray’s Waterborne Exile, the second in her Waterborne series was published earlier this week and to celebrate she’s returning to A Fantastical Librarian with another guest post. I asked Susan about the historical influences on her world and she revealed her roots in historical re-enactment and describes how she imbibed history through osmosis.

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My first thought on seeing this topic was there aren’t any specific influences as such: I haven’t studied a a single historic era and plundered it for plot developments. The Peninsular Kingdoms are not based on anywhere in particular and events aren’t drawn from the Wars of the Roses, or the Hundred Years War or the Civil War. But I realise I’m overlooking a lifetime’s interest in history simply because I’ve been surrounded by it all along. The historical influences are in reality too many to count.  Read More …

Guest Post: Snorri Kristjansson on Changing Times

snorrikristjansson-pathofgodsToday’s guest post was written by my favourite Viking, Snorri Kristjansson. This week Path of Gods, the final book in his Valhalla series, was published; a book that I’ve been looking forward to immensely. I absolutely adored the first two books in the series, Swords of Good Men and Blood Will Follow, and I can’t wait to discover how Audun and Ulfar’s adventures will wrap up. Last year I interviewed Snorri where he talked about how he was drawn to the era the series is set in because it was in a constant state of flux. I found this concept interesting especially taking Audun and Ulfar’s personal stories into account, so I asked Snorri whether he would expound on the importance of change in his series. Predictable, he wrote me a piece that is both thoughtful and funny and I hope you find it as interesting as I did. Keep an eye out for a review of Path of Gods later this summer!  Read More …