Tuesday 30 June 2009

Nice work... if you can get it

Today I have been mostly watching Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, playing Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga and reading various DK Star Wars Visual Guides, all in the name of research for my latest project.

Not bad for a day at the office, is it?

Friday 26 June 2009

The British Fantasy Society's review of Human Nature

A new review of Pax Britannia: Human Nature found its way into my email inbox the other day, from the British Fantasy Society. And very happy I was to receive it too...

By Jonathan Green
Published by Abaddon Books, £6.99
Reviewed by Adam J. Shardlow

Human Nature is rip roaring fun from cover to cover. The second in the Ulysses Quicksilver novels set in the world Magna Britannia, where Britain rules not only the waves but also the world and the stars through its empire and technical know how. Our intrepid hero embarks on a case involving the stealing of the Whitby Mermaid from Cruickshank's Cabinet of Curiosities. Quickly switching the locals from the drinking dens and poverty pits of London's East End to the windswept moors of Yorkshire, this Steampunk novel mixes together Frankenstein and Sherlock Holmes with a soup├žon of Jeeves and Wooster a dash of mad German scientist, a pinch of monster hound and the fruit from a beautiful woman to create a heady and yet decadent cocktail. The fop and bounder that is Ulysses is a resourceful and clever character, not too invincible that he becomes boring, riding above the adventure like a dynamic Scarlet Pimpernel whilst his side kick, the dour and yet resourceful man servant Nimrod, acts as the perfect foil. The pace of the novel is break neck, the writing witty and world building well crafted. Included in the novel is an additional Christmas short story, which adds rather than distracts from the main novel.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Watt-Evan's Laws of Fantasy

Whilst trawling the Internet the other day (when I probably should have been writing) I came across Lawrence Watt-Evan's Laws of Fantasy. Any budding fantasy authors out there would do well to have a read.

Watt-Evan's Laws of Fantasy
  1. Watt-Evans' First Law of Fantasy: Stories are about people.

  2. Watt-Evans' Second Law of Fantasy: People are never wholly good or wholly evil, and therefore characters should never be wholly good or wholly evil.

  3. Watt-Evans' Third Law of Fantasy: The basic human motivations are universal.

  4. Watt-Evans' Fourth Law of Fantasy: Everything other than the basic human motivations will vary, depending on the cultural setting.

  5. Watt-Evans' Fifth Law of Fantasy: Magic, like everything else, has rules.

  6. Watt-Evans' Sixth Law of Fantasy: If a story can be written without a fantasy element, then don't bother with the fantasy element.
If you would like to read more about the above laws and see what other snippets of advice Lawrence has to offer, click here.

The Supersizers Eat... Medieval

In the BBC series The Supersizers Eat... restaurant critic Giles Coren and writer and comedian Sue Perkins experience the food culture of years gone by. Last night they went back to medieval England to live the life of a Lord and Lady in their country manor.

It was up to Anglo-Saxon lookalike Martin Blunos (who also just happens to be a Michelin-starred chef) to cook all their food for the week, which included everything from roast cockentrice - a creation made from the forepart of a chicken sewn to the rear of a piglet - to peacock, coqz heaumez (helmeted cock), suckling pig, boar's head and hippocras.

Now, it just so happens that recipes for a number of things they ate can be found in What is Myrrh Anyway? So, if you fancy finding out what frumenty tastes like for yourself or you're curious about the health benefits of hippocras (a.k.a. ypocras) then why not pick up a copy today?

There was also much discussion - mainly with monks - about fasting and what the Medieval mind considers to be fish. This is also covered in What is Myrrh Anyway? as Christmas Eve was a fast day, and fish could be eaten on fast days.

What is Myrrh Anyway? - it's not just for Christmas!

Saturday 13 June 2009

Pax Britannia review at Falcata Times

If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you're probably already a fan of the Pax Britannia series. But if you're a newbie and you still need convincing, then you could do worse than check out this very pleasing review by Gareth Wilson of Falcata Times.