I’m going to keep this short.
Peter Brett’s two novellas, published by Subterranean Press, fill in some of the time gaps in his first novel The Warded Man. Where Brett’s novels are decidedly epic fantasy, both of his shorts ignore scope and grandiose machinations in favor of the here and now. Sword and sorcery is often described as a self-interested protagonist who does what needs doing while killing monsters. In this case it fits, but I would argue that the difference is much more about narrative pace and structure than any particular story element. In both senses, The Great Bazaar and Brayan’s Gold are decidedly sword and sorcery.
Great Bazaar, the first of the two novellas, fills in a gap of time that was left unexplained in Warded Man. It provides the method by which Arlen gains the financial backing for his later trips into the desert. The tale is essentially a quest to find a deserted city destroyed by demons decades previous and return with the beautiful pottery it was once famed for.… Read the rest
Subterranean Magazine has just published their summer issue including novellas from K.J. Parker, Ian R. MacLeod, Mike Resnick, and Robert Jackson Bennett. I’m a huge fan of both Parker and Bennett whose novellas are titled Let Maps to Others and To Be Read Upon Your Waking, respectively.
Parker’s story is first person, about a scholar searching for a place no one else believes exists. It’s classic Parker with a stark prose that’s as simple as it is evocative. Never a word misplaced and dialogue that always reads authentic. It’s excellent.
I haven’t gotten around to Bennett’s yet, but I hope to dig into it soon. Go check it…
Robert McCammon’s new novel, The Providence Rider, is the fourth installment in the Matthew Corbett series that began in 2007. The first two were released by Simon & Schuster imprint, Gallery Books, and the second two from Subterranean Press. I’ve no idea what prompted the change in publisher, but typically such things are a result of underwhelming sales, a change in editor, or the appearance of locusts. I’m sure it was the locusts this time because I can’t imagine books of this quality being anything other than in demand.
The narrative begins in the winter of 1703, with Matthew Corbett haunted by his past encounters with the macabre (see previous books). When an unexplained series of explosions rocks his Manhattan neighborhood, he finds himself forced to confront an unsavory, and altogether criminal, figure from the past. By hook or by crook, Professor Fell will get Matthew to his island lair, where he needs the young problem-solver’s unique skills to further his dreams of a pan-Atlantic crime syndicate.… Read the rest