Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fantasy Novelist's Exam, and SK on JK

This is a link I actually first saw at The Bookie Monster, so if you've been over there recently you'll have seen it. It's to David J. Parker's Fantasy Novelist's Exam, a list of things you'd do well to avoid if you're an aspiring fantasy writer. I have to admit I found it pretty amusing. I think I'm on safe ground on most of the points he makes. I do hit number 28 head on, but what's wrong with writing the first of a trilogy? It's gotta begin somewhere...

Oh, and you might also want to check out this essay on JK Rowling from Stephen King . Constance mentioned it on my Forum. (Thanks, C.)



Blogger Lou Anders said...

That's hysterical. I'm also glad to see most of the fantasy I dig escapes pretty unscathed.

10:19 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


For example?... Who do you dig? I'm always up for getting recommendations.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Lou Anders said...

I read Greg Keyes' The Briar King a few years ago and thought it was one of the best works of epic fantasy I'd ever read. I continue to buy the series as it comes out, even though, with my own submission pile at Pyr, it's very hard for me to read outside of it, and when I do, I feel I need to make new discoveries, not reread writers I already know I love. But that series calls to me to come back as loud as anything on my shelf. I hadn't read anything I liked as much until I read two new authors - Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora, which takes me right back to the Fritz Leiber I grew up on, and Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself, which I liked so much I acquired (and will be on shelves EVERYWHERE in a very few weeks). Now, I've not read George Martin, who endorsed Lynch and to whom both Keyes and Abercrombie have been favorably compared. I suspect I'd like the Martin very much, but am loath to start such a massive series when I know I will most likely never finish it. Also, I'd be remiss not to mention Sean Williams' brilliant The Books of the Cataclysm series, which takes epic fantasy and sets it in post-apocalyptic outback world of Ursula Le Guin-style wizards on dune buggies. And, of course, I grew up on Moorcock, have tremendous respect for him both as a writer and an editor, and think his influence cannot be over emphasized. Beyond that, there isn't much in the epic fantasy camp that I dig, though I do have both Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn and some book called Acacia on my "to read in the not too distant future" pile, submissions pile permitting.

I'd be happy to send you both Williams' The Crooked Letter and Abercrombie's The Blade Itself if you're interested. Shoot me an email if you like. (I think you have my email, but if you don't, there's a contact form at

10:00 AM  
Blogger John Dent said...

I heartily endorse The Blade Itself, it's something everyone is going to have on their shelf this time next year.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Lou Anders said...

Thanks John. From your mouth to the Fantasy Gods ears.

3:16 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Lou, you'll be getting that email from me!

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Lou and John, Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself is such a good read, and such a nice chap too. Glad he is with a pending release in the US!!!

7:46 AM  

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