Sean Cunningham - Author

Epic adventure. Vivid characters. Amazing worlds.

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A Victorian aristocrat warlock. A dangerous artefact. A crack driven in the very fabric of time.

When Rob and Julian stumble across a crack in time, they fall into a battle between two factions of Victorian warlocks. A battle that follows them back to modern London.

Pursued across the city by Sebastian Crow and his horrifying minions, aided by a tattoo witch, Rob and Julian must decide who to trust as they race through time and space itself.

Because if Sebastian Crow succeeds, the world will be plunged into endless darkness.

The Clock Strikes is a stand-alone novella and part of the Hawthorn House epic urban fantasy series.

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Collected Links – 19 October 2018

The Real Reason Women Love Witches. (Requires sign-in.) The witch is a survivor.

Monster Monocles. See the world through the squamous eyes of Cthulhu.

‘Goblin’ world found orbiting at the edges of the Solar System. Ever since I started reading Lovecraft, I enjoy imagining cold, alien intelligences watching us from silent, icy worlds, far out in the dark. At 65 AUs, could you even see our Sun?

Medieval Fantasy City Generator. I really am just a sucker for maps and map generators.

Collected Links – 28 September 2018

A map of London as it was during the era of the Tudor monarchs, which I could basically play with all day.

The Volcano That Shrouded the Earth and Gave Birth to a Monster: Eighteen-Hundred-and-Froze-to-Death.

Quotes on Mental Health and Mental Illness: “Don’t make a permanent decision for your temporary emotion.”

On the psychological value of “griefbots”: Replacing the empty chair in the empty chair technique with a bot given a script of things the person you’re imagining yourself talking to might say.

The Clock Strikes – Cover Reveal

I’m delighted to reveal the cover to my next release, The Clock Strikes. This stand-alone novella features Rob and Julian from Ghost Electricity, a mysterious artefact, warring Victorian warlocks, a tattoo witch and a race through modern London to prevent the rise of a terrible darkness.

The Clock Strikes - A Hawthorn House Novella by Sean Cunningham

 

The Clock Strikes will be out soon on Amazon Kindle, and free to my newsletter subscribers – you can sign up here. I’m really looking forward to getting it into your hands.

Servant of Rage by A.Z. Anthony

The Mongol Horde. Warriors armed with rage-powered magic. It’s time for war.

AZ Anthony’s entry into this year’s Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off is Servant of Rage. Set in a fantasy world inspired by Mongol Empire, it follows Subei, hunter for the khan. The heavens open and lightning strikes and Subei hits the cosmic jackpot. The power of the ancestors, magic to make him near-unstoppable – fuelled by a rage that threatens to consume him utterly.

I came to this after reading Conn Iggulden’s mostly non-fictional history of the Mongol Empire. This is a more personal tale of Subei’s struggle with a power that now defines his life, but its set against a familiar backdrop of the conflict between the Mongol-like Ghangerai and the China-like Zhong. Similar to Guy Gavriel Kay, Anthony uses a period from our history to bring a fictional world to life. He does an excellent job capturing the feel of their society and the details of their nomadic existence.

I liked Subei. He has a distinct voice. He’s loyal to his hunter brothers, he does his best, messes up and puts things back together as best he can. I’m curious to see what happens to him next.

SPFBO Book Sale – Books, Many Books, for 99c/p

Fellow SPFBO author and apparently highly organised person Andrea Domanski has marshaled many of this year’s contestants into a sale. About a hundred authors are participating. Until the 5th of August, you can get books, many books, for 99c/99p. Get thee to the sale page, scroll down the list, find a read or three you might enjoy. See how they’re organised by genre? Didn’t I tell you that Andrea is highly organised?

I’m currently reading AZ Anthony’s Servant of Rage. A fantasy world inspired by the Mongol Horde, with rage-powered magic. More on that when I’ve finished it.

The bloggers participating in SPFBO will start publishing their reviews as of this week. I’m looking forward to reading them and I hope my fellow authors all have a great time participating.

Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off

Last week, I entered Ghost Electricity into the fourth Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off.

The idea is simple. Every year, author Mark Lawrence sends out the call for three hundred indie fantasy novels. Ten bloggers – some co-ops, some lone wolves – will spend the better part of a year reviewing and judging them. At the end, one book is crowned the winner and the author is awarded a selfie stick.

I’m not expecting to get far, as it’s more about fantasy than urban fantasy. But so far it’s been a lot of fun. It’s also proven a great way to discover fantasy written by indie authors. You can find the winners and finalists at the above link. I’ve already begun downloading samples and I’m sure you’ll see me post about a few of them here on the blog.

So go take a look. Your next awesome read could be waiting for you there among the contestants.

Shaman, Healer, Heretic by M. Terry Green

What you don’t get a lot in fantasy or urban fantasy, at least in my experience, is a story in which the main character is a healer. Superhuman demon hunter who can shove her fist through a monster’s ribcage? Yes. Snarky warlock who can incinerate all enemies with green fire? Yes, that too. Defenders, protectors – yes. But not often someone who’s priority is to heal.

I played massively multiplayer online games for several years and in the time that I did so, I gravitated towards the healer roles. Some players like to stand toe-to-toe with the giant bellowing ogre and smash it with their swords. Others prefer to stand back and blast away with an assortment of magic and missiles. Me, I liked to keep them all alive while they did so.

So I was interested when I came across the first novel in M. Terry Green’s Techno-Shaman series. Livvy Lawson is a shaman living and working in LA. She scrapes by while travelling into the spirit world to rescue those who are spiritually ill, or who have had a spell of ill intent cast upon them by another shaman. And then someone unleashes an ancient monster from the dawn of time. Livvie, who just wants to help people, has to do something about it.

I didn’t quite connect with it and I had trouble articulating why until I read the author’s notes at the end. The author has made a point of keeping the book young reader-friendly. YA doesn’t really appeal to me and I think this is the main reason I didn’t connect with it more.

I think it’s a well-written book and if the above sounds good to you, you should give it a try. It deserves the good ratings it gets. If you’re looking for an urban fantasy read that veers away from the usual vampires/werewolves etc, take a look at Shaman, Healer, Heretic.

The Mortal Edge – Out Now on Kindle and KU

The Mortal Edge, sequel to Ghost Electricity, is out now on Kindle and KU.

They’re strange beasts, second books. In the beginning of the first book, as the writer you’re discovering the characters and the setting. Then the story takes its grip and on you go. A second book is similar. You already know your characters and your world going in. And so the time comes to expand both.

Rob, Julian, Fiona and Jessica, they each have a lot of history bearing down on them. Rob is unaware of it, Fiona and Jessica seek it, Julian is trying to escape it. They’ll each learn or face more of it in this volume of the Hawthorn House series.

And then there’s Mitch Longfield.

In movies they say the first story is about the hero, while the second story is about the villain. Mitch, a figure from Julian’s past, is clever and resourceful and so very damaged. He accepts no limits in achieving his goals. And that’s too bad for anyone in his path.

I hope you enjoy threading Mitch’s deadly labyrinth with the residents of Hawthorn House.

This also seems an appropriate time to mention a change of series name. My old series name was close enough to that of another series to cause some confusion. As such, I’ve renamed the series to Hawthorn House.

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler

I tried flintlock fantasy a while ago and didn’t get into it. But I kept seeing Django Wexler’s The Thousand Names crop up and figured I’d give it one more go.

Now I’m hooked.

The Thousand Names is inspired by the Napoleonic Wars. Rather than the usual swords and castles of high fantasy, the soldiers of the Vordanai Colonials are armed with muskets and sabres, backed by the cannons of an artillery team. And while a great deal of the setting is hinted at in this first novel, we begin on the frontier.

The solid Captain Marcus d’Ivoire just wants to keep himself and his Colonials alive. Winter Ihernglass, a runaway, is trying to survive and keep her identity as a woman secret. When the brilliant and enigmatic Colonel Janus arrives and starts the Colonials on a dangerous journey, he challenges both their worlds.

Marcus and Winter are both great characters and a desire to keep reading about them keeps pulling me through the series – I’m onto the fourth book now and I’m definitely on to the end of the series. But the author also does a great job with Janus, slowly creating questions around him that will keep you hooked.

The first half of the book is almost straight-up historical military fiction. Wexler’s wargaming experience shows here, as his battles are crisply and confidently described. I’ve seen comments that sometimes Wexler goes into a touch too much detail at times, but I personally never found this to be the case. It all lent an air of authenticity to what I found to be exciting battles.

And then the magic creeps in: the Thousand Names. A fascinating magic system, well-realised and clearly described. Wexler keeps it small-scale, but when soldiers armed with muskets and sabres go up against those wielding magic, well, things get hectic.

I’ve been recommending these books all over the place. If military fantasy sounds like it might be your thing, if you’d like to try a setting based on a different period of our history, then try The Thousand Names.

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