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 – 14 December 2018

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ainulindalë: A stunning visual adaptation of the first chapter of the Silmarillion, in which Tolkien’s world is created. I first came across this a couple of years ago and recently found it in my inbox while digging through old emails.

World Axis Cosmology: Sticking with cosmologies, this one belongs to the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. When a new edition comes out and there are drastic changes to the rules, they create an in-story cause for it. From third edition to fourth edition, it was the Spellplague. It means that all the planes where the gods lived were … redistributed.

I like to think this cosmology covers my apparent requirement to always have a map link in these posts.

God Checker: Your Guide to the Gods: When I was probably about eight years old, I pulled every volume of my family’s encyclopedia set down from the shelf and read about every Greek god there ever was. Got all the way down through the demigod heroes to the kings before I called it. I should really dig into other mythologies some time.

Collected Links – 30 November 2018

The Railway Mania of the 1840s: Railway company after railway company, a speculative bubble that eventually burst. All the usual foolishness and ruin of a financial bubble, but unusually with one tangible result: an extensive British railway system.

What did the Earth look like X million years ago? See the continents shift across millions of years. I always thought it was just a couple of basic big moves, the supercontinent Pangaea, which broke up into Laurasia and Gondwanaland, then kept breaking up into the continents we know today. But the shifts are cyclical, with many supercontinents and break-up cycles before Pangaea.

You should always be careful when you give me a map.

Artist Illustrates His Battle With Depression as a Mystical World of Spirit Animals: Beautiful and haunting. Also on Instagram.

When the Treasure Chest Tries to Eat You

I pummelled the bandits with bolts of ice. Jander, my companion, slashed and hacked at them with his sword. When the bandits were dead, we strolled into their rundown shack. They had a treasure chest. I tried to open it.

A giant tongue lolled out of the chest. It tried to kill me. I yelped so loud my girlfriend asked me what was wrong from the next room.

The treasure chest was not a treasure chest.

*

This is the game Neverwinter. I’m playing a control wizard named Talos, which means I shoot ice spells around and try to either freeze or slow my enemies. Jander is a computer-controlled warrior who stands around flexing his biceps when I’m not in combat.

Neverwinter is a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game. It is, perhaps, not quite on the scale of World of Warcraft. But if you’ve ever played the pen and paper version of Dungeons and Dragons, if you’ve ever adventured in the world of Faerun, it can be a fun return to a world you know.

Despite having next to no spare time, I’ve managed to play a little of this game over the last couple of months. At first it was a pleasant nostalgia. The names of familiar gods. Cities I know, like Baldur’s Gate, where I adventured long ago as a different kind of mage with Minsc and Boo and all the others.

But the stories themselves began to pull me in. Orcs festooning one part of the city. Wererat gangs in the sewers. A weird but enjoyable storyline that pitted me against a wizard trying to open a portal to dimensions full of Lovecraftian horrors.

At Halloween, some kind of illusionists were running around the city. I got to see gelatinous cubes ooze by. Everyone should see a gelatinous cube oozing by. Preferably away, as well.

And then, the Mimic in the bandits’ shack. A treasure chest with a giant tongue and an appetite for adventurers. A favourite of Dungeon Masters looking to catch their players off-guard.

It isn’t the same as playing across the table from my old Dungeon Master, Peter Ball. But it’s a fun game to play.

In those odd moments when I have a sliver of free time.

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.

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