Collected Links – 26 April 2019

The Dead Beneath London’s Streets: Knowing this was a terrific inspiration for the Hawthorn House series. Everywhere you go in London, there are layers and layers of history, many of them burial sites. Semiramis, legendary queen of Assyria: The original warrior queen, in a period where only the strongest killers survived. Me and historical research […]

How Close to Darth Vader is Too Close to Darth Vader?

Stephen Erikson, author of enormous Malazan series, wrote a blog post about the uses of psychic distance from a character. Or, to put it another way, he started writing Gardens of the Moon from Andomander Rake’s perspective. Then he restarted it from the perspective of other people around Rake. Result: Anomander Rake comes across as […]

Bad Soul by David Bussell & MV Stott

Erin Banks is a woman with an acid nature, a self-destructive streak, a bare minimum of morals and magical tattoos that boost her strength. When a demon approaches her with a deal, he offers her the one thing she won’t say no to: information on how her little brother disappeared when they were both children. […]

Collected Links – 11 January 2019

No maps, this time. Fictional worlds and fandoms instead. Why the Culture Wins: An Appreciation of Iain M. Banks: I may never know if it was intentional or not, but there was an argument of sorts across the body of Banks’ work. The Culture might be what you imagine as the ultimate endpoint of cultural […]

The 2018 Retrospective

In software engineering we do two-week sprints, in which we commit to two weeks of work. At the end of it, we have a retrospective, where we assess what went well and what didn’t. I borrow a lot of my day job’s workflow management practices for my writing. The retrospective, I’m sure, will be as […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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Sign up to my very occasional newsletter to be the first to hear about my new releases and take advantage of my dedicated reader discount price. [mc4wp_form] Out now and FREE for subscribers A Victorian aristocrat warlock. A dangerous artefact. A crack driven in the very fabric of time. When Rob and Julian stumble across a […]