Festival 42

Thanks to the kindness of my Spanish publisher, I’m off to the Festival 42 in Barcelona this week. My schedule currently runs: 03/11/2022 (17:15, Fabra i Coats): “The eternal game: the wars, monsters and great fantasy of Gareth Hanrahan“. 04/11/2022 (17:30, Fnac Triangle): “Readers’ meeting“ 04/11/2022 (19:45, Fabra i Coats): “Europa was a nymph: common traits of genre authors in the old continent“. 05/11/2022 (18:00, Gigamesh Bookstore): “Role and literature: Beyond the limits of storytelling with Gareth Hanrahan” Beyond that, I’ll be wandering around Barcelona for the first time, and generally being slightly confused at everything. My Spanish is non-existent, so poor translators will have to deal with my accent and diction. Pity them, please.

The Sword Defiant

The official Orbit announcement is here. Many years ago, Sir Aelfric and his nine companions saved the world, seizing the Dark Lord’s cursed weapons, along with his dread city of Necrad. That was the easy part. Now, when Aelfric – keeper of the cursed sword Spellbreaker – learns of a new and terrifying threat, he seeks the nine heroes once again. But they are wandering adventurers no longer. Yesterday’s eager heroes are today’s weary leaders – and some have turned to the darkness, becoming monsters themselves. If there’s one thing Aelfric knows, it’s slaying monsters. Even if they used to be his friends. It’s consciously a lot more traditional-fantasy than the Black Iron books – it’s a trilogy, it’s got Elves and Dwarves and Ogres and a Dark Lord and Prophecies and oops am I deconstructing things a bit? Maaaybe. It’s also about aging and finding that just because you found your place in the world once doesn’t mean everything’s

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Conventions, Houses, Holding Patterns

News! Actual content I can talk about! I’m a guest at Octocon! Look at my smug little pre-pandemic face there. I’m really looking forward to finally making it to Octocon in person, as opposed to virtual panels. There is much news that is unannounced and cannot be discussed. I have been writing away, but between the above unannounced thing, and the general delays in printing, I cannot point and say “behold my stuff!”. The list of “written but unpublished” material grows ever larger. I have finally escaped one part of the holding pattern though – we’ve finally moved into our absurdly nice new house. The brief version of the saga goes:

More Notes From The Holding Pattern

Well, for the most part, last year’s post still applies. 2021 was pretty much 2020, part 2. I’d really hoped to be in our new house by now, which would have unlocked a lot of time. Where we’re living now means a few hours a day driving back and forth to schools, or else being stuck in the middle of nowhere with an increasingly feral toddler. However, between covid, Brexit and the usual delays, we’re still waiting on it to be finished, and still living in a state of permanent temporariness – there’s a lot of “why bother doing X, when we’ll be out of here in a few months” – which, unfortunately, is where we’ve been for years. Writing went… well, again, nothing’s on fire. The Broken God came out in May. Black Iron Legacy 4 is partly written, but isn’t contracted yet. It won’t be out next year, obviously – I suspect I won’t have any novel releases

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I’m a stretch goal (or, likely by the time you read this, an achieved goal) in the kickstarter for the new edition of the A/State kickstarter. A/State’s a sci-fi meets Victorian setting, a bizarre city ruled by corporations and guilds. Along with Blue Planet – another game from that era that’s recently been revived, A/State had a fantastic setting, but wasn’t quite clear on what you were actually supposed to do with it. It dropped you into a world and gave comparatively little guidance on where to go or what to do. I know a big part of the new edition address that (Morgue has lots of details here), but back when I played it, it was a void. So, in one game, I played with that void. I wrote up a document with a bunch of cryptic little snippets of memories – snatches of conversation, images, locations, people in the city – and cut it up, so I had

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The Pirates of Drinax

The Pirates of Drinax is up on the Bundle of Holding, and digging through my emails it’s about ten years since the project really kicked off, so let’s take a quick jump down memory lane. The initial concept for the campaign wasn’t mine – Matthew Sprange of Mongoose loves the old Sid Meier pirates game, and wanted an adventure similar to that in space. That idea was kicked around long before Mongoose ever got the Traveller license. That concept got tangled up with the planet of Drinax, which was one of my favourite bits of the Aslan sourcebook. Drinax is part Flash Gordon, part last-days-of-Byzantium, part Foundation-and-Empire – the last outpost of a dying star empire. So, the idea of a pirate sandbox campaign where you could go where you wanted and do as you pleased got mixed in with the concept of this somewhat impractically grand scheme to restore the fortunes of a vanished kingdom. The Drinax plot line

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On Titles

The Gutter Prayer was always The Gutter Prayer (well, it started out as Nanowrino2014, but that title would never fly.) The Shadow Saint was The Divine Machine for a very long time. Book 3 eluded a title for a long time. Structurally, there are two plot strands: stuff’s going on in Guerdon, and at the same time Cari’s having adventures far away across the sea. The two strands come together as the book goes on, but any title would have to fit both plot lines. The working title was Anchorhold – an anchorhold is the small cell where an anchorite, a walled-up monk, dwells, which fitted the Guerdon/Spar plot, and it felt nautical enough to cover all Cari’s ocean voyaging. However, as the book’s part of a series, the title had to confirm to the format of the other books. So, THE SOMETHING SOMETHING. I proposed a bunch of possibilities to Orbit. THE DIVINE ANCHOR THE BURNING SEA THE DROWNED FIRE

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