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Monday, December 23, 2019

2019 review / 2020 preview - Richard Nell




2019 Favorites

This is hard, and damn you to hell. I’ve been reading almost everything more than SFF this year, but here we go:

1) Altered Carbon, Richard K Morgan. Hey, it was new to me. Takeshi Kovaks is somewhat famous by now, but the story of a ‘re-sleeved’ detective/commando resurrected to solve the murder of an immortal’s disposable body by his new body…well, I found the creativity on display just astounding.

2) Cradle, Will Wight. One of the bigger names in the self-published world. Cradle walks the edge of ‘litrpg’ and epic fantasy, about a boy who grows constantly in power in a hierarchical world (universe?) utterly ruled by it. Fast reading that leaves you wanting more.

3) A Brightness Long Ago, Guy Gavriel Kay. Another display of Kay’s mastery, this book is only barely fantasy. It’s a world reminiscent of renaissance Italy, dominated by city-states and mercenary warlords plotting their yearly campaigns, and full of bittersweet, beautiful glimpses of life.

4) Devil’s Cape, Rob Rogers. Have you ever played City of Heroes? No? What the hell am I talking about? OK yes, I am a video-game nerd. Well, Devil’s Cape is a superhero story more in the vein of Watchmen than Marvel. It’s ‘real’, it’s dark, and it’s fantastic.

5) The Long Way Down, Craig Schaefer. This book/author deserves a spot because it’s Urban Fantasy and I enjoyed it. That may not sound like much, but…I do not generally enjoy urban fantasy, and all previous attempts have been disastrous. Not so here! It’s fast, atmospheric, with enough style to be memorable. If you’d like to break into the genre, this is a good start.
  
Looking ahead to 2020

Like the rest of the fantasy world, I await Mr. Martin’s The Winds of Winter, probably in vain. Unlike most of the fantasy world, however, my sympathies lie with Mr. Martin. I believe we’ll be getting a new book by Django Wexler (Ashes Of The Sun), which is always good news. Oh! And Age of Death by Michael Sullivan, a fantastic writer, and guru of the self-published world.

On the Horizon for Richard Nell

The third and final book in my Ash and Sand series (Kings Of Heaven) arrives on Amazon in early 2020. It’s the conclusion to 6 years of labour and love (I published book 1 in 2017, but started writing the series in 2013), and I must say that statement brings mixed emotions. Like any good ending, it should be glorious and bittersweet, and I can’t wait to share it with readers. After that? Who knows. But there are knights and demons and an impatient God-King waiting, and a few more projects besides, one of which I also hope to release in 2020…

About the author

Richard Nell is the author of epic, dark fantasy Kings of Paradise, Kings of Ash, and flintlock fantasy The God-King’s Legacy. He grew up on a prairie farm, studied English and Writing from Canada to Australia, and now lives in one of the coldest places on earth with his wife and daughter. For more information, you can visit his website here.

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