Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

From my earliest days, I have always been fascinated with exploration.  While that does include physical exploration, it is not the whole of it.  I am as much intrigued by the concept of it, the history of it, the future of it.

Lets put this in perspective.  There has been talk about the prospects of a manned trip to or colony on Mars.  For the later, it is pretty much a one way trip.  Chances are you will be there for a minimum of many years.  If asked I wouldn’t hesitate to say yes – though my fiancée may have words to me about that.

The prospect of being the first to step anywhere that no one has been before, to boldly go, to explore new worlds and lands, that appeals to me.  Whether it be the sailing the seas during the Age of Exploration, or colonising an alien planet, I would have loved to have been there and done it.  Sadly it seems I live in a period of time where there isn’t much left to explore – yet.  We’ve explored most of Earth and haven’t quite managed to make it to the next step.

It does also influence my gaming choices – I prefer games where exploration and building are at the heart of it, going out into new lands, finding new things nad places.  Games like Civisilation, Master of Orion, The Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect (mostly the first one though), Age of Empires, Total War and ones of a similar ilk.

And it does heavily influence my writing as well.  That is largely why I write – so that I can explore strange new worlds, to go places that haven’t been visited before, except in my mind, and to share them with other people.  That is what exploration is all about, going new places and sharing what you have discovered.  And fantasy and sci-fi are two of the best genres to do that in.

And maybe, someday when I’m old and they have found a way to visit alien planets, I may even get to step foot on somewhere new and see sights no one has seen before me.

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The story that I started working on for NaNoWriMo, Stormraven, I am now starting to release as a serial over on wattpad.

For those who do not know about wattpad, it is a site where writers and readers come together to share stories. I have a number of my free stories available there. For me it is another way of trying to raise awareness of my stories.

The plan is to release a new chapter each week, and once it is concluded, to release the whole story via the normal means.

Stormraven can be read here. Feel free to vote and comment. 🙂

This year I had a real crack at doing NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month.  The aim of it is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.  I fell a bit short, making 42,000 words.  Still, not a bad effort given the last couple of weeks were spent on doing the final major project for the course I am doing, so it understandably took priority.  The story I am calling Stormraven, and is the introductory story to a fantasy series in the work.  It was always meant to be a novella length story rather than a full novel, so it fitted in well with NaNoWriMo.  Hopefully it wont take too long to finish off.

This is  repost of article I wrote a couple of years back but I thought was worth brining back again due to the Olympics being on.

The grand final of Australian Rules Football (better known as aussie rules or footy down here in Australia) is on this weekend and it got me thinking about sport in fantasy worlds and stories. Man has played sports as long as they have been around – the Greeks and Romans had their Games and the origins of a number of modern sports such as soccer, rugby and cricket are centuries old. I was delighted to see in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World the sailors playing a version of cricket when they were on the Galapogas islands.

Many fantasy worlds and authors seem to glaze over sports – I guess that when you are busy saving the world there is little time to kick a ball around. Gladiator style games seem the most prominent, though other types of sports do crop up. Raymond E. Fiest has a soccer style game develop though a number of books, which is a nice touch, while other authors make up their own bizarre and often highly dangerous types of games.

In an effort to make a believable world I realised I had to include some form of sports to it. Of course, being Australian, this will be flavoured by what we play here, notably cricket and aussie rules (though most likely not exactly as they are currently played). Other sports will have to be played in different nations, so there is amble opportunity for other styles of sports and games to make appearances.

Speaking of aussie rules – I highly recommend people check it out of they can. It is a truly spectacular sport which is happily slowly gaining followings in other countries. Initially this was spread by the Aussie Diaspora but it is being taken up in numerous nations and now has proper amateur leagues in such places as New Zealand, USA, Canada, the UK, Denmark, South Africa, Samoa, PNG, Nauru, Ireland, Germany and others. It’d be great to see it become a major world sport – a dream I have if I ever became a successful author would be to actively support such moves.

In between working to finish off a couple of short story collections, I’ve been doing some world building for an epic fantasy series that I’ve talked of before – The Oncoming Storm. Back some time ago I made a solid start to the first novel (almost 60K words) but it has been sitting idle for a while, something I want to rectify.

In contrast to my other stories, it is a more traditional fantasy, set to have knights and castles and princesses and all that. Yet, as ever, other ideas and inspirations have come in that threaten to change things up again. One thing especially among that are the Polish Winged Hussars, one of the most dominant, and striking cavalry forces of their time.

For a view of what they looked like I found this youtube clip.

So, I’ve been wanting to add something similar to the setting, but somehow retain the knights and also another group, the Warrior Brotherhoods, plus various other groups, which has led to a varied mix, and also decentralised, make up of the setting. I think I may have figured it out as well.

The setting comprises a number of states that form a unified League – while semi-autonomous, they are under a High King. Each state has their own nobles, with their personal collection of retainers. Normally this is where the Knights would figure, but instead I’ve made them more like the old Military Orders, such as the Knights Hospitaller, the Knights Templar, or the Teutonic Knights – independent entities that owe allegiance to no state or noble, but operate across all of them. The Warrior Brotherhoods operate in the same manner, but are a precursor to the Knight Orders, and aren’t made up of noble born like the Knights. The largest of the states, Liantria, home to the High King, is the one that uses the Winged Lancers. The nobles and their retainers form the various units of the Winged Lancers, and when combined they are a formidable cavalry force.

And one of these days I’ll get it all written up and a story finished…

Just a quick update on things.

I’ve finished the rewrite of The Rose of Nakunwe, the followup to Dawn of Wolves and next short story in the Frontier Wolves collection. I want to finish off the one after that, an as yet unnamed short story that has been plotted but not yet started, before releasing them both.

And then it is two more short stories, another novella, and the collection is done. Hopefully before the end of the year as well…

The first rough draft of the next story has now been completed. The Rose of Nakunwe is a planned novelette which is next in The Commonwealth Chronicles series, forming part of The Frontier Wolves sub-series.

The rewrite should be done by the end of the month.

However I’m still debating what exactly to do with it. It may be a little short to release as a stand alone story. I may end up waiting until the following novelette is done and releasing them together – or maybe wait until the entire Frontier Wolves story is told and releasing them all together as one volume.

That decision can wait for now, at least until the rewrite is done.