I chat with Rob for the second time to discuss his latest grimdark fantasy trilogy, The War Eternal. The trilogy follows Eska, a young magician struggling to reconcile her urges for revenge with her longing for human connection. The books include:
Red Country by Joe Abercrombie is an innovative and captivating work, merging the fantasy and western genres into something new and fresh. A big part of its success are Abercrombie’s vivid and immersive descriptive language. This episode dissects how to write setting descriptions that make readers feel like they’re part of your story’s world.
What does it take to write stories where readers’ decisions affect the outcome? Kate Heartfield is an author of several historical fantasy and interactive fiction stories, including The Road to Canterbury, and The Magician’s Workshop, published by Choice of Games. Her fiction has won or been shortlisted for the Nebula, Locus, Aurora and Crawford awards.
Rob J. Hayes is the author of the Amazon Best Selling The Heresy Within, the SPFBO-winning piratical swashbuckler Where Loyalties Lie, and the critically acclaimed Never Die, amongst many other novels. After doing an episode on Never Die two weeks ago, I’m delighted to follow it up with an interview with the author himself!
My grimdark fantasy novella, Fires of the Dead, just became the #1 bestseller on Amazon’s ‘Fantasy Adventure Fiction’, ‘Sword & Sorcery’, and various other charts. Read it here: https://jedherne.com/firesofthedead
The Language of Dying is an elegiac, emotionally moving novella, about a woman whose father is dying. In today’s episode, I dive deep into analysing how the author crafted such a profound emotional experience. If you want your words to move your readers, this episode explains how.
A Canticle for Leibowitz is a 1959 post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel by Walter M. Miller Jr. It’s often described as one of the first post-apocalyptic stories. Without it, there would be no Book of Eli, The Stand, or most other post-apocalyptic tales.
Don’t just take my word for it. It won the 1961 Hugo Award – one of science fiction’s highest honours. Legendary scientist Carl Sagan described it as: “so tautly constructed, so rich in the accommodating details of an unfamiliar society that [it] sweep me along before I have even a chance to be critical”.
It’s a remarkable novel. I don’t have the space in one episode to fully analyse it, so today I’m focusing on just one thing: how it uses an unconventional structure to explore the theme and emotionally gut-punch readers. Enjoy!
What does it mean to craft epic fantasy? How is it different that other forms of fantasy? What are it’s unique strengths, and potential pitfalls? All those questions and more answered in today’s episode, which focuses on The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.