After a mere 18 months of projects, procrastinations, and pandemics, I have finished a new fantasy novel! Heavily inspired by the Dying Earth stories by Jack Vance, as well as Moorcock’s Elric, Lieber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Howard’s Conan, Smith’s Zothique, and countless other fantasy works from the early-to-mid 20th century, I proudly present:
The ancient world of Harth withers beneath a dying sun…but it’s not dead yet. Ravenous demons threaten the last cities, their streets choked with starving refugees. Desperate to save their homeland, a possessed cleric and a fugitive wizard delve into the lost lands buried beneath their feet. In the dark caverns, they discover dead cities and antique societies, travelers from distant lands and times, gleaming metal angels gone mad, cosmic horrors and the fanatics who worship them, undead pilgrims, dreaming aristocrats, and of course, giant flame-belching snails.
[ $0.99 | amazon ]
About the book
It’s a short book, a fast read. Many of the chapters are written as (nearly) standalone short stories. But it is still very much a novel. I wanted it to feel more like the classic fantasy novels of the 1950s-1970s, similar to the “fix-ups” that were basically short story collections.
The story picks up with two characters from Beneath the Dying Land, so it is a sequel in the general sense, but Wayward Magicians is its own story and you don’t need to read anything else to understand or enjoy it.
What’s it actually about? Well, it’s about two people who aren’t terribly heroic on a journey into strange places, and encountering strange people. And giant flame-belching snails. It’s about discovering things that are wondrous and awful, and then making a mess of things and running away. You know, real life. Plus magic wands.
I tried my best to follow Elmore Leonard’s advice to “leave out the parts that people skip”. Most of the editing I did was deleting. I’m sure with a little more time and thought, I could have deleted a lot more.
If you’re a fan of this blog (and statistically speaking, you’re probably not), then you may recognize a handful of these chapters as short stories I posted a while back.
If you like Wayward Magicians, then please post a rating/review on Amazon, and tweet about it, and blog about it, and tell all your friends in real life. Especially rich, good-looking friends with lots of followers. You know, the ones who like weird, dark homages to mid-20th century fantasy stories.
And if you don’t like it, thanks anyway.
If you like Wayward Magicians, then there is good news. I am planning to write at least two more books in the same style, each focusing on new characters and new mysterious corners of the world of Harth.
If you like Wayward Magicians AND table-top roleplaying games, then there is even more good news. I have been very busy publishing RPG adventures in the world of Harth, which you can find as Dungeon Age Adventures on DriveThruRPG.