Archive for November, 2011
By Matt Forbeck
Adapting a game to a novel isn’t as easy as it might sound. When you work on other tie-in novels, like say a novelization of a film, the publisher sends you a script to work from, and often all you have to do is take it and fill in the descriptive bits around the dialog. Voila! Novel.
That’s much easier said than done, of course. I wrote the novelization of the Mutant Chronicles film that came out a few years back, and the film’s producers gave me a ton of leeway with it, allowing me to add in whole new scenes and characters not even implied in the script. That’s an exception, though, and one granted to me because I’d worked on the game that the film was based on too.
When you adapt a game, though — particularly something open-ended like a tabletop game — you don’t have nearly as much to work with. Most of the time, the only thing you’re given is the setting itself, the world in which things happen and the rules by which they occur. It’s up to you to come up with everything else: characters, plot, action, and so on.
View full article »
I’d like to celebrate three of my favorite podcasts — Dragon Page Cover to Cover, Dead Robots Society, and We’re Alive — for their many hours of entertainment and fond memories.
View full article »
One of the most common aspects of Urban Fantasy (UF) is the creatures that reside in these worlds. No longer the dreaded, terrorizing monsters of classic literature, these creatures are now partners, heroes, and love interests of the main characters. One wonders how did they get that way and why?
View full article »
Planesrunner by Ian McDonald follows Everett Singh as he jumps between alternate universes (“planes”) in an attempt to rescue his father from the Order, a sub-sect of the Plenitude that covets the Singhs’ map of the multiverse, the Infundibulum. Beginning with his father’s kidnapping and ending on the mother of cliffhangers, Planesrunner delivers blow-by-blow action alongside detailed descriptions of every thing from the airships of a parallel Earth to the Infundibulum itself.
When rock-folk singer, Ari Sveinson is kidnapped by dwarves, it exposes a mysterious plot that taunts Sarah Beauhall at every corner.Leading Sarah and her friends in a race against time to stop a nefarious plot to develop an ancient serum which will give others the powers of the gods.
Sarah and her significant other, Katie, are still healing from the fight with the dragon, Jean-Paul only a few months before. Katie is coming to terms with her abduction and the terror the mad dragon put her through. Worried about bills, and her injured mentor, Sarah struggles to keep her head above water financially, and deal with her relationship with Katie. While the two deal with complicated emotions, the hidden world they have just begun to understand brings them closer together. Sarah and Kate must both face challenges, personal and physical, in order to keep their friends and families safe.
Honeyed Words is one of those stories that gets into the character’s head with ease. J.A. Pitts does a great job writing his main character Sarah Beauhall. She’s complicated and damaged but pulls herself together to get the job done. The other characters, Katie Cornett, her brother Jimmy, Stuart and Gunther round out the complicated cast of good guys. The bad guys are just as complex with their own mix of desires and ideas, sometimes leading you wonder if the bad guys are all that bad.
I, for one, had no problems relating to Sarah and her relationship with Katie. All new relationships are filled with doubt and self examination, and Pitts doesn’t flinch from showing both with these the two central characters. As to the fact that they are both female? It doesn’t bother me at all. Sarah is a warm character who has to make some hard decisions in her life, which makes her relationships so much more real.
There’s a lot of great action, especially at the end, along with the typical monsters and mythology that make this a great Urban Fantasy.
My only complaint is: Honeyed Words isn’t a stand alone novel. It relies heavily on events from the first book and the ending leaves several lose ends. But the book completes the main story and several sub plots with great satisfaction. I’ll be looking for the first book, Black Blade Blues and eagerly awaiting the third novel.
Even though the day job keeps her busy, Sarah Hendrix finds time to sneak in words at every chance. Writing, reading and editing are her specialties even though she is wetting her toes as a publicist for Apex Book Company. Her work can be found in the In Situ and FISH anthologies from Dagan Books and the upcoming Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 from Flying Pen Press. Look for her on twitter , her blog, facebook and google+