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Historical Fantasy Storybundle!

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Jul. 19th, 2016 | 04:43 pm

As its curator, I'm delighted to announce the launch of the Historical Fantasy Storybundle!

My favorite fantasy novels are the ones that ground the fantastic in the historical — that use pieces of our known past to build their fantasy worlds. Partly, of course, that’s because I was trained as a historian, but even when a novel is based on an unfamiliar period, there’s real satisfaction in the interplay of known detail and new story. Historians and novelists both create a narrative that is supported by discrete points of data, whether that data is something as mundane as the details of a lease that tells you who lived where or as exotic as a new theory that might allow for true faster-than-light travel. The two processes are mirror images: historians string the facts together to support their narrative, writers of SF/F lay out the narrative, and create the apparent “facts” that buttress it. Working on my dissertation felt weirdly like working on my early novels — and in fact my first dissertation topic, abandoned because I needed more languages than I could reasonably acquire in the allotted time, became the Roads of Heaven trilogy. In all of these novels, fact and fiction interlock to create amazing stories, whether the author is placing fantastic events in a known world, or using the known past as the basis for a fantastic setting.

This collection includes an extraordinary group of writers who draw their inspiration from Western history, covering periods from Ancient Egypt through the Second World War. There are nominees for the World Fantasy Award and the Nebula, there are classics newly released as ebooks, and brand-new novels, and all of them are books that I devoured with delight. What the authors have in common, I think, is an unerring sense of detail, of the pitch-perfect thing and act and moment that will not only move the story forward, but will bring it into dazzling focus.

This is the standard Storybundle deal. If you pay the minimum of $5, you’ll receive five novels, Jo Graham’s The Emperor’s Agent, Heather Rose Jones’s Daughter of Mystery, Martha Wells’s The Death of the Necromancer, Geonn Cannon’s The Virtuous Feats of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boone, and David Niall Wilson’s The Orffyreus Wheel — a set that will take you from Napoleon’s France almost to the present day. Pay the bonus price of $15 or more, and you’ll receive six more books, for a total of eleven: Judith Tarr’s Lord of the Two Lands and Pillar of Fire, Geonn Cannon’s Stag and Hound, Jo Graham’s and my Steel Blues, Martha Wells’s short story collection Between Worlds, and my own The Armor of Light. We’ve written about a wide range of periods, and in variety of styles, but what we all have in common is a love for the past as a scaffold for a story. I hope you’ll check out the package!

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Comments {4}

cypherindigo

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from: cypherindigo
date: Jul. 20th, 2016 12:52 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!!! I hadn't realized that Judith Tarr had two more of her Egypt books out. This looks like a wonderful grouping of titles.

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Melissa Scott

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from: mescott
date: Jul. 22nd, 2016 02:18 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I'm really excited to have pulled these folks together - both Pillar of Fire and Stag and Hound are brand-new to ebook, and the others are all favorites of mine.

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Jennifer/Gail

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from: lferion
date: Jul. 21st, 2016 12:35 am (UTC)
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That bundle is totally fabulous & I've already bought it. I am particularly jazzed that you included HRJ's Daughter of Mystery, which is a personal favorite.

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Melissa Scott

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from: mescott
date: Jul. 22nd, 2016 02:19 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! (And I'm so glad you like Daughter of Mystery, too!)

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