Behind the Book

Novels are stories, and the earliest stories come to us as myths. The joy of myths, of course, is that they are readily reinventable. I don’t mean in the sense that there are only (x) stories in the world, and they’re being constantly repeated. This rather depressing proposition is usually achieved by simplifying stories to the […]

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Publishing: The lead wait

I’ve stressed the fact that waiting comes into this business with distressing regularity. The truth is that the beginning is all wait: you write, and you wait. If you return to the writing board, the waiting continues. Many years go by waiting for that first moment of contact, like a forgotten spy checking the same safe-houses […]

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The Real and Ancient Game (1)

There is a ten-foot by ten-foot room here. There is an orc. He is guarding a chest.”
 
For better or for worse, role-playing games.
 
There are very few things (2) that a man could admit to doing that would throw more of a pall of geekishness about him. I say “a man” because the quintessential image of a role-playing gamer is male, although […]

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Meet the Neighbours part 2: The Spiderlands

The Spiderlands’ relationship to its Lowlander neighbours has always been a complicated one. For a start, few Lowlanders really understand either the extent of the Spiderlands or how it works. To the Lowlanders, the Spiderlands is exemplified in the cities of Seldies, Everis and, further south, Siennis, that sit at the south-east corner of the Lowlands. In […]

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Meet the Neighbours part 1 — the Commonweal

So we have the Lowlands, not a political unity but a geographical area containing four feuding Ant city-states and a couple of Beetle cities, not to mention the detritus left over from the Days of Lore, Moth-kinden and Mantis-kinden clinging on in forests and on mountaintops.
 
The Lowlands is sandwiched between two traditional neighbours, and a third has recently turned […]

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