Author has written 11 stories for Fantasy, and General.
Okay, I figure I might as well say a few things here, everyone else seems to.
A note to begin with, since several people have responded to my critiques suggesting I only read fantasy and so can't perceive what they're doing or somesuch. I have a degree in English Literature. Not fantasy, English Literature as a whole. I've read the very first novel (Middlemarch, if you're curious, it's not actually that bad despite the age), and I've read literature going right the way through to early and mid Postmodernism. Seriously, no matter what you're trying to do, I've probably read something similar before. That isn't to say I'm 'right' or anything, I'm just putting this here so you know my opinions are informed, not knee-jerk 'AH, IT IS DIFFERENT!' hate. Like any writer, there's stuff I like, and stuff I don't. To be honest, most of those opinions were formed by exposure to the deep dark depths of English Lit and hours of tedious analysis thereof. Most of my criticism, though, is aimed toward fantasy, fantasy stories, and the fantasy genre, because... um... that's what I write.
Now, about me. I'm English. From time to time, that means there'll be English spellings of words; so don't always assume it's a mistake if you see something that's 'wrong'. Point them out anyway, though. Better to direct my attention to something that's right than not to point out something which is wrong.
So, what do I do, and why do you care? Or why should you care?
Can't answer the last two. Hopefully the answer is because you like fantasy of various types and are a glutton for more of it, because goddamn if there isn't a lot out there. So the real question is what do I bring to the table.
I'm dedicated to the creation of a single cohesive world setting, that I've been working on for about a decade now. That's the eponymous 'Krith' which appears frequently in the 'tale of Krith' prefix that appears on most of my short stories. I don't include that on my novels, for some reason it doesn't feel right.
Krith's a sub-real fantasy setting, original so far as I know and drawing on inspiration from real-life medieval Europe, Japan and China, mixed with material adapted from other settings and a lot made up from the whole cloth, as well as thematic drives from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the Waylander series, and a whole lot of short stories.
The setting is built around a cast of recurring characters, and the conceit that only so many people are 'important' in that only so many can influence what happens in the world. As a result characters from my novels intertwine, cameo, are name-dropped and refer to each other on a semi-regular basis. The short story 'Meeting on the Moor' which is on here, branched out from my current novel as an expansion on a character who plays a bit part in it. Why do I do this? Because I like my characters, and I like exploring who they are and where their place is in the world. Maybe that will annoy people, I don't know. It doesn't really show unless you read the novels, the very first of which, Twin Moons, I've recently started posting on here.
Krith, like any half-decent fantasy setting, has a very complex metaplot, which I'm intending to build through the canon of novels and short stories. I don't know how far I'll get into the plot, how far I'll be able to develop it before my talent or time run out, but I'm in it for the long haul. I just hope enough people come with me so I can make a career out of this and some blessed day leave the drudgery of the working world behind. We've dallied, you see, and neither side is pleased with the results.
My primary inspiration has always been videogames. The reason is I'm extremely sensitive to style, and over-exposure to another writer invariably results in my aping their style and being unable to find my own voice again, which I'm told is distinct, though flowery. I'm planing away the flowery bits over time, though I never want to become 'lean' as some people put it. I LIKE description, and I like writing description. However, there are good ways and bad ways to do both, and I aim to do good. My pacing is often slow, and deliberately so. I like building up to things, though I know that puts some people off.Why do I play videogames? Because it gives a lot of visual and stylistic inspiration, and tests me mentally to describe in words what I see. It's the same as watching movies, except you're a bigger part of the events, and the plots in gaming tend to be a lot bigger due to having less stressful time constraints. I also watch movies, roleplay, and do in fact read to pick up inspiration or tips when I find a problem in my style that I can't just work through or develop past.
In reviews so far I've mostly had positive responses. This is good. Some people find my description over much, others love it to bits. That's always going to happen. No writer in his right mind expects to please everybody.
Off the top of my head I can't think of much else that you might want to know. I write. I want fans. I hope to be published. I pray that many many people will buy my books. I am too cynical to believe this to be likely.
Oh, and remember the following: Commas are like ninja. They're sneaky, and know they're nearly beyond our notice. While you're worrying about the correct way to use a semi-colon or elipses they creep onto the page and complete their evil schemes. So watch your comma ninja, and make sure they behave in your writing. I have an infestation of them, which gets out of control sometimes.
See you in the R & R grind! I almost always return reviews.
RACES OF KRITH
Humans: Three whole Kingdoms of 'em. The honour-obsessed (NOTE: In the texts, this is ALWAYS referred to with the word 'arreht', as I believe 'honour' gives the wrong connotations, and its better to work out what it means inside the setting than have the wrong thoughts conflicting, in my opinion) yet chaotic Karians who largely worship the God of war, Khaman and are beset on every side by the world's nastiest threats, the trade-driven Inkarans who worship the gold coin above all else and have close ties with the Czerans, and the incredibly hierarchical, monarchical Yatans who live in the harshest of the three lands but thrive now on mining. In terms of 'funky stuff' my Humans are screwed. As is traditional, they're like us: BORING. In the canon, however, Humans make the best overall warriors due to a combination of stamina, toughness, dedication, and lots of chaos.
Czerans: Minor shapeshifters, the Czerans live underwater, but have the power to assume a 'Human' form, or more precisely a form with legs that loses some of the more dramatic aspects of their water forms. They possess greatly enhanced hearing on land, and they move a little bit faster than would be considered natural by most standards. Underwater they can swim as fast as a galloping horse, for example. On land they're slower, but faster than anyone else. Naturally very intelligent, cold and cunning, they make for interesting characters due to their odd societal structure. Have a wide and fascinating variety of skin and eye colours. But that's enough about them.
Thorassians: Pale skinned and paler haired, the Thorassians and the Drakir share a unique feature: Their genders shift every three months. It's a complex issue, so I'll leave it at that, but pretty much their entire society, way of thinking, philosophy and all the rest of it springs out of this fact of their biology. It should come out over the stories. The Thorassians have several useful abilities, including perfect dark vision (they see in colour even in darkness. This ability is essentially magical, though that isn't a fact known in the setting. Just pointing it out so nobody points out that it's impossible for that to happen), extreme resilience to cold, a strong ability to taste poisons with their tongues, and the power to camouflage their skin to match the hues of stone, ice or snow. However, they are utterly unable to face the sunlight. Even the slightest exposure will blind them for hours.
Drakir: The one race of Krith that doesn't 'do' anything. It's been established that there's been no real contact with the Drakir for over a century, and that isn't changing in the short term. Related to the Thorassians, though the details are a secret that nobody talks about. They don't answer questions on the subject. Ever. They differ heavily from the Thorassians in that they have no worries about sunlight, have no real immunity to temperature, and all the rest of it. However they have superb eye sight, making them excellent archers (yes, the 'Elf Combo'), can camouflage in trees and undergrowth, and they also have thorn-like claws that help them climb. Their gender shift is very different to the Thorassians, and their attitudes towards it are very different for religious reasons. There are some small numbers of Drakir active in the world, but most of them are outcasts and can't deal with the world of Humans, and so become very quiet recluses who have little to do with Humans. Those who adapt usually do it in the form of trying to force the Human world to shift into being more like home. Mental adaptation is not their strong point. They believe in what they call 'the commonality', essentially an over-riding faith in the group being more important than the individual.
Cyldon: The 'enemy race' of the setting. Massive, devastatingly powerful, seemingly immune to pain and almost unkillable, the Cyldon are absolutely terrifying opponents for everyone who has to face them, and form a constant threat throughout the continent. The Karians fight the Cyldon all the time, the other races deal with them intermittently, the Czerans laugh at everyone else because the Cyldon can't swim. However, they don't come in large numbers. Cyldon hunting parties are rarely more than 100, usually faced by ten times that number of troops. The Great Kithanu is the only story intended to be from their perspective in the short term, though I may explore them later. Despite how they're viewed by the other races, the Cyldon aren't evil or anything like it. They are just a creature breed apart, and really can't relate to the others due partly to the hellish environs of the Cyldon Territories and their religion of mutual strife for growth.
A Tale of Krith: A Thorassian Mourning: A 2000 word story I wrote to detail a ritual that's common among the Thorassian people. It's a character/social piece, not much really HAPPENS. Written 01/10/06
A Tale of Krith: Meeting on the Moor: A story built on a fight scene experiment and a twist on an old theme. I like messing about with fight scenes, they're a favourite topic, and I tried something new here. Well, new for me, anyway. Written on 20/09/06
A Tale of Krith: The Hunter and the Hunted: The first story set in Thorassia, featuring the climax of a hunt gone wrong for one female. Not much of a culture piece, all based around the action and the camouflage ability. Written 04/09/06
A Tale of Krith: The Great Kithanu: Written a good while ago, but I do like this. Published in Wizards.com's Knowledge Arcana magazine, there's some good here. A very different end to a hunt, so it's on a similar theme to The Hunter and the Hunted. Here you see the terrifying creatures the Cyldon use as steeds in battle, or you see one of them, and the methods they use to capture the creatures, as well as a simple and effective demonstration of how unbelievably resilient they are. This story is a bit gory. Written 14/08/06
Doctor Cerebellum Torture: A unique story in every way. A random experiment I felt like doing one day in work, focusing on everyone's agreed perspective that dialogue is my strongest point. DCT strips out EVERYTHING but the good doctor's dialogue, and seeks to tell a story through just his words, not even his perspective, just his words and the things he says to and about his world. It's interesting, and some people find it very compelling due to its jankiness and the Doctor's quirky personality. Look it over if you're after a change from the norm.
Trails of Silt: The one tale of Krith that sneakily avoided being called one. Trails of Silt spotlights the Czeran Empire for the second time, and further develops the character of Launu, a Czeran 'deep diver' who cameos in the first Czeran tale 'Undercurrents' which hasn't been posted on this site at this time. Another short piece, it focuses on a shipwreck investigation. One-shot, with possibilities on being expanded if I'm in the mood.
Twin Moons: My first novel, finished one and a half years ago and redrafted here. I imagine it will be at least another year before the whole thing is put up here, and once I've redrafted it I will be putting it to agents for possible publication. At a complete running length of 900,000 words, suffice it to say it's going to be a series of books if it does get published. It's about one of the three Human Kingdoms in Krith, the trade-driven 'superpower' Inkara which is part-ruled by eight great Guilds who deal with the day to day business of the Kingdom. In theory. In this we focus on the Reapers Guild, assassins by another name, and a multi-layered betrayal that threatens the Guild's very existence. The story focuses on Brianna Yalayl, a third rank initiate who was born and raised in the Guild, who thinks of it as her home and will do anything to protect it. Of course, she has absolutely no idea how deep and tangled things go, nor how dark the threat truly is. Posted online before, those who reached the end said it was immensely satisfying.
Twin Moons Book 2 - The Southern Journey: The tale continues as Brianna leaves her home city with her friends and continues her quest. But it's only now she starts to get a grip on the force that's arrayed against her, and perceives just what it is that's begun to happen to her.
A Chill in the Air: My first tale set in the lands of the Drakir. I'm currently writing it and I believe it includes some of my very highest quality writing. Entirely first person, focused on one of the leaders of the 'guard forest' Yilerashu, who wakes after a prolonged stint in his gender change only to discover that the world he knew might well be falling down around him. A tale about trying to balance personal desire against the good of society, and how the bond between parent and child can utterly corrupt that effort.
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