Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tell Me about My Character

If you'd like a shot at winning a copy of Queen of Thorns plus one of the limited-edition Radovan miniatures plus a copy of the excellent Hero Labs character-creation software, check out the contest at the Paizo blog. We've just extended the deadline to give participants in the RPG Superstar Contest a chance to catch a breather between rounds. And also because people are getting pretty busy with holiday stuff.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Radovan & Jeggare Chronology Updated

Most of my recent work features Count Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard, Radovan. You can dive in at any point. While there is a "mythology" running through their adventures, each is basically a "monster of the week" episode, although there aren't always monsters, and the novellas and novels are more like mini-series.
Eric Belisle's depiction of
Radovan, from "Hell's Pawns."
©Paizo Publishing, LLC®.  

"A Lesson in Taxonomy."* While this is chronologically the first story, don't read it first. Read it after Prince of Wolves, or at least after "the Lost Pathfinder." Trust me on this. It's told from Varian's POV.

"Hell's Pawns." This novella originally appeared in the Council of Thieves Adventure Path. It's distinct from the other stories in that it's told only from Radovan's POV and in the present tense. It's the first story I wrote with "the boys."

"The Lost Pathfinder,"* The first installment of Paizo's free web   fiction feature. Each week there's another free story chapter, complete with a painting. You can also buy the older ones in ePub format for your library.

Prince of Wolves was the first Pathfinder Tales novel. Months after I wrote it, I realized just how many elements it has in common with Black Wolf. I won't spoil them for you here, but if you dug one, you'll probably dig the other.

"A Passage to Absalom"* is a mystery set aboard a sailing ship. It bridges the events of Prince of Wolves and "Husks." This one is told from Varian's POV.

"Husks" is another novella, this time from the Jade Regent Adventure Path. It's my homage to my favorite samurai and yakuza films.

Mathias Kollros created this gorgeous cover featuring

Count Jeggare.
©Paizo Publishing, LLC®. 
Master of Devils is my love letter to wuxia movies. If Prince of Wolves is "Indiana Jones in Transylvania," this one is "The boys vs. every Kung Fu Movie Ever."

"Killing Time"* is a nasty little tale set in Absalom, between the most recent two novels. It's not yet available in ePub format, but you can read it free like all the web fiction.

Queen of Thorns is the third Radovan & the Count novel, this time set in what Radovan calls "Elfland" and the count knows to be the elven nation of Kyonin. Even more than the previous novels, this one is inspired primarily by the Pathfinder setting rather than genre films.

* These stories are still available free at Paizo's web fiction page, along with many other stories.

The Next Big Thing

A few months ago, Steve Sullivan tagged me on this Next Big Thing meme. I started to answer but ended up busy and forgot about it after setting it aside “for just a day or two.”

More recently, Violette Malan did the same thing to me, I think as some sort of punishment. I don’t think I deserve it, but she strikes me as quite dangerous in her Spanish cape, so to be safe I guess I’d better follow through.

Originally I’d threatened to go rogue and rewrite the questions, but as it turns out I’ve struck out only one and left it visible, so you can see which it was.

Now I’m obligated to tag five more writers, but that’s where I will be disobedient. Link back to me if this looks like a fun exercise; otherwise, you’re free to go on living your life—perhaps to keep writing!

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

What is your working title of your book?
I’ve been asked not to reveal the title yet, but the previous volumes are Prince of Wolves, Master of Devils, and Queen of Thorns. If you’ve been paying attention and read the description, you’ve got a better-than-average chance of guessing it.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Because the Pathfinder Tales line is still relatively young, we’re still experimenting with ways to attract different portions of the audience to the novels. I’ve felt for a while that the Pathfinder gamers weren’t showing up in droves, so I’ve been hoping for a chance to connect a novel more directly to one of Paizo’s Adventure Paths. That chance came with the announcement of the Wrath of the Righteous AP set in the Worldwound.

This novel takes place at the same time as the AP, and players of that adventure will gain a much fuller appreciation for the setting and the conflict around the Worldwound by reading the novel. Best of all, there are absolutely no spoilers for the novel in the AP and vice versa.

At the same time, readers who aren’t playing the game won’t notice any difference. It’s still a Radovan & the count novel whether or not you even know the game exists.

What genre does your book fall under?
All the Radovan & the count novels are sword & sorcery adventures with a healthy dose of humor and mayhem.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I recently answered this question in a Q&A at (check out the awesome desktop wallpaper with art by Mathias Kollros), but I love giving alternate answers. Jeremy Brett (of Sherlock Holmes) would make a splendid Count Jeggare, while Josh Holloway (Lost’s Sawyer) would be a terrific Radovan. For younger actors, I’d pick Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers’ Loki) and Chris Pine (the new James Kirk).

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Radovan and the Count go to Hell (well, the Abyss) on Earth.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How would you describe the Pathfinder Tales line?
One of the coolest things about the line is that every book is different, even moreso than in other tie-in lines. Of course part of that is because each author is an individual, but the line editor has allowed us a broader range of stylistic freedom than you often see in novels set in a shared world. Thus, books like Winter Witch and Plague of Shadows are a little closer to classical fantasy quests, while Death’s Heretic and City of the Fallen Sky have a more contemporary fantasy vibe.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’ll let you know when I’m finished. I’ve written previous books of this length in anywhere from two to six months. This one will have been closer to two.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m probably too close to my own work to label it with direct influences, but I’d say the works of Leiber, Zelazny, and Asprin have all permanently altered the sword & sorcery portion of my brain in various ways.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Film and television often inspire my novels. For this one, I didn’t have any conscious cinematic influences, but I’ll be re-watching Band of Brothers and The Pacific as mood pieces as I continue writing. Ultimately, however, like Queen of Thorns, the influence for this novel comes almost entirely from the Pathfinder campaign setting and the background of the characters we’ve seen over the past few novels, novellas, and short stories.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
In Master of Devils I introduced a third, secondary POV character. This book also features a third POV character, but one who is equal to and completely different from the boys in ability and outlook. Those who’ve wanted to see Radovan and the count through different eyes will have that chance in this book.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Enjoy Black Friday from the Safety of Home

Paizo have launched their latest Black Friday sale, which lasts until Monday. Notable items include a fantastic deal on the first five Pathfinder Tales novels. Between that bundle and the discount on selected ePubs, you can start your own Pathfinder Tales library for a song.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Lion and the Aardvark hardcovers arrive

Long have I pined for hardcover publication. With the upcoming releases of Shotguns v. Cthulhu and The Lion and the Aardvark, I pine no more.

Along with two volumes of The New Hero, these handsome books mark an auspicious launch for Stone Skin Press.

Note: They're hoping for UK distribution before Christmas, North American next year. Those of us who backed the Kickstarter will get ours first.

You Can't Keep a Bad Man Down

Varian encounters an old frenemy in the library with the riffle scroll.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Queen of Thorns Events

Illustration by Carlos Villa
©2002–2012 Paizo Publishing, LLC®. 
The Reddit/fantasy chat went smashingly well. I would love to do that again in, oh, about six months and again in ten. What? No, no particular reason for that timing. I'd like to thank Steve Drew for making it so easy and fun, and Jaym Gates for setting it up.

Will Horner of Fantasist Enterprises asked me for a blog post, and here it is. I reference Queen of Thorns, but really it's about the difference between outliners and "pantsers."

Also, Paizo has unleashed the second chapter of "Killing Time." In it you can see how long it takes for Radovan to get into trouble when he goes for a walk. Also, you'll see some beautiful new artwork by Carlos Villa.

And just in case I've missed you with my shotgun blast of links, Mordicai Knode wrote the most flattering and comprehensive review of the Radovan and the count novels that I could wish for. Show it to everybody you know who hasn't already read the books.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Happy Humpday

In celebration of Wednesday, we've got two groovy Queen of Thorns events going on.

First, I'm taking questions and giving answers at my Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread at Reddit. If you participate, you have a chance to win one of several bundles of Pathfinder Tales ebooks or physical books. Come help make it a party!

Second, I'll join Perram and Ryan at the 50th episode celebration of Know Direction. It's LIVE, and I'm sure everyone will be drinking, so that's definitely a party.

For form's sake, yes, that's really me on this Reddit/fantasy thread.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Radovan & the Count: Sources of Inspiration

Rick Hellgeth asked me elsewhere about my influences in creating Count Jeggare and Radovan. These days I sometimes half-jokingly describe the boys in superhero terms: What if Batman teamed up with Wolverine? The truth is I’m most conscious of influences from movies, although certainly books and comics affect me as well.

Early on I described the boys as magic Holmes and Watson, but that was more an elevator pitch for James Sutter as I dusted off an unused outline and rewrote it for the novella “Hell’s Pawns.”  When I wrote the earlier outline I’d been re-viewing some of my favorite Hong Kong action movies. A recurring theme in those films is brotherhood between partners or rivals. So while I now joke about Radovan & the count as Oscar and Felix from The Odd Couple, movies like A Better Tomorrow, Hardboiled, and Infernal Affairs were probably a stronger influence on their basic relationship.

Once James okayed the pitch, I made a few key changes to the characters to make them more firmly grounded in Golarion. The Radovan character originally had an Asian-influenced name, which James felt didn’t fit Cheliax. I perused the campaign guide and noticed that Ustalav was distant but not too distant from Cheliax. Later, renaming and relocating Radovan turned out to be a great choice.

Originally I planned to tell “Hell’s Pawns” from two alternating third-person points of view, but previous Pathfinder Chronicles had all been in first-person. Also, I’d been watching a lot of film noir in the months before I began writing, so Radovan’s tough-guy voice came first and easiest. Since I had a lot of story to tell in a relatively short space, I decided to make him the sole narrator. Later, I thought of Varian and Radovan less as Holmes & Watson and more as Holmes & Marlowe.

When James later wanted me to pitch a novel featuring the same character, Radovan’s Ustalavic roots made the decision for me. As a kid I was a fiend for what I then called “monster movies,” especially the Universal and Hammer films. Various Monster Manuals had made me a fan of non-European monsters, so I had to include a [SPOILER OMITTED] instead of the more traditional [SPOILER OMITTED] when Varian [SPOILER OMITTED] the [SPOILER OMITTED] [SPOILER OMITTED].

Movies continued to influence my writing. The more recent French thriller Brotherhood of the Wolf even had a noble/lowborn investigative pair, so it was a big stylistic influence on the first novel, and I was pleased to see how many readers recognized the influence.

By the time I outlined Master of Devils, I felt free to indulge another movie love: wuxia or kung fu movies. I also immediately thought of Barry Hughart’s brilliant Master Li and Number Ten Ox novels, but the real influence on my novel was about a hundred movies I re-watched or remembered loving over the past couple of decades. Count Jeggare is a little bit like the famous Judge Dee, a pulp fiction detective based on the historical character Di Renjie, recently portrayed in the wonderful Tsui Hark film Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.

The original pitch for Queen of Thorns was “Aliens with elves.” The eventual novel departed drastically from the original concept, but if you squint you might see what I was going for: a team of highly competent individuals with conflicting agendas against an overwhelming horde of monsters. And that pitch had little effect on Radovan and the count; rather, clues dropped in earlier stories finally bring around big revelations about both the count’s and Radovan’s heritage.

As for the wise-cracking antiheroic bent of my characters, I have to credit Roger Zelazny whose novels more or less defined my taste in heroic fantasy, even after I’d come to love Howard, Tolkien, Leiber, Moorcock, and the other stars of my teenage years. It was in part because of Roger’s work that I became such a fan of Chandler, Hammet, and their contemporary descendants.

Ultimately, I can’t point to one source and say it was a principal influence on Radovan and the Count. Everything I’ve thought of along the way I used as shorthand to explain the basic relationship between Count Jeggare and Radovan to an editor or a potential reader.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Free New Story at Paizo

What do Count Jeggare and Radovan do between adventures? On the way back from Tian Xia they stop in at the Grand Lodge in Absalom, where each in his own way is "Killing Time."

Check out the gorgeous new artwork by Carlos Villa.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hail to the Queen

Queen of Thorns is officially available today, although a few lucky subscribers have already received their copies, and those of us in the Hinterlands must wait another couple of weeks to see them on store shelves.

Paizo always publishes a sample chapter of upcoming Pathfinder Tales novels, but this time they have generously agreed to allow four whole chapters to be posted across four different sites. It's like a scavenger hunt, only I'll tell you now exactly where to look.

Over at Black Gate you can read Chapter One, in which Count Varian Jeggare attends the Midsummer Masquerade in a city of mists and illusion.

Flames Rising hosts Chapter Two, in which Radovan dances after an elven damsel only to find out that he wasn't the one calling the tune.

SF Signal has Chapter Three, in which Varian enjoys a bird's-eye view of the Fierani Forest and meets an unusual gnome with a huge secret to reveal. (This one should be live soon.)

And Paizo itself hosts Chapter Four, wherein the boys assemble a team to guide them through the deadly Fierani Forest. This chapter includes a fabulous illustration by Eric Belisle.

I'm grateful to editor James Sutter and publicist Jaym Gates, as well as to Black Gate, Flames Rising, SF Signal, and the Paizo web team for making this "scavenger hunt" possible.

If you like what you read, please consider buying the book and posting a comment on the product page to encourage Paizo to do similar promotions in the future.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Some of you are waiting patiently (others less so) for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to drop on November 30, and perhaps some of you are waiting (impatiently, I trust) for Queen of Thorns to arrive around Halloween.

The latter will be accompanied by some cool teasers, including a four-part web novelette and not one but four sample chapters posted not only at but also at several other fine sites. I'll link to those sites as soon as they go live.

To ease the wait on the BG:EE front, we at Overhaul Games have been teasing some of the new content. First came a look into the childhood of Sun Soul monk Rasaad yn Bashir. Following soon after was a peek at Neera the wild mage's last day of magic school. If you haven't seen them yet, take a peek and tell us what you think in the BG forums.

In the coming weeks,  we'll unleash a look at Dorn Il Khan's violent origin, and we'll show off more of the brand-spankin' new character portraits.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Queen of Thorns

Cover by Matthias Kollros
©Paizo Publishing, LLC®  
The release of my new Pathfinder Tales novel is about a month away. This one takes the boys to Kyonin, land of the elves.

I've wanted to write a story set in Kyonin since I first saw the description of the country in the Second Darkness Adventure Path. Abandoned for ages since the elves first fled the cataclysm of Earthfall, the place is full of ancient ruins, each with its own mystery. While the story of Queen of Thorns involves a much more personal quest for Count Jeggare, it also serves as a travelogue for anyone who's wondered what lies beneath the canopies of the Fierani Forest.

And did I mention demons? Southern Kyonin is home to a nascent demon lord whose warlocks summon fiends faster than the elves can slay them. Through them, Radovan learns--the hard way--more than he ever wanted to know about his tainted lineage.

One other thing: Unlike Prince of Wolves or Master of Devils, this novel sees the boys work side by side in almost every chapter. The only occasions that separate them this time are the irresistible forces of sex and death.

Look to next month for a sample chapter and an all-new prequel story to Queen of Thorns.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dave's Schedule for Gen Con 2012

Art by Eric Belisle,©Paizo Publishing, LLC®. 

If you're attending Gen Con, here's a map for tracking me down, which you're totally allowed to do if it's to a) have me sign a book; b) chat about Pathfinder Tales, Baldur's Gate: Expanded Edition, or one of my other projects; or b) buy me a drink.

9 a.m.
Descriptive Descriptions (Room 245): Bring your writing to life with vivid descriptions that capture the imagination of your readers. Learn when to provide two pages of rich detail and when to limit it to two lines. Discover techniques that let you stay succinct by drawing on what your reader knows, without leaving holes in your descriptions. Panelists: Richard Lee Byers, Maxwell A. Drake, and Dave Gross

10 a.m.
Being (In)human (Room 245): From talking rats to green-skinned monsters, discover ways to make your inhuman characters resonate with the reader. Our panelists discuss how to make the reader care about your monster without making it any less monstrous, ways to make inhuman heroes more than just people with fur, and tricks for getting the reader to root for your creature characters. Panelists: Dave Gross, Richard Lee Byers, and Elizabeth Vaughan

2 p.m.
The Skinny on Short Fiction (Room 245): Learn to write amazing short fiction! From tips for structuring stories so they fit into a compact package to methods for plunging readers straight into the heart of your tale, our panelists offer tricks of the trade that will make you a short story master! Panelists: Kerrie Hughes, Paul Genesse, and Dave Gross

8 a.m.
This Means War! (Room 245): You’ve armed your heroes to the teeth, your villains have sharpened their swords, and the armies of light and darkness are arrayed on the field of battle! Um, now what? Our panelists discuss techniques for bringing war to the pages of your story. Learn how to craft epic battles that will blow reader away while keeping the focus on the characters. Panelists: Richard Lee Byers, Dave Gross, and Erik Scott de Bie

Pathfinder Author Summit: Paizo's Fiction Editor James Sutter (Death's Heretic) leads a panel of Pathfinder Tales authors as they discuss their novels, characters, and their process as professional authors. Guests include Dave Gross (Prince of Wolves, Master of Devils, Queen of Thorns), Robin Laws (The Worldwound Gambit, Blood of the City), and Howard Andrew Jones (Plague of Shadows).

1 p.m.
Signing @ Paizo Booth #203: Bring your copy of Prince of Wolves, Master of Devils, Winter Witch, or anything else to which Dave has contributed, and he'll deface it with a pen.

3 p.m.
Advanced Worldbuilding Workshop (Room 244): In this advanced writing workshop, learn expert techniques for building a world for your story. Limited to just 8 attendees, it’s a chance to get personal assistance from our panelists. Dig into topics we seldom have time for in our public panels, and get personalized help with your trickiest world-building challenges! Panelists: Dave Gross and Richard Lee Byers

5 p.m.
Reading (Room 244): You’ve listened to their advice, now come listen to their works. For one hour Dave Gross and Donald J. Bingle will transport you with their magical prose. Panelists: Dave Gross and Donald J. Bingle

8 a.m.
Dragons and Dwarves and Elves, Oh My!—Fantasy Tropes (Room 245): We love fantasy, but it’s a challenge to write in a genre so steeped in clichés. Are you giving your reader what they want when you fill your tales with elves, dragons, and dwarves? Or does it show a lack of originality? Our panelists discuss when to embrace the clichés of fantasy fiction and when to run from them. Panelists: Dave Gross, Maxwell A. Drake, and Erik Scott de Bie

9 a.m.
Breaking into the RPG Fiction Market (Room 245): Most of our favorite games publish stories set in their worlds, but how can you get your own game-related stories published? Our panelists offer expert advice on breaking into the RPG fiction market. Hear the highs and lows of writing game-related fiction, learn about the business side of writing for games, and discover the best ways to get your foot in the door. Panelists: Richard Lee Byers, Dave Gross, Erik Scott de Bie, and James Sutter

10 a.m.
Don’t Let Them Hear the Dice Roll—Writing RPG Fiction (Room 245): Writing fiction for RPGs can be a tricky business. How do you capture the spirit of the game without getting hemmed in by it? What are the rules for playing in a shared world? And how do you write for worlds with decades of real-world history and still get it right? Our panel of veteran game related fiction authors have the answers! Panelists: Dave Gross, Richard Lee Byers, Erik Scott de Bie, and James Sutter

1 p.m.
Passing the Torch—Writing in Another Author’s Voice (Room 244): Every author has her own voice, but what happens when you’re supposed to write in someone else’s? From ghost writing to co-authoring to inheriting an existing series, authors often have to write to match another writer’s style. Learn how to stay true to your own muse while matching the voice of another author. Panelists: Matt Forbeck, Dave Gross, and John Helfers

3 p.m.
Signing (Paizo Booth #203): Bring your copy of Prince of Wolves, Master of Devils, Winter Witch, or anything else to which Dave has contributed, and he'll deface it with a pen.

11:00 a.m.
Signing (Pelgrane Press Booth #1427): A group autograph session for The New Hero and Shotguns v. Cthulhu. Dave has a story in the latter anthology.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

When Words Collide

Cover art by Mathias Kollros.
Next weekend I'll visit the When Words Collide convention in Calgary.

On Friday I'll participate in two panels, "Humor in Fiction" at 6:00 pm and "Always the Bad Guy" (moderating) at 9:00 pm.

On Saturday I'm moderating the "Genre VS Setting" panel at 1:00 pm, then possibly participating in one of those terrifying Slush Pile readings at 9:00 pm.

On Sunday at 11:00 am I'll read a bit from this October's Pathfinder Tales release, Queen of Thorns

All of this will be my dress rehearsal for a much more demanding schedule at the following weekend's Gen Con Game Fair. Will I see some of you in Calgary?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Free Stories: The Swamp Warden & The Seventh Execution

Illustration by Mike Caprotti
©2002–2012 Paizo Publishing, LLC®. 
Amber E. Scott, known for her many contributions to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, is also one of the few authors to have contributed more than one story to Paizo's weekly web fiction feature.  For squamous horror, check out her first story, The Swamp Warden. For an even darker tale in revolutionary Galt, turn to The Seventh Execution.

Free Story: The Secret of the Rose and Glove

Illustration by KyuShik Shin
©2002–2012 Paizo Publishing, LLC®. 
Celebrate International Short Story Day by treating yourself to Kevin Andrew Murphy's free Pathfinder Tales story "The Secret of the Rose and Glove."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Free Story: The Illusionist

Illustration by J.P. Targete©2002–2012 Paizo Publishing, LLC®. 
In celebration of the upcoming International Short Fiction Day, I direct your attention to Elaine Cunningham's excellent story "The Illusionist."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Interview at Flames Rising

Jeremy LC Jones of Flames Rising interviewed the Pathfinder Tales authors about all of the line's books, starting with me and Prince of Wolves

I believe the plan is to post an interview a day, so expect to see a chat about Master of Devils later this week.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Stuff You'll Like If You Like My Stuff

Because I lack the marketing gene, it only recently occurred to me that those who enjoy Tales of the Far West would likely also enjoy Master of Devils, and vice versa. I quiver in anticipation of a review that compares "Crippled Avengers" with the Pathfinder Tales novel.

If you aren't already in a steampunk/wuxia mood, a good way to get into it is by firing up the DVD of one of my favorite TV series, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (now available for a price obscenely smaller than that wish I gladly paid on its release). Jason Henninger waxes rhapsodic about the latter at Tor's blog. I feel a strong urge to create a Brisco/Firefly marathon in spring.

Apropos of nothing, my dream TV series would star Nathan Fillion, Bruce Campbell, and Christina Hendricks as members of a globetrotting supernatural salvage team in the 1920s. Guest stars would include Michelle Yeoh, Jean Reno, Mads Mikkelson, and Monica Bellucci.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Words, Words, Words

Where do you draw the line in using terms with proper-name origins in an alternate world setting?

I recall the anecdote about a Ravenloft author inventing the term "air moss" because "Spanish moss" was right out. This past week's word-of-the-day list includes terms referring to characters in Dickens. While a child-training thief like Gaedren Lamm from Pathfinder's Curse of the Crimson Throne  might be perfectly described as a "fagin," you couldn't actually use that term without throwing every English major in the audience.

Sometimes the call isn't so obvious. It's all right to use "mesmerized," isn't it? "Hypnotized" sounds even goofier in an alternate world fantasy, but the former term has a guy's name in it. On the other hand, "Damascus steel" is right out.

What are some real-world terms that you'd think twice about using in an alternate world setting? And what are some that you think are questionable but okay?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tales of Sevrin

Elaine Cunningham has released the second in her Tales of Sevrin novellas. Check out Honor Bound in Kindle format, or start from the beginning with Honor Among Thieves

Also available at Smashwords: .MOBI versions of Honor Among Thieves and Honor Bound.

Elves, scoundrels, fairies, alchemy, clockwork soldiers, witty banter--it's all here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tales of the Far West

Adamant Entertainment's Far West Kickstarter campaign was so successful (ending up with nearly ten times the original goal) that Gareth-Michael Skarka began adding additional rewards for supporters. One of the first was the fiction anthology Tales of the Far West.

The book features stories by, among others, Scott Lynch (here's a free preview of his story), Matt Forbeck, Chuck Wendig, and Yours Truly.

The Kindle version is now available at Amazon, and ePub and PDF versions are coming soon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Your Feedback

While my Pathfinder novels haven't (yet) reached as wide an audience as my previous novels, they've garnered far more reviews. I'd love to see even more, especially on Amazon and Goodreads.

While the reviews have been gratifying and often useful, I've seen little comparison of the Varian & Radovan stories, primarily Prince of Wolves and Master of Devils (but also of the novellas "Hell's Pawns" and "Husks," and the short stories "The Lost Pathfinder," "A Lesson in Taxonomy," and "A Passage to Absalom").

So please satisfy my curiosity: If you've read both of the R&V novels, which book did you prefer (and why)? What elements of the ongoing back story do you care most about?

Please comment here, and if you ask any questions I'll try to answer them promptly.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Jeremy Dawson is doing an interesting thing at his podcast site. To start the new off with a new format, he's reviewing books and also interviewing the authors. This past week he quizzed me on Prince of Wolves, posting our conversation in text and adding an audio recording of his thoughts on the book. Both appear on this page (click on the first paragraph for the interview).

I've just sent him my answers to his questions on Master of Devils, which I expect he'll post with an audio review on Monday. Go take a listen and comment on his blog.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Pathfinder Tales Uploads

illustration by Mike Caprotti
© Paizo Publishing, LLC®.
Paizo has uploaded seven more ePub stories, all included in their three-for-the-price-of-two fiction sale until the end of January. Among them is "A Passage to Absalom," the ship-board mystery set between Prince of Wolves and Master of Devils.

The new ePub files include:

The Ironroot Deception by Robin D. Laws
Plow and Sword by Robert E. Vardeman
A Passage to Absalom by Dave Gross
The Seventh Execution by Amber E. Scott
The Box by Bill Ward
Blood and Money by Steven Savile
Guilty Blood by F. Wesley Schneider

Remember that you can read all of the short fiction (but not the novellas, which appear in the Adventure Paths) for free at the Web Fiction page. Then you can load up your e-reader with your favorites.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pathfinder Tales Three-for-All

illustration by Eric Belisle
© Paizo Publishing, LLC®
Until the end of January, the classic buy-two-get-one-free sale hits Pathfinder Tales. That applies to both the novels and the stories in either print or electronic format when you buy them from Here's a great chance to fill out your novel collection or to check out any stories or novellas you've missed. The stories and novellas include some terrific interior art.

Radovan & the Count Stories
Hell's Pawns *
The Lost Pathfinder **
A Lesson in Taxonomy

I'm hopeful that the story "A Passage to Absalom" will be available in ePub format soon. The latest is the novella "Husks," currently appearing in the Jade Regent Adventure Path.

illustration by Eric Belisle
© Paizo Publishing, LLC®
Other Notable Stories & Novelettes
The Swamp Warden by my local friend Amber Scott
The Illusionist by my friend and co-author Elaine Cunningham
Plenty more are available here, short stories for a buck, novellas for five.

Pathfinder Tales Novels
Prince of Wolves by Dave Gross
Winter Witch by Elaine Cunningham
Plague of Shadows by Howard Andrew Jones
The Worldwound Gambit by Robin D. Laws
Master of Devils by Dave Gross
Death's Heretic by James L. Sutter

If you'd like to read some stories for free, many are still available at the web fiction page.

* Originally from the Council of Thieves Adventure Path
** Featuring the amazing artwork of Eric Belisle, whose illustration defined the look of Count Jeggare

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Post-Holiday Catch-Up

Very good progress catching up since the holidays. I'm well past my minimum word count for the week, but not quite back to my ideal output. If tomorrow goes as well as yesterday and today, I should be back in the "slightly ahead" category early next week, leaving me time for socializing and games this weekend.