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AncalagonTheBlack

The Paul Kearney Thread: Monarchies of God,Sea Beggars,The Macht etc.

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On May 18, 2016 at 9:53 AM, Werthead said:

Bantam US has the rights to publish the Sea-Beggars series and no-one else can do it until they give up the rights or they stop printing copies of Books 1 and 2 and the rights revert to Paul a certain amount of time (typically 5-10 years) later. So there is nothing to be done until Bantam US stop acting like dicks.

Paul is of course free to write completely unrelated books for other publishers, as he's been doing.

Adam, 

I get that.  Yes, Bantam is being unreasonable, but I just didn't know if there were legal side roads he could walk down and get the works out there via fanfic.  I could have sworn there were examples of this happening with authors who couldn't work through contract issues.  Can't remember where I read that, but I know it's happened.  

 

It's a pipe dream, I know.  Just spitballing here. 

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2 minutes ago, peterbound said:

Adam, 

I get that.  Yes, Bantam is being unreasonable, but I just didn't know if there were legal side roads he could walk down and get the works out there via fanfic.  I could have sworn there were examples of this happening with authors who couldn't work through contract issues.  Can't remember where I read that, but I know it's happened.  

 

It's a pipe dream, I know.  Just spitballing here. 

It was the author of the Vampire Diaries book series. She got booted from her own book series and replaced with ghost writers. She decided to self publish Vampire Diaries fan fiction on Amazon to continue her version of the series.

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

Yeah didn't see get in trouble for that though?

I don't know... seems like she's getting away with it.  

 

Might be different, due to the original content coming out of a story mill, but it looks like she's making money off of her take on the story. 

 

http://www.dailydot.com/fandom/vampire-diaries-lj-smith-kindle-fanfiction/

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I don't think Bantam has signed up to the Amzon fanfic programme. How the Vampire Diaries author got away with it is that the actual publishing company that created the series signed up to it, of course not expecting her to do it that way. They then couldn't exclude her works or withdraw from the programme, so that's backfired on them massively.

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The Wolf in the Attic was an absolutely brilliant book, dark yet juvenile and utterly charming. I thought the protagonist was fantastic, the plot engaging throughout and it had a very satisfying ending. Since I so often find myself looking for standalones these days, I can definitely see myself reading some older Kearney stuff in the future

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I've got WitA, and will buy anything he puts out (except maybe his tie in shit), but have yet to read it.  Been on a horror kick lately.  It will be my next read. 

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The Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney

Oxford, 1929. The Great Depression is looming. Anna Francis is a Greek refugee, one of many forced to flee the fighting between Turkey and Greece in the aftermath of the First World War. She lives with her father, who continues to campaign on behalf of his countrymen. Whilst Anna's father hosts meetings and writes to politicians, Anna explores Oxford and the surrounding countryside. One night she sees something in the fields that she wasn't supposed to, irrevocably changing her and the course of her life.

 

Paul Kearney is, very easily, the most underread author in modern fantasy. He has written epic fantasy with vast armies clashing, heroic fantasy about the tribulations of a flawed hero and several "slipstream" stories about people who cross from one world to another. He has also written a personal novel about the real world's intersection with the fantastic. He's even written a Warhammer 40,000 novel about Space Marines (although that's currently on hold due to legal issues). Kearney has an ability to switch gears and voices to tell many different kinds of story that is highly enviable.

The Wolf in the Attic represents another such gear shift. This is a story about a young woman coming of age in a country that treats her like a foreigner, despite her fluency in the language and her father's attempts to integrate. The notion of being a refugee and trying to find a home after your own is destroyed is a powerful one, and Kearney tells this part of the story extremely well. There is also an impressive mastery of POV and characterisation: Anna idolises her father whilst also being honest about his flaws, but even so the reader may pick up on things about him that Anna herself does not (or is in denial about).

These musings on identity, home and growth sit alongside a couple of scene-stealing cameos from C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis and Tolkien had met and become friends in the mid-1920s and would remain in contact for the rest of their life. They appear very briefly, but Kearney has clearly done his research about the two men, their characters and the times they lived in.

So richly and vividly drawn is 1929 Oxford that the reader may even forget they're reading a fantasy novel until the supernatural enters the fray. First slowly and then with a growing presence, Kearney presents a sort of magical shadow world intersecting with our own, with people and factions represented as one thing in our world but having another role in the other. A mid-novel twist brings the supernatural element much more to the fore and this transition is successful as the book becomes more of a quest or road trip that takes Anna from her comfortable life into something more mystical and primeval.

Kearney has always had an excellent grasp of character and no-nonsense writing, but his writing skills in this book reach new heights with easily the most accomplished prose of his career to date. He handles the transition from the earlier, more grounded chapters to the later, more fantastical ones very well and he makes Anna a compelling protagonist, young but not foolish, inexperienced but not naive. If there is a weakness it might be that some secondary characters are not developed as strongly (Luca most notably) but in a first-person narrative that may be expected.

Overall, The Wolf in the Attic is an unusual book. It has YA hallmarks but isn't really YA. It has elements of fantasy and mythology and history but is more than the some of those parts. The movement between realistic childhood issues and fantasy reminded me somewhat of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but The Wolf in the Attic is an effortlessly superior novel which has more to say.

The year may only be half over, but The Wolf in the Attic (*****) makes a bold claim to be the best SFF novel released this year (contested, at least so far, only by Guy Gavriel Kay's Children of Earth and Sky). It is a rich and unputdownable read and increases its already-talented author's range and capabilities even further. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.

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Enjoyed Wolf in the Attic but thought it ended abruptly. Wondered if a sequel is planned but don't see anything about it. 

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Yes, Paul wants to write a sequel but they're waiting to see how well the book does first.

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Usually when I get a book, (even the ones I enjoy) I tend to blitz through the first act, and for some reason make slow progress through the second act and then back to blitzing through the 3rd. But with Wolf in the Attic I ended up blitzing through all of it.

 

Really enjoyed it, props to Kearney as it does read very different to what I remember from Hawkwood. Both in premise and style if you had me compare it with Hawkwood with no prior knowledge I doubt I'd be able to guess it was the same author.

 

Too many fantasy books go into too much detail about the world and for me end up ruining the magic and mystery, I much rather prefer the way it was conveyed in this - gives it a more mythical feel.

Would definitely buy a sequel should it come out.

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Brief thread revivification to say that I'm just over a third of the way through The Wolf in the Attic, entirely understand what people were excited about, and am pretty baffled as to why this hasn't become [or at least doesn't seem to have become] a bigger deal. Very rich in atmosphere; very mysterious and numinous; beautifully written so far.

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Kearney never got the promotion his books deserved, and his defunct website doesn't help. He needs to have some internet presence - at least an updated website if he doesn't want to go the line of blogging or F-book. 

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Good news! Paul is writing a sequel to The Wolf in the Attic, provisionally entitled The Other Side of Things. He's also working on more WH40K stuff, which reminds me that I still need to pick up Calgar's Siege.

Bad news: Umbra Sumus is unlikely to ever see the light of day. As far as I can tell, Black Library/Games Workshop don't see why they should change the series title (Dark Hunters) to appease Sherrilyn Kenyon when the Space Marine chapter of the same name dates back to the 1980s, before her series started. On the other hand, they also don't want to spend the money the legal challenge would cost (Kenyon has also sold more books solo than the entire Black Library has sold in 30 years, not to mention is backed up by a very big US publisher, so that's probably a losing battle) so the book's in limbo, apart from a couple of hundred copies that escaped into the wild.

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17 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I read something recently were he said he was also done with epic fantasy :( I'll try and find the link/quote later tonight, I think it was on goodreads somewhere.

So no Sea Beggars final book then,even if he got the rights back..sigh. :(

Edited by AncalagonTheBlack

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5 hours ago, AncalagonTheBlack said:

So no Sea Beggars final book then,even if he got the rights back..sigh. :(

Well I dunno about that, something tells me he'd make an exception, but I don't see him ever getting the rights back. :(

Quote

To be honest, my epic days may be done. My agent is trying to get me to write another huge series, but I really don't have any thoughts that way at the moment. I'm working on Space Marines novels for the Black Library (which are epics in themselves), and also on a sequel to The Wolf in the Attic, as well as designing a world for a first person video game. But perhaps one day, if I can catch a hold of the right kind of world, the right war to fight...

also regarding Sea Beggars, this is about 5 months old, so, grain of salt:

Quote

First of all, my apologies for taking so long to reply to your question. In answer to it, the Third and final book of the Sea Beggars is called Storm of the Dead. I had begun writing it when the series was dropped by the publisher due to poor sales. It was then bought by another publisher, but blocked legally over a wrangle over American publication rights. I am told that difficulty is almost over, but I cannot give you a firm date for a resolution to the series (which I badly want to write). It's all in the hands of the lawyers at the moment. But I want to thank you for your enjoyment of the books, and as soon as I hear more, I will update you.

 

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1 hour ago, AncalagonTheBlack said:

Why You Should Read...Paul Kearney

Also,since Bezos has tons of money to spend and is big SFF fan,someone send him the 'Sea Beggars' books so we can get an ending via an adaptation since the the final book is never coming out (sobs).

I'll have to start reading Paul Kearney.  Which books would you recommend to start with?

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