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Monday, July 06, 2015

Being the First Part of A Tale of The Unwithering Realm

We are very pleased to announce that Mr. John C. Wright has published SOMEWHITHER, The Unwithering Realm, Book One, with Castalia House:

SOMEWHITHER is the first part of A TALE OF THE UNWITHERING REALM, a new science fantasy series from science fiction master John C. Wright. It is an adventure, it is a romance, and it is a coming of age story of a young man who is not a man, in a world that is only one among many. It is a tale of a greater and darker evil with longer reach than anything Man can imagine, of despair without bounds, of pain beyond measure, and of the faith required to surmount all three. It is a story of inexorable destiny written in the stars and the stubborn courage that is required to defy it.

Ilya Muromets is a big, ugly, motherless boy who does not look like anyone else in his Oregon town. His father is often absent on mysterious Church missionary work that involves silver bullets, sacred lances, and black helicopters. Ilya works as a janitor for Professor Achitophel Dreadful of the Cryptozoological Museum of Scientific Curiosities, and he has a hopeless crush on the Professor’s daughter, Penelope, who pays him little attention and appears to be under the impression that his name is Marmoset.

One night, when Professor Dreadful escapes from the asylum to which he has been temporarily committed, he sends a warning to Ilya that not only is his Many Worlds theory correct, but those many worlds are dominated by an unthinkably powerful enemy determined to destroy anyone who opens the Moebius Ring between the worlds. And, as it happens, prior to his involuntary absence, the Professor left his transdimensional equipment in the basement of the Museum plugged-in and running….

So it is that Ilya, as he has secretly dreamed, is called upon to save the mad scientist’s beautiful daughter. With his squirrel gun, his grandfather’s sword, and his father’s crucifix, Ilya races to save the girl, and, incidentally, the world.

590 pages. No DRM. Available at Amazon and Castalia House. From the reviews:
  • "I had stopped reading SF and fantasy when Stephen Donaldson got longwinded and boring (make your own jokes here) and had turned to detective fiction. But the pendulum swings. The fact that you enthused about him compelled me to give him a try, since I love your work. I can confidently say I haven`t read anything I loved this much since Lewìs` space trilogy."
  • "It is at once Star Wars, the Chronicles of Narnia, Asimov's Robot worlds, and CS Lewis somehow rolled into one."
I will give the gentle reader fair warning. SOMEWHITHER is crazy. The reader who described it as a "Bronzepunk Bildungsroman" wasn't kidding. It is massive and over the top in every single way. It defines "kitchen-sink book" and there is probably not another science fiction writer alive today who could reasonably attempt a book like this. You may love it. You may find it bewildering. You may wonder if Mr. Wright should join Professor Achitophel Dreadful as an involuntary guest at the asylum. But you will definitely marvel at it.

The only way I can describe it is to imagine that Dan Brown dropped acid and was pumped full of sodium pentathol and caffeine after reading about Our Lady of Fátima. And that doesn't even do it justice. Mr. Wright provides his own description here.
So how would I classify SOMEWHITHER? Is is high fantasy, sword and sorcery, scientific fantasy, space opera, or elf opera, or what?

It might be called an urban fantasy, in that the the tale stars a modern American boy, indeed, a Boy Scout, son of a secret agent of the parallel-world traveling Knights Templar secretly working for the Pope, who pops through a rabbit hole or Moebius wormhole, and ends up in a parallel world ruled by the Tower of Babel. Except he is from Tillimook, Oregon, which is rural rather than urban.

It might be called sword and sorcery, on the grounds that he is armed with his grandfather’s katana, a prize brought back from Japan after World War Two, so there is a sword involved, and there is definitely enough sorcery to choke a horse.

It could be called high fantasy, if we meant it reads like something inspired by a muse who had ingested a hallucinogenic drug. It is high in that sense.

SOMEWHITHER is a Christian Rock Opera, like JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, but not so blasphemous, but just as stupid.

So think of SOMEWHITHER as more like GODSPELL, but if they decided to use
ninjas and vampire-hunters to portray Our Lord and His apostles instead of clowns in makeup.

Labels:

59 Comments:

Blogger Doom July 06, 2015 4:27 AM  

Always a little suspicious when love is part of the description. Still, it doesn't sound too bad.

Blogger Bobo #117 July 06, 2015 5:00 AM  

You had me at "John C. Wright"...

Blogger Jew613 July 06, 2015 5:17 AM  

The cover looks fantastic. What are the chances of a print edition?

Blogger Rantor July 06, 2015 5:25 AM  

I am sure the chances for a print edition improve, if you buy the e-book.

Blogger Dave Freer July 06, 2015 5:47 AM  

Well done Vox, and well done John. I look forward to reading it.

Blogger VD July 06, 2015 5:56 AM  

The cover looks fantastic. What are the chances of a print edition?

Decent, but not anytime soon.

Blogger Sherwood family July 06, 2015 6:08 AM  

I am heading on vacation soon and this one is definitely going to keep me company me on a very trip from Central Asia back to the States.

Blogger Sherwood family July 06, 2015 6:08 AM  

Should read "very long trip".

Anonymous Dave July 06, 2015 6:55 AM  

New releases all need to have disclaimer "Print edition may or may not happen in an indeterminate time period "

Blogger Brad Andrews July 06, 2015 6:56 AM  

Make him finish outstanding series first! I hate waiting on how it turns out, for a long time in many cases.

That does bring up another partially completed series....

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 06, 2015 7:00 AM  

I had the good luck to get an advance copy.

I think I know how this project got started.

C.S. Lewis and L. Frank Baum were having a good laugh after having read Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

When they finished wiping their eyes, they then decided it was time to collaborate on a project own. They worked out the rough draft and after having gotten a few notes from Frank Herbert and Madeleine L’Engle, plus a suggestion or two from Baron Munchausen. They then dropped the completed story off in John C. Wright’s head.

There is of course the possibility that John C. Wright, made it up all on his own.

Anonymous Lulabelle (68) July 06, 2015 7:22 AM  

"The cover looks fantastic. What are the chances of a print edition?

Decent, but not anytime soon."

Dammit.

Anonymous ticticboom July 06, 2015 7:37 AM  

Shut up and take my money!

Blogger AmyJ July 06, 2015 7:42 AM  

Sold

Anonymous Jake-the-Rake July 06, 2015 7:50 AM  

If John C. Wright wrote it, I'm reading it... Castalia order N° 3 soon coming your way.

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum:
HABEMUS CHESTERTON!

Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum (Johannes Cristo Wright) Sanctæ Romanæ Scriptoribus qui sibi nomen imposuit (DUDE)

Blogger VFM bot #188 July 06, 2015 8:16 AM  

Wright seems to be increasingly exhibiting this kind of behavior in his writing. Spider Robinson said of Count to a Trillion, "the novel came perilously close to overloading my capacity for wonder" and called Wright "a major figure in the recent renaissance of space opera."

Hot damn!

Anonymous Leonidas July 06, 2015 8:31 AM  

Been waiting for this one for months. You tried to stealth publish it on me, but I found it yesterday anyway! 20% through with it and continuing, and it's everything I'd hoped for and more.

Blogger Peter July 06, 2015 8:32 AM  

The thought of Dan Brown on a mixture of acid, sodium pentathol and caffeine is just too delicious for words. It explains so much about his writing!!!

:-)

Anonymous Mike M. (minion #315) July 06, 2015 8:37 AM  

I picked the book up over the weekend. Vox is, if anything, understating how good it really is. And just how over-the-top it is. :-)

Anonymous Leonidas July 06, 2015 8:57 AM  

And just how over-the-top it is.

It is, in fact, one of the most over the top books I've ever read. And I love it.

Anonymous Jourdan July 06, 2015 9:02 AM  

Can't wait to read this one and congrats to you, Vox, for being the publisher. Well done.

I assume as there is a connection to Tillamook the book ships with a huge block of sharp cheddar cheese?

Blogger JaimeInTexas July 06, 2015 9:36 AM  

Out of curiosity, is it me or do tall structures reaching for the skies a fairly common theme sci-fy/fantasy book covers?

Anonymous Menelaus July 06, 2015 9:45 AM  

I've read a lot of JCW and no Dan Brown. Somewhither is JCW having a nightmare after dropping acid. Manic during its calmest moments. Gruesome. Monster Hunter as imagined by Lovecraft.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet July 06, 2015 9:49 AM  

Out of curiosity, is it me or do tall structures reaching for the skies a fairly common theme sci-fy/fantasy book covers?

It's a general design technique, used also in photography a lot, to create drama. There's a few others.

Blogger JDC July 06, 2015 10:42 AM  

Bought it. Going fishing next week and I look forward to reeling in giant northern, walleye, small-mouth (and the occasional large mouth), perch while losing myself in John's craziness.

Blogger Jack Ward July 06, 2015 10:50 AM  

Will there be a surge? I STILL have not opened up Architects of Eons, what with the Hugo thing, and all. And, a JCW needs a nice, long contemplative time to read.

With this novel may I guess that JCW has finally gotten out from under his contractual obligations at Tor and can fly free. I don't expect any insider juicy details, of course. Just seems so....and, if so, goodie.

If no surge I will buy from Castalia sometime today.

Anonymous ivvenalis July 06, 2015 11:13 AM  

@Brad

Wright has already finished writing the Count to a Trillion series, the last two books are being edited.

Blogger Corvinus July 06, 2015 11:14 AM  

The only way I can describe it is to imagine that Dan Brown dropped acid and was pumped full of sodium pentathol and caffeine after reading about Our Lady of Fátima. And that doesn't even do it justice.

If there's one word to describe JCW, it's "rich". As a descriptor applied to food.

The cover looks fantastic. What are the chances of a print edition?

@Jew613
I had the impression the cover shows the Last Redoubt of Man from "Awake in the Night Land". Or at least its top.

Blogger Markku July 06, 2015 11:15 AM  

Look at the beards of the statues. It's _obviously_ the Tower of Babel.

Blogger VD July 06, 2015 11:20 AM  

Will there be a surge?

No, we're not planning one.

Blogger Positive Dennis July 06, 2015 11:21 AM  

I am going to buy this and read it in Ilya Muromets' hometown next month when I visit Russia.

Blogger Bard July 06, 2015 11:36 AM  

I really enjoyed awake in the night lands. Can't wait to read this.

Blogger RobertT July 06, 2015 11:41 AM  

OK, I'm hooked.

Blogger Brad Andrews July 06, 2015 12:03 PM  

@ivvenalis,

I think the final one is still being written. At least his other one is complete. I just prefer to read things together, though it is hard to do that for many series, especially ones being actively produced.

I suppose it is a first world problem. I do know keeping track of everyone can be a bit of a challenge in some works, which makes reading them together more valuable.

Blogger Brad Andrews July 06, 2015 12:03 PM  

@ivvenalis,

I think the final one is still being written. At least his other one is complete. I just prefer to read things together, though it is hard to do that for many series, especially ones being actively produced.

I suppose it is a first world problem. I do know keeping track of everyone can be a bit of a challenge in some works, which makes reading them together more valuable.

Anonymous Mr. Rational July 06, 2015 12:05 PM  

You may wonder if Mr. Wright should join Professor Achitophel Dreadful as an involuntary guest at the asylum.

upROARious laughter at this.

The love-interest being "Penny Dreadful" is a nice touch too.

Anonymous jm July 06, 2015 12:20 PM  

Just ordered it from CH.

I've never read any JCW before, so I may as well embrace the craziness.

Blogger BigFire July 06, 2015 12:21 PM  

re: Brad Andrews

John C. Write have already finish Count to Eschaton series already. He mentioned that Count to Infinity was done on his blog a couple of weeks ago. (Vindication of Man is forthcoming next year, and Count to Infinity sometimes after that).

Blogger BigFire July 06, 2015 12:22 PM  

re: jm

You might want to try his older books first, The Golden Age, Chronicles of Chaos, and Count to Eschaton (4/6 is published).

Blogger Aeoli Pera July 06, 2015 12:29 PM  

Long ago, I remember JCW posted the intro to this on his blog. It was great. As in, first chapter of Monster Hunter: International great.

Aha! I have found it.

http://www.scifiwright.com/2015/03/a-glimpse-of-somewhither-update-of-the-update/

March 2015? Must be updated. I remember reading it back in the summer of 2013.

Blogger pdwalker July 06, 2015 12:47 PM  

Whatever drugs John is taking, I think I need. So far, he's stretched my imagination from one end to another. Normally, that takes a couple of vastly different authors read in quick succession to accomplish

Reading his books is an exercise in wonder. I fully understand what Spider Robinson said.

Anonymous Eric Ashley July 06, 2015 1:16 PM  

Been waiting for this ever since I read an excerpt from it on his blog. That bit sounded right up my alley.

Anonymous Frank B Luke July 06, 2015 1:38 PM  

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum:
HABEMUS CHESTERTON!

Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum (Johannes Cristo Wright) Sanctæ Romanæ Scriptoribus qui sibi nomen imposuit (DUDE)


Defender of the Faith, Writer of Wonders, Enemy of SJWs, Scurge of Morlocks, Ally to Right-Thinkers, Aider of Tradition, Militant for God, Toppler of Idols...

Blogger Zach July 06, 2015 2:20 PM  

A John C. Wright book is "over the top."

Imagine my surprise.

I think Mr. Wright delights in surveying where the top is just so that he may overtop it.

peace,
Zach

Blogger Corvinus July 06, 2015 2:35 PM  

Look at the beards of the statues. It's _obviously_ the Tower of Babel.

@Markku
The characters in "Night Land" have Greek names, so that didn't really tell me much.

Blogger jmyron July 06, 2015 4:41 PM  

Awesome! Purchased! Cover art is genius!

Blogger Dave W. (#0257) July 06, 2015 5:49 PM  

"You had me at "John C. Wright"..."

Ditto. Bought!

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion July 06, 2015 10:06 PM  

I just noticed I haven't received any Castalia house newsletters for a while. 28 April to be exact.

Google handles my email. After checking my spam filter, I just found the latest newsletter:

"Why is this message in Spam? It's similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters"

What a coincidence....

F****** SJW's just cost me two free books (deadline was this morning at 12:00 am.)

Anonymous Tlotsi July 06, 2015 10:12 PM  

That's interesting about the spam. I could swear I was subscribed to the newsletter, but I didn't get anything, either. I have to wonder if it was in my spam folder, too.

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion July 06, 2015 10:21 PM  

To quickly search the spam folder in Gmail for Castalia type

in:spam castalia

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion July 06, 2015 10:23 PM  

I think replying to the email should put the address in your 'sent to' list and thus not be sent to spam any more. No promises, though.

Anonymous Alexander July 07, 2015 12:34 AM  

Problematic: Chapter two mentions the flag-that-shall-not-be-named in a way that is less-than-grovelling-apologetic-for-its-existence.

Alright enough - back to the book!

Anonymous Joshua July 07, 2015 12:42 AM  

Bought, read maybe a third of the way through. Excellent so far.

Anonymous vales3 #295 July 07, 2015 11:33 AM  

I go away for a few days and I miss the new John C. Wright and There Will Be War Vol III & IV. Today will be a reading day. Glorious.

Anonymous yerpistan July 07, 2015 12:58 PM  

Great book, I'm 10% through.

Anonymous Emperor of Icecram July 07, 2015 2:39 PM  

Finished it Sunday night. This book begins where over the top leaves off.

Blogger John Wright July 09, 2015 5:14 AM  

":Problematic: Chapter two mentions the flag-that-shall-not-be-named in a way that is less-than-grovelling-apologetic-for-its-existence"

Proving my muse is psychic, because I wrote that line years before this current fit of hysteria struck the chattering classes.

Even as a science fiction writer and a man whose job depends on him being imaginative, I cannot imagine anyone being so stonyhearted as to turn against Bo and Luke Duke, Daisy, and Uncle Jesse. Daisy even has a style of clothing named after her. The show is iconic.

Leftists are angry at the past.

Blogger John Wright July 09, 2015 5:17 AM  

(Johannes Cristo Wright)

If you are going to go Latin, use my Catholic name, not my pen name:

John Charles Justinmartyr Wright

Blogger VFM bot #188 July 09, 2015 2:05 PM  

Leftists are angry at the past.

Only selectively so, John, only selectively so. They're not angry at what Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and other Russian murderers did to Russia. Nor are they angry at what Mao Zedong did to China. Nor what all the central European dictators did to their countries post-WW II. Nor what carnage and murder has been caused by other communists throughout the world, from Africa to South America to Southeast Asia to many other locales.

So it's selective anger, and only directed at civilized human beings who have tried to maintain civilization.

Otherwise you're spot-on, man.

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