Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Wardog's Coin

I am pleased to announce that Hinterlands has released THE WARDOG'S COIN, an 85-page ebook that consists of the title novella and a novelette, both of which are set in Selenoth, the world of A THRONE OF BONES.  It is available on Amazon for $1.99.

The title story is about a human mercenary company which finds itself in the employ of an elf king. Outnumbered and under attack from an army of orcs and goblins, the Company discovers it is no longer fighting for pay, but for survival in an alien land. The second story, Qalabi Dawn, features a young tribal chieftain, Shabaka No-Tail, who seeks to find a way to unite the fractious tribes of The People before the implacable legions of the Dead God invade the desert to carry out their crusade of total extermination. In both stories, the borders of the world of Selenoth as it is known to the reader are expanded to some small extent.

Thanks to Jartstar, who did an excellent job on the cover.  Look very closely at the coin; the level of detail there is remarkable. Thanks also to the four proofreaders; this ebook should be considerably cleaner from the get-go than its predecessors.  Also, to celebrate the new publication, Hinterlands is giving away A Magic Broken for free on Amazon today.

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Anonymous Rantor March 27, 2013 9:14 AM  

A great birthday present, got through 30 pages before I had to depart for work... probably won't get another chance to read til tomorrow morning though. (Might get some time after tonights festivities)

It bears repeating, you are first rate at describing military people, ops and battles. Great story so far, thanks.

Blogger jaericho March 27, 2013 9:34 AM  

Thanks Vox! I'm still finishing up AToB, but I can't wait for more.

Anonymous Susan March 27, 2013 9:41 AM  

So Jartstar is responsible for those covers! Jartstar, you almost make me want to take up SF/Fantasy. Beautiful. Being a quilter though, my favorite is A Magic Broken.

Anonymous dh March 27, 2013 9:45 AM  

This is approachable that I may try to read some of your fiction. For some non-native English speakers your other more weighty works may be a bit intimidating (especially since the excepts I read of AoB was more complex than most fiction out there, I Think the only thing that I've read that was 'worse' was from Neal Stephenson).

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus March 27, 2013 9:46 AM  

Will buy that this weekend I think. I'll second Rantor...I enjoyed the depictions, and the low-level military interactions I thought were great in the complete absence of jarring discontinuities and errata that normally "break the spell".

I'm still thinking about the POV scene in ATOB where the green legionaries were stacking up against the veteran soldier: "did you get lucky, puppy?" ...gave me a pit-of-the-stomach feel that reminded me of exercises I saw in the military.


Blogger Hermit March 27, 2013 9:57 AM  

Still working on ATOB and GoT (one on ebook, one in print), but as much as I've enjoyed your previous work, I'll definitely be buying this.

Blogger Markku March 27, 2013 10:39 AM  

So Jartstar is responsible for those covers!

Except AToB, which was made by Kirk DouPonce.

Blogger stareatgoatsies March 27, 2013 11:03 AM  

Would you recommend against reading this novella & novelette if you've only read Summa Electiva. It's a nice price & less of a commitment than aToB.

Anonymous CJ March 27, 2013 11:05 AM  

Enjoyed AMB, so I will pick this one up as well. Looking forward to it.

Anonymous Daniel March 27, 2013 11:07 AM  

Wardog's Coin is totally accessible on its own. aToB, incidentally, is a somewhat "faster" read than SE, page-for-page. If you are comfortable with the multiplicity of names and ranks, aToB goes by pretty quickly. If you are talking financial commitment, then yes - Wardog's Coin or A Magic Broken are straight up bargains.

Blogger Nate March 27, 2013 11:14 AM  

Awesome. Congrats mate. Looking forward to it.

Anonymous VD March 27, 2013 11:18 AM  

Would you recommend against reading this novella & novelette if you've only read Summa Electiva

No, these little books are specifically intended as intros to ATOB. And you can pick up AMB for free today, making it a 2-for-1 of sorts.

Anonymous Curlytop March 27, 2013 11:26 AM  

"No, these little books are specifically intended as intros to ATOB. And you can pick up AMB for free today, making it a 2-for-1 of sorts."

Oh, this is good to know. Husband and I are both swamped but the short reads will be perfect to get us through until Mid-May when we can finally dive into ATOB.

The artwork on AMB, ATOB, and this latest are positively exquisite! And I don't say that lightly. I appreciate Jarstar's attention to detail. Definitely has an illustrator's eye.

Anonymous Daniel March 27, 2013 11:33 AM  

Yes - second, third and fourth positive comments on Jartstar's cover work for the smaller books. [DouPonce covers are outstanding, too.]

Blogger Nate March 27, 2013 11:41 AM  

Got it... I'll throw up a review as soon as I finish it.

Blogger Markku March 27, 2013 11:49 AM  

Ok, now, how did he do it? The leather seems too complex to make it as CGI with reasonable effort. So, I'm guessing it is a photo. The coin would be a natural target for CGI, but the leather is reflected from it. If requires a complex setup to create a convincing interplay between photographic parts and CGI parts. Possible, but probably not cost-effective for such a cover.

Final guess: he either had a stock photo of an unadorned cylinder hanging from a leather strip, and created the texts on it by lightening and darkening the edges, or he actually went through the trouble of making the strip and the cylinder, having the cylinder meet with some abuse to create the roughness, photographing it, and then he drew the texts like mentioned above.

Blogger Nate March 27, 2013 12:15 PM  

however he did it... its badass.

Anonymous VD March 27, 2013 12:31 PM  

That certainly didn't take long... the troll patrol is already out and finding all positive reviews "unhelpful". In fairness, Amazon only asks helpful/unhelpful, they don't rule out "unhelpful concerning my campaign to convince the world that my literary taste is definitive".

Anonymous Tosser March 27, 2013 12:39 PM  

Reminds me a bit of Xenophon.

Anonymous Daniel March 27, 2013 12:40 PM  

I'm pretty sure Jartstar cured rabbit skin for the thong and then punched a hole through a platinum coin with his teeth then engraved it with space lasers.

Anonymous Gibling March 27, 2013 1:07 PM  


Are the ebook versions for this, or A Throne of Bones, or A Magic Broken currently available in any other format besides for Amazon Kindle?

Anonymous VD March 27, 2013 1:11 PM  

Sort of. Since they are in the Kindle Select program, they can't be sold via other sites. However, if you buy a Kindle version and email me your receipt, I will send you a DRM-free epub.

However, I think Wardog is briefly available on Barnes, so you might be able to grab the epub directly there if you prefer. A Throne of Bones may or may not be available there, you'd have to check.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus March 27, 2013 1:49 PM  

I just checked on B&N, Wardog is not available. A Throne of Bones is still available there.

Blogger Doorstop March 27, 2013 1:59 PM  

Just downloaded and tore through the first third on my lunch break. There goes my free time this evening...

Anonymous VD March 27, 2013 2:14 PM  

Just downloaded and tore through the first third on my lunch break.

I'd tell you to slow down and savor it, but let's face it, the rich and sensually rhythmic beauty of my prose is not why anyone reads my books.

Anonymous Daniel March 27, 2013 2:24 PM  

Hogpocalypse Now.

Anonymous JartStar March 27, 2013 2:27 PM  

Having hunted hogs I can tell you they are mean sons of bitches, and smart too.

Thanks for the compliments, everyone.

Anonymous Athor Pel March 27, 2013 2:34 PM  

Speaking of coins, I know a guy that makes coins. His name is Tom Maringer.

Some of you folks will probably find the coins quite interesting.

Shire Post

I knew him as a knife maker years before I met him. When I started graduate school we ended up sharing an office. He was surprised I knew who he was the first time we met. It wasn't surprising at all really. I like knives and swords, he made knives and swords. I grew up in Arkansas, he made knives and swords in Arkansas. It was a requirement that I knew who he was.

He stopped making knives right before I met him. Which made me quite sad. I wanted to buy one of his knives. But I was poor and the only knives available from that point on would be private sales for enourmous sums. You know, since he wasn't making them anymore they eventually quadrupled in price.

I did manage to snag a dagger years later at a consignment shop.

Most happily he recently started making some knives again, so I should probably throw him some business. But coins seem to be his main interest these days.

He has no idea I'm plugging his business. I just wanted to point the Ilk in his direction since his coins really are germane to this discussion. You'll see what I mean when you see them.

Anonymous The Baseball Savant March 27, 2013 2:47 PM  

I'm not a huge SF guy so forgive me for the ignorance. VD talks about orcs in his introduction and I was wondering if orcs were a product of Tolkien that other writes since use as characters in their novels? Is this commonplace?

Anonymous Ten41 March 27, 2013 3:00 PM  

"The Baseball Savant

I'm not a huge SF guy so forgive me for the ignorance. VD talks about orcs in his introduction and I was wondering if orcs were a product of Tolkien that other writes since use as characters in their novels? Is this commonplace?"

Yes, Tolkien is the originator. See Orcs

Anonymous Andrew March 27, 2013 4:27 PM  

I just read A Magic Broken. I really liked it. Good detail, moved at a brisk and enjoyable pace, and had great characters. I am going to read the Wardog's Coin and then A Throne of Bones. My question to Vox is, although I'm sure the question has been answered before, Am I right in thinking that A Magic Broken and the Wardog's Coin are both short intro books to A Throne of Bones and that A Throne of Bones is the first long book about the world in which A Magic Broken takes place?

Anonymous VD March 27, 2013 4:33 PM  

Glad to hear it, Andrew. I would encourage you to post a review on Amazon. In answer to your question, yes, both AMB and TWC are intros to the world of Selenoth and A Throne of Bones. There are two characters from AMB and one from TWC who are perspective characters in the main series.

There is another novel, Summa Elvetica, which is set in the same world and takes place just prior to A Throne of Bones, but probably makes for better reading post-ATOB.

Anonymous Andrew March 27, 2013 4:56 PM  

I gave you a five star review, a lot of other good review on there too I saw.

Anonymous VD March 27, 2013 5:00 PM  

Thanks, I particularly appreciated the comparison. But to be fair, keep in mind that it's a lot easier to maintain a high level for a relatively short story. What was so impressive about the first three ASOIAF novels was that Martin maintained a high level of storytelling and characterization throughout.

Anonymous Andrew March 27, 2013 5:58 PM  

I agree with that, the first three novels were really good, not just the first one. He kills a lot of people off, which, is fine, but he starts to just kill off everyone and the story gets convoluted as the series continued. I kind of forget the second two after a Game of Thrones, it's been a while since I read them. I haven't read many books for awhile, I've been working and I'm getting ready to move back to Europe, so, I've been busy, but I've got some free time lately, so, I've been reading a little bit. If your interested in something light, but very enjoyable, I suggest Hell House by Richard Matheson. It's fun, easy to read, short, and really spooky.

Anonymous David March 27, 2013 6:01 PM  

AToB was the first time I encountered the technique where a battle scene is described by tracing through a series of viewpoints, each of a combatant and jumping once that combatant has been killed to the viewpoint of the combatant that just slew him. Who else has used this technique? I found it used again in a short fiction piece of a game magazine. Not sure if you inspired the author or someone else.

Anonymous VD March 27, 2013 7:21 PM  

Who else has used this technique?

I got it from Joe Abercrombie, who used it to good effect. I think it is a cinematic technique. The short fiction piece is likely inspired by Abercrombie, not me. His books are much better known.

Anonymous Anonymous March 27, 2013 9:05 PM  

Just got it from Barnes and Noble for my Nook.

Anonymous jack March 27, 2013 9:24 PM  

Downloaded Wardog a few min. ago for Kindle. Looking forward to the read.

Anonymous Outlaw X March 27, 2013 10:08 PM  

845 dang pages magic broken. Man Vox you are the most prolific writer I have seen. Write some short stories at 500 pages. Ha!

Anonymous Outlaw X March 27, 2013 10:11 PM  

Oops, I meant Throne of Bones.

Anonymous James May March 28, 2013 12:04 AM  

It's hard to say where Martin went off the rails. Art's a funny thing and strike while the iron is hot and you can't go home again are phrases that come to mind.

One thing everyone seems to agree on is that there is too much of nothing going on in Dance With Dragons. Martin's too smart a writer to not understand the inadvisability of stretching short stories out to novel length. He may have gone against his instincts and done it anyway in preference to having continuity rather than a large gap of years.

In retrospect, it seems he would've been better off being event focused, like in the first 3 novels. It is the leisurely and nuanced layering on top of moving events that make the first 3 so good.

Give us only the layering and it's something of a snooze fest. The parts with Dany in Dance were horribly boring. A gap in events was supposedly because nothing was going on of note. Martin decided to chronicle nothing going on. A mistake. Jack Vance, a writer he greatly admires, wouldn't have made that mistake in a thousand years. The lesson is, write when you have something to say, not when you don't. Sit on a project for 6 years, and the muse may leave you. Evidently it did.

Anonymous Rantor March 28, 2013 8:40 AM  

Finished both stories, the second this morning. in the interest of there being no spoilers, I'll just say that the second story reminded me of an episode of Columbo, I thought I knew what was going to happen, just didn't know how.

Both stories were guite satisfying.

will have a review up tonight.

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