Sunday, May 11, 2008

In the Courts of the Crimson Kings

I just finished a very good book by S. M. Stirling called In the Courts of the Crimson Kings. This is actually a newly released Sword and Planet book which basically reprises ERB's A Princess of Mars, although greatly updated for modern audiences. I really liked this a lot. The characters were very well developed and the Martian civilization was brought to life in great detail, all the way down to a consistent presentation of the Martian language. I was quite sad to see this one end, and that doesn't happen these days too much.

In writing news, here's the "What Has Gone Before" section of my new Taleran book. So far I'm only about 2,000 words into the work but I'm beginning to feel it again. And that is fun. However, if you haven't read the previous books and plan to you should not read the section below. So therefore:

SPOILER ALERT

WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE

Ruenn Maclang was born and grew to manhood on Earth. On the planet of Talera, he was reborn a swordsman, and a leader of warriors. Through three volumes, Ruenn fought his way, Swords of Talera, Wings Over Talera, and Witch of Talera. He began as a man lost and alone on an alien world of death and beauty, but he found his path. He found friends who fought with him, and for him, and he found a woman to love. That woman was Rannon, a Princess who became a Queen of the island kingdom of Nyshphal after her father was murdered.

Ruenn and Rannon married in a bloody throne room after a desperate battle and narrow victory against the sorceress Vohanna and her allies, allies that included both Rannon’s brother, and Ruenn’s. But though the Witch herself was defeated, the Witch’s war is not yet over. Rannon’s air-fleet lies devastated; her army is nearly bled white. Nyshphal’s remaining enemies are gathered in fire and steel. Amid the chaos appears a new threat, an apparition from the past that warns of the future—honor and love can be corrupted by hate.

And now, Ghosts of Talera.

31 comments:

Randy Johnson said...

Glad to see you've started on the new Talera. Looking forward to it. I don't have the new Stirling yet. I believe it's a sequel to The Sky People, Is it not?

Charles Gramlich said...

Randy, it is a sequel but only in the loosest sense. This story involves the same "universe" but has completely different characters, as well as being set on a kind of Leigh Brackett Mars, and I thought it was much much better than "The Sky People."

Lana Gramlich said...

I look forward to reading the book. In that vein, I'm not sure how I feel about reading snippets here & there. I prefer to be immersed in your stuff.
Gads...that sounds profane...

Mary Witzl said...

I have never been much of a science fiction fan, mainly because I am so crazy about everything else that I've chosen to draw a line, I suppose. My husband cannot get enough SF, however, and is always looking for more and better -- especially with well-drawn characters and a wholly believable universe. I will point him your way!

There are few things as wonderful as the rush you get when you start writing something new. I need to get that rush again...

laughingwolf said...

you KNOW you're nothing but a big tease, charles? well said!

will check out the book you suggest, though i'm not overly hopeful of finding it....

Bernita said...

Thought the drum head marriage ( is that what's it called?" was an excellent "real" touch and ending to Witch.

Avery DeBow said...

Do you find sequels easier or more difficult to write? I can imagine starting them is easier since you know most or all of the characters already, but do you tend to get bogged down by the constraints of what happened before? Have you ever followed the events you laid out in a previous book only to realize you'd written yourself into a corner?

Demon Hunter said...

This sounds really wonderful, Charles. :*) I cannot wait to read it. Thanks for sharing a snippet.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, I won't be posting the book as I write it. Just a scene here or there along the way. Love you.

Mary Witzl, yes, I agree about the rush, although since it's been a while since I've done fiction I'm feeling my way into it. But every hour I write it gets better. If your husband liked the old Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard stuff he should like my Talera books.

Laughingwolf, I got my copy through the SF book club, but this was actually a widespread release so it should be available in Barnes & Nobles etc.

Bernita, I knew when I started that book that I wanted them to get married at the end of book 3 but it worked out very well I thought.

Avery, sequels involve less "feeling" my way than non-sequels but I do have a problem with worrying about how much I should explain based upon what has gone before. FOr example, do I need to explain again how the flying vessels work, and exactly what various races look like. I tend to go through one time at the end "just" for double checking to see if I've explained enough for new readers but not too much for previous readers.

Demon hunter, thanks, I appreciate the kind words.

Lisa said...

Glad you are back in that world and having fun.

I don't know too much about In the Courts of the Crimson Kings literature, but I did have the album, which I played obsessively in my more, er, psychedelic days ;)

Ello said...

Cool! Last day of finals today! And I will be reading Talera soon!

Charles Gramlich said...

Lisa, you know I've only heard snippets of that album. I probably would like it, though.

Ello, yeah, so glad you're almost done. Hope you enjoy Talera.

Danette Haworth said...

I'm beginning to feel it again. And that is fun.

Yes--it's the writer's high!

laughingwolf said...

we have a 'coles' books outlet locally, will have to go to the bigger city malls to other stores ifv i can't find it....

Charles Gramlich said...

Danette, it's nice to feel the juice flowing again. Like tingles in the brain.

Laughingwolf, it's certainly available online.

FANCY said...

Respons
Yes charles is it not...we can all make a different don't you think that is Likelihood? ;-)

Shauna Roberts said...

Please write fast! I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.

Shauna Roberts said...

P.S. If you're taking requests, I'd enjoy seeing more women heroes in the new Talera books. Easier to identify with.

Travis said...

Sounds very exciting. I've been meaning to pick up the first three volumes.

ANNA-LYS said...

I have an other view upon "deadlines" based on psycho-anna-lysis ;-)

ANNA-LYS said...

Sorry, forgot to say, I have not read the book, you are posting about. :-)

X. Dell said...

Seems like I have some catch-up reading to do. After reading a review of Sword of Talera, I'm most interested indeed.

Miladysa said...

I confess to not reading the whole of the post Charles, I stopped two paragraphs before the end.

I am awaiting the arrival of the second book in the series and I do not want to spoil anything :-D

Christina said...

Congratulations Charles! It's great to see that you have another book out. Hope everything is going good with you.

Charles Gramlich said...

Fancy, I hope it is.

Shauna, unfortunately, I'm not a terribly fast writer, but I'll take into account the request for more female swordslingers.

Travis, I think you'd enjoy.

Anna-lys, I've written to deadlines before but I don't particularly enjoy it. So far, however, I've never missed one.

X-Dell, that book was a lot of fun to write.

Miladysa, I'm glad you mentioned that. I didn't even think about that but I'll put in a note about "spoiler alert." Thank you or pointing that out.

Christina, well, I hope one day it will be out, but "Ghosts of Talera" is just in the opening stages now.

writtenwyrdd said...

That's a great summation of what has gone before Charles. Just the ticket for new readers of the next volume!

Charles Gramlich said...

Writtenwyrd, thankee.

Sidney said...

I'll have to have a look at that. Love ERB.

Erik Donald France said...

Excellent. I need to order the whole set to date. My oath so to do :->

Sarai said...

The book In the Courts of Crimosn Kings sounds good I love the title.

Good luck on getting back into the swing of things. I didn't read as I am waiting to pick the first one up! Glad you are finding the wave *g* again

Charles Gramlich said...

Sidney, it's pretty good. Nicely updated.

Erik, hope you enjoy.

Sarai, no sooner than I had said I was finding the wave again that real life came down hard and I haven't written hardly a word since. Man I want to get out from under some stuff so I can put words down again.