The genesis of Morlock was, I think, frustration with two of my favorite writers, Tolkien and H.G. Wells. I was annoyed that Tolkien so obviously favored elves over dwarves, and that Wells did the same with Eloi over Morlocks. Morlocks did stuff—they worked and learned and thought and created. They seemed to me more authentically human than the empty, shiny Eloi. So what if they lived underground and weren't so pretty? The cannibalism is a little harder to stomach, as it were—but I'm sure that's exactly why Wells put it in. That's his thumb on the scale, trying to tilt our judgment of his characters.Then over at The Agony Column, Rick Kleffel and I talk about Steampunk, Victoriana and Elizabethan SF, with a bit about Chris Roberson, George Mann, and old series Doctor Who. Here's a direct link.
Meanwhile in response to my accidentally traumatizing her with an offhand statement, Justina Robson asks What is Fantasy About? Please go join in the discussion. I sense brilliance on the verge of conception.
Then Graeme's Fantasy Book Review gives an 8 out of 10 to Matthew Sturges' Midwinter.They say:
...a book that any fantasy fan will get a lot out of. ...there is no denying the sense of urgency that leaps out off the page and drives the story along [at] a very fast pace. The constant plotting and scheming underneath the surface adds to this urgency as well as giving the reader the best possible reason to keep reading. There are loads of questions that all need answering and it’s all credit to Sturges that these are the kind of questions where you care enough about the answers to invest more time in reading the book. You also cannot deny the dangers that our travellers must face on their journey and these make for some great moments where anything could happen and spectacle is the order of the day!Hey, I'd be rushing out to get that now if I hadn't read it already. But if you need more convincing, Jessica Strider at Sci-Fan Letter interviews Matthew Sturges, about the book and the craft of writing in general.
I was doing a presentation about writing comic books for a group of fourth-graders, since I'm most known as a comic book writer. Most of the questions were what you'd expect from nine-year-olds: Who'd win in a fight between the Hulk and Superman, that kind of stuff. Just as the questions were dying down, a kid in the back raised his hand and asked, "How much do you make?" I paused for a second and said, "I do okay, I guess." He wasn't satisfied, "Can you give me a dollar amount?" "That's an inappropriate question," said the teacher, embarassed. "Why?" said the kid. "How can I tell if I want to do that job if I don't know what it pays?"Meanwhile, The King of the Nerds (what a title!) has some very positive thoughts about Tom Lloyd's The Twilight Herald:
...one heck of a wild ride, with action, excitement, danger, violence and epic confrontations occurring left and right... I’m not certain I would say The Twilight Herald is an improvement over The Stormcallerbut Lloyd at the least reveals an impressive level of verstatility in terms of style between the two novels. Furthermore he maintains an ability to include a subtle over-arching theme of revenge across the entirety of the novel that is never overwrought or glaring. Lloyd is keeping me guessing with the series and, criticisms asside, that is something I can definatley appreciate.And that's enough news for one morning, right?
Update: Well, no, because there's a terrific interview with Tom Lloyd that is up at Fantasy Book News & Reviews.