Review: Iron Chamber of Memory

This falls in the “Take My Money!” camp.

The Catholic Geeks

John C Wright has pulled off a great trick with his latest novel, Iron Chamber of Memory. What started out as a Nora Roberts style romantic comedy ended in an epic battle on the scale of Mary Stewart and her books of King Arthur and Merlin. Call it a fantasy romance. Quick! Where’s the soundtrack for Excalibur! I need O Fortuna to accompany the knights charging out of the mists!

Trust me, when I say it was epic, I mean EPIC.

You can kind of guess it from the cover.

Eye catching enough?

The description is as follows.

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Status Update


2 Chapters, ~7000 words. Despite losing one writing day to car maintenance. Also wrote two blog posts, at 2000 words each. But those aren’t ‘productive’ sessions. Still, not a bad week. Took 14 pages of notes. But decided that one chapter needs to work differently, so I’ll have to rework those this week. But that’s not a problem.

With car and work headaches sorted, I’m hoping for a good 10000 word week this time around.

Survival Guide for the Conservative, Classically Liberal, & Libertarian Science Fiction & Fantasy Author

I have too much interweb identity to take the path of silence. And it doesn’t suit me anyway. Besides, I’ve always been a John Wayne fan. 😉

Mad Genius Club

Hello, sir or madame. Since you’ve arrived at the service door — versus the red-carpeted, velvet-roped grand portico — I can only assume that you’re a conservative, classical liberal, or libertarian, seeking entrance into the great and spacious building known as Professional Speculative Fiction; encompassing science fiction, fantasy, horror, and a few other subgenres. Don’t be nervous. I know you saw everything that’s going on (through the windows) and you’re wondering if you should even bother trying to get in. Doesn’t seem like an easy place to fit, does it? They built it that way, by design. You’re not supposed to be comfortable here. You’re supposed to feel like you’re the sore thumb. Out of place. Unwanted. And if you’re doing this because you think it’ll be quick money, or because you wanted something less stressful than your day job, I suggest you recover your coat and hat, and seek…

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It’s Been A While

Oh, indeed it has. I struggled with my writing for a good month. Distractions at work and in myself left me disinclined to write. I played at changing projects. But I have three years and 5+ books invested in this one. And the time to switch isn’t right after you’ve started the last book. Every time I’d start toying with something else, the run-in for this kept dancing in my head. “But I don’t want to write this now.”

“Too Bad,” came the driver in me, who does 90% of my writing. Ironically enough, it took playing around with my primary distraction, Football Manager, and writing about that in my other blog, to get me at it again. And the response it received encouraged me that yeah, I can do this writer thing when I apply myself.

So this morning, I dusted off my notes, picked up where I left off, and rattled off 3000 words like I had been doing it yesterday. Then I wrote another 1200 on the other blog for good measure. And honestly, I think it helps to have the other outlet. That all I do isn’t invested in my Magic-infested Punic Wars gone mad monstrosity. But more, going over it again yesterday made me realize, it’s goodish. Hard in places, because epic fantasy goes places shorter, more episodic prose can’t. Unless it’s Grimdark, then that’s all it knows. But there’s hope, love, honor, and faith to be seen in it too. And unlike certain HBO promoted series that never get finished, I might actually reward my characters for that from time to time. 😛

Ideas have never been a problem for me. It’s always the doubt monster, telling me that what I’m currently working on is carp. That’s why I was always pretty serious about the 2000X5 rule. If I churned out 10,000 words a week, chances were good I could get too far into a book before the Doubt Monster could get at me.

So to keep myself accountable, I’m getting this blog moving again too. Even if it’s just status updates. If you don’t see anything here for a week, drop me a line and tell me to get writing. 😛 If you do, and it says I’m doubting, then kick my butt some more. If things are going well, you don’t have to say anything. 😉

But for now, hashtag me #amwriting.

This You Cannot Think

According To Hoyt

Recently, in a fit of my own form of quixotic insanity, I posted the following in my facebook page:

What did I want? I wanted a Roc’s egg. I wanted a harem loaded with lovely odalisques less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels, the rust that never stained my sword. I wanted raw red gold in nuggets the size of your fist, and feed that lousy claim jumper to the huskies! I wanted to get up feeling brisk and go out and break some lances, then pick a likely wench for my droit du seigneur – I wanted to stand up to the Baron and dare him to touch my wench! I wanted to hear the purple water chuckling against the skin of the Nancy Lee in the cool of the morning watch and not another sound, nor any movement save the slow tilting of the wings of the…

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This is How My Warped Mind Works

So I was reading an article from Moe Lane (who himself was quoting another comment) about how he would like a John Wick 2 (And I concur).

I saw his fantastic suggestion of a single season 13 episode Netflix series set in the Continental Hotel from the original. A swank hotel where all the true assassins meet as a ‘neutral zone’ where the one rule is there’s no murder. So of course, there are attempts routinely, dealt with more professionally than the hitmen. It’s a great concept, with stories on stories to be told.

And there I went: What if I made a supernatural Continental Hotel? Where the Vamps, Fae, and seductive sirens went to conduct their business, swap stories, and take deals. They would never break the sanctity of the Hotel, of course. Even if their people were at war in the world beyond.

Except when they do. Then there would be some righteous enforcement of the Code. The only problem is my Urban Fantasy is still in full masquerade mode. Everyone saying, “What? Magic? No Magic to see here. That was a gas explosion!” I may have to change that. 😛

Why Do Villains Listen To Classical Music?

I blame Ace of Spades for linking me to this. And it’s completely true. I would have said ‘culture’ even more than just beauty. But it’s the same constant: The supervillian wishes to destroy everything that’s good, bringing chaos and destruction to the world. Meanwhile he listens to the most well-ordered, meticulous form of music created. The epitome of the best of the culture he seeks to destroy. Desecration is the right word.

Take 2 Films

Bad guys listening to classical music is one of the most used movies tropes ever, and yet it still remains effective. What attracts bad guys to Mozart and Beethoven rather than Pink Floyd and U2? I don’t believe talent is an issue, as all the musicians I’ve just named are talented within their own niche. So there must be a reason why these villains choose to listen to classical over any other genre.

For starters, the stereotypical bad guy is highly educated and came from an upper class background. These class divisions can be traced back through history in the stories people told, in particular fairy tales. In the average fairy tale, like Cinderella for instance, the hero/heroine is usually lower class and works as a domestic, and the villain, the evil stepmother for instance, is usually upper class and habitually condescends to and abuses the hero/heroine.

For a lot…

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