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News and events

Symphony of War Declared
The second novel in the Kaddon Keys series is available in ebook.

WFC 2013
Impressions from the World Fantasy Convention held in Brighton in 2013.

Threat Of Massive Closures To Lincolnshire Libraries
Lincolnshire County Council plan to shut down two thirds of Lincolnshire libraries, and to slash mobile library services. They must be stopped.

The BFS Award Nominations, And A Hiatus
This is possibly the best kind of jury duty there is.

FantasyCon 2012
The annual convention of the BFS at Brighton was the first convention to feature a dance-off between Joe Abercrombie and Tom Pollock. It may not be the last.

The In-Between Musical
A new fantasy musical concept album launches, but will Laura Tisdall get to put it on the stage?

SFF Imprints Launching
Berkley UK will debut, and Elsewhen Press is to expand into print.

Novacon 41
The 41st Novacon convention, held in Nottingham, featured John Meaney as Guest of Honour.

Lincoln Book Festival 2011
YA authors in costume, steamy paranormal romance, and eye-popping visual appeal from the 2011 Lincoln Book Festival.

Eastercon 2011
Pictures from the 62nd Illustrious Eastercon at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.

Genre for Japan
The science fiction, fantasy and horror community is rallying in support of the people of Japan hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami and its aftermath.

British Fantasy Awards 2010
Pictures and results from the award ceremony of the British Fantasy Society.

The Heady Heights of Book Reviewing
Take a peek into the Headline offices, where bloggers were let loose on defenceless authors for the Headline Meets Online do on the 24th March.

An Interview With John Beachem

8th January 2011

John Beachem  
John Beachem is the author of Storms of Vengeance and The Hunter And The Marked, epic fantasy novels published by Mundania Press. They're set in the world of magic, strange lands and intrigue that is The Lorradda Stone.

John was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the series' future, and certain other pressing issues...

  Storms of Vengeance cover

  The Hunter and the Marked cover

Ros: Will the Lorradda Stone be a trilogy, or will you expand it to be a long series?

John: Trilogies are so passé, aren’t they? Fantasy fans don’t seem to like a series unless it can fill an entire shelf or, preferably, an entire book case. I suppose these days it would be all the memory in an e-reader. Seriously, though, I had planned on The Lorradda Stone being a series from the get-go. There’s simply too much material for three books. The plan is for the series to be eight books, and since I have it pretty well outlined I don’t foresee any difficulties in keeping it to that number. In other words, I’ll try my best to avoid pulling a George R.R. Martin.

Ros: Gandalf, Dumbledore, or the Marked: who would win in a fight?

John: Ahh, I love a “who would win in a fight” question. Okay, let’s see here. I assume you mean a single Marked, as opposed to the whole lot of them, since they’d win in that scenario, hands down. The question then becomes, which of the Marked would be in the fight? Gandalf or Dumbledore could probably beat the stuffing out of Shikaree, for example, but they’d have a tougher time with Lorradda. So, let’s say Gandalf vs. Dumbledore vs. Lorradda. Casting spells is quicker and easier for Dumbledore, since most of the spells in Harry Potter involve a single word and a wave of the wand. That gives him a bit of an edge. Gandalf, however, appears to be immortal. Kill him and he’ll just come back with a sharper color. On the other hand, both he and Dumbledore require an object in order to cast spells. Lorradda has no such limitation, so if he can take out Dumbledore’s wand and Gandalf’s staff, he’s got them dead to rights. Decisions, decisions. We’ll go with the Marked/Lorradda, simply because they have brilliant survival instincts. When you’re hunted and persecuted all your life, you’re a survivor if nothing else. Dumbledore has a cushy job, and Gandalf loves the Halfling’s Leaf a little too much.

Ros: Since you write fantasy do you think it makes a difference to your readers what you think about religion or politics?

John: I don’t tend to discuss my political views if I can avoid it, because people take them so seriously. They HATE people for having a different outlook on life than they do. Weird. I’d also be concerned that they would then start examining every aspect of my series from a political standpoint, trying to figure out just what I’m really trying to say here. They’d look at the Marked and decide they’re actually Palestinians, or Native Americans, or Businessmen, or Prairie Dogs for all I know. I’d rather they drew their own conclusions… decided what various aspects meant to them, rather than trying to determine what I actually had in mind when I wrote it.

Ros: You're stuck in a lift with Obama for two hours. What do you do?

John: Talk football, of course. I’m a huge Chicago Bears fan, and the president has stated he’s one as well. I’d love to get his take on their current season, great Bears players of the past, the upcoming draft, etc. I can discuss football for hours with just about anyone. Why should the president be any different? Besides, what else is there to talk about? Politics? No thank you.

Ros: What do you hope will be written in your obituary?

John: That I died heroically, saving hundreds of lives while fighting off a horde of ravenous zombies.

Ros: Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?

John: Nice segue, eh? Sadly, no, I am not prepared for the zombie apocalypse. However, my cousin Jared is more than prepared. I think he’s eagerly anticipating its arrival. So, my plan, such as it is, is to drive to his house, borrow one of his firearms, and hunker down in his basement. I’m fairly certain it’s reinforced with several feet of steel and concrete, and he probably has supplies down there to last two or three years. If zombies suddenly burst into my own home, I’m afraid they would catch me woefully unprepared. I’ve got enough swords to outfit a local chapter of the SCA, but a gun is preferable when facing the walking dead, and I’m afraid I don’t own one. Zombies 1, John 0.

Ros: If you could re-animate one corpse, who would you bring back?

John: Zombies are certainly in vogue right now, aren’t they? Okay, I suppose that would depend on the corpse’s capabilities when it returned. If it just shuffled about and moaned/drooled, I’d probably bring back Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong or one of my old Pizza Hut shift managers whose name eludes me at the moment (not sure if he’s dead or not, but we’ll pretend he is). That way I could spend countless hours hitting any of these folks in the head with a Louisville Slugger. Probably helps with writer’s block. If the corpse was capable of eloquence of any kind, I’d be hard pressed to choose between Mark Twain and Winston Churchill. I could spend hours just listening to those gents.

Ros: Reinoa and Nalu shed their clothes any chance they get, the minxes. Can we expect more sauciness in the next book?

John: Hah! Reinoa and Nalu are, indeed, free-spirited. You can certainly expect more sauciness in the third book, though I won’t reveal if it involves Nalu and/or Reinoa. After all, that would be giving away whether or not they’re still alive in the third book ;-).

Ros: You seem to like setting fights in and around water. Is this a phobia you have?

John: Wow. In all honesty, I’d never even THOUGHT of this, but you’re right. I am afraid of water (or, more precisely, the things that live in water), and avoid it at all costs. The way I see it, the vast majority of the world’s most dangerous creatures live in the water. Why on Earth would I want to go in there with them? Good observation, by the way. It’s funny the demons you unwittingly purge over the course of writing a novel.

Ros: Thanks for a great interview, John!

Read more about John Beachem