Agony Column Home
Agony Column Review Archive

This Just In....News from The Agony Column

08-15-03: Riptide Press Debut, Turtledove Trade, Anne Perry's Fantasy, Brenchley Book Four, Blurb of the Week, A Tale of Three Publishing Worlds: History->SF, SF<-Harry Potter

Riptide Press Debut

[Readers will note that things were a bit slow this week; it's the last week before school starts and I've been swamped with real-life events that required personal attention. But today is the last day of summer here in NoCal, so expect a lot more action as the coast is cleared. -- Rickk]

"Too long has the realm of fantasy been dominated by dwarves and elves and fairytale endings."

Riptide Press is a new publisher that is (and here I quote the laconic but very direct website):

We are Riptide Press, Inc.

Riptide Press is a publishing company based out of North Carolina.

Our mission is to publish SPECULATIVE FICTION /FANTASY novels of the highest quality.

OK; and first up is this intriguing sounding entry from Greg Kurzawa. Katie Dean will be reporting to us on this novel very soon, in addition to Gollancz's 'Weavers of Saramyr'. It's great to see that the surge in the interest in fantasy being generated by LOTR adaptations is resulting in some innovations and not just imitations. You can find out more about this novel and order it up from the Riptide Press website.


A reasonably priced Trade paperback copy of this mostly excellent collection.

For those who hesitated to buy 'Worlds That Weren't', here's a very nice trade paperback copy well worth your attention. I wasn't that enchanted with headliner Turtledove's entry, but S. M. Stirling knocked it out of the ballpark, as did Mary Gentle. WJW seemed to be a bit better idea than execution, but there were some nice stretches in his tale of Friedrich Nietzsche in the Wild West. Still, this cover price is more than justified by more from the Ash saga by Mary Gentle and Stirling's precursor to 'The Peshawar Lancers'.

Anne Perry's Fantasy

Give them credit for a beautiful cover.

Anne Perry keeps up the pace with her newest fantasy novel, 'Come Armageddon'. I find it particularly fascinating when someone like Perry crosses the picket lines and takes up fantasy after having written so many Victorian mysteries. I can't really say that I think this is a good thing, but I do have to admit that the cover is very intriguing.....some sort of magic realism check is being cashed, no?

Brenchley Book Four

Chaz Brenchley's series is being released at a reader's dream rate.

Continuing the brisk pace, Ace is making itself look great with the release schedule for the Brenchley Fantasy series. This is a series reader's dream-come-true, with the books coming out fast enough so that you don't lose track and patience and slow enough so that you get a bit of a break between chapters. Very good -- keep it up Ace!

Blurb of the Week

"...[if] The Red Badge of Courage had been written by H. P. Lovecraft." Paul Wicover, Author of Waking Beauty

...and you say that like it's a good thing. Still I saw the word Miskatonic in the text of this post-apocalyptic vampire novel. Don't tempt me like that!

A Tale of Three Publishing Worlds:

History->SF, SF<-Harry Potter

Historical writer turns SF thriller scribe. Am I saying that like its a good thing?

Potter's inimical influence strikes again.

With the SF genre about to implode, it seems like the wrong time for a historical writer to turn to SF, but that's precisely what author Gillian Bradshaw has done. 'The Wrong Reflection' is another "I misplaced my identity" thriller. What will we do when this sort of thing becomes common in the so-called "real world"? Meanwhile, over at DAW, they're looking to the ubiquitous Harry Potter for inspiration, and not settling for a shameless parody. But these little anthologies offer many first time writers a chance at publication. I can guarantee you that one day, various of these will be worth their weight in some classified substance, when an unknown writer who breaks out with a story in one of these turns out to be the next Big Thing.


08-12-03: Writers of the Future XIX, Ed Bryant OK

Writers of the Future XIX

When L. Ron Hubbard was a writer of the future.

From the ever-helpful Jay Lake, we get:

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future XIX Results:


Golden Quill Award to Matthew Candelaria for "Trust is a Child"


Silver Awards (Quarterly first prizes in order of contest quarter) to:


Matthew Candelaria, "Trust is a Child"

Ian Keane, "Walking Rain"

Carl Frederick, ""A Boy and His Bicycle"

Jay Lake, "Into the Gardens of Sweet Night"


Illustrator's Golden Quill to Mike Lawrence for his illustration of "A Ship That Bends" by Luc Reid


Thanks, Jay -- and congratulations one and all.

Ed Bryant Heart Surgery Successful

Ed Bryant and the Alien Baby from Vanderworld -- thanks Jeff!

Ed Bryant, one of the titans of the genre fiction world, recently underwent heart surgery. Wayne Allen Sallee writes: "Dawn Dunn called me from Denver to tell me the bypass surgery was a success, Ed is still in the ICU, but should leave the hospital on Saturday, after a few days of physical therapy." Great news -- best wishses Ed, speedy recovery. Those wishing to contact him can email me for more information.