Welcome to game world
Customer Supportadrian@grimdarkmagazine.com
Friday , 24 February 2017 , 07 : 44 PM
A Review of Ben Peek's The Godless Review by Durand Welsh The grimdark fantasy market is spoiled for multi-book epics. Abercrombie, Martin, and Bakker all have well-established series battling it out on the shelves. Fighting for a space between them would be a daunting prospect for anyone. So how does Ben Peek’s entry into the fray, the Godless, stack up against its well-girded opposition? Although Peek’s world sprawls across multiple continents, in this novel he confines the action to the small city of Mireea and the adjoining nation of Leera. Mireea is located behind the Spine of Ger, a mountain range that sits atop the dead God of the same name. Given the title of Peek’s novel, the Godless, it is perhaps no surprise that in this world the gods themselves are dead. Fragments of godhood, however, still manifest in mortals, marking them with strange powers and deformities. These people, feared and often reviled, are the “cursed”. The novel focuses on three characters who find themselves in Mireea as it teeters on the brink of war with Leera: Ayae, a cursed apprentice cartographer; Bueralan, a mercenary; and the immortal Zaifyr, who can see and control the “haunts” of the dead. Near the novel’s outset, an assassin attacks Ayae in her master’s cartography shop. Her cursed abilities spontaneously protect her, and the resulting conflagration engulfs the shop and exposes her secret. In a time when she most needs someone to guide her, she instead finds herself ostracized by her peers. Meanwhile, Bueralan and his saboteur group Dark, have been retained by Lady Wagan, ruler of Mireea, to enter Leera and find out more about the mysterious army that is being mustered against their city. Through Lady Wagan, Bueralan meets Zaifyr, who has been hired to track Ayae’s attacker, an undead creature...
  • 1 Comment
  • Posted by Adrian Collins
  • COMMENT BY: Hegesias Cyrene
Sunday , 18 September 2016 , 04 : 54 AM
An interview with Phil Tucker By Matthew Cropley [MC] The Path of Flames harkens back to traditional fantasy. What books inspired it? [PT] In many ways I’ve gone back to my childhood favourites, namely David Gemmell’s Drenai books, Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry, and Raymond E. Feist’s Magician. While I didn’t deliberately set out to emulate any one aspect of them, those works are part of my fantasy DNA. [MC] Why did you choose to write a fantasy book in the traditional style, rather than joining the grimdark trend? [PT] Truth be told, it wasn’t much of a choice. I set about world building first, then created the characters and used them to explore the world, to examine how our religions and cultures shape our realities – and from where these institutions derive their weight and authority. The high fantasy tone was set by the nature of the tale, though I think there’s some dark edges to it as well: the Bythian people’s systematic oppression, the cruel politics that engulfs Lady Kyferin, and the sacrifices and choices they’re forced to take. [MC] What’s your opinion of grimdark fantasy and sci-fi? [PT] I love them both! I’m planning to write a grimdark series in the near future. [MC] The book features a lot of fantasy tropes, such as magical swords, innate magical ability, and knightly honour. How did you incorporate these tropes without becoming derivative? [PT] I’ve tried to employ them in a way that serves my interrogation of the world in which the characters live. Take knightly honour, for example: I spent a lot of time reading about how real world knights justified their use of violence with their Christian piety, how they saw their own suffering on the field of battle as a mirror to Christ’s suffering, and through their privations they believed...
Sunday , 29 January 2017 , 02 : 29 AM
A review of The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley Review by malrubius The Stars are Legion is the new space opera from critically acclaimed, two-time Hugo Award winner, author Kameron Hurley. It is the story of two enemy lovers, Zan and Jayd—the story’s two narrators—and their attempt to rebirth a world-ship, the Mokshi, that is capable of leaving their dying, deep-space Legion of world-ships at the Outer Rim of the galaxy. Although the first thing that comes to mind while reading The Stars are Legion might be the complete absence of male characters of any kind, the story quickly takes off on a fast pace with plenty of action, conflict, fighting, gore, tension, deceit, revenge, political intrigue, monsters, moral ambiguity, and brilliantly vivid and original world-building that will excite even the most diehard grimdark sci-fi fan. Meanwhile, the choice of an all-female cast sets a fascinating stage for the exploration of themes that include birth and rebirth, love, atonement, forgiveness, revenge, loss, hope, memory, and too many more to mention, all of which give The Stars are Legion the type of resonance that is supposed to be reserved for so-called ‘literary’ novels. And even though I generally find myself reading grimdark fantasy in the Lawrence, Polansky, Lynch, Abercrombie mold, I loved The Stars are Legion and couldn’t stop turning the pages and enjoying Hurley’s crisp, concise prose. The world-building in The Stars are Legion is what really pulled me into the story in the beginning. Unlike most sci-fi that I have read, the world of The Stars are Legion is almost entirely organic. The world-ships, of which there are primarily three in the story, are gigantic floating, tentacled living worlds with a seemingly unknown number of levels from the bottom, where people are recycled by terrifying monsters, all the...
Friday , 20 January 2017 , 12 : 27 AM
By David Stevens Alan Moore’s Watchmen is inarguably one of the greatest achievements in comic-book history. It’s a tale of murder, grand conspiracies, paranoia, hope, and betrayal at the height of the Cold War in an alternate-timeline America. It is where superheroes are real, McCarthyism never ended, and Nixon is serving his third term. It is both a love letter to and a parody of the superhero concept as well as the arrogant and overbearing aspects of American Exceptionalism. It has won praise and awards for its engrossing story and for Dave Gibbons’ exceptional artwork. Over the years, several of Moore’s works have been adapted to film with varying degrees of success – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Constantine, and V for Vendetta – but Watchmen was always considered unfilmable. Aside from the fact that Moore characteristically hates any films based on his work (regardless of whether he even sees them), Watchmen is flushed with multiple interweaving plotlines, a myriad of secondary and tertiary characters, and many historical references. It was believed by many to be impossible to condense all that material into a coherent feature-length film. Even Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Time Bandits) had proposed a film treatment and was declined. Along Came a Snyder Zack Snyder was riding high on a wave of two consecutive hit films, his better-than-pretty-good remake of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and his excellent adaptation of Frank Miller’s epic sword-and-sandals graphic novel, 300, as Watchmen went into pre-production. Somehow, Snyder had done the unthinkable by securing not only the film rights to Watchmen but also Gibbons’ blessing. All eyes were on this young director. Expectations – and concerns – were running high. King of the Fanboys When the film was released, it was met with equal parts adoration and scorn. As was to...
Thursday , 19 January 2017 , 05 : 38 PM
The Court of Broken Knives is hands down one of the most anticipated books and debuts of 2017 for the grimdark community. Anna Smith-Spark convinced Harper-Voyager to drop the cover on the GdM blog exclusively--and it. Is. Gorgeous. If you've been hiding under a rock over the festive season and haven't heard about Smith-Spark's new grimark fantasy whirlwind of a book, here's a bit more about The Court of Broken Knives. Synopsis They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we piss gold and jewels into the dust. In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has become the true ruler, and has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The empire is on the verge of invasion – and only one man can see it. Haunted by dreams of the empire’s demise, Orhan Emmereth has decided to act. On his orders, a company of soldiers cross the desert to reach the city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from ashes can a new empire be built. The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Marching on Sorlost, Marith thinks he is running away from the past which haunts him. But in the Golden City, his destiny awaits him – beautiful, bloody, and more terrible than anyone could have foreseen. The Court of Broken Knives is the first book in the major new grimdark epic...
  • 1 Comment
  • Posted by Adrian Collins
  • COMMENT BY: Hegesias Cyrene
Thursday , 19 January 2017 , 05 : 01 PM
[DW] Hi Adrian, thank you for joining us on the GdM blog! [AS] Hi there, I could say it’s a pleasure, but you’ve got me hanging by these manacles in this painfully well-appointed torture chamber. Still, I suppose I should be grateful to you for not feeding me the last two days, I needed to lose a bit off my waist anyway… [DW] Snakewood comes out in paperback on January 17th; what do you think fans of grimdark fiction will most like about your book? [AS] Well, I hope they’ll enjoy the fact the protagonists are stone cold killers, while the antagonists are revenge-obsessed killers. The challenge I gave myself in writing this book was to see if I could get readers to care about all of them, to understand why they are as they are, but still root for the former. A few reviews have pointed out that it wasn’t obvious who they should root for, so hopefully that ambiguity is appealing. [DW] Much of the action in Snakewood features characters powering themselves up with alchemical brews. The concept has a very comic book superpower feel to it. Were comic books and superheroes an inspiration for the brews? [AS] The only comics based inspiration was Sláine, in the old 2000AD I used to get every week, him and magic mushrooms, er, according to what friends have told me. Sláine would go into battle and undergo a ‘warp spasm’ which physically and radically transformed him into a huge and strange misshapen abomination of a man that could flatten hordes of soldiers. Quite separately, the revelation that a handful of small mushrooms could alter my, sorry, my friends’ consciousness so much, kind of married with that. [DW] The narrative in Snakewood is non-linear in that it has large backwards and forwards time...
Friday , 06 January 2017 , 08 : 17 PM
Is THE LAST SACRIFICE Grimdark? James A. Moore So, a quote to start this off: “James A. Moore is the new prince of grimdark fantasy. His work is full of dark philosophy and savage violence, desperate warriors and capricious gods. This is fantasy for people who like to wander nighttime forests and scream at the moon. Exhilarating as hell." —Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Snowblind and Ararat Damned flattering words, and I am very flattered. I recently had someone ask me if I thought The Last Sacrifice qualified as Grimdark. I also had similar questions about the entire Seven Forges series as it stands so far. Well, let’s look at that for a moment, shall we? From Wikipedia; grimdark Grimdark is a subgenre or a way to describe the tone, style or setting of speculative fiction (especially fantasy) that is, depending on the definition used, markedly dystopian or amoral, or particularly violent or realistic. The word was inspired by the tagline of the tabletop strategy game Warhammer 40,000: "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war." Seven Forges deals with a very long and savage war between a vast empire and a smaller but far more savage gathering of kingdoms. Is it dystopian? Yes. Is it violent? Absolutely. Is it amoral? Possibly as I never once declare one side of the war or the other as the moral north on the compass. How about The Last Sacrifice? The story starts off with our hero (If there is technically a hero of the story it is most decidedly Brogan McTyre who is wronged and decides to take the battle to a new level.) trying to save his family from being used as the sacrifices offered to the gods of the Grakhul. He fails. His actions literally...
  • 1 Comment
  • Posted by Adrian Collins
  • COMMENT BY: Hegesias Cyrene
Wednesday , 04 January 2017 , 08 : 21 PM
This year saw an absolute truckload of grimdark material hit the shelves and now that the year's wrapped up, it's time to once again go to the GdM team for their picks of 2016. Matthew Cropley | Red Tide by Marc Turner Red Tide is a flawlessly executed fantasy novel. The first two books in Marc Turner’s Chronicles of the Exile were fantastic, but Red Tide exceeds them by drawing both discrete plot-lines together in a perfectly structured adventure. It’s my top pick for 2016 because I simply can’t think of a single criticism. Red Tide is a page-turner from the very beginning, filled with moral ambiguities, grit, visceral action, deep characters, wondrous magic, and horrifying monsters. It also succeeded in genuinely surprising me several times, and by the end all I wanted was for the next books in the series to be out already. Kristy Mika | Those Below by Daniel Polansky The best I've read from 2016 is Those Below (The Empty Throne #2) by Daniel Polansky. You know those photographers that go into complete disaster zones, where something absolutely catastrophic is occurring, yet they can take photographs that are stunningly beautiful? "Oh! See how pretty that nuclear bomb looked as it destroyed a civilisation! How spectacular!" is the best way I can describe it! The juxtaposition between Polansky's beautifully written prose, and the utterly ugly destruction perpetrated by the characters within the plot, made it the most disturbing book (duology really...) I've read in a long time. Cheresse Burke | Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Crooked Kingdom, the stunning second half of the Six of Crows duology, is not just my favourite Grimdark read of the year, but possibly one of my favourites of all time. Bardugo gives us six compelling, emotional characters, who sacrifice morality, secrets and goodwill to settle...
Friday , 30 December 2016 , 11 : 03 PM
Dust off that imagination and get ready for action because Grimdark Magazine #10 is going to blow you away. Pre-Order Grimdark Magazine Issue 10  This issue features The Lady of Crows, a Raven's Shadow novella by Anthony Ryan where you'll run into some old favourite characters and see the world through a typically badass protagonist. The Lady of Crows grabs you by the collar and pulls you through a gripping story in the kind of whirlwind story we've come to expect from Ryan. For fans of the Raven's Shadow series, this is a must have accompaniment to the overall story. Issue #10 also features the first in a new series of author articles with Jesse Bullington (The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart and, as Alex Marshall, the Crimson Empire series) kicking us off with Worlds Without End: Keys to Rich, Believable Worldbuilding. John Gwynne (The Faithful and the Fallen) and Deborah A. Wolf (The Dragon's Legacy) both stop by for a chat with our bloke in the trenches Tom Smith, and Matthew Cropley has penned another article for this issue, this time on The Future of Grimdark. Finally, we review The Mirror's Truth by Michael R. Fletcher and The Forgetting Moon by Brian Lee Durfee. Pre-order for our 13th January release using the below link! Or jump on our new subscription service through Patreon by clicking on this link.  
Tuesday , 22 November 2016 , 01 : 37 AM
Some big changes are coming to Grimdark Magazine! Having been on the market for two and a half years now, we've learnt a thing or two, and as we've grown, so has grimdark and our community! As a result, Grimdark Magazine is making some changes and growing to keep serving you the very best in grimdark fiction, reviews, interviews and genre coverage. Subscriptions FINALLY. It is surprisingly difficult to set up a digital subscription service in 2016. We were waiting on Amazon to step up, but it's become clear they aren't going to. Patreon, however, has become increasingly popular as a subscription service to magazines, and we think it will be a great way to let YOU manage YOUR subscriptions and allow us to easily deliver to and communicate with subscribers. Patreon is growing in popularity, but a lot of people haven't used it before. Here's what you need to know about Patreon: It's easy to sign up and easy to cancel at any time. You only get charged when we publish an issue (quarterly) - just like a subscription. You're looking at $16USD/year. More support means more rewards for everyone! Click on this link to head on over and check out our new Patreon page to see what we mean! Price Increase  Frankly, we've held ourselves back by trying to compete on price with magazines like Clarkesworld and Nightmare, who have thousands of general-interest readers. The economy of scale just doesn't work for us (yet) to keep paying the pro-rates that we do, and constantly striving for excellence. Lowering our quality is not an option, so we have to raise our price. We love grimdark for the same reasons you do and we're part of the community. Grimdark is still a relatively small, but supportive community, and one that we invest in and...