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...
Mike was generous enough to give GdM a few copies of Beyond Redemption and 88 in exchange for our followers to spill their biggest delusions. You've thrown down, he's picked up, and we've got three winners! Over to Mike for the announcement. * * * I must admit, I expected this to be easier. At first I thought, “I’ll just pick the most entertaining.”And then I read them and thought, “I’ll pick the one I most relate to.”Then I thought I should go with the scariest. Since I’m supposed to pick three, I can do all of that. Wrychard Wrycthen clings to sanity with a mad desperation I can both understand and appreciate and is the winner of Beyond Redemption. Travis and celtic_ronin both win copies of 88, a nasty slice of cyberpunk. Email me at email@example.com and let me know your preferred format (EPUB/MOBI/PDF). Thanks to everyone for entering! Cheers! Mike Fletcher * * * Wrychard Wrycthen, Travis, and celtic_ronin have all picked up a freebie! Mike's asked that you drop him an email so he can shoot the prizes through to you personally. You can either email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or let me know your email and I'll send him the details. Thanks everyone for getting involved! First Place Wrychard Wrycthen My biggest delusion is that I apparently have no delusion. I perceive humanity as traveling through space on a giant, vegetation covered rock at speed, surrounded by billions of other filthy, lying animals that will betray them at any and every turn. Everything that can be made difficult and counter-intuitive is, seemingly for the sake of frustration itself. Everything was fundamentally pointed and constructed for hundreds if not thousands of years before anyone living had even been born to create a societal structure that keeps the rich as...
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- COMMENT BY: celtic_ronin
Mike Fletcher, author of the brilliant Beyond Redemption and 88, wants you to get delusional! What's the deal? The Geisteskranken in Mike's Beyond Redemption (check out our review here) twist reality with the power of their delusions. Knowledge isn't an axiom, it's a force of nature. What the masses believe is. But insanity is a weapon, conviction a shield. Delusions give birth to foul new gods. Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken--men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality You've got 100 words to answer "What's your biggest delusion and why?" Just pop it into the comments section below and then wait to see if Mike makes it rain books on you. There's no set requirement for comedy, morbidness, sci-fi, fantasy, honesty, etc, etc beyond the 100 word limit -- so go berserk, get inventive, and have fun with it! Mike's favourite entry will nab an ebook copy of Beyond Redemption, while the next two favourites will be sent ebook copies of 88. How does my delusion win? As your posts come through into the comments I'll approve them (give me 24hrs before chasing me if you feel the need) and they'll pop up below. On the 30th of November 2016, Mike will pick his favourite responses from the comments section and we'll hand out a bunch of prizes to the top 3 entrants. It's that easy. Now get delusional!
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- COMMENT BY: Michael R. Fletcher
Review of Beyond Redemption Review by Sean Grigsby Beyond Redemption was provided to Grimdark Magazine as an Advanced Reader Copy by HarperCollins. The cornerstone philosophy of self-help literature is something I’m very familiar with—your beliefs create your reality. This idea can be traced from James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh to more modern teachings like The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. What these gurus teach is that your mind and your thoughts create and attract what you see around you. What if this was physically true, and humans could shape reality through the power of thought, but those who could do this were all insane? That’s the concept in Michael R. Fletcher’s dark and gritty fantasy, Beyond Redemption. There are two types of people in Fletcher’s dark world—the sane and the Geisteskranken (German for The Insane). These deluded crazies are varied in their beliefs and abilities. Hassebrands are pyromaniacs that can bring fire with a blink of an eye. Kleptics are magnificent thieves and disappear from memory like a shadow in the night. Gefahrgeists are sociopaths and gain strength from those that worship them. Konig Furimmer has many delusions and is the high priest of the Geborene Damonen, a religion that believes humans created the gods, and they’re in the process of creating a new deity. Konig hopes that god to be Morgen, a young boy and the last of a group of children born specifically to “ascend” into godhood. But in order to ascend, Morgen has to die. In this world, anyone you kill must serve you in the Afterdeath. What if you kill a god? That’s what Konig is hoping for—a god to serve him and prevent him from going the way of all Geisteskranken and having his own delusions destroy him. Bedeckt is the haggard leader...
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- COMMENT BY: Gene