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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...
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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...
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  • Posted by Adrian Collins
  • COMMENT BY: Hegesias Cyrene
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.  
Thursday , 24 November 2016 , 03 : 56 PM
From the 15th of December to the 31st of Jan, GdM will be closing its unsolicited fiction submission window. Our team have worked their guts out for another year and it's time to give them their evenings back for a bit. Same as the last two years, we'll be wrapping up the stories already submitted as best we can before putting the feet up on the stilled chest of a vanquished foe (who was probably a friend until three minutes ago when they made a lighthearted joke about our BBQing skills), cracking a beer pulled fresh out of the ice in our dragon skull esky, and enjoying the sun (or snow) for a bit. All submissions received between 00:01 15th December 2016 AEST and 23:59 31st January 2017 will be deleted, unread, no exceptions. Submission queries for submissions made prior to the closure will be addressed accordingly. The team and I would like to thank all submitting authors for sending their work to us this year. Thank you to those whose stories we purchased for trusting us to do your story justice. Thank you to those who waited for us to respond. Thank you to those who found value in the feedback efforts of the GdM reader team. Happy holiday season, authors!
Friday , 07 October 2016 , 08 : 59 AM
Review: Cthulhu Armageddon by C.T. Matthew Cropley To begin the foreword to Cthulhu Armageddon, C.T. Phipps poses the question ‘what would you get if you crossed Mad Max with the Cthulhu Cycle?’ The book to follow well and truly delivers on the answer. Cthulhu Armageddon follows the story of Captain John Henry Booth, a world-weary ranger in the ‘United States Remnant’ some two-hundred years after ‘The Rising’, the event in which the Great Old Ones such as Cthulhu rose from their ancient slumber beneath the Earth, ushering in the fall of civilisation and a new age of horror and magic. The world is a blasted desert, filled with mutants, gods and monsters, and Booth braves it all for vengeance upon the dark sorcerer that stole his life. Booth is accompanied by a reformed torturer, a little girl, a tribal priestess, and a trusted comrade.  It feels a lot like an old western, or King’s ‘The Gunslinger’, and there are clear influences from the Fallout and Wasteland game series. The post-apocalyptic world, inhabited by the biggest and baddest creatures H.P. Lovecraft ever dreamed up, is definitely dark and hopeless. The nihilistic, horrifying reality of the Cthulhu Mythos has burst forth from the deeps and squashed humanity underfoot, and seeing the way in which the world has dealt with that is compellingly grim. There’s a lot of grit, and the level of violence feels appropriate. However, while the larger cast have their fair share of morally ambiguous traits, Booth himself is actually quite morally upstanding and righteous, despite his claims to the contrary. He’s the type of hero who seems to be the last good man in a world gone mad, and while he’s certainly violent and aggressive when prompted, he always tries to do the right thing, and values friendship, inclusiveness,...
Monday , 04 July 2016 , 08 : 40 AM
Matthew Ward's works have appeared in GdM#4 and GdM#8, so it's safe to say we're pretty big fans of his short stories. Check out what he has to say about jumping on board the author group for Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists. By backing Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists on Kickstarter, you'll be not only getting Matt's short story The Game, but also two extra novellas already unlocked in Backer Goal #2. Keep sharing and we/ll keep packing the Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists backer packs full of extra goodies! Click the banner below to head to the Kickstarter page for all the latest updates on stretch goals!
Tuesday , 21 June 2016 , 08 : 05 AM
We were ecstatic when Bradley P. Beaulieu put up his hand to be a part of EVIL IS A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE: An Anthology of Antagonists. In this excerpt we get introduced to Rümayesh, Bradley's antagonist turned protagonist! Excerpt Of Sand and Malice Made by Bradley P. Beaulieu Çeda was just about ready to give up when she saw movement near an old acacia. Half the branches were dead, and the thing looked as though it were about to tip over and fall in the water at any moment. But in the branches still choked with leaves she could see two legs hanging down, swinging back and forth. The skin was the same dark color she remembered, and when she looked harder, she saw movement in the branches above—the second twin, surely, sitting higher than the first. She took to the damp earth along the edge of the bank to silence her footsteps, then pulled her kenshar from its sheath at her belt, whispering a prayer to fickle Bakhi as she did so. Reaching past her mother’s silver chain and locket, she slipped Ashwandi’s severed finger from around her neck, whipping the leather cord around her hand with one quick snap of her wrist. She stood twenty paces away now. As she approached the godling boys, she wondered how vengeful the god Onondu might be. She hoped it wouldn’t come to bloodshed, but she’d promised herself that if they wouldn’t listen to her commands, she would do whatever she needed to protect herself, even if it meant killing his children. Her identity was her most closely guarded secret, after all—no different than a chest of golden rahl, a chest these boys had tipped over with their mischief, spilling its treasure over the dirt for Rümayesh and Ashwandi and perhaps all of Sharakhai to...
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Monday , 06 June 2016 , 03 : 49 AM
The hero of Los Nefilim is Diago Alvarez, and much like the Shadow (of the old Shadow pulps), Diago has magical abilities. He and his lover, Miquel, are part of a secretive group known as Los Nefilim (Spanish for The Nephilim--say it like "The Mob" and you've got the right idea). This group of angelic Nefilim monitor daimonic activity for the angels. The only thing is: Diago is not fully angelic. He is part daimon, part angel, and his very unique form of magic is sought by both sides in the conflict between angels and daimons. Like the Shadow, Diago moves through a world of espionage and partisan warfare with a rogues' gallery filled with angels, daimons, and mortals. In this excerpt from In Midnight's Silence, Diago has arrived home to find a mysterious package has been left for him. Inside the package is a glass box with a triptych etching of a woman Diago once knew on the first panel, Diago and the woman together on the second, and a boy on the third. Diago quickly deduces that a dalliance with another Nefil has resulted in the birth of his son. Inside the box, is the wedding band of Diago’s partner, Miquel, who is missing. Diago’s only clue is a calling card, which lists the name Beltran Prieto. Exclusive excerpt from In Midnight’s Silence  Diago switched on every light in the loft. Nothing appeared to have been disturbed, and there were no signs of a struggle. Miquel’s gun was still in his suitcase, along with his bowie knife. Diago closed the suitcase and shoved it back under the bed. In the front pocket of Miquel’s pants he found a crumpled theater bill. The heavily creased paper advertised a new bar not far from the Villa Rosa, where Miquel usually played. A large black...
Thursday , 07 January 2016 , 04 : 11 AM
When the Heavens Fall By Marc Turner Review by Matthew Cropley   Can traditional high fantasy be grimdark? Apparently, yes. Marc Turner’s debut novel When the Heavens Fall showed me that fantasy can be saturated with magic without losing any of the grit. It manages to deliver an old-school quest narrative without succumbing to the clichés and stagnation that drove me away from classic fantasy and in to the loving embrace of grimdark. Mayot Mencada, a necromancer, has stolen the Book of Lost Souls and unleashed death magic to blight the land. This focus of power attracts all manner of gods, monsters, and mortals, some hoping to claim the power for themselves and others simply seeking to destroy it. Luker, a pragmatic magical warrior, only hopes to find some sign of his old master, who disappeared tracking Mayot down. Romany, the self-indulgent high-priestess of a shadowy god called the Spider, seeks to manipulate Mayot to her own ends. Ebon, a prince tormented by spirits, only wants to save his kingdom. Finally, Parolla, a young woman cursed with a darkly magical lineage, seeks to use the Book of Lost Souls as a gateway into the underworld itself. Each of these four separate strands hurtles together, telling different sides of a story that comes together in an explosive climax. On the surface the plot may sound like the same sort of thing we’ve all heard a thousand times, and yet, Turner manages to put a spin on it that kept me interested until the very end. The world is dark, the morality ambiguous, and the characters grey. High fantasy is given a grimdark twist and the best of both is brought to the table. Turner’s magical world let me recapture the sense of wonder that drew me to fantasy as a child...
  • Posted by Adrian Collins
  • COMMENT BY: Matthew Cropley