Andrew P. Weston reviews The Carnelian Throne by Janet Morris

Bestselling author Andrew P. Weston reviews Janet Morris’ The Carnelian Throne, 4th and final novel in The Silistra Quartet.

The Carnelian Throne by Janet E. Morris

My rating:
5 of 5 stars
The Carnelian Throne (Silistra, #4)
by Janet E. Morris (Goodreads Author)
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Andrew Weston’s review Mar 31, 2017
it was amazing

At the conclusion of “Wind From the Abyss,” the most esoterically enchanting chapter of the Silistra Quartet, Sereth–a master Slayer turned renegade, Chayin–cahndor of Nemar, and Estri–former well keepress of Astria, overcame almost insurmountable odds to form a triune thought to represent a vision of supreme authority as foretold in ancient prophecy.
And prophecy is everything, for Owkahen – the time-coming-to-be – continues to set the tone and tempo as events flow toward a culmination that will determine the verity of what was augured in ages past.
The “Carnelian Throne” begins with our protagonists exploring a forbidden continent. A land where technological and intellectual arrogance has forged upheaval, man is subservient and the result of thousands of years of genetic manipulation has reaped incredible and deathly ramifications.
It is into this cauldron of uncertainty that Sereth, Chayin and Estri venture, unwittingly triggering a series of events that soon overtake them…or do they?
Closer examination reveals a startling juxtaposition is manifesting all around them. Epoch-spanning cycles are maturing. The wheels of circumstance have almost turned full circle and creatures of disparate genesis are brought together at a time and place that tends to support the supposition that destiny is being shaped by a biology long in the making.
Yes, witness at last the summation of catalysis genetics as they reach a pivotal nexus in a black glass chamber bathed in amber light.
If, like me, you’ve been eagerly awaiting the final installment of this epic adventure, I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed. The Carnelian Throne is artfully written, employing engrossing characters and a skillfully crafted plot that involves you from the very beginning and keeps you enthralled to the final page.
My honest opinion?
This is a truly engaging adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it’s one saga I’ll keep coming back to again and again.

New, definitive Author’s Cut editions from Perseid Press include e-book, deluxe trade paper, and hardback.

Get all four volumes:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XFHJVRG?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

 

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Book Spotlight: The Carnelian Throne by Janet Morris. Author’s Cut Edition

Book Spotlight – The Carnelian Throne – Science Fiction/Spec Fic/Fantasy

see original post at: https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/book-spotlight-the-carnelian-throne-science-fictionspec-ficfantasy/comment-page-1/#comment-1604

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Title: The Carnelian Throne

Author: Janet Morris

Genre: allegorical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, political fiction

Main character description (short).

In a far and dystopian future, three rulers seeking to make truth of prophecy explore the “shores of which none are empowered to speak,” a forbidden continent where humanity no longer rules.

Synopsis:

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

“Gate!” he bellowed over the storm, his dripping lips at my ear. The deluge had made us sparing of words. Under leathers soaked to thrice their weight, I shivered in spasms. Arms clutched to my sides, I stared into the rain. The driven sheets slashed me for my audacity. Lightning flared, illuminating the riverbank white. A moment later, the bright noise cracked through my head. The hillock trembled.

Over the gate danced the lightning. Its crackling fingers quested down thick-crossed slabs of iron, seared flesh. Emblazoned as they tumbled were those six-legged amphibians, their streamered tails lashing, scaled, fangful heads thrown back in dismay. I saw their afterimage: beryl and cinnabar, aglow upon the storm. Then their charred remains splashed into oblivion, spun away on the fast current.

“Down!” One man shouted, the other shoved me, and as I staggered to kneel in the sedges, the god that washed this land shook it, grumbling. I crouched on my hands and knees on the bucking sod, between them. Little protection could they offer up against shaking earth and searing sky, not even for themselves, without divorcing themselves from the reality they had come here to explore. And that they would not do.

Somewhere far off the weather struck earth again. We knelt on a fast-declining shore. On our right and left, steeps ascended, cresting in a plume of dense rain forest. In that moment of illumination the whole river valley and the gate set into the river stood bared of shadow. Six times the height of a man was that gate.

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

The Carnelian Throne makes you think as it explores the revenge of nature upon humanity once we have despoiled land and sea, and what our manipulation of genetics may mean for the future as the three foretold seek truth in prophecy where men no longer rule.

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Links etc.

Kindle On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XDC8Y4K/

Hardcover on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Carnelian-Throne-Silistra-Quartet/dp/099775835X/

Trade paper on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Carnelian-Throne-Silistra-Quartet/dp/0997758341/

Hardcover on Barnes and Noble

Paperback on Barnes and Noble

Nook Edition

The Silistra Quartet on Black Gate Magazine: https://www.blackgate.com/2016/03/19/vintage-treasures-the-silistra-quartet-by-janet-morris/

Google Books: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Carnelian_Throne.html?id=NJcIMQAACAAJ&source=kp_cover

About the Author:  Best selling author Janet Morris began writing in 1976 and has since published more than 30 novels. She wrote the bestselling Silistra Quartet in the 1970s, including High Couch of Silistra, The Golden Sword, Wind from the Abyss, and The Carnelian Throne. This quartet had more than four million copies in Bantam print alone, and was translated into German, French, Italian, Russian and other languages. In the 1980s, Baen Books released a second edition of this landmark series. This third edition is the Author’s Cut edition, newly revised by the author for Perseid Press. Most of her fiction work has been in the fantasy and science fiction genres, although she has also written historical and other novels. Morris has written, contributed to, or edited several book-length works of nonfiction, as well as papers and articles on nonlethal weapons, developmental military technology and other defense and national security topics.

Andrew P. Weston meets Mighty Thor Jr

See the original post at: https://mightythorjrs.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/guest-blog-welcome-to-my-world-by-andrew-weston-author-of-the-ix-and-exordium-of-tears/

Mighty Thor Jr. Guest Blog: Welcome To My World by Andrew Weston author of The IX, and Exordium of Tears

As part of my author guest blog series I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Andrew P Weston the author of The IX, and Exordium of Tears has been kind enough to write a guest blog post for MightyThor JRS today. I am very excited and I would like to thank Andrew and Perseid Press for the opportunity to host this Guest Blog. 

The IX

by Andrew P Weston

is Out NOW!

and

Exordium of Tears

by Andrew P Weston

is available now!

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So go get your copies!

http://www.theperseidpress.com/


Welcome To My World

By Andrew Weston

When it comes to writing, one of my “things” is what most people refer to as – World Building – the process of constructing an imaginary framework in which to set your epic adventure. What’s a shame is the fact that, in many cases, authors don’t put enough effort into creating a real setting for their stories, something that contains sufficient coherent qualities such as history, geography, ecology and suchlike. Yet, when you think about it, this is a key task, especially for novelists like me who concentrate on science fiction and fantasy.

So, how do I do it?

I usually begin my process from the top down. What does that mean? Basically, I devise a general overview of the world in which I’m going to set my creation and then I start working inwards. Here’s a broad example of what I did for the IX Series:

I started by considering where the world – Arden, the main location where adventure begins – would be situated.

arden

What type of sun would it have? Who would be its inhabitants and what was their history? What level of technology did they possess? What geographical and topographical features does Arden have how does this affect things like climate and skin tone?

Once I’d determined those facets, I started to add smaller details in layers – or as I refer to them – modules.
Personally, I devise a number of sketches from which I can create maps, bases or starships, etc, and continually refine them as I go along until I have something concrete.

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That might sound a lot of trouble to go to, but it gives me a sense of scale from which I can later determine other factors like timing and provisions and equipment, (especially important if different groups of protagonists and antagonists clash at varying venues). I also find this method allows me to build well-integrated societies or storylines, which in turn, reflects a superior level of quality and realism within the narrative itself.

This is another vital ingredient we writers have to ensure. We want the picture we create in the readers minds to be as vivid as possible. You can’t do that unless you create a solid foundation for them to recreate our vision in their own minds.

That’s why I go so far as to construct actual languages, flora and fauna, behavioral and migratory patterns. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t drown the reader in a deluge of detail, but I have lots of elements ready – at my beck and call, so to speak – so I can add the little touches here and there that gradually fills the narrative out and makes it sparkle.
Imagine, for a moment, how that helps the reader to connect to, and bring your imaginary world to life.

I like to think of my stories as rough diamonds. To begin with, I’ve got an absolute gem of an idea to work with. But it’s rough and lackluster. I need to examine it closely and buff it up with world building. Decide what to engrave and shape, and where to spend time grinding and polishing. As it gets into the final stages, I make sure each facet gleams and that there’s a sharp definite edge to the final cut, a depth and perspective you won’t see until you’ve viewed all the angles.

One of the main ingredients in my imaginary worlds is the “keep it real” ethic. I’m fortunate to be a Master of Astronomy. So, when I devise my fictional setting, I base futuristic technology on the very latest theoretical science.

And think about what’s been in the news over the past year or so: teleportation was the stuff of pure science fiction not so long ago, but now, scientists can transport quantum packets of information through the ether with remarkable clarity and accuracy; we can levitate objects; have artificial air scrubbers that make the foulest environment breathable; there are engines under development that researchers are sure will punch us to Mars in a matter of weeks, not months.
All these things help me stretch the imagination that little bit further, so my readers can seriously consider…“Yes, the citizens of Arden – thousands of years in advance of our own – use everyday constructs that we are only just delving into. I can believe that.”
Once you establish such a connection, you’ve got your readers hooked…
Then it’s just a matter of reeling them in.

How to do that?

Aha – we’ll chat next time in – Keeping Things Balanced 🙂


Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestselling, IX Series and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

Author Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/


ixexordium-large

Exordium of Tears

by Andrew P Weston

Fight or die.

That simple yet brutal reality is the tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the fabled lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5thCompany, 2nd Mounted Cavalry Unit; and the Special Forces Anti-Terrorist Team – were forced to live by while the Horde menace existed. Believing that the threat is over, the survivors now yearn to settle down, start families, and reclaim the lives stolen from them.

But such aspirations might remain beyond their reach, for a shadow looms on the rose-tinted horizon of new beginnings.

The release of the re-genesis matrix has done much to foster a restoration of exuberance across Arden. Along with a resurgence in floral and faunal diversity comes the results of splicing the Ardenese and human genomes: transmutation. A metamorphosis of stunning magnitude that not only affects the living, but those still is stasis as well.

Recognizing the emergence of a new hybrid species, the Architect – the arcane AI construct tasked with the preservation of the Ardenese race – responds by unlocking previously hidden and inaccessible areas of the city. It also releases an archive of sealed state secrets. Such revelations are eagerly perused, whereupon a shocking discovery is made.

Prior to the fall, it was common knowledge amongst the Senatum (the highest levels of Arden’s government) that not all the rabid Horde had joined in the rampage across the stars toward Arden.

Realizing that the peril still exists, the newly reformed administration elects to respond in earnest. Existing resources are utilized, suitable candidates are chosen, and a flotilla of ships is sent out to secure, quarantine, and reclaim the outer colonies.

A mammoth and hazardous undertaking. And nowhere more so than at the planet from where the outbreak was known to have originated – Exordium – for there, the ancient Horde are not only supremely evolved and highly organized, but are capable of a level of lethal sophistication, the likes of which has never been witnessed before.

It is into this kiln of incendiary potential that the cream of Arden’s fighting forces is deployed.

Worlds are torn asunder, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated. Yes, tragedy is forged, in a universe spanning conflict which proves once again that…

Death is only the beginning of the adventure.

http://www.theperseidpress.com/

ALSO AVAILABLE:

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The IX

by Andrew P Weston

Roman legionaries, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.

A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?

The IX.

Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.

http://www.theperseidpress.com/

High Couch of Silistra by Janet Morris on Wikipedia

Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Couch_of_Silistra to read the original Wikipedia article on High Couch of Silistra’s Wikipedia page.

An excerpt from the High Couch of Silsitra Wikipedia page:

High Couch of Silistra, renamed as Returning Creation for the integral edition of the series, is the first book in the Silistra quartet, by Janet Morris. Published in 1977 by Bantam Books, High Couch of Silistra was the debut title of her writing career. The series went on to have more than four million copies in print and was also published in French, Italian and German.

Setting[edit]

Silistra is a post-apocalyptic planet devastated by a war that forced its populace to go into underground shelters for centuries and, even many centuries later, the planet has not recovered. Infertility is one of the worst problems facing the planet’s populace—thanks to the fallout of that deadly war. Silistra is ruled by a theocratic caste named the Day-Keepers who control the planet by monopoly on technical and divine knowledge and through a brutal police force named the Slayers. The planet is administratively divided into city-states founded around procreation centres named Wells that were originally introduced by the Day-Keepers as a solution to Silistra’s infertility problem. In time, the Wells attracted men from various planets and virtually turned into brothels, while women who manage the Wells founded aristocratic lineages named Well-Keepresses that form a peculiar matriarchy. Politically, Silistra is part of the Bipedal Federation, a polity dominated by the technologically advanced merchant planet M’ksakka, which is also the de facto suzerain of Silistra. Astria is the Well that first made alliance with M’ksakkans to pioneer the current model of Silistran city-states and the Well-Keepresses of Astria who carry the title High Couch of Silistra have maintained their at least nominal hegemony over other Well-Keepresses.

Plot[edit]

In The High Couch of Silistra, Estri, Well-Keepress of Astria and holder of the ultimate seat of control begins an epic adventure to discover her origins and save the dwindling population.

Critical reception[edit]

Charles N. Brown, Locus Magazine, is quoted on the Baen Books reissues of the series as saying, “Engrossing characters in a marvelous adventure,” and Frederik Pohl is quoted there as saying “The amazing and erotic adventures of the most beautiful courtesan in tomorrow’s universe.”

 

The Author's Cut of High Couch of Silsitra, available in hardcover, trade paper, and digital format from Perseid Press

High Couch of Silistra, first volume of the Silistra Quartet by Janet Morris, published by Perseid Press and available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever ebooks and print books are sold.

Epicstream reviews Exordium of Tears

First published at: http://epicstream.com/reviews/Book-Review-Exordium-of-Tears-The-IX-Series-Book-2-by-Andrew-P-Weston

 

Book Review: ‘Exordium of Tears’ (The IX Series Book 2) by Andrew P. Weston

Author ThumbnailHannah Anderson –March 01, 2016
Science fiction and fantasy are all about expanding new horizons and augmenting the knowledge we currently hold. It is only fitting, then, that a new first for myself as an Epicstream reviewer come in the package of a fantasy and science fiction novel. This is the first time I have had the pleasure to read both the beginning novel of a series and its direct sequel, and that it is The IX Series by Andrew P. Weston makes that first all the sweeter.
In my review of The IX, I mentioned it is a refreshing blend of the classic elements of science fiction and fantasy. In Exordium of Tears, Weston continues this tradition of mixing the best of the best with new, thrilling storylines. The sequel follows the majority of the characters from The IX as they move toward a more democratic, established society in the wake of a long battle with the Horde, enemies with a surprising origin. This development into a more civilized way of life eventually leads the characters into interstellar travel as they attempt to resettle and reshape colonies affected by the Horde.
Although the novel itself is satisfying and fulfilling as its own work, I highly recommend readers first take in The IX before reading Exordium of Tears. As a reader who did so, I found the experience enriching. The sequel has enough nods to the first novel in The IX Series that understanding the events of The IX is helpful to reading Exordium of Tears, but it never felt like a rehash of the first novel, nor like Weston was trying too hard to expand the universe and characters he built up in The IX. The progression of the story was understandable and logically follows from the conclusion of The IX, and the same themes of honor, duty, and the survival of humanity that made The IX a favorite of mine are also present in Exordium of Tears.
One of the best aspects of reading Exordium of Tears is the way that Weston allows characters who once had minor or even passing roles in The IX a chance to flourish in new and unexpected ways. Several characters are far more prominent in Exordium of Tears, and while this growth is certainly necessary for the success of the novel, Weston writes his characters in such a natural way that the growth is never forced.
Weston doesn’t hide his characters’ flaws or mistakes, which makes them all the more admirable: they’re allowed to be human. This humanity is explored and expanded, almost to the breaking point, by the circumstances the characters encounter. These situations are neither artificial, nor forced – they’re logical consequences of decisions made or actions taken by the characters, and thus more dramatic than any deus ex machina set-up more mainstream books may employ.
The attention to detail of both the ancient Earth culture of some characters and the new, expanding culture in Exordium of Tears is astounding. Plausible explanations are provided for scientific advances, problems are solved thoroughly but realistically, and conflicts occur that seem organic and understandable. While some characters are neither sympathetic nor likeable, they only enhance the world that Weston has built in The IX Series. Relationships between characters, be they platonic or romantic, blossom in a way that feels genuine, and the perspectives that Weston shifts through to provide a multifaceted mode of delivery never complicate the overarching story or its themes. Weston maintains a precarious balancing act, an act which pays in dividends as the story of Exordium of Tears unfolds.
As Weston continues to expand The IX Series, I look forward to following the progress of the world he has crafted. If Exordium of Tears is any indication of the growth Weston will continue to undergo as a writer, the story will only get better from here.

OUTPASSAGE Interview with Janet Morris and Chris Morris

OUTPASSAGE by Janet Morris and Chris Morris

OUTPASSAGE by Janet Morris and Chris Morris: novel; science fiction; military science fiction; visionary/metaphysical science fiction

Chris Janet and Ray

Literary Biography: Janet Morris and Chris Morris, authors of OUTPASSAGE, published in trade paper and on Kindle by The Perseid Press. An Amazon Exclusive.

Authors Janet Morris and Chris Morris are the creators of numerous novels, short stories, and works of nonfiction, as well as the creators and editors of the Heroes in Hell series, whose stories include two Nebula Award finalists and a winner of the Hugo Award. Janet is the only science fiction writer invited to participate in the Rolex fiction program, Chris is an accomplished recording artist, singer-songwriter and narrator. Chris is the narrator for the forthcoming audio-book narration of The Sacred Band. The Morris’ fiction works are primarily novels which fit neatly in no single genre, including such books as I, the Sun, the rigorous biographical novel of Suppiluliumas I, King of Hatti, The Sacred Band, an Homeric novel of myth and heroism, and futuristic novels combining the heroic ethos, future technology, and metaphysics such as OUTPASSAGE. In addition to their fiction,nonfiction, AND MUSIC, Janet and Chris Morris are well known for their horses. The Morris’ have bred and shown Grand National Champion and World Champion Morgan Horses, and this deep familiarity with horses informs their nine volume heroic fantasy series, the Sacred Band of Stepsons. The Morrises’ joint fiction novels include The Sacred Band, The Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl, OUTPASSAGE, The 40-Minute War, City at the Edge of Time, Tempus Unbound, Storm Seed, MEDUSA, the Threshold Trilogy, The Little Helliad.

330 Word Synopsis of OUTPASSAGE

There aren’t any aliens… are there?

Sergeant “Det” Cox has just spent three years under psych observation on Earth; now that he’s out-system, he isn’t about to tell anyone he’s seeing aliens again.

War and mystery beyond the stars…

Ms. Paige Barnett has lost everything, even her name, because she knows too much about the rebellion spreading through the Earth-Space mining colonies.

Corporal Allie Frickey is the real thing: a female hero who’s made the grade in the 203rd Army Ranger Battalion, but her training hasn’t prepared her for aliens.

Redemption, resurrection, the holy way.

Freedom Ayoub, a dissenter of conscience from Chad, has a chance among the rebellious space colonies to trigger a new age, but without the help of Cox, Barnett, and Frickey, he has only a prayer of succeeding.

Secrets Too Sensitive to Be Revealed:

Against our heroes are arrayed the corporate might of InterSpace Tasking, America’s most muscular out-system government contractor and its minions: the unpredictable Lieutenant Locke, a US Ranger by his shoulder tab; Professor Elaine Singer, top scientist in the deep-space colonies, and powerful CEO, Raymond Godfrey.

You only die once… or do you?

When rebels take up arms on two classified mining colonies and the work bosses fight back, casualties start disappearing in the grip of white hands emerging from solid rock. Reports of alien life and inexplicable phenomena on two mining planets draw US Space Command interest. Amid rebel skirmishes, horror, betrayal, and death, Cox’s twenty-four rangers must find allies to face rebels who may already be dead.

Saviors or zombies?

Together Cox and Barnett stumble upon the mystery at the revolution’s heart and learn why the rebels are willing to die for it. With Frickey and Ayoub, and the help of the shadowy Special Science Task Force, they embark on a journey home that will change humanity’s future.

Is their discovery humanity’s worst threat or greatest gift? The authorities are willing to destroy whole planets to keep the revolution’s secret from reaching Earth… What’s to stop them from destroying a handful of people?

Editorial Reviews:

“The Morrises’ blend of fast-paced narrative and meticulous research into near-space technology makes a novel you can’t put down.” –– C.J. Cherryh

OUTPASSAGE might just be the perfect science fiction novel. –– Jack Williamson

“Action sequences that would make any writer proud. OUTPASSAGE is a wonderful book.” –– David Drake

Outpassage Final Cover Spread no Seal 1 17 2014

333 word “Best Shot” excerpt fromOUTPASSAGE

THE SKY WAS thin and the color of dirty motor oil, except where it exploded above their heads. Concussion was delayed in the thin air but the smell of roasting rangers got to you right away, even through your air filters.

It hadn’t been anything, not anything, that Cox had seen out of the corner of his eye. It sure as hell hadn’t been a white, delicate hand pulling Reynolds toward a wall of solid rock –– coming out of a wall of solid rock.

It hadn’t. Cox’s lungs were burning despite the augmented oxygen-rich mix his recon pack was feeding him as he sprinted; he was sweating like a pig –– worse than his cooling system could handle. Overhead, he heard a subtle change in volume that wouldn’t be subtle for long: the pursuit aircraft, laying down rivers of flame as it did a one-eighty, had sighted him. It was coming back.

With the bogey on his tail and nobody to answer to, Cox hit his jet-assist: a one-time-only, emergency move, but there was no way he could outrun that aircraft on foot.

The wrench at his shoulders was immediate, the grab in his crotch comforting. Then he was airborne, skimming the ground toward the extraction point where Locke’s bird was already a dark speck lowering out of the filthy clouds.

He could still see the charred half of Reynolds’ face, the eye like a lamb’s eye that had popped up in his soup once during a Saudi tour. He saw it so clearly that when the enemy screamed overhead, ignoring him and going after Locke in the pickup craft, it didn’t phase him any.

Not even when Locke’s VTOL exploded in a gout of dirty orange flame, because he could still see Reynolds inching along the rock like he was alive, that white hand clamped on him.

And then he couldn’t see anything, not for a long time, because something shorted his helmet’s system and the ground hit him, hard, in the face.

INTERVIEW WITH JANET MORRIS AND CHRIS MORRIS

What forms of marketing has appealed to you in the promoting of your book and why?

Once a book such as OUTPASSAGE is due to be published or is published, we let people know when and where the book will be available, using the internet and Face Book and Twitter. We circulate review copies. We make a few carefully chosen public appearances. For example, we’ll be speaking at the Library of Congress in June of 2014: this talk on fantasy, science fiction, and the future of literature is open to the public. We do interviews. Beyond that, we trust that people who read and like the books will tell others. We make our work perennially available as e-books, since our books don’t lose appeal as time goes by. As well as writing new works, we are republishing “Author’s Cut” editions, revised, expanded, and definitive, of our works from the 20th century with Perseid Press.

What makes your book OUTPASSAGE stand out from all the others of the same genre?

OUTPASSAGE fits neatly in no genre: it is a novel about the human condition set in a plausible future: it is a blend of suspense, betrayal, romance, crisis, mystery, comedy, tragedy. OUTPASSAGE is one part rollicking space adventure, one part military science fiction, and one part visionary and metaphysical exploration of an all-too-possible dystopian future. Its female heroes are women empowered; its male characters are heroic, driven, and committed. People who love classic science fiction and people who love visionary fiction will all find something to enjoy in OUTPASSAGE, where the characters embark on a futuristic odyssey, and life’s deepest questions are explored as humanity reaches a final crossroads light-years from home.

OUTPASSAGE takes the reader on an exciting adventure. Unlike too many books today, it is character driven, lyrical, gritty, literary, and observant of the human condition. For OUTPASSAGE we commissioned original cover art from Vincent Di Fate, classic science fiction artist and winner of the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Award. The OUTPASSAGE story is epic: it is the story of humanity’s greatest adventure.

What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?

Get the manuscript typed up professionally in double space with one-inch margins.

Where can we find more information about you and your books?

You can read more about us and our books on our Wikipedia pages:

Janet has one:

http://www.amazon.com/Janet-Morris/e/B001HPJJB8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Morris

Chris has one:

http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Morris/e/B008L41JNO/fblink/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_nu_fWY1sb0FYGE9J http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Morris_(author)

You can find all our books on our Amazon Central Author Pages. There, Janet has a page:http://www.amazon.com/Janet-Morris/e/B001HPJJB8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 and Chris has a page:http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Morris/e/B008L41JNO/fblink/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_nu_fWY1sb0FYGE9J

On each of our Amazon Author Pages, you can click on any book cover to get to the book’s Amazon page. There you can instantly read or download a free sample of that book.

Or you can read about our books at our publisher’s website: http://www.theperseidpress.com

OP Final Front CoverIf you could share a romantic evening with any character from literature, who would it be and what would you do?

Janet says: I’d love to spend a night withOUTPASSAGE’s hero, Det Cox. If I can’t get to the future to do that, I’d love to spend the evening with Odysseus, himself a great storyteller.

Chris says: Since I like older women, I’d spend my evening with Paige Barnett ofOUTPASSAGE, who has crossed a new threshold in human experience, and find out what her life is like.

What comes first for you: plot or character?

Character drives all in story; plot is a tool for showing character at work in the world. Heraclitus says “Character is destiny.” To write a story, find a character with a destiny and follow where that character leads.

For us in the composition process, character and story come together as a unit: Someone is somewhere, doing something; has been somewhere else; is going somewhere else, seeking or fleeing or struggling to prevail against something. We can taste, touch, hear the place and character, and they’re moving. If we have a ‘live’ story, it seems to ‘move’ in our composite mind’s eye. We write a door, walk through it, and we’re there. By then we’re ready to be dragged from pillar to post by our characters. Toss a good character a bone and he’ll return you a fleshed-out drama: A good character steps up to storytelling without urging; sometimes several will vie for the viewpoint in a section, and then – only then – does plot become a driver: depending on the viewpoint character, a different temperament, ethos, and impact comes into play. Before we start composing, we know the story we’re going to tell, and who will populate it: the who, what, where, when, why of the tale to be told. This train of thought brings us to OUTPASSAGE and Det Cox, discussed below, who plunges us into a firefight in the very first scene of his book to show us who he is, and what he does.

Do you have a favorite character (from your book)? Why?

Det Cox owns the lion’s share of the story in OUTPASSAGE, but he’s not the novel’s sole proprietor. His interplay with Paige Barnett is sizzling. Cox is a Spaceborne US Army Ranger, while Paige Barnett is a high-powered female executive from a vast interspatial corporation: when they meet through an online dating serivce, worlds collide. Both Cox and Barnett are great fun to write, with unique sensibilities and very different views of the future they both inhabit. Cox is everything a woman like Paige Barnett dreams about: skilled, intelligent, dangerous, handsome, fit, loyal and heroic. But dreaming is different from reality, and Paige’s association with Cox shanghais her to a new frontier beyond the stars, and into peril and opportunity beyond her wildest dreams.

Which three authors have inspired you most, and why?

a) Homer, because he created the modern story tensions and values we all use today.

b) Shakespeare, who taught us self-examination and showed us how to use words as keys to unlock the human soul.

c) Suppiluliumas of Hatti, whose own annals inspired us to write I, the Sun.

Character development. Tell us all about your experiences with this side of writing.

All our fiction is character driven. The development of character, for us, is the most important single element: plots are few, perhaps seven, as Shakespeare said, perhaps three, as Heinlein said – character is all. Character forms the bedrock of choice and choice is story; story is choice. Our experience with writing begins with the process of summoning character, whether through discussion or meditation or both. When writers speak of their ‘Muse’ being lost or found or giving or withholding, they mean that they are, or are not, in contact with the wellspring in our minds that creates or contacts characters. Are characters created by the writer, or found? No way to know for certain. But it is impossible to get even a single individual completely represented in fiction; in a book with many characters, the writers must imply, infer, invent and subvert to bring characters forth and make that materialization in the mind seem effortless, as if the character is there, whole cloth.

Protagonists…. What is your view on them?

Protagonists are crucial to stories. Protagonists have sometimes been men, sometimes women, sometimes demigods, gods and goddesses, sometimes animals. In any given moment of a scene, different characters may serve the function of protagonist. A protagonist or several will be as important as an antagonist or several to a story. In OUTPASSAGE, the viewpoint switches from the male protagonist Cox to the female protagonist, Barnett.

Have you ever been involved in a collaborative work? What is your opinion on working with other people and how do you go about meshing two different writing styles into a single book?

OUTPASSAGE is a collaborative work, in that it is written and edited and rewritten by two people who are accustomed to working closely to create a story. This is a different process than some collaborations, wherein people take turns writing sections independently and hope the result will be cohesive. In the Janet Morris and Chris Morris collaborations, we discuss plot and character before we write, while we’re writing, and after we have written, both as they apply to daily output and to the story as a whole. This allows the work to have both a male and female element at work in the telling of story and development of character, which helps make both place and people in our stories more realistic. For fantasy or science fiction or historical or any novel that requires the materializing of place and culture as well as character, this meta-viewpoint with its ability to sketch believable female and male characters is critical to the suspension of the reader’s disbelief.

As a reader, how much do consistent spelling/grammar/punctuation mistakes bother you? And as a writer, how much care do you take to get it right?

We read punctuation; we hear stops; we know grammar; we apply the rules of written English; we break every rule as the story demands. We read manuscripts aloud and on screen multiple times to make sure the text “sounds” the way we wish. Punctuation is nuance. People who don’t “hear” punctuation and apply it with understanding are leaving a tool unused. We hunt for typos all the time, and errors of syntax that are unintentional. However, no one ever gets every error, which is why we use a copy-editor and proof-reader.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Different books take different lengths of time. Usually a book of ours can take a year or two before it’s finished and polished. A rough draft may take six to nine months or more, depending on length.

Do you invent words and language for your books?

We have always invented words, compounded words, and used words differently, when and as necessary for the book to achieve its goals. These choices belong to the world and character. The Silistra Quartet (High Couch of Silistra, the Golden Sword, Wind from the Abyss, the Carnelian Throne) had a glossary of world-specific words for animals and food and customs and societies. For that series of books, to keep the earthly referents to a minimum, this was necessary. Silistra is a very challenging series, wrestling with issues of the genetic basis of behavior – of interdependence of intelligence, sexuality, and power – and needed to be set in a universe in which Earth and humanity were unknown. Later, the use of acronyms in fiction became commonplace, so we have acronyms in some books, often (but not always) defined in place, and sometimes coined terms of our own devising.

The use of colloquialism – Your thoughts when writing.

It’s important not to date your book unless you want it to be read later as an historical. Too much slang pins the story to a period, which is fine if it’s a period piece, but if you are writing a floating timeframe, or floating present, or floating future, colloquialisms may become discordant to the reader’s ear in a few years. When we revised OUTPASSAGE, thirty years later, we were pleasantly surprised at how few words and concepts needed to be updated.

Do you find yourself jotting notes, phrases, characters names etc at times?

When we’re in a car, we get many ideas, and write them down on anything: Starbucks bags, envelope flaps, receipts.

GENRES!

What is your favorite to read? What is your favorite to write in? What is the weirdest you have ever seen?

We don’t write in any one genre, although much of my work is classed with science fiction or fantasy by booksellers. We enjoy myth and fantasy and ancient historical novels (not bodice rippers); we love classic science fiction (which once was called ‘hard’ or ‘military’ sf) , which extrapolates a full-blown worldview as well as imaginary worlds while not misusing physics as we understand them; we like time travel books such as The 40-Minute War and stories with relativity effects as inescapable factors in the construct, such as we created in OUTPASSAGE. We equally enjoy modernist novels, magical realism, futuristic novels with international settings, plausible projections of future conditions. We write novels which may be set in the past or future, but always contain the full palette of human responses: pain, pleasure, mystery, drama, comedy, tragedy, triumph, betrayal, discovery. The proliferation of genres, created primarily as selling tools, is lowering the level of what is acceptable as fiction. Genres are meant to allow more bestseller lists and award categories to exist: this is not a qualitative choice; rather it’s a marketing choice. Only a novel is a novel: a novel must be about the human condition, and contain the gamut of life’s constituent elements. Even if you are writing a book in a world built so as never to have been influenced by life on Earth, its characters must be ones with whom we can identify and your story must carry these common elements forward or be, ultimately, inadequate. To write, you must read; and reading modern genre fiction is for the most part like feasting on chocolate, which provides quick thrills and calories, but no lasting nourishment.

I don’t know how it is for other writers, but in the creation of characters I actually hear their accents if they have one when I write dialogue. How is it with you?

We hear characters whenever we write. Often we are writing in the ancient world or a mythical antiquity or quasi-mythical antiquity, so we don’t transliterate accents, beyond perhaps choosing a certain spelling of an ancient word or name. Sometimes, with modern fiction such as OUTPASSAGE, we do use slang, profanity, regionalisms, but subtly. In OUTPASSAGE, we use different constructions, such as “I don’t know” versus “Dunno” to indicate whether Cox is stressed, or in combat, or relaxed, or speaking formally. Cox is a smart person, a subject matter expert in his field, but not literary or elegant in speech: he’s a US Army ranger, simple on the surface, but both strategic and tactical, and he moderates his own diction when he’s talking to his troops, becomes more folksy; when he speaks with superior officers, he’s more than capable of holding his own but his diction changes. We occasionally write with transliterated accents in a short story or to quickly sketch a character, but usually only if the way the character is speaking is as important as what he’s saying, because too much written dialect can become labored and distracting.

What are the first 5 things you need to know when first beginning to write?

Who. What. Where. When. Why. The reader deserves a writer who starts the story with a good understanding of that story: what has happened, what must happen, how the character feels about what’s happening, who the viewpoint character (or omniscient observer temperament) is, in depth. If you can’t answer those questions about your story and the point of view from which the story is told, you’re not ready to write. When a writer drops into a story with no idea what’s going to happen, it shows in the fuzziness of both exposition and event.

Is writing habitual? Have you found that it has the ability to encroach upon your normal life?

Writing is our normal life. Janet sold her first novel in her mid-twenties and made her living as a novelist until we could sell collaborations; then we made our living writing nonfiction, and now are making our living writing fiction once again. To write effectively, you MUST let the novel come first, before all other elements of your life: a book for which the writer has not sacrificed his ‘normal’ life is not a novel, it’s a memoir.

Personal Links

Janet’s Wikipedia bio:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Morris

Chris’ Wikipedia bio:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Morris_(author)

theperseidpress.com

http://www.theperseidpress.com/

Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Outpassage-Janet-Morris-ebook/dp/B00IDC1E84/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392145928&sr=1-1&keywords=Outpassage

Other marvellous reads –

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