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Come and talk to the modern fantasy giants
Fantasy-Faction, one of the largest genre web communities in the world, will be hosting its second fantasy book event at Waterstones Kensington on Wednesday 13th August.
Image from Fantasy-Faction.com
The event has attracted big names in the "grimdark" fantasy market. Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett, Mark Lawrence and Myke Cole will all be taking part in the panel and Q&A, signing their backlists and getting to know their fans at an exclusive after-party.
Fantasy-Faction's first event in August 2012 was a roaring success, with hundreds of fans turning out to hear a refreshingly fun panel discussion that avoided obvious questions about inspiration in favour of playful and thoughtful conversations about the authors' craft and characters. With the dedication of the organisers and new additions to the event structure such as competitions and great merchandise, this year's gathering is set to be even better than the last.
My visit to the first Fantasy Faction event in 2012
Admission to the Grim Gathering is completely free of charge but the organisers ask that attendees sign up on their Facebook page so they can keep an eye on numbers. The event begins at 18:30 but based on the size of the audience last time it's advisable to get there early. Although the authors will be signing their backlists Fantasy-Faction have asked that, where possible, guests should buy their books in store to support the host bookshop.
Joe Abercrombie. Image from Wikipedia
Joe Abercrombie is the author of The First Law trilogy, three standalone books set in the same world; Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country, and most recently the bestselling YA debut Half a King. Celebrated for his grim and gritty approach to the genre, Abercrombie writes incredibly believable characters that avoid all stereotypes. His fast-paced action and incredibly visual writing often make for quite a visceral reaction and you can't help being completely absorbed. Read his books if you're a fan of George R.R. Martin, Scott Lynch, or any other severe yet cynically comic fantasy series.
Peter V Brett's The Demon Cycle series began in 2008 with The Painted Man (or The Warded Man in the US) and was followed by The Desert Spear in 2010 and The Daylight War in 2013. Since then they have been translated into over 20 different languages. Carefully crafted and deeply engaging, Brett's books give readers the flavour of traditional fantasy that we all know and love but with much deeper roots that explore the nature of fear, among other interesting social observations. The characters are so loveable it almost physically hurts when bad things happen to them but that is all part of the appeal.
Myke Cole is a military fantasy author. His debut novel Control Point was released in the UK in August 2012. Its sequel, Fortress Frontier followed in 2013 and the trilogy was completed with Breach Zone early this year. Cole has served in the US military and has done three tours in Iraq, but he still claims that writing is the hardest thing he has ever done. The Shadow Ops trilogy will appeal to readers who like exciting military-style action and the idea of mutant powers that you might find in X-Men or Heroes.
Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire trilogy became an instant success with its first instalment, The Prince of Thorns, in 2011. His charismatic protagonist Jorg Ancrath paved the way for immoral heroes and demanded that readers return immediately for the second and third parts of the trilogy in 2012 and 2013. Exploring the life of a new antihero in the same world, Lawrence's latest novel The Prince of Fools was released in June 2014. A writer who also works as a research scientist in the field of artificial intelligence, his books are perfect for anyone wanting an intelligent, character lead read brimming with violence and philosophy.