June 1, 2019 at 10:53 pm #5257
Hi all. First of all apologies for the absence, but things have been rather busy with writing and the puppy. I want to take time to mention this, though, as it’s a publication featuring no fewer than four Denizens – @woolleybeans, @jillybean, @madiguana and your servant.
Hell’s Empire – Tales of the Incursion
A unique anthology of two thrones at war as the forces of Hell assault an unsuspecting Victorian Britain.The cry went out to theologians and engineers, to artificers and antiquarians, to every name which could be named. By telegraph where lines were still intact, and by volunteer riders where they were not; smuggled along the coast in fishing smacks, semaphored from hill-tops. It came without royal sanction, issued jointly by the Lords of the Admiralty and Marquess Lansdowne, the new Secretary of State for War:”In God’s name, help us. We are losing.”June 2, 2019 at 7:51 am #5258
Must get this…I’m a bit Pratchetted out at the mo, and this is going to be good!June 2, 2019 at 8:30 am #5259SeagreenParticipant
Been meaning to do this since it came out… Now downloaded and awaiting the quietness of mind and spirit to enjoy it 😊June 2, 2019 at 11:02 am #5260KazGParticipant
congratulations Denizens! It looks fantastic 🙂 Looking forward to getting a copy xJune 2, 2019 at 5:47 pm #5262
Thanks Squidge, Sea and Kaz! Just to say a bit more about this, Hell’s Empire is a linked anthology based around the premise of a demonic invasion of Victorian Britain at the end of the 19th century. I’d suggest ‘War of the Worlds’ but with demons in place of the aliens’ as an elevator pitch, but that wouldn’t really do it justice, as there’s a wide variety of nuanced and human tales ranging from high adventure to dark ruminations on whether humanity or the hellish hordes aren’t a bit more alike than they first appear. The three other Denizens’ stories are fantastic and well worth a read, even if dark/weird/fantasy fiction isn’t your thing.June 2, 2019 at 7:03 pm #5263
This was such a great project to be a part of (not least because I was basically asked to write war of the worlds fan fic 😉 ) Matt is being humble by the way. He’s written the opening novellette The Battle of the Alma, which sets the scene and tone for the entire anthology. It’s an excellent piece of fiction with stellar world building. (I keep periodically nagging him to write move novellas set in the same world because I just want more.)June 3, 2019 at 4:27 pm #5266
I am about half way through and loving this. Especially how there’s an link between each story which binds them all together.June 3, 2019 at 10:30 pm #5267
Glad you’re enjoying it @Squidge I love the interlinking text – it really adds sometjing to the collection. I love the shared world aspect of the anthology too.June 4, 2019 at 9:18 pm #5288
OK – finished it. Did not put it down…
I have to ask – how much of the premise dd you get beforehand? The stories all link so well together, I can’t work out whether it’s down to extreme luck in terms of the arrangement of the stories or whether the links written between each story are simply very well done to link what might otherwise be separate stories…June 4, 2019 at 9:47 pm #5289
I think the linking text definitely helped @squidge. As did the editors having a clear idea of what they were looking for and how to make it all fit together. And I think the opening and closing stories gave the anthology shape too. But we weren’t actually given that much of a premise other than ‘demon invasion of Victorian Britain’ which expanded into ‘it can be a personal battle fought in an out of the way location, or a major fight at a big city’. We weren’t allowed to destroy London or have Queen Victoria or the Prince of hell show up. Otherwise we were just set loose to see what we came up with. Most of us didn’t see each other’s stories until we got the proof copy. I was amazed how well it all came together. Definitely some superior editing skills going on there and a bunch of great writers 😊
June 5, 2019 at 6:47 am #5292
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Jules.
Yes, it was partly extraordinary luck, partly John’s skilful setting of the tone and throwing up some ideas before things got started and linking text after the selection, and partly in the selection and ordering of stories. (As I was going to write the opener, I got to see all the stories. It’s true to say there were a few that while being decent stories, wouldn’t have fit – though to be fair, very few). I felt bad for one author, as there were two good stories that had the same setting and a very similar premise, and it just would not have been possible for both sets of events to have happened. Only one of them could be included, therefore. But for the most part the authors just came up with the goods.June 5, 2019 at 6:58 am #5293JaneShuffParticipant
I downloaded it on the boat on the way home and it’s fantastic.June 18, 2019 at 9:52 pm #5424TheaParticipant
Well done, Denizens, what a great concept, am looking forward to reading all the stories.June 19, 2019 at 10:46 am #5440
Many thanks Jane and Thea! If anyone who has read it could consider leaving a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, that would be wonderful. Thanks for your review Squidge, delighted you liked it
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