Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Archive for June, 2016

State of the Me

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

I thought I’d catch you all up on my various excitements!

My new book Liar’s Bargain is available now. It’s the third book in my Rodrick & Hrym series about a con artist and his best friend, who happens to be a magical talking sword of living ice with the soul of a dragon. (For sword & sorcery fans, imagine Elric and Stormbringer if they had a relationship kind of like Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser). All the books are standalone adventures, and this one is my favorite: it’s my “suicide squad” novel, with Rodrick & Hrym forced to go on dangerous missions with some other individuals of questionable morality in order to avoid execution. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and I hope you like it.

After taking the month of May mostly off writing (apart from one short story), I’m ramping back up this month, working on my novel Closing Doors, the final book in my Marla Mason urban fantasy series. So many threads to wrap up! Who will be the new co-ruler of the underworld? Will the Bay Witch ever call in that favor? Will I reveal what, exactly, Rondeau even is? Will Marla forgive her enemies or take this last opportunity to smite them? I’m taking a full grand finale fireworks extravaganza kitchen sink approach to this last book, and it is fun. Also sad as hell, but I’m trying to focus on the fun. (There will probably be a Marla Mason collection with a new long story at some point in the not-impossibly distant future, and I’d say there’s a 85% chance of me writing a novel featuring her old foe/occasional friend Elsie Jarrow, so it’s not like I’m done with the whole world forever… but still, I’m wrapping up Marla’s story, and after almost 20 years with her, that’s big.)

I’m working on the next Patreon story too, of course, and it will be along by month’s end as well. It seems to be shaping up as something weird and cheerful and life-affirming, which seems like the kind of story we need right now.

Here’s a nice review of my story “The Fairy Library” (which you can also read for free; there’s a link in the review).

With its wry humor, imaginative world-building, and love of books ā€• in more than one way, as is possible in a fairy library ā€• reading this novelette was an absolute pleasure.

My family is taking an actual vacation soon after his school is done, spending some time in Southern California (mostly at Disneyland). I look immensely forward to not thinking about anything more pressing than riding rides and eating cheeseburgers every day.

My Patreon: A New Story Every Month

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

It’s simple: for $1 a month, you get to read a new story from me every month. If you like stories of love, monsters, and weirdness, join now!

WhiskeyHorror Report: House of the Devil

Saturday, June 11th, 2016
My advice: Drink bourbon, yes. Watch House of the Devil, no.

House of the Devil is a technically impressive imitation of ’70s horror movies (some of which I quite enjoy! I’ll watch the hell out of Black Christmas, say), but in the end, it just doesn’t amount to much.

It has a few nice moments (the sudden death in the car in the graveyard gave me hope!), but was mostly a whole lot of empty time-filling. I just don’t find ’70s hair and clothes and furnishings diverting enough to make up for the lack of… much of anything at all happening. I’ve often said the greatest sin of art is to be boring…. and both myself and my longtime horror-watching partner Katrina found it dull dull dull. If it had been a half-hour-long short, it would have been great, though. (I’ve watched and enjoyed some of writer/director Ti West’s other shorts, especially “Second Honeymoon” from V/H/S.)

It was way too much about form and not enough about content, basically.

Many viewers loved it, which may be an indication that my brain is rotted and my attention span degraded and that I don’t have the patience for slow rising tension… except I’ll happily watch, like, a found-footage movie that has 70 minutes of doors creaking and curtains twitching and ten minutes of actual monsterghostdemon action, so I don’t think that’s it. I suspect the real reason this one didn’t work for me is just that I’ve just got the wrong set of nostalgia receptors.

We also watched the first episode of the Scream TV series, and while it too is largely an homage to old horror (namely its namesake, that most ’90s of slasher franchises), it also managed to be fresh and lively and self-aware in a way that I found charming and entertaining. (The cast is way too damn white, though.) We’ll keep watching it.