This is an entirely unpaid endorsement, and a plea for you to do yourself a favor and go buy a book.
Do you like fantasy novels? Do you?
There are a good number of books I’ve enjoyed reading over the years, and I have a place for many of them on my bookshelves.
Then there are those special books, the ones that I have loved so dearly that I re-read them at least once a year, and will probably continue doing so forever.
Cassie mocks me for doing it, and probably rightly so.
You know you’ve got it bad when your wife can simply glance at the cover of the book you’re holding in your hand and say, “You just read that four months ago, wtf did I buy you a Kindle for? Why won’t you get some new books for a change instead of re-reading those endlessly?”
But I don’t re-read everything endlessly. Just, well….
The Sten series by Allan Cole and Chris Bunch. Yep, losing one of those from my collection would be like losing a hand. The good one, not the butt-wiping one. All it takes is for Cassie to see my hand ANYWHERE NEAR a book from the Sten series and the eyes start rolling. I can’t help it! They’re just so gooood.
Or the Guards/Sam Vimes books by Terry Pratchett. A life without Sam Vimes would be a cold, colorless life not worth living. My signed/stamped hardcover of Night Watch is my most treasured artifact. Reminder to self: Still must buy “Where’s My Cow?” once I’m done done reading the last Tiffany Aching book to Alex. And perhaps The World of Poo, if I can, er, slip that one by the missus.
And of course high on my list of books to re-read is Talion: Revenant by Michael A. Stackpole.
Stackpole actually has two books on my yearly (or more often than yearly) re-read list; Talion: Revenant and Once A Hero.
Damn, I like Once A Hero. It’s so freaking good. [shivers]
Here is why I’m talking about these.
I’m thinking what it would have been like if I’d never heard of or tried Talion: Revenant before. If I’d never heard from friends about this kickass author who wrote the only good Star Wars books at the time, the first Rogue Squadron series, and how he had some other books in worlds of his own creation I might like.
I didn’t read Star Wars fan fiction or tie-in books, but I had friends who did. I didn’t read the Rogue Squadrons at first, because Star Wars non-canon books, meh. Really? Splinter in the Mind’s Eye, remember that crapfest? But a great writer, I like to hear about that, so I read his OTHER books. Then the bastard hooked me with his great writing and I went back and bought the Rogue Squadron books and read them too.
Damn him. Yes, they were good, but later authors couldn’t maintain actual quality, so I had a sad once he left the series.
What if I’d never had a friend tell me about this great author, Michael A. Stackpole? What if nobody ever suggested I read Guards, Guards by Terry Pratchett?
What if I’d never taken a chance on a book with a generic cheesy Sci-Fi cover like Sten, only to find within it’s pages sheer fucking genius?
I’d have missed out on what I think is some of the finest science fiction and fantasy writing in existence. Period.
These books have, each in their own way, changed my life because I have loved them and made each of them a part of me. I truly feel my life is richer for having had those worlds to discover.
Okay, so what.
This is relevant to you, because while it was out of print for a long time, you can buy Talion: Revenant right now, brand new, in e-book form on Amazon for the Kindle and at other places. You can get Once A Hero as well.
And here is a bonus reason, a selfish reason to shout this from the rooftops. Stackpole says that if he sees just a few thousand more sales of the book, a total of 5000, that will showhim enough interest to justify a sequel.
A sequel to Talion: Revenant. Dear lord. I don’t know if my heart could take it. So. Much. Awesome.
If you read the books I’m mentioning, you’ll notice they all share a few things in common.
The writing is brilliant, and the dialogue is fast and fun. The deft wordplay between characters in all of these books is probably the biggest reason I love them so much. The characters are not there to drive forward the story, the characters are there because the characters ARE, and have a love of life. They seem real, and also seem like people it would be interesting to meet if Robert Heinlein were right about the World as Fiction.
That’s it. That’s my plug. I love Talion: Revenant with a passion, I’m re-reading it again right now, and a chance comment made me go look and see if Stackpole had a webpage, which is how I saw his mentioning of the e-books and the Talion 5000 book Challenge. That post went up in mid-2011, so I’ve only re-read Talion about 4 times since then.
I can’t recall ever asking anyone to buy anything on this blog before, but I’m asking you now. If you have never read Talion: Revenant, if you enjoy fantasy novels, AND if you can afford it, I strongly encourage you to buy the ebook and try it.
Warning. You might enjoy it so much it leads to more book buying.
Oh, and if you wanted to read Sten, good news!. Last time I went to buy a second copy of every book in the series for emergency backup purposes they were all out of print and insanely expensive. But, I now see you can buy then for Kindle, at reasonable prices! At least you can get the first book, I am off to check the other six in the series. If they can be gotten for Kindle now, HOORAY!!!!
OMG, you can get the whole Sten series on Kindle. I may cry. So many books, lost to the world like bolts of lightning, brief flashes illuminating the heavens only to vanish forever. Now, the lightning can be captured and held for all time. We are so blessed to be living in this digital age.
Now if only I had a bazillion dollars to buy every book I wanted on Kindle. Err, and some of them would be new books Cassie, I promise. No really. Honest.