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By Various | Edited by J.M. Martin
Whether by coin or by blood...YOU WILL PAY.
Swift from the shadows, comes an 'edgy' anthology featuring sundry tales of roguish types—assassins, mercenaries, thieves—many of whom are already established in your favorite fantasy series. We have a full roster of authors from indie sensations to New York Times bestsellers, and all the stories are turned in.
RICHARD LEE BYERS is one of the more prolific authors for Wizards of the Coast. Some of his published credits include: The Shattered Mask: Sembia (Gateway to the Realms), Unclean (Forgotten Realms: The Haunted Lands, Book 1), The Ruin (Forgotten Realms: Year of Rogue Dragons, Book 3), Queen of the Depths (Forgotten Realms: The Priests), and Dissolution (War of the Spider Queen, Book 1). His tale "Troll Trouble" features the roguish Selden and is set in Balathex, a city of his own design, both which originally appeared in The Plague Knight and Other Stories.
DAVID DALGLISH made a big name for himself in the self-publishing world with series like "The Half-Orcs" and his "Paladins" series before signing on with Orbit to publish his "Shadowdance" series, which includes A Dance of Cloaks, A Dance of Blades, A Dance of Mirrors, and A Dance of Shadows, and his Blackguards tale, "Take You Home," is set in the world of Shadowdance. Cool, huh?
JAMES ENGE is best known for his ongoing Morlock the Maker series. His first novel in the series, Blood of Ambrose, was nominated for the World Fantasy Award in 2010. His current series, "A Tournament of Shadows," tells the origin story of Morlock Ambrosius, and we are pleased to present in Blackguards an original Morlock the Maker short story entitled "Thieves at the Gate."
JOHN GWYNNE always told his children stories at bedtime, and they pestered long and hard for him to write some of it down. John eventually decided to heed their wishes and indulge his hobby, and that’s how The Banished Lands and Malice, the first book of "The Faithful and the Fallen" began. Somewhere along the way it became more than just a hobby when it was picked up by both Tor and Orbit. John also won the Gemmell Awards 2013 Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Debut. Book two of the series, Valor, was recently published in July, 2014.
LIAN HEARN'S five-book "Tales of the Otori" series, set in a fictional feudal Japan, has sold over four million copies worldwide beginning with Across the Nightingale Floor, and she is pleased to present an all-new Otori short story for our Blackguards
compilation. As a former children's author and playwright, Lian finds her bliss during the immersion process of writing.
PAUL S. KEMP is a bestselling author who wields words in Forgotten Realms and A Galaxy Far, Far Away. He is the creator of Erevis Cale, and his own Egil and Nix, both of whom will ply their trade in the pages of BLACKGUARDS!
SNORRI KRISTJANSSON is a domestic Viking, so it only makes sense that he should write books about Vikings, which he does. His fantasy debut, Swords of Good Men, was published by Jo Fletcher Books in 2013, with book two of "The Valhalla Saga," Blood Will Follow, published this past June.
JOSEPH R. LALLO started his self-publishing journey in 2010 with The Book of Deacon. In the years since he has completed "The Book of Deacon Trilogy" with his novels The Great Convergence and The Battle of Verril and expanded the setting with The Rise of the Red Shadow and Jade. Aside from his main series, he has dabbled in sci-fi with the "Big Sigma" series, superhero satire with The Other Eight, and steampunk with Free-Wrench.
MARK LAWRENCE's trilogy of "The Broken Empire" introduced the world to Jorg Ancrath and his Brothers in Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns, and Emperor of Thorns. He is currently writing a news series entitled "The Red Queen's War," also set in the Broken Empire, as is his story here in the very pages of Blackguards. Mark has also told me I remind him of Sir Makin, which I take as a compliment because he might as easily have said Brother Rike.
TIM MARQUITZ is Ragnarok's Editor-In-Chief, yes, but I insisted he contribute to Blackguards purely in an authorial capacity because he is one hell of a writer, too, as evidenced by his successful "Demon Squad" series, and having worked with him on the "Dead West" books. He is working on a set of novels presently called the "Prodigy Series," wherein his Blackguards tale is set.
It could be argued: is PETER ORULLIAN a better musician or better author? Or perhaps his talents are perfectly synchronized like the timing of a castle spy flitting shadow to shadow on the battlements between sleepy-eyed patrol guards? Whatever the case, we'll take the author! Who, I might add, has written a most excellent fantasy novel entitled The Unremembered, as well as a handful of short stories set in his world of Aeshau Vaal — much like his dark tale spun here in the pages of Blackguards!
JEAN RABE is the prolific author of Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance ("Dhamon Saga", "The Stonetellers"), The Finest Trilogy, Spelljammer, DRAGON MAGIC and DRAGON MAGE with Andre Norton...gee, let's just say she's the author of 26 fantasy novels, more than 60 short stories, and edited 17 anthologies and counting...and now add one more short story in BLACKGUARDS!
CAT RAMBO writes predominantly fantasy and science fiction, and collaborated in a round-robin writing project for The New Weird edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer. She has also collaborated with Jeff VanderMeer on The Surgeon's Tale and Other Stories, and her short stories have also appeared at Tor.com and in Asimov's Science Fiction, Weird Tales, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Strange Horizons. Cat also used to edit Fantasy Magazine, which earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination, recently guest-edited Lightspeed Magazine's "Women Destroying Fantasy" issue, and is the current Vice President of the SFWA.
LAURA RESNICK won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction in 1993 and never looked back. Her epic fantasy novels include the books of the Silerian Trilogy In Legend Born, The White Dragon—which made the "Year's Best" lists of Publishers Weekly—and The Destroyer Goddess, which Publishers Weekly describes as "a marvel of storytelling." Her Blackguards short story is set in the world of Sileria. Laura is also the author of the popular Esther Diamond urban fantasy series for DAW Books.
ANTHONY RYAN, author of Blood Song and Tower Lord, writes fantasy and science fiction. He works full-time as a researcher, has a degree in history, and lives in London. Having originally self-published his debut, Blood Song, he has since signed with Penguin and continues to blaze a trail in the fantasy world.
MARK SMYLIE. I've known Mark for a long while now, back in our comics days when he was doing his excellent and critically acclaimed Artesia comic series for Sirius, before he formed Archaia Studios Press for his single creator-owned works (now it's a formidable comic publisher owned by Boom! Studios). I worked for Mark for a time when he launched the Artesia: Adventures in the Known World RPG—still one of my favorite games. Now he's written an epic fantasy debut novel entitled The Barrow, published by Pyr, also set in The Known World, the setting of Artesia, as well as his Blackguards story.
KENNY SOWARD. I've known this rascal even longer than I've known Smylie, as we graduated from the same high school in the same year. Kenny is an amazing talent who lives and breathes fantasy. His GnomeSaga series debuts with Rough Magick from Ragnarok, and he is completely redefining gnomes in the coolest way. His story takes place in Sullenor, the setting of his GnomeSaga trilogy.
SHAWN SPEAKMAN is the mastermind behind the hugely successful Unfettered anthology and runs the online bookstore, The Signed Page, where he surrounds himself with the finest authors in the business, including his close friend, Terry Brooks. A right wordsmith himself, Shawn has penned the tales The Song of the Fell Hammer and The Dark Thorn, the latter of which where his Blackguards story is set.
JON SPRUNK is the master of shadows, his Shadow Saga, in which his story "Sun and Steel" is set, is full of assassins and thieves and cutthroats of all kinds. His latest release, Blood and Iron, through Tor, starts a new adventure in "The Book of the Black Earth," full of swords, slaves, and sorcery.
ANTON STROUT is an urban fantasy aficionado. He loves a good stoning if his "Spellmason Chronicles" is any evidence, its pages filled with gargoyle goodness. He is also the author of the "Simon Canderous" series through Ace Books, and being the host of The Once & Future Podcast is his latest project, where he endeavors as Curator of Content to bring authors and readers together through a weekly news show format.
MICHAEL J. SULLIVAN is the author of the massively popular series, "The Riyria Revelations," its pages overflowing with the wit and charm of its protagonists, Royce and Hadrian. Also the author of Rhune and Hollow World, Michael brings his pen-slinging skills to Blackguards with a tale set in the world of Riyria.
DJANGO WEXLER is the author of "The Shadow Campaigns," The Forbidden Library, and the John Golden series of novellas. Django graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books, which he hopes one day to slay.
ISBN: 978-1-941987-06-3 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1-941987-05-6 (ePub) | ASIN (Amazon): Pending