Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Launch of the Shard of the Old Ones Website and the Official Blurb

Just plugging the launch of the official website for my trilogy, The Shard of the Old Ones and the first book, The Harbinger Awakens. This could be one of the best fantasy books of all time! OK, perhaps I am a bit bias, but if you are a fantasy fan, I think you're really going to enjoy this trilogy a lot. I just released the official back cover blurb over on the site as well as some concept artwork and a brand new forum section. Please stop by and check it out when you get a chance. Let me know how you think. You can ask me any questions you want or make any suggestions either here or on the websites forums.

Here is the website http://www.shardoftheoldones.com

I'm also going to post a copy of the blurb here as well for anyone who is just passing through. Please let me know what you think. I'd love to hear some comments on how effectively the blurb catches your attention and how well it explains to you what the story is about. Let me know if it makes you want to keep reading! Here it is:

Something wicked is coming to the world of Aerthun. The Old Ones, ancient and powerful creatures wrought in the realm of fire and shadow, once defeated and imprisoned by the heroes of old, now stir in their slumber. The time for their return has nearly come.

Malevolent forces are aligning. With each passing hour they draw closer to awakening the Harbinger, the one who will free the Old Ones from their magical repose, ushering in the end of days. War is on the horizon. The great kingdoms of the world must overcome bitter rivalries and join together to defeat the enthralled barbarian legions of the sleeping gods.

Caelus, a lowly ranger is thrust into the fray against his will when his family is taken from him. Chosen by fate, he now holds the key to awakening the Harbinger, and he must keep it from the enemy at all costs while he searches for a way to destroy the Old Ones forever.

With the help of an exiled elf prince, a defected barbarian princess, and an immortal stranger who survived the first fall of the Harbinger, Caelus will stop at nothing to defeat the agents of the enemy. But when he is forced to choose between saving his family and preventing the rise of the Harbinger, the fate of Aerthun hangs in the balance. Caelus and the Shard of the Old Ones are the only things left standing between the mortal world and utter destruction.

Thanks for stopping by. Check out my other blog at http://prowritingtips.blogspot.com and have a great day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Best (Worst) Fantasy & Science Fiction Book Covers

Ok, now I am well aware that this piece over on Cracked.com is bashing the ridiculousness of our beloved genres, but I'm going to be perfectly honest... I nearly suffocated from laughter. The captions the author wrote for some of these covers are fantastic! Plus, anything that cuts randomly to Will Riker is ok in my book. This is an oldie but a goodie for sure.

Warning: There is a little bit of language, so enter at your own risk.

The Best (Worst) Fantasy & Science Fiction Book Covers


Curtis Galluzzo
"Nerdy is the new sexy!"

Second World: The Fantasy and Science Fiction Realm

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fantasy and Fiction - A Relationship on the Rocks

Fantasy and fiction have always had a dysfunctional relationship. "True" literary critics look at the fantasy genre as childish and gimmicky with little to no substance. They denounce its legitimacy on the premise that most of its subject matters are mindless or too outlandish to be relevant to the real world. They want social commentary, not thrilling action and adventure. You know what I have to say to that?

Shut up critics! Stop being so closed-minded! Nobody likes you anyway!

Besides, in reality, fantasy has a lot more depth than it usually gets credit for. I honestly think the main reason that it gets pigeonholed the way that it does is because the genre as a whole has been cursed with a nerdy stigma and so most people aren't willing to give it a chance right from the start. They think it's nothing but greasy-haired, pimple-faced, Mountain Dew chugging, Pizza Hut slurping basement trolls playing Dungeons and Dragons, rolling d20's like DUB's on a Chrysler (also read: my mid-teen years, lol). Now that certainly is an aspect of fantasy (and oft misunderstood) that can't be ignored. But think about it. Why is it that when true fantasy -- high, low, contemporary, urban, etc. -- get any kind of high-budget, mainstream attention, they become massive box office hits? The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Pirates of the Caribbean series, the Harry Potter Series, the Narnia Series, the Twilight (ugh!) series, the Star Wars franchise (to an extent, as the modern day iteration of science fiction is nothing more than high fantasy in space!) -- and the list goes on and on. Every single one of those titles became a multimillion dollar series, and for the most part, were popular even in circles that would normally shun them in their print form. I think more people love that kind of stuff than they let on! Can someone tell me why? In fact, if you can, please leave a comment on this post so we can discuss it.

Another example of the tremendous popularity of the genre are online games like World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Rift, etc. But that is an entirely separate topic, so I'll cover it some other time.

The point that I'm trying to make with this first post on this brand new blog is that fantasy has a lot more to offer to its audience than the stuffy old sweater-vest wearing blue-hairs give it credit for. I'm not just talking about the sheer entertainment value of the genre, which in my opinion is extremely high. But I'm also talking about the stuff that those critics I've made fun of consider important for literary and social relevance.

Let's look at a couple quick examples of social commentary in some fantasy and science fiction works. My first example is R.A. Salvatore's best known hero, Drizzt Do'Urden (One of my personal favorites. I've read everything he's in). Yes, at face value he's a bad-ass dark elf with a nasty past and an affinity for combat and witty quips. But his character also shines light on racial prejudice in a social environment. Drizzt has to work ten times as hard to earn respect for his deeds simply because of his race. Another example is the subplot of Sauron and the Ents in Tolkien's epic. The battle at Sauron's tower and the events leading up to it were symbolic of industry and its effect on the environment (Tolkien was a huge fan of the natural environment of the English countryside when he was a boy and hated that industry was encroaching upon it). Lastly, jumping over to the world of sci-fi, In The Time Machine by Wells, the Eloi and the Morlocks were a very intentional social commentary on the concept of Social Darwinism and how the class system of the Victorian era was likely going to lead to the downfall of man. The Eloi became weak and frail because they no longer had anything to fear in life. Now, over a hundred years later, wasn't Wells right in a sense, considering the luxuries modern electronics provide for us? How many people are weaker and less fit to survive in the harshness of the outside environment compared to previous generations because they've become sedentary?

How's that for social commentary critics?!?!!? HUH!!!! That's right, we have it to!

Anyway, to wrap up because this post is getting long, my point is simple. Fantasy (and science fiction) is a rich and diverse genre that is full of some of the most diehard and passionate fans of just about anything, not just book genres. We love it and we don't need to explain our reasons to anyone else. They can wait for the movie and then jump on the bandwagon. That's their choice, and in my opinion, their loss. Be proud of what you love!

Thank you for stopping by. I promise in the future my posts will be much more informative and a lot less dry. But I felt this sort of introduction was appropriate. I will be updating this blog very regularly, and it will also be one of the best places to follow along with the progress of my own fictional works, and get some behind the scenes material that you won't find anywhere else.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe, check back regularly, and recommend it to all your friends.

Also, this blog is managed by me personally, and all the comments and responses will be me, so please, leave your comments and I'll be happy to reply. I look forward to building relationships with all of you.

Until next time, don't be afraid to be nerdy! Nerdy is the new sexy!


Curtis Galluzzo

P.S. Check out my other blog to get some great pro writing tips to hone your own skills at http://prowritingtips.blogspot.com

Second World: The Fantasy and Science Fiction Realm