Narrative Transport. The official Michael Pryor website.
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  • July3rd

     

    montage of all covers small

    At last – I’m excited to let you know that the entire The Laws of Magic series is now available as audiobooks!

    The fine people at Audible have turned the adventures of Aubrey, George, Caroline and Sophie into quality audio texts, and you’ll find them here:

    Blaze of Glory

    Heart of Gold

    Word of Honour

    Time of Trial

    Moment of Truth

    Hour of Need

    The books are read by the very talented Rupert Degas and here’s his bio:

    Rupert Degas can be heard reading True History of the Kelly Gang, PS I Love You, If You Could See Me Now, Lord Loss, Demon Thief, Slawter, and The Saga of Darren Shan. He is also the voice of Pantalaimon in Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights. He has lent his voice to numerous cartoons, including Mr Bean, Robotboy, and Bob the Builder and has performed in over thirty radio productions, including The Gemini Apes, The Glittering Prizes, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He spent eighteen months in the West End performing in the comedy Stones in his Pockets. He has also read A Wild Sheep Chase and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle for Naxos AudioBooks.

    He does a superb job.

    To help celebrate this audio launch, I’m giving away complete sets of the entire Laws of Magic audio series.  Just go to my contact page, scroll down to the contact form, leave your details and send me a message with the subject ‘LoM audio‘. I’ll run this promotion until the end of July. If you’re a winner, you’ll hear from me.

    Happy listening – and for more about The Laws of Magic, why don’t you spend some time at The Laws of Magic section of my website, with background, musings, and extra material!

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  • May21st

    Bold statement – writing Historical Fiction and writing Fantasy (of certain sorts) are almost identical undertakings. A Game of Thrones and Wolf Hall? The same thing, really.

    Think about it. Writers of both have to introduce and explain an unfamiliar world. Writers of Historical Fiction and writers of Fantasy can’t assume the shared knowledge that writers of contemporary fiction can.

    Writers of contemporary fiction can take a great deal for granted. They don’t have to explain the social mores, the political structure, the clothing, the standard layout of buildings, methods of transport, forms of communication, common technologies, and thousands of other details of life that affect and intersect with their characters.

    Not so with the writers of Fantasy and Historical Fiction. We have to help the reader come to terms with a world that could be alien in countless ways.

    The first step for both of us, of course, is that we have to be familiar with the world we’re introducing. Here’s where our jobs may diverge a little. The Fantasy writer has to work from scratch, whereas the Historical Fiction writer doesn’t.

    Let’s face it, most Fantasy secondary worlds are derived from history. Fantasy writers are always scouting around the world and going back and forward through time looking for fertile areas as a springboard into world creation. Take a time period and location that’s in turmoil, tweak the events and the names a little, add some magic and there’s the beginnings of a framework for a solid Fantasy trilogy or two, easily.

    Therefore, both Fantasy and Historical Fiction writers spend a great deal of time researching, in order to be utterly cognisant with the world we’re about to introduce.

    After this comes the delicate task of sifting in all this background detail. The challenge is to do this without boring the reader. After all, we’re writing fiction, not textbooks.

    There is a higher challenge, though. The higher challenge is not just to do this without boring the reader, it’s doing it without the reader even noticing and therein lies the art.

    The key term I use here in trying to define what writers in both genres are trying to do is that we’re trying to make our worlds convincing. Even though the world may be unfamiliar to the reader, we have to convince her/him that the setting is a believable one, one with a coherence and an underpinning that resonates with the human experience. The setting could be archaic, primitive, old-fashioned or exotic in unearthly terms, but writers need to give the reader entry into this world by making it a plausible one.

    Done well, this accounts for some of the allure of both genres. They both take readers somewhere different, somewhere outside the ordinary, somewhere fresh and exotic where characters can play out their dramas in ways that extend the range of human actions, interactions and possibilities.

    All in all, sometimes I think the only difference between writing Historical Fiction and writing Fantasy is that one has magic and one doesn’t. I’ll leave you to decide which.

     

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  • September11th

    After reading Steampunk why wouldn’t people w ant to dress up in Steampunk fashion? After all, well-crafted, traditional garments made with care have a certain allure, and when one adds the overlay of techno-wizardry that is so much part of the Steampunk ethos, then a playful, distinctive way of life is on show.

    Modern Steampunk truly began as a literary sub-genre in the early 1980s. With a late twentieth century knowingness, Steampunk writers concocted Fantasy or Science Fiction stories with a Victorian (or Edwardian) ethos, creating giddy, baroque adventures where the manners, morals and fashions of a bygone era were enlivened by elements of the fantastic. Drawing on writers such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and A. Conan Doyle, these stories were redolent of an era of richness, style and excellent tailoring. It was no wonder that many readers were inspired to adopt Steampunk fashion in real life.

    Steampunk fashion is, in some ways, a delightful coming together of historical recreationists and Science Fiction ‘cosplayers’ – those who love to dress up as their favourite characters from books, TV and movies. The recreationists bring their zeal for authentic period detail, while the cosplayers bring their imaginations. The result can be both elegant and bizarre, tasteful and whimsical, classy and eye-popping. Read More | Comments

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  • April18th

    1. Force 10 from WestminsterKew Bridge Steam Museum (3)
    2. The Disraeli Identity
    3. Mary Shelley, Princess of Power
    4. Gilbert and Sullivan and International Domination
    5. Have Pith Helmet, Will Travel
    6. The Revenge of the Colonies
    7. Dirigibles, Digging Machines and Great Big Tanks
    8. The Funicular Network
    9. Giant Cats Destroy London via the Underground (some work needed on that one)
    10. Steamomancer
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  • February2nd

    Here we are: the stunning, atmospheric, brooding, enticing cover for ‘The Subterranean Stratagem’, the second book in ‘The Extraordinaires’ series. Random House Australia does quality work!

    I love it.

    Publication date: April 2

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  • January25th

    Some fascinating research here about how Steampunk is going to be the Next Big What's happening in Steampunk?Thing. Pundits are predicting that Steampunk will surge into mainstream consciousness in 2013 before going gangbusters into world domination in 2014.

    And do click on the thumbnail of this sensational infographic so you can see the whole thing. It’s  gorgeous and tres informative.

    Infographic source: ibmphoto24

     

     

     

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  • September17th

    In May this year, as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the Powerhouse Museum invited me to participate in their  in their ‘Writer Overnighter’ extravaganza. I’ve written about it here, but here’s a fine photographic pictorial, courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum.

     

     

     

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  • August6th

    I’m playing around with writing an adult novel – ‘The Laws of Magic’ ten years on. Aubrey, Caroline, George and Sophie in a world startlingly like our own in the Jazz Age, but with magic. Now, I don’t know if this has been done before at all, taking a YA novel and its characters and leaping forward into the adult world.

    I think it has possibilities.

     

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  • May20th

    On Friday 18th May I was lucky enough to be part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival ‘Writer Overnighter’ at the Powerhouse Museum, and what fun it was. I’d never been to the Powerhouse before – a sad gap in my vast store of museum love – so I was nearly as excited as the fifty or so young people who came along for a night of Steam power!food, activities, talks, demonstrations and exploration, with the bonus of being able to choose their own special place to sleep in a museum. The whole museum was alive with magnificent steam power, with so much whirring, rocking, rotating, hissing and clanking that it was a Steampunk writer’s dream come true.

    So much fun was packed into our time there, from steam-driven balloons to excited ping pong balls to steam-driven ice cream makers. When my turn came, I was able to explain why history is so useful to a Fantasy writer before going on to demonstrate how Steampunk is such a sublime blending of history and imagination. After that, of course, we all got down to write and I was staggered at the creative outpourings from everyone there. In a short time, we had imagined enough explorers, scientists, engineers and spies to populate a thousand Steampunk stories, and all of them had elaborate Steampunk vehicles, ranging from submarines to pogo sticks. I don’t care how well reinforced that old turbine room was, I think we were only a handful of ideas away from blowing the roof off. Read More | Comments

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  • May9th

    I’ve been asked to be part of a fun ‘Night at the Museum’ experience at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum next week. It’s a chance for young readers to sleep overnight in a real, proper museum place, as well as enjoying a range of sensational activities. I’ll be running writing workshops, as well as just running around wide-eyed at all the exciting exhibits. I’m keenly looking forward to the steam displays, which are a great love of mine.

    Plenty of places left, but bookings are essential. More info here.

     

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