The Age of Myths and Legends
by David Price
Blending H. P. Lovecraft’s mythos, with the numerous mythologies of the earth created a rich mythic landscape. Two groups of gods once descended on the earth, Lovecraft’s horrific alien, inhuman beings and the superior, god-like race, known as the Watchers, (the Elder Gods described by August Derleth).
Lightbringers is a Grimdark Fantasy set on a dying earth, twenty thousand years from now. The stars are right and the Great Old One asleep at the bottom of the world finally stirs in his terrible slumber. One reluctant hero, a half-breed child of the Elder gods, and his companions set out on a globe-spanning quest, populated by creatures of myth and beings of legend, to save the Earth from the evil that threatens to destroy it.
"David Price's LIGHTBRINGERS is exactly what I look for in a fantasy novel. Fast paced, exhilarating and far removed from the cookie cutter fiction you run across all too often. Do yourself a favor and read this one!" — James A Moore, author of the SEVEN FORGES and TIDES OF WAR series of novels.
"With evocative language, powerful metaphor, and careful attention to detail, Price brings us a world we can immerse ourselves in and not want to leave." — Irene Radford, author of The Dragon Nimbus Novels, Merlin's Descendants Series, and The Stargods Trilogy
“David Price’s LIGHTBRINGERS mingles a broad spread of myth and genre tropes into a fascinating tale. Adding touches of history, locales and dark lore, Price weaves a fine tale that will grip even a casual reader. LIGHTBRINGERS splits the darkness of a lurid world. Fascinating, funny and paced to please, LIGHTBRINGERS shines.” — Steven L. Shrewsbury, Author of PHILISTINE, OVERKILL, WITHIN and co-author of KING OF THE BASTARDS (with Brian Keene) and BAD MAGICK (with Nate Southard)
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With the speed of a cracking whip, a tentacle lashed out and struck the mast, snapping it in two. The mainsail, jib, and spinnaker floated down harmlessly into the water. The boys screamed and tried to give each other instructions. Deykin and Wid swatted at the tentacles with their oars, but the squid’s appendages were out of reach. Hop gathered up the two remaining oars and tried to evacuate them from the danger zone. He rowed with all his soul.
One of the tentacles feinted at Wid, and pulled back. Wid thrust out his oar, keeping it at bay. Deykin poked at the two tentacles nearest him, his head turning back and forth. Something struck the bottom of the boat hard, and it jumped out of the water. The two standing boys momentarily lost their balance. A whip-lashing tentacle swatted Deykin’s oar from his grasp. Another struck at Wid.
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Well, that’s tough to narrow down, but I guess I’ll just go right for what comes to mind first, and focus on what has been influential on me as a writer also. Number one is easy, that would be Stephen King. I’ve read almost everything by him at least once, although I think I’m behind on his two most recent books. My all-time favorite of his is The Stand. I wanted stop reading that book and throw it out a window when one of my beloved characters died in The Stand. That’s how emotionally invested I was the first time I read it. I strive to get my readers as emotionally invested in my characters as Stephen King manages to do, almost every time. I don’t think I write much like my favorite writer, but if I can get my readers to care about my characters half as much as Stephen King gets his readers to, I consider that a win. I also have to mention The Dark Tower series. The world of The Dark Tower is rich and complex, with a backstory that has so many possibilities. It fits into a sub-genre of fantasy known as Dying Earth stories and it was the kind of world I decided I wanted to create for Lightbringers.
Next let’s go with J. K. Rowling. The Harry Potter universe is also hugely influential on my work. One thing about most fantasy worlds that I didn’t want to particularly emulate was the language. Most are written a certain way, the characters speaking with a medieval and/or Victorian feel. I didn’t want to do that with my story and Harry Potter is a great example of a fantasy world that was created with the characters speaking contemporary dialogue. I’ve read that series multiple times. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s one of my favorites.
Have you ever heard Brian Lumley? When I first read his Necroscope series I was completely blown away. It’s horror, fantasy, and science fiction all rolled into one. The horror is intense, too, so much so that at the time, I’d never read anything that approached that level of description and gore. If ancient vampires, psychic spies, and parallel worlds sound like something that might interest you, I’d recommend it. The truth is, I recommend this series to everyone.
Sticking with the theme of writers who blend horror and fantasy so well, you have to bring up Clive Barker. His novella Cabal (which the film Nightbreed is based on) creates a world where monsters exist, but they’re people to, so to speak. Sure, they’re monsters, and not like us humans, but they are misunderstood and fearful of humanity as well, having been hunted to the point of extinction for millennia. I guess you could say it’s the first kind of urban/dark fantasy that I’d ever read. It’s a theme that permeates may of his books, that beings very different live among us in secret. Of course, once you learn more about Clive Barker, it’s easier to see where he was coming from and how these ideas were so important to him. Another masterpiece of his is Weaveworld. Every fantasy fan should read that one too.
Again with the British writers who blend fantasy and mythology so well with horror, I have to bring up Neil Gaiman. American Gods is my second favorite book after The Stand. His Sandman comic book series is one my favorite runs ever. I can’t say enough about his influence on me. The way Neil Gaiman seamlessly weaves old world myths and ideas into his work inspires me. I hope that my imagination reminds readers of Neil Gaiman, because I do feel there are some similarities there.
One fantasy writer who I don’t think gets enough recognition nowadays is Michael Moorcock. His Elric series and in fact all of the Eternal Champion (Corum, Hawkmoon, Erekose, etc.) should be required reading for any aspiring fantasy novelist. Elric is my favorite of these as the tortured hero/anti-hero but they’re all phenomenal works of imagination.
Not to jump on the bandwagon here, but how can I not mention George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones) series. ASOIAF is probably the best fantasy series ever written (no disrespect meant to the immortal J. R. R. Tolkien). I’ll never reach that level of writing ability, in my opinion, but I sure do admire it. As is usually true among my favorite writers, he gets you to care completely about the characters intimately. You love them, you hate them, and more often than not, he blurs the lines. Few characters are good or evil, and many exhibit characteristics of both. It’s that blurring of the lines of morality that I hope can seep into my work as the series progresses.
Arthurian literature has been a lifelong obsession of mine and right at the top of that list is The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart. Mary Stewart was the first writer I’ve read who reached into the history of what might have happened to a historical Arthur and blended it with the mysticism that is a major part of the legend. Just writing about it here makes me want to revisit her world of ancient Britain. Guess what’s going back into my tbr list?
Have you heard of James A. Moore? You should have. James Moore made his name in the writing community as a horror author and gained recognition in the horror community as a force to be reckoned with, but has recently switched to writing grimdark fantasy. His Seven Forges series immediately vaulted to one of my favorite fantasy series of all time. It’s dark, imaginative, and unlike many fantasy series, it’s not a slog to get through. He’s currently working on his second fantasy series, Tides of War. It’s darker than Seven Forges, but just as much of a page turner. If there’s one thing more than any other that I hope to take away from the way Mr. Moore writes, it’s that I want my books to move along and not to bog down. Oh, and as the only one of my writing heroes that I’ve actually met, I can tell you that he’s a hell of a nice guy, too
Okay, I’ve saved this guy for last. Known mostly for his horror, but equally adept at world building and creating a vivid fantasy land is H. P. Lovecraft. There is a great amount of Lovecraftian influence in Lightbringers and there are nods and references to many of his stories. Lovecraft’s mythos creeps into the story time and again. As you read, see how many you can pick out. The truth is, Lightbringers is filled with Easter eggs of all kinds and I’m curious how many readers will spot. I’m not sure I even remember them all.
How’s that for a top ten list? All of those works influenced me in one way or another. Of course, everything I’ve ever read has influenced me in some way, but these are what I consider the most influential. A Song of Ice and Fire and Seven Forges are the only referenced works that I read after I finished writing Lightbringers, so I expect they have an impact in future books in my series. I hope readers enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them.
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