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Messages - Eli_Freysson

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Portland. WTF?!?
You know how you get a Gestapo? This is how you get a Gestapo.

I've been seeing those reports, and... yeah. Holy shit.

Those days when you just don't want to go to bed, or rather, you just want to go when it's 100% certain that you'll fall asleep the minute your head hits the pillow, without room for any thoughts. At all.

Uh, I don't understand the problem here.

Sci-Fi, Horror, YA & Urban Fantasy Books / Re: H. P. Lovecraft
« on: July 05, 2020, 06:23:22 PM »
"Hard to recommend and hard not to" is a pretty good summation.

Like Nora said, he was tremendously influential, and modern fantasy and horror would be very different without his input. But yes, he had massive issues and the racism in his stories does make me cringe. Although after watching a movie-length documentary on his life and finding out what kind of upbringing Lovecraft got I feel more pity than disgust. He never had any chance to be a functioning individual. And apparently his views did soften later in life, as he actually got out of his comfort zone. Maybe if he'd lived longer he would have wound up circa as racist as was typical for his era. Or maybe not. We'll never know.

But setting aside the racism, there is simply something to his writing style that I can't quite sum up, and yet have a significant appreciation for. The way he really piles on adjectives and antiquated words would normally be the mark of a hack, but somehow he makes it work.

As for works to recommend, I feel The Colour Out of Space and Rats in the Walls are two of his best stories, and as a little bonus they don't contain any of his race issues. I would say The Call of Cthulhu is worth a read/listen, if only to understand what that whole hallmark of fantasy-horror is actually all about. Warning: Contains racism. Then there's At the Mountains of Madness, which really captures that feel of incomprehensible spans of time, insignificance and inevitability of decay that I feel is essential to cosmic horror.

Also, in case you didn't know, Lovecraft's stories are on Youtube in audiobook form, with a narrator whose voice couldn't be more fitting:

Over 60% of Federal employees are on anti depressants in the USA.

Wait, what? Okay, clearly something is being done wrong here.

So Ghislane Maxwell has been found and arrested. Finally.

Sure hope she doesn't get suicided, so some justice can be done. The A-list perverts she and Epstein set up with underage girls need to be exposed.

Okay, so I've been offered to write a guest post on a book blogger's site, and I thought I'd see about getting opinions on the text. If anyone's willing to read through it all. Anyway:

Well. My name is Eli Freysson, and I was born and mostly raised in northern Iceland. I first started messing around with writing just after graduating high school, and between 2011 and 2015 I published five fantasy novels in my native country. I decided to try my hand at the English-language market, having heard a rumour that it was just ever so slightly bigger than the Icelandic one.

I started by translating three of my novels into English and self-pubbing them on Amazon as the Silent War trilogy. My next step was to write a space opera quartet, The Golden Throne, in English and self-publish that one as well. I next wrote a Gothic Lovecraftian detective Victorian urban horror fantasy... thing... and I’ve been trying to pitch it to agents. With that still in process I’ve decided to self-publish some of my other material just for the sake of doing something with it.

I also had a delightful development last year, as a Romanian publishing house agreed to translate my space opera series into Romanian and release it. It was supposed to come out this spring, but this whole Coronavirus mess has pushed things back to the fall. I’m hoping this will prove to be my foot through the door of Europe.

But who am I, anyway? Who is this dude, and can he introduce you to Björk? Well, no, I can’t. But for personal information I am on the autistic spectrum, so I’m exactly the kind of weirdo to sit at home typing all day, thinking of “What if?” scenarios. The condition didn’t exactly make my childhood, teens, or early adulthood easy, but I’ve worked slowly and steadily on dealing with my issues and learning to live with myself and cope with my limitations. Wait, did I just sum up everyone’s life story? Anyway, I published a pamphlet intended for parents and teachers of autistic children back in 2018, and I give lectures on the condition. I like swimming, exercising, reading, playing video games (especially when I should be doing something more useful), going for cycling or walking tours in the summer, and complaining about the weather... although that is more of a national hobby than a personal quirk.

The Silent War is my entry into the “youngster discovers they have special power and a special duty” canon of fantasy, and my chance to explore what I like about the basic trope while also sidestepping the things I don’t. It’s set in a pre-industrial world still hurting from a supernatural catastrophe ages ago, and suffering at the hands of monsters lurking in the dark. Sounds pretty standard, doesn’t it? Well, my writing style has solidified pretty thoroughly around the theme of taking familiar tropes and putting my own personal spin on them. Tropes should not be a shortcut, but used as a support structure around characters.

And speaking of characters, our hero is Katja, a teenage girl with a violent streak and a lifelong, haunting feeling that she’s different from other people somehow. Her answers come in the form of a horrible monster straight out of her nightmares, that wreaks havoc before dying at Katja’s hands, followed by a stranger calling her for a meeting. This stranger is Serdra: a woman with a youthful face and old eyes, who explains that they are the same: Born enemies of otherworldly evil, and at constant risk of assassination.

Katja leaps at the chance to fulfil the sense of purpose that has always gnawed at her, and follows Serdra out into the wider world to learn from her. The woman trains her as a stealthy warrior in the Silent War; a shadowy, cloak-and-dagger conflict for the fate of humanity. Terrifying as it all is Katja truly finds herself in all of it. She was quite literally born to fight, and however much it sets her apart from normal humans she simply must embrace it.

Her baptism by fire in this endless war that cannot be won but CAN be lost is a conflict with a secret cabal of dark sorcerers. Toppled from power generations ago, they live bitterly live in scattered, isolated communities, gathering together sorcerous knowledge in between attempts to rise again and/or strike at their old enemies. As they attempt to take control of Katja’s homeland and its neighbours Katja matures into a full warrior, chiselling her own legend through grit and skill.

The Golden Throne started as just a few hundred words. I was taking part in an online short story competition, with a strict word limit and a theme of “space opera”. I mulled over how to get that space opera feeling across in such a short time, and decided to portray the final minutes of an epic, years-long civil war. Through the culmination of the fighting the POV character reflects on the events that have led to this moment, various far-flung locations and cultures, great battles, and is accompanied by various colourful types.
It was only meant to be a one-off little thing, but my muse is a very troublesome and overly active thing that does not give a damn about my writing plans or the number of hours in the day. I got seduced by those various references and the main character, and so set about telling the actual, complete story.

The result was The War of the Usurper, the first in the series. It tells the story of a nine-year war of succession, triggered by the assassination of the king of a vast space realm. His sole legitimate heir, Princess Maraka, is still only a child and gets whisked away to safety by the loyal Marshal Beren, putting a cramp in the Usurper’s plans. The tale that follows is told through the eyes of eleven very different people (the marshal, a foreign mercenary, an opportunistic rogue, a secret agent, a royal bodyguard, a duke, etc) as each of them takes part in, witnesses, or causes a flashpoint in the conflict. I found this an interesting experiment, and a very effective way to show many different angles on a very large setting. But The War of the Usurper isn’t simply an anthology: Through it all Maraka is paying attention, preparing to become queen, and being moulded by the war as she prepares to bring justice down upon the Usurper for the horrors he unleashes upon the realm.

The rest of the series follows a more familiar format: Set more than two decades down the line, it takes the form of a trilogy about Serina; Maraka’s young adult daughter and heir to the throne. Feeling overshadowed by her legendary mother and without anything meaningful to accomplish in peacetime, Serina longs for purpose. Fate gives her an opportunity as a long-lost part of inhabited space is rediscovered; wild and primitive and not controlled by any of the galaxy’s three main superpowers.

She joins a diplomatic journey there as the Realm’s representative, but disastrous events leave her stranded on her own and hunted by the Realm’s ancient enemies. The princess must fight for her life, learn to put her wits to use, and make allies on this savage frontier. And on this road she discovers a great power thought lost to the galaxy centuries ago.

The Golden Throne series is basically made up of everything I find cool about the colourful kind of science fiction: Ray guns, sword fights, magic, space battles, psychic powers, killer robots, lovable rogues, ancient derelicts, planet-killing weapons, space pirates... and I could go on. I mean, I RESPECT the kind of sci-fi that takes a realistic look at the future and/or makes us think... but come on, THIS is the fun kind. :)

And what about the future? That is, the future of my writing? Well, I do have a second sci-fi setting, called The Sea of Stars. And yes, the focus still on making it colourful, over any attempt at scientific accuracy. Because realistic sci-fi stories can do a lot of things, but they can’t give us magic sword fights on a giant battleship as it crashes into a planetary surface.

Rather than tell an ongoing saga about a single cast of characters, I intend to use the SoS setting as a general playground; telling various kinds of stories with various kinds of characters in a more standalone fashion. The first novel is about... well, you know those Han Solo/Firefly rogue types? Here I have one operating out in the further reaches of inhabited space, who finally manages to land his own ship and hire a crew for it. He sets out to start a semi-legitimate delivery business, because getting shot at by cops AND rival criminals kind of sucks, but with the fringe of civilisation being what it is he ends up getting shot at a lot anyway.

The second entry in the series... um, well it’s actually about the same bunch, but getting into some unrelated trouble. After that the series veers into its fabulously fantastic free-form formula. (I’m not normally a boasting type, I just spotted a chance for a lot of alliteration. Sorry.)

I just need to go over the manuscript and make some final touch-ups, and then I’ll be releasing the first Sea of Stars entry later this year. The second will follow soon after.

And THEN what? Well, it rather depends on whether someone agrees to publish my Lovecraftian/Gothic/fantasy mashup, but my planned projects include writing about a Tolkien-esque elf and make the sheer culture shock as one explores human realms a major focus, and I really want to explore the mindset of an immortal creature. I also want to write a multiverse fantasy/sci-fi comedy about a team including the like of a fairy tale witch whose only spell conjures gingerbread, a stoormtrooper-type who literally can’t shoot straight to save his life, and a D&D goblin who really doesn’t want to get into fights, what with being 3 feet tall.

Yeah, I’m kind of weird.

So apparently Putin has been handing out bounties to Taliban fighters for killing US troops. And Trump knew about this and neither did nor said anything.

In any, ANY, sane situation this would be a typhoon of outrage that utterly destroys him and everyone in this rat bastard's vicinity. But we're NOT in a sane situation, and at this point it wouldn't surprise me in the least if people just carry on in a week as if nothing happened.

Holy shit.

Just got back from making good on a little dream of mine.

There is a man-made forest outside of my town, just beneath a set of cliffs accessible via a steep incline from the forest. I like walking up there on good summer days, for a glorious view of the forest, the fjord, the mountains and the town in the distance.

Today I finally did something I've been wanting to do. There's rain in the foreseeable forecast, so I seized on this sunny day, put two large beer cans in a backpack along with some light snacks, cycled out to the forest, ascended the cliffs, and then sat down and sipped my beers before an amazing view. I brought a book as well.

It was great.

Huh. An earthquake just hit my town. We occasionally get small rumbles, but this one was a lot harsher. Not a building-breaker or anything, but still a pretty interesting thing to experience. My cats are upset.

I just came across this line in a book:  ;D

"Any time you start wishing for your youth back, just remember algebra."

Small Press & Self-Published / The Severed Bond
« on: June 14, 2020, 05:14:51 PM »
My new fantasy novella is now out. It has my characteristic action-adventure stuff, but also explores themes of mind control, freedom, happiness and safety.

Mentally enslaved by the otherworldly Bright Lords for three years, Irina is suddenly freed by old friends. Together they flee through the wilderness, hoping to make it to safety. On their heels are Irina’s fellow slaves, companions turned foes, intent on bringing her back into the fold. As Irina grapples with the chaos of free thoughts once again a shadowy threat gathers, and she is forced to face a monumental decision to survive it.

General Discussion / Re: I'm getting published in Romania
« on: June 12, 2020, 09:05:48 AM »
Update: Due to the Coronavirus outbreak the release for my Romanian-language book has been pushed to September. I'm not upset about; I'm just happy we're still go at all, because I was worried about that for a period.

Can I get an opinion real quick? I'm preparing an Amazon ad campaign to begin on Sunday as my new book goes live. The character limit is 150, and I'm trying to stay under even that for the sake of being succinct.

What do you think?

"A thrilling action-adventure fantasy about free will, mind control, and the price of safety"

Okay, you know what? Two days ago I decided to put myself on a ten-day break from foreign media, including a couple of subreddits. I'm very pleased with this decision. It's easy to get hooked on that emotional rush you get from seeing gross injustices, horrible crimes and other awful things, even if it is an entirely negative rush, but it sure isn't good for you.

I know is trivial in light of everything else, but occasionally culture goes through a lasting shift. And kind of like how movies no longer portray gay men as campy sissies, I wonder if we're seeing the death of the heroic cop in American cinema and TV. Because sweet Jesus, is all stuff going on in America's major cities horrible. And it cannot be carried out by "a few bad apples". It takes a culture of violence, sadism, horrible entitlement, attracting insecure bullies and a mafia-like code of silence.

And all I can do is fantasise about a superhero named Cop Smasher.

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