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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Il s'agit sans doute d'une des plus belles créations de la sword and sorcery moderne."

High praise from over the water from

Cette fois ci je vais vous parler de Michael Ehart. Cet auteur préside au destinée d'une série de sword and sorcery qui comprend une petite dizaine de nouvelles. Cette série "la servante de la Manthychore" a pour cadre la Mésopotamie antique à l'époque des royaumes sumeriens et akkadiens. Son héroïne a été maudite par la Mathychore et condamnée à l'immortalité elle doit nourrir le monstre semi divin en lui procurant des corps et des âmes (généralement corrompues, les âmes, je veux dire). Le plus cher désir de Ninshi l'héroïne est d'être délivrée de sa malédiction et de retrouver son bien aimé qui est lui aussi affligé de la même charge. Au cours de ses pérégrinations, Ninshi fait la connaissance d'une jeune esclave Miri qu'elle va affranchir et adopter. Six des nouvelles de cette série ont été réunie en reccueil dont quatre précédemment publiées par le webzine Sword Review. Mais Ehart continue a conter les aventures de son héroïne notamment dans les colonnes de Flashing Swords ainsi que dans divers magazine small press. Bien que n'ayant lu que quelques unes de ces histoires, je souhaite que très prochainement un éditeur français s'y intéresse. Il s'agit sans doute d'une des plus belles créations de la sword and sorcery moderne. Michael Moorcock ne s'y est d'ailleurs pas trompé. Ehart est un de ses chouchous du moment.

My best babel fish assisted lousy translation:

"I will speak to you about Michael Ehart. This author governs the destiny of a series of sword and sorcery which includes ten short stories. This series “The Maidservant of the Manthychore” has as a framework ancient Mésopotamia at the time of the kingdoms of the Sumeriens and Akkadians. Its heroine was cursed by the Manthychore and condemned to immortality, she must feed the semi-divine monster by getting bodies and hearts to him (generally corrupted, the hearts, I want to say).
The dearest desire of Ninshi, the heroine, is to be freed of its curse and to find her lover who is also cursed. During her travels, Ninshi meets a young slave girl, Miri, whom she will frees and adopts.
Six tales of this series were joined together in order including four previously published by the webzine Sword Review. But Ehart continues to tell the adventures of its heroine, in particular in Flashing Swords and in various similar magazines. Although having read only some of these stories, I wish that very soon a French editor might be interested in it. It is undoubtedly one of most beautiful creations of the modern sword and sorcery. Michael Moorcock was not mistaken there. Ehart is one of the pets of the moment."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Love for "Jermaish the King" at the Fix

Very kind words indeed from Chris Butler in his review of issue #10 of Flashing Swords:

There is a school of thought that says that the best story in any collection should be placed as the next to last. I’m not sure I agree with this as it seems to me to be leaving it far too late, but certainly “The First Trial of Jermaish the King” by Michael Ehart is a real treat and one of the best here.

Ninshi and her adoptive daughter, Miri, are requested to travel to the aid of King Jermaish. Ninshi has a fearsome reputation, the truth to it being “much grimmer than even the songs.” She has lived forty lifetimes and has “been taken in bondage by a dreadful monster, which every few moons compelled her to lure men into the desert and kill them for it to feed upon.” Nevertheless, it seems that there is some history between Ninshi and Jermaish, and so she will help him in his time of need.

On arrival at the city of Ikizepe, Ninshi and Miri learn that a terrible killing force is loose in the city. Any woman who has not given birth to a child is at risk of being viciously killed. Ninshi formulates a plan to discover the killer or killers. The trail has twists and turns, a terrific fight with a genuinely scary creature (no stock werewolves or zombies here), and a convincing motivation for the killings. This is excellent work by Ehart, with memorable characters and sure-footed plotting. It is a murder mystery, of course. But also a terrific fantasy adventure.

The entire issue is good reading, and with Flashing Swords it is important to remember that the print version is only available for a limited time, so scoot over and get yours!

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Without Napier" illustrated for interview

My story "Without Napier" was so well recieved that EDF interviewed me. The interview is here:

Many of our readers singled out Michael Ehart’s Without Napier as one of the best stories that we’ve published so far, and sent it soaring up EDF’s “Top Stories” list. Not surprisingly, the story placed as April’s most-read story. Michael graciously agreed to be interviewed, and we’ve included it below.

They also commissioned an outstanding illustration from Lindsay Joy. I have to say, it perfectly captures the feel of Yardi's grief and puzzlement at his change in position with the death of Napier. Once again, I am blessed by an artist who captures exactly the right moment and mood of a story.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Like a duck

Sometimes when it seems like nothing is happening on the suface, my little web feet are paddling like mad. Tons of things going on and coming up, including one of my personal career goals, a signing at Powell's Books in Beaverton on July 1st at 7PM with fellow RotS writers Allen Lloyd, Jeff Draper and Nathan Meyer.
Here's the map:

Also, sometime in the next few days an interview at Every Day Fiction. I'll link that when it is up, but my story "Without Napier" was the most viewed of the month, and your votes pushed it into the top 25 list there. If you haven't read it, give it a peek!
And even more good stuff to announce later in the month!

Friday, May 02, 2008

"The First Trial of Jermaish the King" up at Flashing Swords

Flashing Swords #10 is up. Some really good fiction this time, including another "Servant" story--- "The First Trial of Jermaish the King" --- Those who have read the book know all about Jermaish. It's funny, I get more mail about him than any onther character except Ninshi and Miri. I suspect there are a great many women who have known a man like Jermaish, and strangely most of the letters and emails have encouraged me to put him in another story and then kill him off.
Wel, then, Jermaish is back...

Great review of Return of the Sword at the Fix

Some very kind words from Janice Clark :

Ninshi does not enjoy killing, but she does what she must and is very good at it. One would expect, given the nature of her servitude, that she would by now have grown bitter and cynical. Yet she shows far more compassion than the priests, who will do nothing to aid another if there’s no profit in it for them. Ehart likes to weave biblical references into his stories—besides the references to Noah and the Ark, I see a hint of the parable of the Good Samaritan in this one. Nicely done.

Thanks for the kind words, Janice!