Fantasy-Faction Reviews ‘Exile: The Book of Ever’

Exile AMZN-EPUBThe award-winning fantasy website Fantasy-Faction reviewed Exile: The Book of Ever Part 1 and liked it!  The review was part of Mark Lawrence’s Great Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (#SPFBO), an ongoing tournament-style competition where a number of well-known genre websites review and choose the best of a long list of self-published fantasy novels.  Sonia Grace of Fantasy-Faction gave Exile 3.5 out of 5 stars, and had this, among other things, to say:

James Cormier’s Exile pleasantly surprised me…Cormier’s story grabbed my attention right away, and within a chapter I realized that I’d be reading the whole thing without putting it down.

The writing was solid and the characters had distinct voices and personalities. I loved the post-apocalyptic setting in particular; it was well thought out and well executed. I hope that in future books we learn more about the history of what actually caused the collapse of the world, because the bits of knowledge we got were extremely cool.

Read the full review at

You can find Exile on Amazon in ebook and paperback formats.  It’s also available free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

You can find Mark Lawrence’s work anywhere books are sold.  Follow the hashtag #SPFBO on Twitter for up-to-the-moment information on the contest and the front-runners.

Top Ten Things That Are Annoying the Shit Out of Me Right Now

10.  This fucking Boston heat.

Because fuck, man.

9.  Donald Trump.

Because what the.

8.  Styrofoam packing peanuts.

Because the fact that they’re bad for the environment only exacerbates how fucking annoying they are.

7.  Squirrels ripping open my trash bags and dumping styrofoam packing peanuts all over my lawn.

I’m this close to buying a gun.

6.  Baby Boomers.

Ugh.  I mean, present company excluded and everything, but ugh.

5.  Mac OSX Migration Assistant.

14 fucking hours?  Are you fucking kidding me?  Are you for serious right now?  What the fuck is a Thunderbolt cable?

4.  The word “fleek.”

This post is on fleek.  But fuck you for thinking so.

3.  Comcast.

Are you Comcast?  Are you Xfinity?  And now you have the NBC peacock logo over your name…who can keep up with this shit?  What is the name of your fucking company?  And why is my bill so goddamn high?

2.  Restaurant owners who yell at toddlers.

No.  Just shut–just stop.  Just stop.  No, nope.  No.  You’re wrong.

1.  NBC canceling Hannibal.

The show was just starting to get really good, and they go and pull it.  WTF.

It Doesn’t Really Matter If the Movie Is Faithful to the Original

io9 reported today on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con called “Studio Production Chiefs Speak,” highlighting a quote from Drew Crevello, senior vice president at Warner Bros.:

“You need at least one, if not two, people in the process to be true passionate fans—not because that ensures reverence, [but because] those are the ones who are best positioned to know, ‘Okay, this is a different medium and you have to diverge [from the source material], and have the courage to do that. [When I worked on] X-Men: First Class and Deadpoool [at Fox], and now with Akira and Stephen King’s The Stand, you have to have reverence for the material—but also, the courage to make the bold creative choices that you just know the fans will come along with you for.”

It makes sense that studios think this way.  Before Crevello said this, his fellow panelist Jim Miller of Lionsgate had just commented that “Loyalty to the source material is the most important thing. There’s a reason these things are popular, and to diverge from what made them popular [in the first place] would be a huge mistake.”  Agreed.  But I think that we can all agree that movie studios are not in the business of being faithful to beloved source material.  They’re in the business of making money, and if they see an opportunity to do so, or to adapt the source material better for the medium of film, then they’re going to take it.  The best possible approach we can expect them to have is what Crevello’s saying: they hire diehard fans to assist with the process so that they don’t stray too far.

We tend to think of diehard fans as being the ones most likely to demand strict adherence to the source material, but the reality is this: diehard fans are the ones for whom no adaption will ever replace the source material.  For these purists, there will never be any danger of any adaptation surpassing the original, because the original is already perfect.

True diehard fans of The Lord of the Rings, for instance, realize that the novels J.R.R. Tolkien wrote are inherently unfilmable.  There’s no way to adapt them perfectly, nor should anyone try.  You may love the Peter Jackson movies and believe they were as faithful to the books as possible, or as any film adaptation was likely to be, and you’d be right.  But being a fan of the movies doesn’t make you a fan of the books, and vice versa.  They’re not the same thing at all.

It makes sense, then, that movie studios want diehard fans on their team for the reason Crevello stated.  Diehard fans are more able to step back and say, “Starting with the presumption that all of this is basically just bullshit, that nothing will ever replace the original, what can we do to make this work in this new medium?”  They’re able to identify the tenets of the source material, the defining bones of it, and in so doing they’re able to identify what can be sacrificed or changed.

The underlying question when critiquing any adaptation should be “Did they capture the essence of the original?” not “Is it exactly the same as the original?” (or, even worse, “Is it exactly as I imagined it?”).  There are certainly arguments to be made that poor adaptations reduce the overall value of the original, since they potentially limit the original’s growth, but that’s another issue entirely, and I can think of an equal number of counterarguments for it.

For the true fan, the adaptation is only ever a diversion from the real thing.

‘The Doktor’s Spyglass’ Now Updated Every Tuesday and Thursday

The Doktors SpyglassAfter doing a bit of research and reconsidering my writing process, I’ve decided to change the way I’m serializing The Doktor’s Spyglass.

Instead of a whole chapter every two weeks to a month, I’ll be updating it biweekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays with smaller sections of writing.

This way you’ll get more story, more often, which is how Wattpad readers in particular seem to like it.

You can read The Doktor’s Spyglass for free on

Introducing ‘The Doktor’s Spyglass’

The Doktors SpyglassI’ve decided to take something I’ve been working on and serialize it.  It started as a short story but has turned into something quite a bit more interesting.

The Doktor’s Spyglass is a fantasy detective novel, and will be available a chapter at a time on Wattpad.  I will update it with new chapters periodically, but no less often than once a month.

Here’s the blurb:

When an eccentric inventor is reported dead, consulting detective Irik Thijis is called in to investigate. He soon discovers that Doktor Keynish Helg is not as dead as he seems, and that something much stranger than simple murder is afoot.

The Inspection Service of the holy city of Oridos is about as useful as a horseless carriage when it comes to solving crimes, and Thijis is used to sorting out their cases for them. But what he discovers lurking in the Doktor’s mansion soon finds them all out of their depth.

As Thijis probes deeper into his strangest case yet, he realizes that blood and death are only the opening gambit in a play that may cost him not only his livelihood, but his life.

If you like steampunk, noir stories, and hard boiled, harder nosed gumshoes, you’ll probably like this.

The first chapter of The Doktor’s Spyglass is available now on Wattpad.

‘Exile’ Featured on Benjamin of Tomes

Booktuber Benjaminoftomes recently read and reviewed Exile: Part 1 of the Book of Ever on his YouTube channel.  Check it out below:

1980s Fantasy Movies That Influenced A Young Me

342613Gather around children, and let Old Nuncle Jim tell you a tale.  Selfie sticks down.  Turn your phones on vibrate.  Pass me my beer and turn that Queen album back up.  Ahem.  That’s better.

There was a time, long before iPhones, long before the Internet, prior even to the advent of the DVD and stadium seating in movie theaters, when fantasy movies were not the big budget blockbusters they are today.  Before Peter Jackson was ordained from on high to grace us with a (relatively) faithful, three-film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, fantasy as a genre in Hollywood was pretty dead.  The 1990s in particular was a drought of fantasy so extreme that people did crazy things, like listen to Limp Bizkit and dance the Macarena (Wikipedia those if you have questions).  There weren’t even any good B movies; the fantasy movie-going public were left with pitiful dregs the likes of Dragonheart, Kull the Conqueror, and Encino Man.  (Just kidding about that last one.  Encino Man is a documentary about Pauly Shore.)

But let’s go back a decade, to a more magical time: the 1980s.  Yes, that one, the one you know from theme parties and Taylor Swift’s new album.  The one with music made by people older than your parents.  This was Nuncle Jim’s early childhood, a time of Transformers and Capri Sun and Ronald Reagan.  People still smoked cigarettes indoors, back then, and there were payphones.  There were actually quite a few fantasy movies made during the ’80s.  It was a good time for fantasy, in the sense that at least it was getting made.  This was probably due both to legitimate popularity (a lot of modern classic fantasy novels were written or begun in the 1980s), and the fact that Hollywood still made movies that weren’t expected to make $1 billion internationally.  Like I said, it was a different time.

And in addition to all the wonderful books Nuncle Jim read, there were lots of wonderful (and not so wonderful) movies that he watched that influenced the geeky course of his life going forward.  And if he’s being honest, he probably owes just as much to these pulpy, low-budget films as he does to the books he’s read.  So here’s a list of the ones that stand out in Nuncle Jim’s memory.

I will now end this belabored narrative device and switch to the first person, so as to list the influential movies in question, which are listed with a short explanation in no particular order.

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