Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

I’m in Germany!

by Ty Franck

Well, stuff I wrote is.  So that seems pretty cool.  I’m curious why they didn’t use our awesome Dociu cover.


Just in case you were wondering…

by Daniel Abraham

We aren’t actually dead. We’ve just got massive deadlines coming.  Both Ty and I will be back on the blog shortly with deep insights and occasional buffoonery sometime after Friday.


First Caliban’s War review!

by Ty Franck

It looks like Publisher’s Weekly liked it.

I especially like that they are “itching for the third book.”  I guess that means we did it right.

Don’t skip to the end or anything, but I came up with the last line of this book, and I think it’s the coolest thing I ever did.  It’s all downhill after this.


First Reviews of King’s Blood

by Daniel Abraham

So far, people seem to like it.


Launching The King’s Blood

by Daniel Abraham


EDIT: Well, as always, it’s a little more complex than I’d thought.  King’s Blood is out today in the UK.  The US, a little less certain.  Let’s call this one Real Soon Now and celebrate accuracy over precision.


Well, it looks like The King’s Blood:  Book Two of The Dagger and the Coin is out in the UK tomorrow and in the US the day after that.  This is that nervous part where I’m right on the edge of the diving board.  By about this time next week, I’ll have the first week sales figures, a handful of the first reviews, and a better idea of whether the project’s taking wing.

On sale . . . holy crap, now? You mean like now now? Okay. Now.

I started working on The Dagger and the Coin pretty quickly after I finished the Long Price Quartet books, but I didn’t just sit down and start pounding out words.  I spent a lot of time talking to my friends and colleagues here in New Mexico about what epic fantasy is, what it’s strengths are, and how to engage with them.  I had a day-long meeting up at Melinda Snodgrass’ place with folks like Ian Tregillis, S. M. Stirling, Walter Jon Williams, George RR Martin, and Ty Franck where we pretty much sat around and chewed over what these projects are.  Then I had a massive plotbreaking session at my place with some of those folks and also Carrie Vaughn which was especially remarkable in that the house was struck by lightning in the middle of it.  On the up side, no one died.

The Dagger and the Coin was and is a difficult and rewarding project for me, because I’m trying something really difficult.  When I wrote The Long Price Quartet, I wanted to do something really original.  Something that I hadn’t ever seen in the genre.  Or anywhere else, really.  I’m very pleased with how it came out, and the folks who actually managed to track down a copy of Price of Spring and read the quartet all the way to the end have tended to be very positive about it.  (For those of y’all that haven’t, Tor will be printing up an omnibus trade paper edition later in the year, so Price of Spring is about to be a lot more available than it has been before.)  The Dagger and the Coin wasn’t about striking out for new territory.  It was about taking something familiar and making it feel new, and I took my lessons from Babylon 5.

I am a massive Babylon 5 fan, and two things I admire the most about that series were that it knew it’s own structure — if you finish the series and then go back and watch the pilot episode, almost everything that plays out over the next five years is laid out right there at the beginning — and that it took whatever it thought was cool and stole it, and most of the time, it didn’t even bother to scrape off the VIN number.  Psicops from The Demolished Man?  Cool, and what’s more, name the main guy Bester.  The evil place where a character falls into a pit and is reborn more powerful than before?  Well, Gandalf fell into Khazad-dum.  How about we drop Sheridan into a pit on Z’ha’dum.  Sounds almost the same.  I had never seen anyone steal so blatantly or so successfully.  Yes, okay, some of the scripts weren’t great, and some of the acting was among the most painful ever put to film, and you pretty much need to get through the whole first season tipsy and fast in order to stand the worst of it.  When I got to the end, I felt satisfied.

I was talking with Ty the other day about a short story we’re working on, and what he said was that those moments of satisfaction, of coming to the end of something and feeling that what you’ve just been through meant something, that it have you what you were looking for from it, is the gold we’re mining for when we do this.  I managed with the Long Price books.  I hope I will with The Dagger and the Coin.    I like how it’s going so far.  I’ve done what Babylon 5 did and taken things I thought were cool, even though my list was a little different.  I took Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen and Walter Tevis’ The Queen’s Gambit and Tim Park’s Medici Money and Macbeth and Firefly and Babylon 5.  I got my magic system from Joseph Gobbels and Karl Rove.  I put in the players from Hamlet.  I put in Torve the Trog in different drag from Panshin’s.  I made a whole range of exotic races and a world with the bones of dragons and great cities and strange ruins.  I put in people had no reason to like and made them likable.  I put in violence and sorrow and adventure and sex.

I’m finishing up the third book in the series right now, so the things that happen in The King’s Blood, I’m seeing bear fruit.  And I hope, hope, hope that people enjoy this.  Because I’m having a blast.

So if you’re interested, come check out what I’ve got so far.  If you haven’t gotten it yet, there’s The Dragon’s Path ( amazon | BN | indiebound) and The King’s Blood ( amazon | BN | indiebound ).  Also the first omnibus of the Long Price Quartet’s out ( amazon  | BN | indiebound ), and the second one’s coming.

And then, because you’re on a roll:

Medici Money ( amazon | BN | indiebound )

The Diary of a Man in Despair ( amazon | indiebound )

The Queen’s Gambit ( amazon | BN | indiebound )

You can thank me later.


Locus Awards

by Ty Franck

Looks like Daniel and I will be hitting the Locus Awards show this year, after our surprising Best SF Novel nomination.  If you’re in the Seattle area during the event, let us know.  We’re always up for hanging out in a bar.

And a huge thank you to anyone who voted for  us.  We are humbled by the support we’re getting.  I mean, I was humble anyway, but Daniel could have used a little more humbling, and boy is he getting it with all this support, so thanks.


Daniel will NOT be there, as he’s teaching a writing class that weekend.  So it’s just me in the bar.


A Dribble of Historical Accuracy ‘n’ stuff

by Daniel Abraham

If y’all are interested in it, I have a post up on A Dribble of Ink about historical accuracy and epic fantasy.  I am, at best, skeptical.

1 Comment


by Ty Franck

Publishing is changing.  It used to be that the normal publication cycle was a hardcover release, followed by a mass market paperback.  Our publisher is Orbit, for the Expanse series and Daniel’s Dagger and Coin.  In the US, they do a simultaneous release of trade paperbacks and ebooks, with no hardcover release.   Ebooks are killing the mass market paperback, as they take the role of the disposable book.  Trade paperbacks don’t suffer from the frankly stupid stripping returns rules that mass markets do, so they make more sense for physical copies.  And hardcovers are expensive and are less likely to be impulse buys.

All that being said, though, there are people who just like hardcovers.   If you are one of those people, and would really like a hardcover of Leviathan Wakes, the only place to get it (right now) is the venerable Science Fiction Book Club.  I have two hardcover copies of Leviathan Wakes that I bought through the book club, and they look great.  The club is also going to be releasing hardcover editions of Caliban’s War, so if you want a matching set, they’re the place to go.


The Dogs Project: Two More Critiques (and a final status update)

by Daniel Abraham

What is the Dog’s Project?

Okay, a couple more critiques have rolled in, which I will share with you now.

First, from New York Times bestelling urban fantasy author Carrie Vaughn:


I read your blogs posts, but not the story as you were posting it, any more than a skim-through.  I also skimmed the two critiques that went up, but only after I read the story myself.  So I know what you said you were doing with this, and the overall project and such.  I have a feeling my reading might have been different if I hadn’t known — the metaphor was foregrounded for me because I knew about it, but I imagine it’s like Christianity in Narnia.  If you don’t know to look for it, it’s not as clear.  That’s where I’m at.

Continue reading ›

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Found in the Daily Find

by Daniel Abraham

It’s a short-time sale, but your friends and mine at Barnes and Noble are making the ebook version of Dragon’s Path their Daily Find today.  That means you can get the book for a big $2.99 AND it’s got a copy of the Hugo nominated Leviathan Wakes along with it as an extra.

Or if you’re a Kindle aficionado, you can grab it at the same price from Amazon.

Thing is, it’s a one-day sale.  So tell your friends and neighbors that if they’ve been thinking about Dragon’s Path or just want to get a jump on their Hugo reading, this here’s your big chance.

The blog will now return to its less obviously advertisey content.  (grin)

UPDATE:  iTunes has also followed suit.