Happy St. Stephen’s Day
My presents (lit by dragon fire or a Martian heat ray) included:
-The Thorin key, which will be handy if I ever come across a certain Lonely Mountain on Durin’s Day.
-The soundtrack to The Hobbit. The dwarves’ folk song on the Misty Mountains is stunning. Tolkien, of course, knew what folk songs were like when he penned the lyrics. Now, people who have a true sensitivity to that art have put it to music. You can listen to a sample here.
-The book is The Martian War by Kevin J. Anderson. It’s his retelling of The War of The Worlds. If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I’m doing a mashup of the same story.
This is an important concept: Have enough confidence in your own writing that you know you will not copy if you read something similar. This does not just apply to mashups—if you’ve written a science fiction novel about space battles, read something by John Hemry. If you’ve written a historical fantasy set in ancient Greece or Rome, find one of those to read. Benefit from the experience, but make sure none of your scenes accidentally look too similar.
Anderson originally published The Martian War some years ago under a pen name, so I didn’t know how hard I would have to search for a copy. Fortunately for me, it’s been reprinted—and with this nice cover.