Hi, everyone. It’s sad to say this will be my last post as a MGC member.
Thanks to everyone who read my posts over the last few years and especially those who took the time to comment. It’s been a lot of fun and I will miss the regular responders I have come to know. Being in Australia, my Friday post was really a Saturday morning one – which might explain why my weary brain sometimes wondered a little in my responses.
I hope you have found my posts entertaining and informative. I have certainly enjoyed swapping comments with everyone, and have learn more from all of you than you did from me, I’m sure.
I’ll be continuing to blog weekly over at my website – www.chrismcmahon.net – but now on Tuesdays. As usual I will be alternating between space news and writing topics, with maybe the occasional guest blogger and review thrown in.
Thanks to all the wonderful and talented MGC members who have been so welcoming and supportive over the years, I wish them all the very best for continued success.
For those of you who have been following my Jakirian Cycle (and who happen to be in Australia at the time) you are all invited to the official launch of the three-book Heroic Fantasy series at Avid Reader in Brisbane on the 13th March 2014. Drop in for a glass of wine and help me send the series off into the big wide world.
For a last discussion, I thought it might be interesting to get you all to tell me what sort of posts you like? Are there any topics in particular that you like to read about? What sort of post length do you prefer? I prefer to read short, snappy posts that are either informative or get me thinking – the more upbeat the better. How about you?
For those who missed it the first dozen times, here is a run-down on the Jakirian Cycle. . .
The series comprises three books, The Calvanni, Scytheman, and Sorcerer. All three feature great covers by Daryl Lindquist.
Both Calvanni and Scytheman have been released as ebooks, with Sorcerer to follow in early February (I will make an announcement on my website). All are available here on Amazon.
Think Kill Bill meets Dune . . . Heroic Fantasy in world of ceramic weapons where all metal is magical . . .
In The Calvanni, the cavern-dwelling Eathal have emerged to wreak their vengeance on mankind. The fate of innocent thousands rests on finding the Scion – lost heir to the fallen Empire. The Temple has outlawed the ancient practice of Sorcery. Its Druids dominate religious and secular power, but are ill-equipped to resist an unknown evil once contained by the Emperors.
Scytheman follows on from events in The Calvanni. The city of Raynor is now in turmoil. False-Scion Osterac has declared himself heir to the fallen Empire and his supporters riot on the streets. Legions of non-human Eathal advance across the continent, destroying all in their path. The future of Yos lies in the balance and only the Scion can unite the shattered fragments of the fallen Empire. Pursued by the renegade Sorcerer Raziin, Cedrin and Ellen struggle to stay alive on a lawless continent torn by war. They are drawn toward a lethal contest for the awesome power of the Spear of Carris, where the identity of the true Scion will be revealed.
The three books follow Cedrin and Ellen as they face deeper and more hidden threats. Eventually they must face a final challenge as the most ancient secrets that bind their bloodlines are revealed.
I can’t tell you too much more about Sorcerer without spoilers.
In my fantasy world Yos, all metal is present as a magical crystal called a glowmetal. These glowmetals are a naturally occurring blend of light and metal that cannot be created or destroyed. So in the development of weapons, swords and metal armour were out. Instead I developed various classes of composite ceramic.
Lanedd – which can be used for blades. This holds a razor-sharp edge, yet avoids the brittleness of pure ceramics.
Mought – incredibly tough material that can be cast into shape as armour or used for the haft of various weapons.
The longest practical lanedd blade that can be cast using the techniques available to Glassmiths in Yos is the ‘calv’ or long-knife. This is where the world ‘calvanni’ or knife-fighter derives.
On Yos the dualist’s weapon of choice is the greatscythe. This is a staff-like weapon with twin concealed blades, one at either end. The blades shoot out and lock into place. It is operated by a mechanism central to the haft . It is also the weapon of the Suul nobility.
I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how the greatscythe worked. After all – with no forged metal – I could not very well have conventional coiled springs.
Here’s what I came up with:
The greatscythe has a central fighting grip and a release grip slightly wider than this which is operated by twisting two rings. These have a thread on the inside that operates a rod moving parallel with the axis of the greatscythe. This movement switches what is known in knife-talk as an Out-The-Front or OTF mechanism.
To make this work I needed two separate types of springs in the internal mechanism, both which had to be some sort of natural material. The first I solved with small bone ‘leaf’ springs for the catches that lock the blade into position. For the main spring that drives the blade back and forward I used a rubber strap-spring.
The greatscythe itself tapers to the ends. Two cover plates attach to a hollow cast core and cover the dual mechanisms – sealed in place with a special mought (ceramic) that melts at a much lower temperature than the mought of the haft. So if the mechanism needs to be fixed the sealing mought can be melted away to free the plate.
Anyway – that’s all from me at MGC. All the best to everyone. Stay safe and happy writing!