Farewell to MGC

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!

25 comments

  1. Best of luck! I’m sure I’ll poke around your end of the internet from time to time. (But being a chronic lurker, that may be difficult to tell… >_>; )

    I can say that I’m more likely to respond to posts that ask about my general experiences/process. There’s no “wrong” answer. Someone’s not going to come along and say what I would have, only better. Trolls have little to hook onto. There’s no real temptation to try to be witty and have it fall flat. 😉

    1. Thanks, CR. I also find talking about people’s writing approaches endlessly fascinating – so many different ways to craft a story. Amazing really.

      Cheers!

  2. I’ve been awed by all of you, who can find something to blog about every week. My well of ideas runs dry way too fast!
    I wish I were in Australia for the book launch. Good luck.
    I’ve always enjoyed the space posts, and the speculation that comes from them.

    1. Thanks, Pam. I’ve enjoyed swapping posts with you over the years and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the space posts. I love speculating about space technology and the possibilities those developments open up – it’s nice to share that with people who are equally frustrated by the pace of space exploration. I’ll continue to do space posts over at my website on Tuesdays (amongst other things:)), http://www.chrismcmahon.net – another wordpress blog. Feel free to drop by!

      Best of luck with all your writing projects!

  3. Dear Chris,
    I have really enjoyed getting to know you and your writing processes through your posts here at MGC. You will be missed! I have long enjoyed both your writing and space posts, and will be checking your personal blog in the future.
    All the best,
    Laura

    1. Thanks, Laura. I’ve enjoyed swapping comments with you and I’m glad you also enjoyed the space posts. It’s nice to share what you enjoy:) I look forward to seeing you over at my website blog (www.chrismcmahon.net) all the best!

  4. Hi Chris,
    I’m sorry to see you go, as it were. I’ve enjoyed the first part of The Calvanni. (Life interrupted my reading. Imagine that.)

    As for blog posts, I like a variety – some news, the occasional meditation, and intermittent rants just to keep things interesting.

    1. Hi, TXRed. I’ve enjoyed swapping comments with you and enjoyed hearing about your projects and your unique worlds and worldbulding. Let me know when your stories are available – I want to read them!

      Thanks for picking up a copy of Calvanni. I’m not sure if you are reading electronically or not, but I’ll be releasing the third book, Sorcerer, as an ebook next week. As part of the promotion, I’ll be setting up a free ebook giveaway for the second book Scytheman. I’ll post details on my website.

      All the best & Keep Writing!

      1. If you look up Alma Boykin at Amazon or B&N, you’ll find them. The long-awaited (by me) novel about the Azdhagi should be out in late March.

        I’m reading your books electronically for now. I think I’m going to be getting a few more copies to give to friends.

      2. Third book next week – okay, noted. Still have to finish book 1! Must read faster! (Or internet less. Hmm.)

        Good luck with everything, and thanks for all the fish! (er, posts…)

        1. Hi, Dorothy. Hope you’re enjoying the story. You know I don’t think Douglas Adams ever explained how the dolphins managed to leave Earth before it exploded:)

  5. Have a good life outside the Mad Geniuses, Chris. I know it can be rough when you’re trying to juggle everything – I have trouble pulling a post out of my anatomy each week myself.

    We’ll miss you.

  6. I want to echo what Kate said, Chris. We’ll miss you and I hope you’ll drop by when you have a chance and let us know how you’re doing.

    1. I certainly will drop by, Amanda. You guys do a great job of keeping the wheels turning and keeping a finger on the pulse of the writing world. I also respect your stance and advocacy of independent writers and publishing. All power to you!

  7. Why does the great scythe have concealed bits?

    Is it so that the blades can be kept safe in day to day handling?

    1. The mechanism allows the weapon to be transformed from a heavy staff, a non-lethal weapon, into a very lethal pole weapon in one motion. My concept for the weapon is that each blade can be extended independantly. They can also be released in combat – effectively extending its reach to the surprise (and detriment) of the opponent.

      1. Along those lines, you might like this fifty-caliber, recoil-operated scythe from the pseudo anime RWBY by Monty Oum.
        (Not safe for those who like their werewolves un-bisected.)

          1. Glad you liked it. Monty Oum is best known for his fan-made 3d animation “Dead Fantasy” which is a six episode ongoing fight between the characters from Dead or Alive and Final Fantasy. The four promos for RWBY are all similarly awesome, although rendered in a cel-shaded style. The actual show, produced by Roosterteeth, falls a little short, sending the characters to a Monster-hunter school, but there are one or two battles in it where Oum’s fight choreography really shines.

  8. Sorry to see you go, Chris. I enjoyed your space posts. I know they didn’t get a lot of comments (nothing to fight about!) but I loved reading them.

  9. Fair winds, clear skies sir. I’ve enjoyed the science, the space, and the stories. *grin* What more can a man ask for?

    Luck to you, and may it often be good (because always almost never happens).

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