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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Portrayals Of Privilege In Guardians Of Aandor Series

Privilege—as a concept, a racial or economic barrier, or an unfair advantage for some—has captured the current zeitgeist's most progressive thinkers, sparking debate on the ethics of what is fair and unfair advantage. I touched upon the idea of privilege in TheGuardians of Aandor series since the feudal nature of the alternate universe lends itself easily to the discussion, though I applied a light touch so as not to be preachy. Escapist fiction (unlike literature like A Handmaid's Tale) is easier to digest when complex concepts are subtly woven into the story and do not hamper the narrative flow.

Power is hereditary in our heroes' alternate reality. Hence, privilege in its original and purest sense versus the more murky social-science construct of white privilege, which is a divisive topic and ramps discourse up to the level of argument. The constructs of white privilege do exist in the story metaphorically, though, with nonhuman races—dwarvs, centaurs, gnolls, etc.—symbolically in the role of disenfranchised/marginalized people in our world. As Man encroaches on their lands, resentment is high among the disenfranchised, and we feel this in the interactions between nonhuman and human characters. Men have drawn their maps and swallowed whole other tribes within their lines. They were able to do this because they possess sorcery. In this regard, the situation is similar to the European colonial period, with magic taking the place of advance technologies and economics. (And didn't Arthur C. Clarke say that, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.")

Friday, November 23, 2018

How To Help Your Favorite Author

Book launches are important to writers. Much like the way Nielsen Ratings uses sweeps periods throughout the year (Feb., May, July, Nov.) to determine numbers used in setting TV advertising costs, publishers use the first week of a book's sales to gauge a writer's popularity. These are the writer's die-hard fans, or fans in the subject matter of which the author is deemed to excel in writing about.

First week sales numbers determine many factors: how much more publicity money the publisher will free up to promote the book; whether they will continue to employ a writer or set him loose; and, if they do keep the writer, how much his or her next advance will be. Most authors will only make a best seller's hit in the opening week. The majority of books do not have long-term sustainability. Only a fraction of all the books ever published remain in print years after they come out.

So how can a reader help an author?

Monday, November 5, 2018


Guardians of Aandor Book III
Blood of Ten Kings
©2018 Edward Lazellari 

A prince among men

Daniel awoke in a dark wood. The queasiness, aching joints, and vertigo were bad...worse than the morning after he and Adrian snuck off with Mr. Lutz's pint of Jägermeister--which he and Adrian surmised must be the German word for Nyquil.
Daniel tried to stand up, but his head weighed fifty pounds and pressed him back on his ass--the world was two sets of swaying phantom images attempting to converge into a single picture. He closed his eyes and put his head between his knees for a moment. Then, slowly, he lifted his head and looked around.
The brush was dense and riddled with thorns and thistles that threatened to scratch out an eye and scar you like a rabid coon. A smoky haze softening the edges of the world reminded Daniel of old Hollywood movies that used nylons over the lenses to soften actresses past their prime. The forest smelled of bacon.
The last thing he remembered in the meadow was trying to help Seth and then a searing light. Then just infinite blackness--he and his friends were specks of dust flying through an immeasurable vacuum. Daniel couldn't gauge their velocity, but millions of lines of light, what he could only imagine were entire universes, riffled past like the edges of discs in a cosmic jukebox--in the deep reptilian recesses of his mind, he knew that if they'd collided with so much as a stray proton, they would be obliterated. And then they fell toward one disk...and then they were pulled toward the darkest pool in that light, like a still lake as seen from the air. It drew them like a beacon in the storm. Lelani did something--though how she could move or think in that state was beyond comprehension--she changed their course. The wizard found a stream away from the dark spot and diverted them all--but it was rough...literally fighting momentum and thrust from midair.
And then he woke up here...alone.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Blood of Ten Kings Giveaway:
Guardians of Aandor Series from TOR Books (Macmillan Publishing)
The third book in the Aandor trilogy is out on Dec. 4, 2018, and to celebrate, Goodreads is hosting a giveaway for five hardcover copies of Blood of Ten Kings, signed by the author. The giveaway runs from Nov.1 to Dec. 1, 2018. Your odds of winning are infinitely better than the Powerball, so tell your friends, sign up, and get ready to own one of the best fantasy novels of the year.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Actors Who've Played More Than One Comic Book Character

  Ever since Christopher Reeve soared as Superman on the silver screen, I thought playing a super hero in the movies was about the best job anyone could have (next to actually being a super hero, of course). Halloween is an excellent measure of our desire to play comic book hero or villain. I dare you find a party where no one is dressed as a comic book character.

Some actors, however, are doubly lucky; they managed play two, and in some cases, three characters, that originated from a comic franchise. I've ranked this list in order of character/franchise importance and screen time...actors playing a lead role are weighted heavier.

13) Laurence Fishburne

Perry White, Dr. Bill Foster (Black Goliath), Silver Surfer's voice in FF Rise of the Silver Surfer



I'm tempted to throw in Fishburne's appearances on the Pee Wee Herman Show since that was basically a comic book in TV format, but Larry's done all right for himself, legitimately playing Perry White in the recent Superman reboot, and then Dr. Bill Foster (AKA Black Goliath) in Ant-man and The Wasp


12) Jon Bernthal

The Punisher, Shane Walsh

Lest you forget, The Walking Dead started as a comic, elevating Jon Bernthal to this exclusive club with his portrayal of officer Shane Walsh. Shane to Frank Castle was not too much of a stretch, and kudos to Jon for the best and most realistic depiction of the Punisher in the character's film history.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Dark Matter Is Firefly's Heir Apparent

As far as sci-fi fans are concerned, Firefly was cancelled much too soon. Just as the show was finding its rhythm, the executives at Fox balked at the show's $3 million per episode budget and tepid Friday night ratings. Fox just didn't see its potential. Good space opera has always been costly to produce, and ratings-versus-cost is a repetitive cancelling theme when it comes to our speculative fiction entertainment--at least fans of the original StarTrek got 75 episodes out of that run. At long last, though, we have found Firefly's heir apparent; it is called Dark Matter, and it's already made it past its first season.

Lower production costs have made ambitious programming less risky. SyFy took the plunge recently and produced a plethora of new space operas: Killjoys, Dark Matter, The Expanse--but of all these new series, only Dark Matter captures Firefly's essence. The writing and show mythology only got better in season two, something Firefly never got its chance to prove.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Goodread Giveaway of Guardians of Aandor Book 1: AWAKENINGS

In association with, I am giving away signed copies of the first novel in my Guardians of Aandor series from Tor Books.

The Giveaway ends Dec. 15, 2016, so sign up today. (If there are more than 2,000 contestants, five more books will be given away in January.) 

To win a paperback copy of Book 1, Awakenings click here

“Combines crossover fantasy in the style of Charles de Lint and Mercedes Lackey with urban fantasy reminiscent of Jim Butcher in a hard knocks action tale.”—Library Journal

"This solid debut will appeal to fantasy fans looking for familiar bones under a modern skin."--Publisher's Weekly

"Awakenings in a weird, wild, adventure that heralds the arrival of a new voice in the field of science fantasy." --Ben Bova

"Lazellari's debut fantasy foretells a promising career."--Glen Cook 

Cal MacDonnell is a happily married New York City cop with a family. Seth Raincrest is a washed-up photographer who has alienated even his closest friends. The two have nothing in common—except that they both suffer from retrograde amnesia. It’s as if they just appeared out of thin air thirteen years ago, and nothing has been able to restore their memories. Now their forgotten past has caught up to them with a vengeance.

You may find the series anywhere novels are sold.

These books are available at

 Book 3, Blood of Ten Kings, Coming Soon

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pushing The Envelope In Fiction; Navigating A PC-Centric Media Universe

[This article was originally published at]

So you're going to be a writer? Awesome. You are never going to please everyone, so own it; the thin-skinned have no business being authors (or auteurs). Words have put the most popular and successful authors on the painful side of a controversy (Sometimes it's intentional.) That said...keep an open mind to the opinions of critics and friends. If you are going to create fictional scenarios that skirt the edge of mass acceptance, know why you are writing those actions. When George R.R. Martin decided to have brother and sister lovers in Game of Thrones, he was setting up the premise of the entire series. The question of legitimate authority and unraveling of Westeros as a society came out of that relationship. Everything that happens in your story, no matter how taboo, should serve the narrative.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Writing Through Hurricanes, Grumpy Spouses, And Maniacal Bosses: Finding Your Default Self

 [The following blog was first published at mylifemybooksmyescape on  Monday Aug. 29th, 2016.]

The universe is trying to keep you from writing. It will throw all manner of distraction and chaos at you, bind you with obligations--girlfriends who cry neglect, boyfriends who threaten to step out on your monogamy, bosses who insist that your not getting the work done in 40 hours is your fault not the workload. You will try to reason with the universe, work out a mutual arrangement where you borrow three hours here and two hours there to ply your craft--but the universe is a fickle bitch that knows full well you need uninterrupted blocks of time with which to craft your tales--time to let your story ferment and then time for revisions. You need a thousand hours to write two hundred decent pages. Lie to the universe, steal the time you need, sacrifice personal pleasure and socializing, and then maybe...maybe, you will have a story of note at the end of the run.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Guardians of Aandor Movie Casting Game

What author doesn't dream of having their work translated into another medium? Now that the final manuscript to the trilogy has been turned in, people are asking when we'll see a Guardians of Aandor movie? My people are  working to make that happen. But I thought it might be fun to play Hollywood casting director in the meantime and cast characters from Awakenings and The Lost Prince based on Hollywood's current talent crop. [Spoilers for those who have not read the series]