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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.