Thursday, 22 January 2015

SFFSat 24/1/2015 Sorrel in Silver

This is my snippet this week for SFFSat. SFFSat is a place where a number of authors post snippets from their written works, and give the opportunity for comments, support and encouragement. Please also explore the other blogs that are part of this set - you can find the information here. 


This is another snippet from Sorrel in Silver. Last week I posted a dangerous battle between dragons. This week's battle isn't quite so serious. My heroine is standing in the snow, talking to an engineer, Jordil, about work on her snowbound aeroplane...


I lifted my hand and opened my mouth, intending to say that I could help, when something slammed into the back of my neck. I staggered, turned, and a second snowball hit the side of my face. Ten yards away stood Kelhene, a real grin on her face, hefting a third snowball. Jordil laughed. I bowed to the inevitable and dived sideways so that Kelhene's third missile missed. My hands scooped up a decent missile of my own, and I flung myself in pursuit of the blonde woman.
We spent a wonderful half hour chasing each other around the mansion's formal gardens, pelting one another with snow, diving for cover behind hedges and defenceless statues. All right, so we were being childish. So what? We had fun. And Kelhene actually smiled and laughed.
By the time we retreated indoors we were both shivering, soaked by melted snow, our fingers blue from cold and our faces flushed. We thawed out in front of the fire in the small retiring room, with the aid of a glass of brandy apiece and some more laughter.


As always, comments appreciated.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

SFFSat 17/1/2015 Sorrel in Silver

This is my snippet this week for SFFSat. SFFSat is a place where a number of authors post snippets from their written works, and give the opportunity for comments, support and encouragement. Please also explore the other blogs that are part of this set - you can find the information here. 


Sorrel in Silver is now on sale on Amazon! This snippet carries on from last week - Wrack and Starron, another dragonlord are locked in combat in Wrack's Great Hall - Sorrel is watching from concealment on the gallery above.




Blood welled from the savage gash. Wrack twisted sharply and flung himself to one side. Starron tore at the membrane of Wrack's wing with a claw, but Wrack slammed his head into the other dragon's chest and sent Starron staggering away, blood spattering across the carvings on the wooden pillars. A moment later the red dragon plowed into him again, head swinging sideways as he hammered against Starron's dark blue scales like a croquet mallet hitting a soft toy. The pair disappeared beneath me. There was a heavy impact against one of the pillars holding up the gallery. The wooden slats below me jolted and I froze, afraid the whole structure would come crashing down. A flicker of orange fire momentarily lit up the entire chamber; now I was terrified of being barbecued. Below me, Wrack's voice rang out, tinged in fury. 'Volg it, Starron! Trying to burn my house down?'
I grabbed the chance to shuffle back and left towards the door. I was confident Wrack had the upper hand. The fact that Starron had resorted to breathing fire suggested Starron thought so, too. His inarticulate, strangled response to Wrack's anger suggested Wrack wasn't letting Starron breathe fire – or air, for that matter.

As always, comments appreciated.


Friday, 9 January 2015

SFFSat 10/1/2015 Sorrel in Silver

This is my snippet this week for SFFSat. SFFSat is a place where a number of authors post snippets from their written works, and give the opportunity for comments, support and encouragement. Please also explore the other blogs that are part of this set - you can find the information here. 


Sorrel in Silver is now on sale on Amazon! This snippet is from Chapter Eight - Wrack is confronting another dragonlord, Starron - they are fighting.

 
My dragon was too fast, twisting sideways so that the blue dragon's jaws closed on empty space. Wrack thrust his wing forward and drove the elbow joint into Starron's gut, making his opponent gasp and draw back, winded by the brutal impact. Wrack didn’t let him break away. He dived forward and headbutted the blue-scaled dragon, using the vicious spikes that jutted from the top of his head to carve red weals into his opponent's hide.
But Starron was no weakling. He ignored the gory damage and lashed out with his wing, trying to cave in Wrack's skull. The blow connected, but Wrack has a hard head; I'd tried beating sense into him more than once, and had a pretty good idea of how much force it took to get him to take notice. Wrack didn’t even flinch. Instead, his tail whistled through the air like a whip, snapping hard against Starron's flank. The scaled hide was undamaged, but Starron kicked back viciously, catching Wrack's left leg below the knee. Wrack stumbled, his leg clearly numbed by the impact, and Starron flung himself forward, his teeth sinking into the soft flesh of Wrack's exposed throat. Blood welled from the savage gash. 

 Will Wrack survive? As always, comments appreciated.
 

Freedom of Speech


Everyone has a right to speak their mind. Sometimes, like Anjem Choudary after the Charlie Hebdo murders, people will say things I profoundly disagree with. But in a free society they have a right to say things even if I loathe their words and thoughts and find them deeply offensive. Even a man like Anjem Choudary who preaches the worst kinds of bigotry and hatred has the right to speak out.

However much I disagree with some people's sentiments, I do not have the right to shoot anyone for speaking their mind. Nigel Farage is equally offensive to me, but he too has a right to speak. We must not let that right to freedom of speech be taken from us by cowards and murderers. Yes, sometimes free speech will offend people. I can sympathise with Muslims who found these cartoons offensive. Equally, though, there are Muslims - or people like Anjem Choudary who claim to be Muslims - who say things I think are offensive, too. But freedom of speech means just that.

Charlie Hebdo may well have insulted Muslims. They also insulted Catholics, Jews, politicians of all complexions, environmentalists, right wing extremists, financiers, Baptists, journalists, homosexuals, heterosexuals, people of a confused disposition and cartoonists. I'm not particularly a fan of Charlie Hebdo - but it has every right to exist. We will not let freedom of speech be lost. If you feel insulted by someone, respond in kind - a cartoon for a cartoon. But bullets will not stop us speaking freely.

Je suis Charlie.


Monday, 5 January 2015

Snarqs and Triplanes



This blog is called Dragons and Triplanes - but I haven't actually featured that many examples of either. So here we have a triplane under attack by a snarq, one of the two-headed, acid-spitting flying reptiles from Sorrel's world. It may not be a dragon, but it's close enough!

I created the picture in Poser, with the same triplane model that I used on the cover of Sorrel Snowbound.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Yes, the picture is real, it is not photoshopped, and it was taken in snowy weather early in 2013 less than twenty yards from our house. We have a mammoth. I would say it's cool, but it's too awful a pun.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 12 December 2014

SFFSat 13/12/2014 Sorrel in Silver

This is my snippet this week for SFFSat. SFFSat is normally a place where a number of authors post snippets from their written works, and give the opportunity for comments, support and encouragement. Unfortunately, SFFSat apparently isn't running this week, but I hope you enjoy my snippet anyhow!


Sorrel in Silver is now on sale on Amazon! This snippet is from Chapter Eight - Wrack is confronting another dragonlord, Starron.

 

The red dragon flung himself savagely at his rival.


When titans clash, mere humans need to take shelter. Two twelve-foot tall monsters, necks writhing, teeth glittering in the firelight, aimed for each other's throats. This was no gentlemanly duel. This was savage, primal; an attempt by each dragon to crush his rival. The only rule when there is a brawl between dragons is that humans need to get the volg out of there.


Except that the red dragon was my lover. And there was no lafquassing chance I was leaving that room until I knew he was victorious and that the squuming volg of a blue dragon was beaten to a pulp. And if I even suspected Wrack was losing, I intended to use my sorcery to hammer Starron. Wrack would be furious at any interference, but I didn't care. There was no volging way in squum I was going to let Starron hurt my dragon!


Wrack flung himself onto the blue dragon, driving him back against the west wall of the hall. Starron fastened his teeth on Wrack's wing, trying to bite into the powerful muscle of the upper part of the limb. Wrack snarled, red fire licking around his mouth, and slammed his other wing against Starron’s head, trying to dislodge him. Starron whirled, releasing his teeth and twisting his neck so that he could bite Wrack's neck.

 As always, comments appreciated.