So lately I’ve been reading Harbinger of Doom, a bundle of three fantasy novels by Glenn Thater:
The Harbinger of Doom series has possibly the longest list of metadata tags I have ever seen on a book. Or anywhere else, for that matter. Here’s what it acquired after I did a metatag download on it in Calibre (including the original typos):
action adventure, arthurian, brent weeks,butcher, celtic, christian fantasy,collections, Coming of Age, conan, Dark Fantasy, dungeons and dragons, eddings,epic fantasy, erikson, fables, fairy tale,fiction, Free Fantasy, gemmell, george RR martin, ghost, glen cook, heroic fantasy,Historical Fantasy, Horror, james maxwell,juvenile fiction fantasy, legends, magic,medieval, Men’s Adventure, metaphysical,monsters, myths nrse arthurian fairly tales,norse odin thor myth, paranormal, role-playing, sagas, sanderson, Science Fiction,serial top ebooks, Sword & Sorcery, teen & young adult fantasy, thriller was best selling viking boxed set, tolkien, Urban, visionary,war battle, weis hickman
That’s a rather incredible number of tags — the shotgun approach, if Vikings had shotguns. Which, in this series, who knows, maybe they do. My personal favorite is “myths nrse arthurian fairly tales”, with “war battle” a close second. Some of these tags are accurate (which ones is left as an exercise for the reader, but I bet you can make some educated guesses even without perusing the books), some I might, uh, question a little. If I were doing the tagging, I would characterize this series as a nutty mashup of Norse legends, the H.P. Lovecraft mythos (the ruler of Nifleheim is named “Azathoth“; reference is made to fighting in R’lyeh and to non-Euclidean geometry), Erik the Viking (or possibly Eric the Unready), Army of Darkness, and a fairly constant level of “hey-you-kids-get-off-my-lawn” crankiness courtesy of Ob the Crotchety Gnome.
Ob pulled out his sword and poked its tip around in the remains. “Maybe it was no beast at all. Maybe it was a man—all dressed up in a costume, trying to look like some kind of monster. If it spoke, that has to be it. Dagnabbit, maybe I spoke too soon before. Maybe the Black Hand is involved. That’s all we need. We might be better off with an invasion. I’ll take a stand-up fight any day over stinking assassins.”
Ahh, the age old “is this a stand-up fight?” question.
Hudson: Is this gonna be a stand-up fight, sir, or another bughunt?
Gorman: All we know is that there’s still no contact with the colony, and that a xenomorph may be involved.
Frost: Excuse me sir, a-a what?
Gorman: A xenomorph.
Hicks: It’s a bughunt.
So is this a good fantasy series? Ehh, calling it “good” might be stretching things a bit. But it’s totally bonkers and full of amusing anachronisms, such as Ob’s repeatedly referring to other characters as “Mr. (Insert Insult Here)”, e.g., a walking info-dump character is “Mr. Know It All”, a wizard is “Mr. Pointy Hat”, a foreign warrior in spiffy armor as “Mr. Fancy Pants”, etc.
Incidentally, sharp-eyed readers may have noted that the second book in this set is entitled The Fallen Angle. Just like in the old Robbie Robertson song. Or not.
The Fallen Angle looks like a typo, but isn’t; it’s a reference to the aforementioned Mr. Fancy Pants, whose name is Angle Theta, and who may or may not be some manner of fallen angel. My money is on “may”, but we shall find out.
Normally with Teaser Tuesdays I include an excerpt from the book I’m currently working on, but in homage to The Fallen Angle and Mr. Fancy Pants, I decided to include an excerpt from an older book, A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder, in which a similar angel/angle confusion takes place.
Nelson shook some water out of his hair, then wandered over to the little informational gazebo at the mouth of the park. He seemed to be reading a smallish plaque that said something about lost angles. What the hell did that mean? Quentin squinted at it. Oh, lost angels. That made more sense.
Yep, as the Doors once sang: Another lost angle in the city of night. Or something like that.