Welcome to my worlds!

I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Heart Baby Heart!

Burn Baby Burn has now been reviewed at SuperheroNovels.com! It's described as "funnier than the first book and has a bigger heart." Personally, I agree!

Heart seems to be the theme of the week, because I've also seen an upcoming review for Greatshadow in the magazine SFX that calls the book "a maginificently entertaining romp bursting with charm" and goes on to say "If it lacks a world-building spine, its enormous heart more than makes up for it."


Mr. Cavin said...

Ragging on your "world building" eh? Is this code for there not being enough pages of fabricated exposition redefining everyday things and studded with newly-minted nouns? I think the book has the spine not to overly world-build, myself.* I wish more fantasy novels took this route, frankly--allowing themselves to be more about their characters than their dazzling new minutia.

PS, I really enjoyed the book! I like Burn, Baby, Burn a lot too. However, assuming the word "heart" means caring humanism, I'm not sure I agree that it has more than the first book. The sequel really is more about the emotional growth of the characters though, so I guess maybe that's what the reviewer meant.

*Ha! My word verification is UNTRY.

James Maxey said...

Thanks Mr. Cavin! I completely agree that way too many fantasy novels have too much world building. Not to name names, but I've read books where the author throws out a dozen different kingdoms combined with ten different races and nineteen major religions, and I'm supposed to have these memorized and care about them by the end of the first chapter. Yeesh! Fantasy novels are just fairy tales for adults. How much setting does a typical fairy tale have? A spooky forest, a distant tower, a house in the woods, sometimes made of pastry. I want to read about myth and magic and morality, not a CIA factbook on some imaginary country.

CathyB said...

I would argue that your reviewer was not a careful reader. There's plenty of world in your books, but you introduce the world subtly, intertwining it with the ongoing action.

Like an animal fixated on a shiny object, this reviewer was probably so distracted by your fast-moving plot that the world-building nuances escaped his attention.

There's plenty of world in your book, James. Just keep doing what you're doing. :)

James Maxey said...

Thanks, Cathy! I don't want to put the blame on the reviewer. I'm perfectly prepared to accept the fact that I don't do the type of "world building" associated with Tolkeinesque epic fantasy novels. I have a map of my world, but I haven't written out a detailed atlas of all the political areas, the economies, etc. My stories really aren't about the world, they're about the characters. I'm not telling stories about epic struggles between empires, so I don't want to waste reader's time with a lot of unneeded information. I know that there are some readers who want this. I believe there are books on the market already that serve thier needs. My books are targeted toward the reader who is much more interested in action, adventure, philosphy and humor rather than complex settings.