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Blake Charlton

Blake CharltonBlake Charlton overcame severe dyslexia in grade school when he began sneaking fantasy and science fiction books into special ed study hall. Inspired, he went on to graduate summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University. Blake is currently a medical student at Stanford Medical School, where he teaches creative writing for medical students and has received a fellowship to write fiction. Spellwright is his first novel, but the author also has a short story included in the Seeds of Change anthology edited by John Joseph Adams. Read some of his stories at Blake Charlton’s website. Read our interview with Blake Charlton.

Blake Charlton charms us

Today we welcome Blake Charlton, debut author of Spellwright, into the chair to talk about bullying, doorstop tomes, and Internet presence! Have a read of the interview all the way to the bottom to find details of a Spellwright giveaway.

AMANDA: Hi Blake and welcome to FanLit! Let's get down to some serious questions straight away: It is no secret at all that you suffer from dyslexia -- in fact, you're loud, proud and very supportive of all those organisations helping to assist the people who are afflicted by this disability. Was there a particular moment when you first realised you were different from the other kids? Or was it something picked up by your parents?

BLAKE: I clearly remember waiting after class while my grandmother was called into a conference, maybe in first grade, possibly the end of kind... Read More

Spellwright

Spellwright — (2010-2016) Publisher: Imagine a world in which you could peel written words off a page and make them physically real. You might pick your teeth with a sentence fragment, protect yourself with defensive paragraphs, or thrust a sharply-worded sentence at an enemy’s throat. Such a world is home to Nicodemus Weal, an apprentice at the wizardly academy of Starhaven. Because of how fast he can forge the magical runes that create spells, Nicodemus was thought to be the Halcyon, a powerful spellwright prophesied to prevent an event called the War of Disjunction, which would destroy all human language. There was only one problem: Nicodemus couldn’t spell. Runes must be placed in the correct order tocreate a spell. Deviation results in a “misspell” — a flawed text that behaves in an erratic, sometimes lethal, manner. And Nicodemus has a disability that causes him to misspell texts simply by touching them. Now twenty-five, Nicodemus lives in the aftermath of failing to fulfill prophecy. He finds solace only in reading knightly romances and in the teachings of Magister Shannon, an old blind wizard who’s left academic politics tocare for Starhaven’s disabled students. But when a powerful wizard is murdered with a misspell, Shannon and Nicodemus becomes the primary suspects. Proving their innocence becomes harder when the murderer begins killing male cacographers one by one… and all evidence suggests that Nicodemus will be next. Hunted by bothinvestigators and a hidden killer, Shannon and Nicodemus must race to discover the truth about the murders, the nature of magic, and themselves.

fantasy book reviews Blake Charlton Spellwright 2. Spellboundfantasy book reviews Blake Charlton Spellwright 2. Spellbound

Spellwright: Remarkable debut

Readers’ average rating:

Spellwright by Blake Charlton

FORMAT/INFO: Spellwright is 352 pages long divided over 46 numbered chapters, a Prolog, an Epilog, and a World Map. Narration is in the third-person, mainly via the protagonist Nicodemus Weal, but also includes narratives by Grand Wizard Agwu Shannon, the druid Dierdre, sentinel Amadi Okeke, and the villainous “creature.” Spellwright is the first volume in a trilogy, but many of the book’s major plotlines are satisfactorily concluded, while the closing chapters set up events for the upcoming sequels. The second book in the trilogy is currently titled Spellbound.

February 16, 2009 marks the North American Hardcover publication of Spellwright via Tor. Cover art provided by Read More

Spellbound: Even better than Spellwright

Readers’ average rating:

Spellbound by Blake Charlton

PLOT SUMMARY: In a world where one’s magical prowess is determined by one’s skill with words and ability to spell, Francesca DeVega is a gifted healer in the city of Avel, composing magical sentences that close wounds and disspell curses. Her life is suddenly thrown into chaos when a newly dead patient sits up and tells her that she must flee the infirmary or face a fate worse than death. Now Francesca is in the middle of a game she doesn’t understand — one that ties her to the notorious rogue wizard Nicodemus Weal and brings her face-to-face with demons, demigods, and a man she hoped never to see again.

Meanwhile, it has been ten years since Nicodemus Weal escaped the Starhaven Academy, where he was considered disabled and useless because of a disease that causes him to misspell magical texts. Ten years since he battled the demon Typhon who stole his ... Read More

Spellbreaker: An imaginative and challengingly complex fantasy

Readers’ average rating: 

Spellbreaker by Blake Charlton

If someone is offering to sell you a spell that predicts one hour into the future, one excellent way to test whether the spell really works is to try to murder the man selling it to you. If you succeed in killing him, clearly it wasn’t a valid prophetic spell. In any case, that’s Leandra Weal’s rationale for poisoning the blackrice liqueur she offers to the smuggler selling her the spell. Luckily for both Leandra and the smuggler, the spell warns the smuggler not to drink the puffer fish liver-infused drink. Unfortunately, once Leandra tries the spell, making a small spelling adjustment to allow her to see twenty-four hours into the future, she sees that she will either have to murder someone she loves or die herself. If she tries to run or avoid the prophecy, everyone she loves will suddenly die.

With this compelling start, Spellbreaker Read More

FanLit Asks… About style

We often post our chats with authors on Tuesdays, but we're trying something new today. Instead of asking one author several questions, we've asked several authors just one question. Please leave a comment and let us know how you like this format. We'll choose one commenter to win a copy of Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver on audio CDs (or something else from our stacks).

Question: Which speculative fiction writer has had the greatest influence on your own writing style and what, specifically, do you find most inspirational about that writer’s style?

Daniel Abraham / M.L.N. Hanover: Read More

Great Bookstores: Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park

We've been getting a lot of great bookstore recommendations -- thanks for sending those in! Today we're featuring Kepler's Books and Magazines in the San Francisco area. You can find Kepler's at 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (phone 650-324-4321).




Blake Charlton wrote in to tell us why he loves Kepler's:

"Kepler’s Books and Magazines is a wonderful indie with a unique history, great staff, large SFF section, and a lively community. Kepler’s is a wide, well-lit, and comfortable store that opens onto a plaza it shares with the bustling and popular Café Borrone. The store resides in the town of Menlo Park, about halfway do... Read More

FanLit Asks: June 12, 2012

Some of your favorite authors take some time to answer our questions:
Got any news to share with us?
Jennifer Armintrout: I'm very excited to be working with Resplendence Publishing on a series of shape-shifter romances centered around a clan of werewolves in an alternate fourteenth century England. My hope is to continue with these in several different time periods, all with wolves from the same clan.

Steven R. Boyett: I just finished my first unsolicited short piece in over a decade, a novelette called "Hard Silver." I'm stoked that Bill Schafer picked it up for his wonderful Subterranean (pub date not yet set). It was liberating t... Read More