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Sam Sykes

Sam Sykes(1984- )
Sam Sykes is the author of the acclaimed Tome of the Undergates, a vast and sprawling story of adventure, demons, madness and carnage. He lives with two hounds in a small, drab apartment and has eaten at least one of every animal on earth. Learn more at Sam Sykes’ website.

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Sam Sykes frightens FanLit

Gather round, people – I'm slightly nervous to present interviewee Sam Sykes – self-styled ‘Angriest Man Alive’ and debut author of Tome of the Undergates (to be released by Gollancz on 15 April 2010 in the UK). Sam has already conducted an interview with Aidan Moher, over at A Dribble of Ink where they discussed... well, video games and cover art and other such boy things. After reading (and reviewing) his book I wanted to try and draw out a little more about the man behind the book and how he went about writing the death and mayhem that fills the pages of Tome. As usual, we'll give away a couple of books to commenters. So, without further ado...



Amanda: Welcome, Sam! How are you today?

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The Aeon’s Gate

The Aeon’s Gate — (2010-2012) Publisher: Lenk can barely keep control of his mismatched adventurer band at the best of times (Gariath the dragon man sees humans as little more than prey, Kataria the Shict despises most humans, and the humans in the band are little better). When they’re not insulting each other’s religions they’re arguing about pay and conditions. So when the ship they are travelling on is attacked by pirates things don’t go very well. They go a whole lot worse when an invincible demon joins the fray. The demon steals the Tome of the Undergates — a manuscript that contains all you need to open the undergates. And whichever god you believe in you don’t want the undergates open. On the other side are countless more invincible demons, the manifestation of all the evil of the gods, and they want out.Full of razor-sharp wit, characters who leap off the page (and into trouble) and plunging the reader into a vivid world of adventure this is a fantasy that kicks off a series that could dominate the second decade of the century.

Sam Sykes The Aeon's Gate 1. Tome of the Undergates 2. Black HaloSam Sykes The Aeon's Gate 1. Tome of the Undergates 2. Black HaloSam Sykes The Aeon's Gate 1. Tome of the Undergates 2. Black Halo 3. The Skybound Sea

Tome of the Undergates: Lots of blood and crotch-stomping

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Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes

A motley assortment of adventurers, led by Lenk, find it difficult to do anything but bicker with each other as they travel the world in search of pay. In fact, there seems to be not an ounce of goodwill between any of them. You'd think when their ship is attacked by pirates, they'd band together, but the insults just fly more furiously. As Lenk attempts to round the characters up and point them all in the same direction — towards the demon that threatens their lives and souls — he realises that he is having a very bad day. What follows is a rollercoaster ride as Lenk and his band are sent to take back the Tome of the Undergates from the demons that need it to open the very gates of hell. Green-haired fish women, purple-skinned Amazonians, and the manifestation of all evil stand in their way as they try to fulfil their task.

The description above r... Read More

Black Halo: Sam Sykes is a versatile author

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Black Halo by Sam Sykes

In his first book, Tome of the Undergates, Sam Sykes proved he was a versatile author. He wrote some intense, realistic battles and mixed them with some of the most peaceful, beautiful passages I’ve seen in such a violent book. Interspersed with all of this was some fantastic humor that I’ve come to associate with Sykes.

In Black Halo, he takes everything he proved himself capable of in Tome of the Undergates and perfects it. The humor is more biting and the plot is paced perfectly. The reader will notice a lot of growth in the author between the first and second books of this series, and that’s really saying something, considering how impressive a debut Tome of the Undergates was.

Perhaps most impressively is how Sykes has so carefully deci... Read More