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Greg VanEekhout

Greg Van EekhoutGreg van Eekhout wrote approximately 2 dozen science fiction and fantasy short stories before publishing his first novel, Norse Code. Mr van Eekhout lives in San Diego. Here’s his website.

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Greg van Eekhout visits Copperfield’s Books

Greg van Eekhout’s California Bones generated a lot of excitement when it came out last year. Now that the sequel, Pacific Fire, is out, Van Eekhout is doing a “mini book tour.” He stopped in Petaluma, California, at Copperfield’s Books, to talk with horror editor Ross E. Lockhart about the trilogy, writing for adults versus middle graders, his love of the band Rush and his opinion about the need for a Black Widow movie. I was in the audience and made a few notes from their dialogue. I also picked up a couple of signed books to give away to one of our readers. Comment on this post to be entered to win a signed copy of both California Bones and Pacific Fire.

 
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Greg Van Eekhout talks about OSTEOMANCY

Greg Van Eekhout has written middle grade novels like Kid vs Squid, adult SF (The Norse Code) and his well-known OSTEOMANCY trilogy, set in a magical California, where sorcerers absorb the magic of mythical creatures by eating their bones. Against this backdrop, Daniel Blackland struggles to survive, and maintain his created family. The final book in the trilogy, Dragon Coast, is out now. Greg chatted with me about magic, families, tacos and the awesome power of the avocado. One commenter with a USA or Canadian address will win a copy of Dragon Coast.

Marion Dee... Read More

Four Quick Questions for Greg Van Eekhout

Greg Van Eekhout



Greg Van Eekhout is known here on the site mostly for his DANIEL BLACKLAND series, beginning with California Bones (here are our reviews), but he also writes middle-grade fantasy/science fiction, and adult urban fantasy. Greg lives in Southern California. He’s a very busy guy, but in between all his tasks and attending the Phoenix ComiCon he set aside some time for a few quick questions from us.  Thanks, Greg!

One random commenter in the USA will win a copy of California Bones.

Marion Deeds: You have been working on a comic set in the California Bones universe. Please tell us everything you th... Read More

California Bones

California Bones — (2014-2015) When Daniel Blackland was six, he ingested his first bone fragment, a bit of kraken spine plucked out of the sand during a visit with his demanding, brilliant, and powerful magician father, Sebastian. When Daniel was twelve, he watched Sebastian die at the hands of the Hierarch of Southern California, devoured for the heightened magic layered deep within his bones. Now, years later, Daniel is a petty thief with a forged identity. Hiding amid the crowds in Los Angeles—the capital of the Kingdom of Southern California—Daniel is trying to go straight. But his crime-boss uncle has a heist he wants Daniel to perform: break into the Hierarch’s storehouse of magical artifacts and retrieve Sebastian’s sword, an object of untold power. For this dangerous mission, Daniel will need a team he can rely on, so he brings in his closest friends from his years in the criminal world. There’s Moth, who can take a bullet and heal in mere minutes. Jo Alverado, illusionist. The multitalented Cassandra, Daniel’s ex. And, new to them all, the enigmatic, knowledgeable Emma, with her British accent and her own grudge against the powers-that-be. The stakes are high, and the stage is set for a showdown that might just break the magic that protects a long-corrupt regime. Extravagant and yet moving, Greg van Eekhout’s California Bones is an epic adventure set in a city of canals and secrets and casual brutality–different from the world we know, yet familiar and true.

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California Bones: A fun fantasy caper with inventive magic

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California Bones by Greg van Eekhout

Daniel Blackland has been raised to be a magician from at least the time he was six years old and found a kraken spine on Santa Monica Beach. He inherited his propensity to osteomancy — bone magic — from his father, a powerful magician who has made his share of enemies. More than that, he was trained, shaped and molded by his father, who wants to make him strong enough to withstand the schemes of his enemies, regardless of how that hill hurt him, physically and emotionally. But his father never had the time to train Daniel properly. In his adulthood, therefore, Daniel has turned into a petty thief — an accomplished, uncannily talented petty thief, but a thief nonetheless. He has stuck to small crimes out of choice, not because he is incapable of grand heists. Unfortunately, his crime boss Uncle Otis isn’t content to see Daniel allow his magic to go to waste... Read More

Pacific Fire: A strand of moral ambiguity makes this sequel stand out

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Pacific Fire by Greg van Eekhout

(Our reviews may contain spoilers for the previous novel, California Bones.)

Pacific Fire is the second book in Greg van Eekhout’s OSTEOMANCY series. The first one, California Bones, was the story of Daniel Blackland, son of a powerful osteomancer in a magical southern California. If California Bones charted the fate of Daniel, Pacific Fire belongs almost entirely to Sam, Daniel’s foster son.

At the end of California Bones, Daniel met Sam, who was then about six years old. Ten years have passed, and Daniel and Sam have led an on-the-run existence. Meanwhile, in the magic Kingdom of Los Angeles, (Yes, I did write “magic ki... Read More

Dragon Coast: Family, friendships and conflicts converge in a satisfying conclusion

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Dragon Coast by Greg Van Eekhout

Daniel Blackland, the most powerful osteomancer in the Southern Kingdom, will go to any length to rescue his adopted son, Sam. Sam’s essence is inhabiting a huge dragon, a Pacific firedrake that is wreaking fiery devastation on huge swathes of Los Angeles. To extract Sam’s essence, Daniel needs an artifact, and he and his friend Moth will attempt a high-risk impersonation in the warlike Northern Kingdom next door.

Gabriel Argent is the Water Mage of the Southern Kingdom. He, along with his human “hound” Max, reluctantly agree to help Daniel. Gabriel is methodical, a bureaucrat at heart, and he has a different plan for the firedrake, one based on the calculus of the greatest good for the greatest number... by Gabriel’s reckoning, anyway.

Sam, trapped inside a ravening dragon, tries to control it, to steer it from an imaginary “co... Read More

Norse Code: Greg van Eekhout’s debut is impressive!

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Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout

Stop. Look closely. Look beyond the typically stylish urban fantasy cover (the one with the nicely built young woman holding her weapon of choice with an air of defiant competence). Look beyond the title that's both serious and punny. Inside, through pages inked with the shadows of ravens, you'll watch the long-foretold cataclysm of Ragnarok as it rolls in a relentless wave from the dry, gray plains of Hel to... the dry, black asphalt of a California parking lot. And if you're partial to Norse mythology or urban tales driven by fascinating characters and laser-crisp writing, you'll enjoy it. Verily, by Thor's hammer!

The product description/back cover summary nicely provides the premise for this novel, the debut of the gifted Greg van Eekhout. Not only has he forged ancient myth and modern culture into a cool, sleek alloy, he's done... Read More

Kid vs. Squid: Solid children’s fantasy

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Kid vs. Squid by Greg van Eekhout

Kid vs. Squid, by Greg van Eekhout, is definitely a children’s fantasy. It comes in at a slim sub-200 pages (with pretty good-sized print) and doesn’t take much time with detailed description, rich character development, or intricate plotting. That isn’t a complaint; it’s just to say that Kid vs. Squid knows who its audience is, and while it won’t dumb things down or talk down to its readers, it also won’t stretch them. Keeping to relatively humble standards of that sort, it succeeds pretty solidly.

Middle-school age Thatcher has been sent to his Uncle Griswald’s in Las Huesas, California for the summer. The beach town is oddly empty of beach-goers and Uncle Griswald lives in a tiny “museum” filled with shrunken heads, ships in bottles, strangely shaped bodies, and a ... Read More

The Boy at the End of the World: Fast, simple, engaging

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The Boy at the End of the World by Greg van Eekhout

The Boy at the End of the World is a new children's fantasy by Greg van Eekhout, author of Kid vs. Squid. Like his first children's book, The Boy at the End of the World is aimed squarely at the 9-12 age group. In that vein, it speeds quickly along a pretty straightforward plotline, with few twists or diversions into details of setting or character. Its likable, if a bit pallid, main character is enlivened by his more interesting (and funny) companions, making it a mostly engaging if somewhat simplistic read.

The book opens with a bang, literally, as the boy — Fisher — awakens in the pod he’s been grown in. The pod is inside an Ark, built to hold the last humans as well as other species, until the Earth has healed enough from its mostly-... Read More

Magazine Monday: Clarkesworld, February 2015

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The February 2015 issue of Clarkesworld Magazine opens with “The Last Surviving Gondola Widow” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. The first person narrator of the story is a woman living in Chicago who works as a Pinkerton (that is, a detective employed by the Pinkerton Agency, established in 1850 as one of the first such agencies) who was on Michigan Avenue the day the Gondolas came in from the South to rain hell down on the city. Now it appears that the widow of one of the Gondolas — for that’s how the engineers who piloted them were named, as the Gondolas would respond to the voice and touch of their own engineer like living beings — is not only still living in Illinois, but holds a position of prominence. The story is a steampunk adventure that includes a sort of engineering magic combined with a ... Read More

Paper Cities: Diverse anthology

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Paper Cities by Ekaterina Sedia

Bring up urban fantasy nowadays and most readers will probably assume that you’re talking about such authors as Laurell K. Hamilton, Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon and so on, but in this new anthology from Senses Five Press, which is edited by Ekaterina Sedia, Paper Ci... Read More