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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2013 :  19:42:35  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Dennis. I don't know that I love the Moonsea more than certain other Realms locations, but it is a very interesting region.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2013 :  13:14:07  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I wrote about the ENDER'S GAME boycott in my new column for Airlock Alpha:

http://airlockalpha.com/node/9834/orson-scott-card-and-the-equality-struggle.html
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2013 :  22:51:25  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I will be a guest at SwampCon rising at the University of Florida in Gainesville on January 18 and 19, 2014. You can find info on SwampCon Rising here:

http://swampcon.com
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2013 :  03:57:00  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I was a guest on the Earth Station One podcast. Check it out here:

http://erthstationone.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/earth-station-one-episode-190/
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2013 :  05:45:54  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm proud to announce the release of my eBook collection THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHER STORIES.

This is a collection of some of the best heroic fantasy stories I've written set outside the Forgotten Realms. Some relate the adventures of Martin Rivers, a young English knight seeking his fortune in an alternate world version of 14th Century Europe. Others concern Selden, a fencing master and occasional sword for hire in Balathex, City of Fountains, otherwise known as the Whispering City, a metropolis infamous for feuds, duels, and dark magic. Plus, there are a couple tales that belong to neither series.

If you enjoy my work in the Forgotten Realms, I'm pretty sure you'll like these stories as well.

For a limited time, the collection is only $3.99. If you're interested, you can check it out here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Plague-Knight-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00H1EN9BU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385962765&sr=8-1&keywords=the+plague+knight+and+other+stories
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2013 :  02:33:02  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A little selection from "The Plague Knight," the lead story in (as you might expect) THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHER STORIES.


I slept poorly, hagridden by dreams of my father's death. The funeral bell tolled mournfully, and when I awoke, it seemed to be tolling still.

For a moment I believed I was seven again, that Papa had fallen from his horse only a day before. Then I realized that too many bells were ringing, and not in the measured cadence of a death knell but in a frenzied clangor of alarm.

Wiping tears from my eyes, I rolled out of bed and groped my way to the window. The sun was just rising, and I could see down into the town below the battlements. The great bronze cathedral bells winked light as they swung back and forth. People milled in the streets. Three houses were afire, sending columns of smoke into the gray and crimson sky, each ringed by citizens gathered to watch.

Geoffrey emerged from his pallet and tangle of blankets, brushed his long, straw-colored hair out of his eyes, and stumbled up beside me. Geoff was my man-at-arms, valet, scutifer, and groom, in other words, the sole retainer I could afford. He performed his many duties, and endured our frequent penury, with grumbling good cheer, secure in the inexplicable confidence that I was going to be a great seigneur some day.

"What is it?" he asked, hugging his lanky body against the chill draft blowing in. "War? Riot?"

I shook my head. "No one's fighting."

"Just a fire alarm, then."

"Not that either. They aren't trying to put them out. It looks like they set them deliberately. I don't know what's happening. Get dressed."

As we pulled our clothes on, the castle grew noisy. Shouts echoed, though maddeningly, I couldn't quite make out what anyone was saying. Just as I was lacing my shirt, running feet pounded by outside. A woman wailed.

I snatched up my sword and threw open the door. Those who'd dashed past were already out of sight, but the thing they were fleeing was still there.

Lurching down the narrow corridor, staggering so badly she caromed from wall to wall, came a slender young woman with long brown braids, one of the cooks, to judge from the stains on her apron. Yesterday she had probably been pretty. This morning, however, her face was contorted in anguish. Yellow matter dripped from her eyes and mouth, and she'd ripped through her dress to claw at the sores on her shoulders. She stank of shit and something more, a rotteness, as if she were already dead and moldering in the ground. When she saw me, she whined, and raised one bloody-fingered hand; perhaps she was no longer able to speak.

I took a step forward, and Geoff grabbed my arm. "Don't touch her!"

I didn't want to, but in that instant, I felt I had to. I tried to shake him off, and he tightened his grip. The woman vomited blood and fell dead at our feet.

"Plague," said Geoff.



Makes you want to buy the book, right? I mean, look how Christmas-y this is.

Okay, arguably not. Still, you can find the collection here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Plague-Knight-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00H1EN9BU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386088244&sr=8-1&keywords=the+plague+knight+and+other+stories
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2013 :  13:07:18  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For those who might be interested, here’s another sample of what you’ll find in my new heroic fantasy collection THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHER STORIES. Specifically, this is the opening of “The Cheat.” Like several others stories in the collection, “The Cheat” stars Selden, a fencing master who was once a mercenary and who still hires out his sword on occasion to help those menaced by sorcerers, demons, and the like.


Falnac was nervous. I could tell by the way he kept swallowing.

I put my hand on the lad’s shoulder. “Use what we practiced,” I said. “Leap into the distance, feint to the groin, and finish on the outside.”

“Yes, Master Selden,” he whispered.

“And if the two of you wind up close together, stay there and stab like a madman. Alsagad’s taller than you are. Close quarters will make him awkward.”

I could have said more, but a swordsman about to fight for his life can only retain so much advice. Indeed, given that this was Falnac’s first duel, it was an open question whether he’d remember anything I’d just told him, or anything from his six years of lessons, either.

When they deemed the light sufficient, the seconds called the duelists to a patch of ground where there were no tombstones to trip them up. As they advanced, Dromis caught my eye. He was Alsagad’s fencing master as I was Falnac’s, and the protocol of dueling required that we treat one another with solemn courtesy. Instead, the big man with the curling mustachios, pointed beard, and hair all dyed a brassy unnatural yellow gave me a sneer, as if to assert that my teaching and my student were so inferior to his that Alsagad’s victory was assured.

For a heartbeat, it made me want to see Alsagad stretched out dead on the dewy grass, and then I felt ashamed of myself. Like many quarrels, this one had materialized over a trifle, and any decent man would hope to see if it settled by, at worst, a trifling wound.

The seconds gave the principals the chance to speak words of reconciliation, and of course, being proud young blades of Balathex, they didn’t. So Alsagad’s second whipped a white kerchief through the air. That was the signal to begin.

The duelists circled one another while waking birds chirped, a cool breeze blew, and dawn stained the river on the far side of the graveyard red. Then Falnac sprang forward.

His blade leaped at Alsagad’s crotch in as convincing a feint as I’d ever seen. But the move didn’t draw the parry it was meant to elicit. Instead, Alsagad simply cut into Falnac’s wrist. Falnac’s blade fell from his hand.

The seconds opened their mouths to shout for a halt, but they were too slow. Alsagad slashed Falnac’s neck.

Falnac collapsed with blood spurting from the new and fatal wound. Dromis crowed and shook his fist in the air. “Yes!” he bellowed. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”


You can find THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHERS here:

http://www.amazon.com/Plague-Knight-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00H1EN9BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386384739&sr=1-1&keywords=the+plague+knight+and+other+stories
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Alruane
Senior Scribe

USA
434 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2013 :  13:15:15  Show Profile Send Alruane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I enjoyed reading that sample, Richard! Definitely did not see that coming at the end, very nice! I figured they would have stopped them before he slit his throat open!

" I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?"
~Joneleth Irenicus

"Wisdom? My dear boy, wisdom is knowing that you do not know everything. Wisdom is realizing, a wise man ALWAYS has questions. Not answer."

~Alruane
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2013 :  13:26:40  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked it!
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Alruane
Senior Scribe

USA
434 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2013 :  13:57:50  Show Profile Send Alruane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I actually want this! But unfortunately, I don't have a kindle.

" I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?"
~Joneleth Irenicus

"Wisdom? My dear boy, wisdom is knowing that you do not know everything. Wisdom is realizing, a wise man ALWAYS has questions. Not answer."

~Alruane
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2013 :  20:17:33  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You don't actually need a Kindle. Just download the free Kindle App to your computer or comparable gadget and you're good to go.
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Alruane
Senior Scribe

USA
434 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2013 :  21:12:48  Show Profile Send Alruane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OH! Well this shows how inapt I am with technology. Haha thanks again, Richard! I shall definitely be getting this for myself for Christmas!

" I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?"
~Joneleth Irenicus

"Wisdom? My dear boy, wisdom is knowing that you do not know everything. Wisdom is realizing, a wise man ALWAYS has questions. Not answer."

~Alruane
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2013 :  05:56:07  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I hope you enjoy it!
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2013 :  17:03:24  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For those who may be interested, here’s yet another sample of what you’ll find in my new heroic fantasy collection THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHER STORIES. This excerpt comes from “Death in Keenspur House,” another adventure of the mercenary turned fencing master Selden.


The steps debouched into dank crypts, festooned with webs the spiders spun to snare the beetles, and smelling faintly of incense, embalmer’s spice, and rot. The lesser Keenspurs lay behind graven plaques in the walls. The principal lords and ladies had their own private vaults, where stone sarcophagi, the lids often sculpted into likenesses of the occupants, reposed on pedestals in the center.

I assumed Yshan had rated one of the latter, and found him quickly. If his marble likeness could be trusted, he’d possessed the sharp features characteristic of his line, honed beyond the point of gauntness. It gave him a look of fanaticism and spite, which the sculptor had accentuated by rendering him with glaring eyes and a scowl instead of the usual expression of serenity.

I inspected the lid of the sarcophagus, trying to discern whether anyone--or anything--had opened it recently. I couldn’t tell. Not unless I opened it myself.

Assuming I could. It looked damnably heavy for a lone man to shift. But I meant to try. I set the lantern down, then, with a dry mouth and sweat starting beneath my arms, tried to work the pry bar into the crack between cover and box. The iron tool scraped the stone.

The lid flew up and to the side, like the cover of a book, straight at me.

It could have shattered my bones, but my reflexes jerked me backward, and perhaps that robbed the impact of some of its force. Even so, the sculpted marble slab slapped me like a giant’s hand, knocking me into the wall. I fell, and the lid fell with me, crashing down on top of my legs.

Meanwhile, Yshan, who had, by dint of either magic or prodigious strength, flung his graven image at me, reared up from the sarcophagus. He was relatively intact. The embalmers had evidently done their work well, and his box had protected him from rats and worms. But his face was shriveled, flaking, and streaked with black leakage. His right eye had gone milky, while the left had crumbled inward. A few slimy strings stretched across the vacant socket.



You can find THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHERS here:

http://www.amazon.com/Plague-Knight-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00H1EN9BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386384739&sr=1-1&keywords=the+plague+knight+and+other+stories
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2013 :  23:34:45  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I haven't completely determined my 2014 writing schedule yet. It could be completely taken up with work on series I've worked on before or am working on currently.

But I might also have some time to write a novel unrelated to any novel I've done before. I have a few ideas I'm mulling over.

So I'm curious. Assuming that you like my stuff in the first place and would consider buying any of these, which sounds most interesting?

A heroic fantasy story that would combine real-world history with a whole imaginary universe. (Sorry, I know that's vague.)

A dark, horrific urban fantasy, heavy on the undead.

A Cthulhu Mythos novel starring the protagonist from my short story "The Things That Crawl" (which is in my collection THE Q WORD AND OTHER STORIES.

If you've got an opinion, I'd like to know what it is, although I don't promise to go with the option that gets the most votes.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Q-Word-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00501N49S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386544366&sr=8-1&keywords=the+q+word+and+other+stories
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Alruane
Senior Scribe

USA
434 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2013 :  23:48:43  Show Profile Send Alruane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My vote would be heroic fantasy novel definitely, I crave fantasy novels, games, etc.

" I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?"
~Joneleth Irenicus

"Wisdom? My dear boy, wisdom is knowing that you do not know everything. Wisdom is realizing, a wise man ALWAYS has questions. Not answer."

~Alruane
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2013 :  04:13:42  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29635 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2013 :  04:26:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

A heroic fantasy story that would combine real-world history with a whole imaginary universe. (Sorry, I know that's vague.)


This one gets my vote. I'm a huge fan of having fantasy layered on top of the real world, like in the Dresden Files or Raymond E. Feist's Faerie Tale. On a similar note, I like the whole weird history thing -- the idea that we vanilla mortals are living in a world where we barely see what's going on around us is something quite appealing to me.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2013 :  12:28:28  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The heroic fantasy option is the one that appealed the most to me as I am not exactly a big fan of horror.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2013 :  13:05:41  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input, guys.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29635 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2013 :  15:45:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thauranil

The heroic fantasy option is the one that appealed the most to me as I am not exactly a big fan of horror.



Not a fan of horror, myself, and though I've read a fair amount of Lovecraft, Cthulhu is not my gig.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13081 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2013 :  17:10:10  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
See, I would have been of the same opinion as Wooly just a year ago, but as I developed my own setting (TWO, actually - on purely HB and one a mash-up of other settings), I've come to appreciate the need for 'antideluvian horrors' in an RPG setting.

Now, I'm not saying it should be so 'in your face' (which sadly 4e did), but it SHOULD be there, in the background, waiting... and watching...

It just adds yet another layer, and if FR is known for anything, its all the 'layers upon layers' of intrigue and fallen civilizations. We've always had aboleths, illithids, and other nasty aberrations - all 4e did was bring them to the forefront in an organized way. I think they were always organized more then they let on - and some of us suspected - but thats the thing with good horror; it creeps up on you.

It shouldn't be flying around in the equivalent of a city-sized version of The Nautilus!

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 09 Dec 2013 17:11:35
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29635 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2013 :  17:30:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

See, I would have been of the same opinion as Wooly just a year ago, but as I developed my own setting (TWO, actually - on purely HB and one a mash-up of other settings), I've come to appreciate the need for 'antideluvian horrors' in an RPG setting.

Now, I'm not saying it should be so 'in your face' (which sadly 4e did), but it SHOULD be there, in the background, waiting... and watching...

It just adds yet another layer, and if FR is known for anything, its all the 'layers upon layers' of intrigue and fallen civilizations. We've always had aboleths, illithids, and other nasty aberrations - all 4e did was bring them to the forefront in an organized way. I think they were always organized more then they let on - and some of us suspected - but thats the thing with good horror; it creeps up on you.

It shouldn't be flying around in the equivalent of a city-sized version of The Nautilus!



I don't have a problem with ancient evils, just with Cthulhu-knockoffs. Give me nihilistic gods or Valheru or entities like Kezef -- I don't need something from Beyond Reality, when there is more than enough "local" material. I personally think evil that can be understood is better than alien evil -- the prospect of insanity makes the latter scarier, but less interesting.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2013 :  11:10:33  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Thauranil

The heroic fantasy option is the one that appealed the most to me as I am not exactly a big fan of horror.



Not a fan of horror, myself, and though I've read a fair amount of Lovecraft, Cthulhu is not my gig.


Same here. I have a little but it does not really appeal all that much to me.
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Alruane
Senior Scribe

USA
434 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2013 :  13:44:12  Show Profile Send Alruane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've just always enjoyed Fantasy related novels in that aspect. I can't really do too many Horror or non fiction novels. Sorry for going off topic!

" I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?"
~Joneleth Irenicus

"Wisdom? My dear boy, wisdom is knowing that you do not know everything. Wisdom is realizing, a wise man ALWAYS has questions. Not answer."

~Alruane
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