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In Dark Service by Stephen Hunt
  

In Dark Service

Horror - Fantasy - SF   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

RRP £14.99

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Stephen Hunt is a masterful writer and I don’t know why he is not more popular. Well, this is the book to launch him to new heights. Old fans, here’s the new one, you’ll love it. Newcomers, this is the place to start. I loved the Jackelian series (which incidentally all stand-alone pretty well so read any of them but the first is the Court of the Air) but here is something different and darker. A new series and a new world, shining with endless possibilities. The action is split between a group of captives sold as slaves and those questing to find them, who are an even more unlikely lot than usually embark upon such things. It seems there are no warriors in either group but looks can be deceiving … I really loved it. Lots of action, lots of cliff hangers (some literally), lots of twists and lots of pages. A wonderful book which I hope with spawn many more in the same world.

If you like Stephen Hunt you might also like to read books by Alan Campbell, Philip Pullman and Rod Rees.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

In Dark Service by Stephen Hunt

Jacob Carnehan has settled down. He's living a comfortable, quiet life, obeying the law and minding his own business while raising his son Carter ...on those occasions when he isn't having to bail him out of one scrape or another. His days of adventure are - thankfully - long behind him. Carter Carnehan is going out of his mind with boredom. He's bored by his humdrum life, frustrated that his father won't live a little, and longs for the bright lights and excitement of anywhere-but-here. He's longing for an opportunity to escape, and test himself against whatever the world has to offer. Carter is going to get his opportunity. He's caught up in a village fight, kidnapped by slavers and, before he knows it, is swept to another land. A lowly slave, surrounded by technology he doesn't understand, his wish has come true: it's him vs. the world. He can try to escape, he can try to lead his fellow slaves, or he can accept the inevitable and try to make the most of the short, brutal existence remaining to him...unless Jacob gets to him first and, no matter the odds, he intends to. No one kidnaps his son and gets away with it - and if it come to it, he'll force Kings to help him on his way, he'll fight, steal, blackmail and betray his friends in the name of bringing Carter home. Wars will be started. Empires will fall. And the Carnehan family will be reunited, one way or another...

Reviews

In Dark Service possesses much complexity in terms of its detailed and often riveting exploration of locales and the differing characters which call them home Film in Words the ultimate test of a fantasy book is whether you want to read further volumes, and here In Dark Service succeeds magnificently 4* SFX The first of a trilogy, it builds a strong foundation for a world that still has so much to explore, with strong and interesting characters that have firmly found their feet in a wonderfully told story Sci-Fi Now A fast paced and inventive book, 'In Dark Service
is an intriguing start to a series that, with time, could be well worth a read. THE BOOKBAG

About the Author

Stephen Hunt has written one previous book, the fantasy novel For the Crown and the Dragon, which won the WH Smith New Talent Award in 1994 and was published by the UK's largest bookseller under the auspices of their New Talent Initiative. It went on to get praise in reviews as diverse as Locus, the Guardian, Science Fiction Chronicle, Arcane, Broadsword and various other newspapers and genre titles.

Stephen Hunt set up one of the first science fiction and fantasy web sites, www.SFcrowsnest.com, in 1994, the same year Netscape was launched as a graphical web browser. Today Stephen Hunt's SFcrowsnest.com â„¢ has 340,000 readers a month and is PageRanked as the second most popular science fiction site on the internet (the first being SciFi.com, the web site of the SciFi television channel).

Originally set up to help promote Hunt's fiction, the site has expanded into an online magazine featuring SFF book and movie reviews, editorials, fiction, articles and news. Contributors include authors such as Ken Macleod and Stephen Baxter, as well as hundreds of science fiction and fantasy fans around the world.

Stephen Hunt lives in Surrey with his wife and children.

Below is a Q&A with this author.

1) When do you find time to write while fitting in a job, family, hobbies the website and “nerding about on your PC”?

The trick here is to make the best use of your dead time – that hour both ways on the train becomes liquid gold when you pull out your laptop or notepad to get jiggy with the wordage. The hour at lunch becomes a creative opportunity, rather than just sixty minutes of bored meandering around Pret in the hopeless search for a new sarnie you haven’t tried before. Getting up early helps, too, so you can fit in some coffee shop time before the day job; hey, if it was good enough for JK Rowling… I’m usually up around 5.50am each morning.

2) Who or what has been the biggest influence on your writing?

For me this is always a difficult question, because I’ve read so many science fiction and fantasy books when I was younger, plundering my father’s library – he was an early genre fan, and we had thousands of SFF titles knocking around. Influences would have to include authors like Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clark, Jack Vance, Iain Banks, Sheri S. Tepper, Samuel R. Delany, Gene Wolfe, James Blish, C. J. Cherryh, Ben Bova, William Gibson, H.G. Wells, Greg Bear, Philip K. Dick, Larry Niven, Joe Haldeman, Frederik Pohl, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jerry Pournelle, Michael Moorcock, J.R. Tolkien, Clifford Simak, Douglas Adams, Dan Simmons, Isaac Asimov, John Wyndham, Piers Anthony, Harry Harrison, Robert Heinlein, Robert Silverberg, Ray Bradbury, A. E. van Vogt, Kurt Vonnegut, Alec Effinger.

3) Stuck alone on a desert island would you rather have one good Scifi novel to read or your favourite Scifi TV series (plus battery powered TV to watch on)?

I’d go for a book every time. If I absolutely had to go for a TV set though, I’d ask for Bladerunner on DVD. That’s one of the few science fiction movies I can watch more than once and never get tired of seeing it.

4) What is your favourite book outside the Scifi Fantasy genre? Or What is your favourite book? Or both??

Outside the genre, it would be a toss up between Martin Amis’s Money or A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe. I suspect if I had to make the dreaded Desert Island Disc choice now, my book would be outside the science fiction and fantasy genre, just because once you start writing books in the SFF genre, it becomes much harder to (re)read genre novels without bringing a much more critical eye to the novels. I’m reliably told by someone in the business that chefs feel the same when they eat in someone else’s restaurant. It kind of ruins the experience.

5) What is it about the Victorian era that particularly interests you?

I’d stretch my own period feel back a little earlier to encapsulate the Regency/Georgian period, too. Both that and the Victorian era just have so many plot possibilities, you can have endless fun stretching around the borders of history and playing with the stereotypes of the period. It was the time when the Great was slipped in before the Britain, and there’s still a lot of nostalgia for that period in the UK. I think it’s a historical fascination that stretches beyond just my own – you only have to look at the popularity on television of costume dramas, which are invariably set in the world of Jane Austin/Dickens, or subtly aping them in TV series like Tipping the Velvet (from Sarah Waters’ book, of course). When you get into the military side of things, there’s Sharpe’s Company, Hornblower, Patrick O'Brian’s Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin characters. All books. All TV series or movies, too.

6) What advice would you give to writers wanting to break in to Science Fiction writing?

I think the best advice is just keep at it, book after book, getting better with each work, published or no, and avoid anything that distracts from the actual tedious act of locking yourself away from the world and just writing it out (such as writers’ circles, hobby magazines on writing from WH Smith, and writer’s classes: all useless, and all the kiss of death to any burgeoning artist).

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Book Info

Publication date

15th May 2014

Author

Stephen Hunt

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Author's Website

www.sfcrowsnest.com/

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Publisher

Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
576 pages

Categories

Horror - Fantasy - SF
eBook Favourites
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Fantasy

ISBN

9780575092068

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