Archive for August, 2011 melds the minds of science fiction and fantasy writers every Wednesday, inviting authors to answer a new question each week. This week, my brain was invited to the stew. Ewww!

The question was:

Q: What is the role and place of maps in Fantasy novels? Which are your favorites? Why?

In my comments, I talked about my own experience with commissioning a map for The Black God’s War and gave links to some of my favorite maps, including maps from:

Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, Book 6.
Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold
David Anthony Durham’s Acacia
Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn
Kevin J Anderson’s Terra Incognita series
Selina Fenech’s Memory’s Wake
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
And, of course, my own.

I could link to those maps from here, but then you might not see all of the cool things over there. So check it out!

You might’ve seen my map for The Black God’s War:

Map by Jared Blando,

But I haven’t shown the original map that I drew for Jared Blando at (he’s the artist of the above map):


Good thing there are real artists in the world, eh?


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#5MinuteFiction Finalists! And the Winner is …

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Flash Fiction, Giveaways, Weird

The Black God's War (Novel)With 11 votes and two more votes than the two who tied for second place, the winner of #5MinuteFiction Week 65 is …

DL Thurston@DL_Thurston

Congratulations, DL! It was a close one, but you edged out Sharon and Brian. In addition to considerable bragging rights, you’ve also won a free copy of The Black God’s War (ebook or trade paperback). DL’s winning piece of flash fiction is the first one presented below.

Thanks to everyone who participated! It was a lot of fun for me to host and judge the event, and I truly got a kick out of everyone’s submissions. Thanks for playing and I hope to see you again soon.



The five finalists for this week’s #5MinuteFiction are, listed in the order of submissions:

DL Thurston / @DL_Thurston

redshirt @redshirt6

kaolin fire@kaolinfire

Sharon Wachsler@aftergadget

Brian Cortijo @briancortijo

All I’m sayin’ is, if I had entered this competition, I don’t think I would’ve been one of the finalists. And the writing prompt was about my book. These folks are good! A little too good, if you ask me. I suspect foul play. Perhaps souls being promised to powerful discarnate entities? But I have no evidence, so …

The winner gets bragging rights and a free copy of The Black God’s War (paperback or ebook). While you’re waiting for the winner to be announced (tomorrow morning, after I wake up, maybe around 8 or 9 am Pacific?), you’re more than welcome to check out this in-browser, five chapter preview of The Black God’s War. You can find more info on the book, including some reviews, here on my blog.

And now, your Devil worshippers finalists.

DL Thurston@DL_Thurston

“When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until a young man was found, born of common stock, who…”

“Wait wait wait,” his grandson griped. “Is this another one of those chosen one saves the day stories?”

“But those are the best kind of stories.”


“They teach us that anyone could be special.”

“Nuh-uh. Special people are special. If you’re not, you just get to be killed by orcs.”

He shifted in his chair, uncomfortable about the line of questioning but proud of his grandson for seeing through the stories.

“Alright, then, what kind of story would you like to hear?”

“What was the world like when you were a kid?”

He beamed and with an impishness in his voice said, “oh, I doubt you want to hear about then. It was boring.”

“No! No no no! Tell me!”

“Alright,” the grandfather said, “let me think. Ah yes. When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until I was found…”

redshirt @redshirt6

When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until one day it was realized that they had been fighting themselves. It was finally discovered that the two had met at the boundary between worlds. On one side, the normal world, and on the other was a mirror world. Like a small tiger cub approaching a mirror and mistaking itself for another, it had taken a while to figure out.

Ultimately, the introduction of a cosmic ball of yarn resolved this epic struggle.


kaolin fire@kaolinfire

When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until the city of Kalinga sold out. Their holy tomes, though critically acclaimed, and loved throughout the land, had not met with the approval his High Holiness Kann the Fourth. They gave the ten gods maps of the Mahayana passes; succored them after travel, and allowed them to stage. Sravasti fell shortly after, the stories penned at Kalinga swaying them body and soul. With the combined might of Rezzia, the ten gods, and Sravasti and Ashown against the capital, Kannauj soon fell. The monks of Kalinga quickly set to writing the histories—and it was known throughout the lands, and for all time, the great deeds of the press and the scribes who manned them.


Sharon Wachsler@aftergadget

When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until the mystics had had their fair share of pizza.

It was well known that Pawelonian pizza was not only extremely tasty, with it’s batter-dipped oorangtilian and pickled onshulung giving it that certain flavor that reminded everyone who tasted it of their first orgasm, but it also rendered the eater incredibly strong, hairy, and full of second-Sight.

The Gods knew they were at this disadvantage, and no amount of Rezzian spaghetti could ever make up for it. No matter how delicious the basil-infused spider-fish was.

The Mystics, now sprouting a fine coat of silver fur, muscles bulging like frantian tigers, eyes popping up all over their bodies, and the backs of their heads, peeking through their new, thick pelts, turned to face the Gods.

They were ready. They’d had their glass of Cabernet imported from Earth, too. They strode to the battlefield, all eyes roving in 360 directions.

That’s when they saw it. The big marquee over the Rezzian town center: “Pawleon Pizza: Fresh, Hot, Ready, & Fur-Bearing in Five Minutes or Your Money Back.”

7,000 pairs of Mystic eyes blinked in consternation.


Brian Cortijo @briancortijo

“When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until …”

James squinted at the two additional columns of text, shook his head, and closed the thin booklet.

“Alright, that’s too much.” He hated long, expository read-aloud text that had nothing to do with the module. Everyone did.

Well, everyone except Keith. He knew all this stuff cold, and he’d been waiting months to play The Black Cultists of Rezzia. He sighed a little bit, and closed his notebook, as James continued.

“The mystics of Pawelon have hired you to guard a sacred artifact from the cultists of Rezzia.”

“Which god?”

“What do you mean, which god, Keith? They’re cultists of Rezzia…”

“Rezzia,” started Keith, “is a place, not a deity.”

“Look,” said James, “do you want to play, or not?”

“Yes, but…”

“If you keep debating, no one else is going to have any fun.”

The rest of the table nodded eagerly in agreement.

“James, I understand that you’re the GameMaster, but it’s important to me that you at least try and get some of the details right. For example, if you’d even tried to read the intro text…”

“That’s it. While Keith’s priest is checking his book to see which god the cultists worship, a pack of starving wolves attacks the party. Roll for initiative.”

Keith sighed, deflated, and picked up his dice.


Who shall wear the crown? #5MinuteFiction Week 65
DL Thurston / @DL_Thurston
redshirt @redshirt6
kaolin fire / @kaolinfire
Sharon Wachsler / @aftergadget
Brian Cortijo @briancortijo free polls


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What is 5MinuteFiction, you say? It’s an adrenaline-fueled, instant-gratification sort of writing contest. Sound fun? Great! Get in there and get dirty!

The Rules

* You get five minutes to write a piece of prose or poetry in any style or genre. Just make it up and have fun!

You must BEGIN your entry with the following sentence (it’s related to my novel, but you get to make up your own story):

When the ten gods of the Kingdom of Rezzia went to war with the mystics of the lands of Pawelon, neither side could gain any advantage until …

(Note: The above sentence is the prompt. The picture below is just for decoration/inspiration.)

Map by Jared Blando,

To enter, leave a comment with your entry on this very blog post. I’ll close the contest at 1:45 pm Eastern (you should only write for five minutes and then immediately post your entry).

At the close of the contest, I’ll nominate five finalists and put up a poll in a new thread. When I wake up on Wednesday, I’ll close the poll and declare the winner.

For updates, follow us on twitter with the #5MinuteFiction hashtag.


(Posted earlier …)

This is gonna be fun! My blog is hosting an excellent flash fiction contest that’s normally organized every week by my writer-friend, Leah Petersen. Leah has a SciFi novel coming out through Dragon Moon Press in the Spring of 2012. It’s called Fighting Gravity, and I’m sure I’ll be talking more about it down the road.

Since I get to be king for a day (host and judge of #5MinuteFiction), this week’s contest will be fantasy-flavored and The Black God’s War-flavored (that’s my epic fantasy novel that just came out this month). The winner will win a free copy of my novel, whether in ebook or trade paperback (winner’s choice). You can also read a free 5-chapter preview of my book in your browser.

The Black God's War (Novel)

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The Black God's War (Novel)The Black God’s War has arrived, to my sincere surprise, with some very kind reviews from three outstanding book reviewers.

GraceKrispy from MotherLode is a well-respected reviewer who rarely gives out 5 stars (so far, only four other 5-star reviews on her popular blog this year), but she had this to say at the end of her review of The Black God’s War:

If you follow my reviews regularly, you know I don’t give many 5 star reviews. In my way of thinking, there are almost always things I would have changed about a story. Although I’ve listed a few things I’d change about this story (clarify chapter headings and characters’ thoughts), I find that (hours later), I can’t stop thinking about the characters and their journeys. I find myself contemplating the messages that were delivered (whether overtly or veiled). Overall, I find I really can’t stop thinking about this story. Unforgettable story, intriguing characters, compelling journey with unexpected twists- in short, a very satisfying and engaging read. Isn’t that why we read for pleasure?

Then today a review came in from Derek Prior at IndieFantasyReview. Derek wrote a rather critical review of my previously released novella and he’s not the type to blow sunshine, so this was nice to hear:

The Black God’s War is, to date, the finest example of quality independent fantasy I’ve seen. This is undoubtedly due to Siregar’s willingness to write and rewrite until each chapter feels just right to him … As a reader, I was left with absolute confidence that this writer knows his world and characters inside out …

He’s also no slacker when it comes to presentation of his material either. This book has been professionally and extensively edited, proofed, and formatted. There is a remarkable map and a great cover.

This is what indie publishing is all about and I have no qualms about recommending this great novel.

A third professional review also arrived just today. It’s from Robert Duperre at the Journal of Always. Robert wrote the sort of deep, thoughtful, and thorough review that every author dreams of receiving. Here’s an excerpt from his 4.5 star review:

“… there is a rather brilliant climax that left me grinning from ear to ear …

In conclusion, The Black God’s War is a unique experience. The plot is intricate, the characters even more so, and the message is one of beauty. By the time you flip to the last few pages, I hope you have the shivers just as I did, which is how I know that Moses Siregar is going to be around a long time, and his voice, one of unity, passion, and loving sensibilities, is important – in the world at large as well as literature.

So bravo, Mr. Siregar. You wrote a damn good book. You should be very proud.”


The Black God's War [A Stand-Alone Novel] (Splendor and Ruin, Book I)

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Some of you already know that I’m a co-host at the Adventures In SciFi Publishing podcast. Last week, in honor of the release of my novel, my friends Shaun and Brent interviewed, well, me. We discussed my early background, how I got into writing fantasy fiction, my influences, The Black God’s War, and the state of publishing today.

Here’s episode 130 of AISFP. Thanks for listening!


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