• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:


    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!

     

     

All Dwarves are Scottish

Our inhouse Voyager reading club recently decided to go back and re-read ( or read for the first time- *gasp!* ) Raymond E. Feist’s original classic fantasy epic Magician, published in 1982. Upon reaching the introduction of Feist’s Dwarves, and the character Dolgan in particular, it struck me that I assumed the ‘deep, rolling burr’ of the Dwarven accent was Scottish. The names of their mines ( “Mac Mordain Cadal”), Dolgan’s frequent use of ‘lad’ & organisation into clans didn’t help either.

So I got to thinking: when, exactly, did the Dwarf become synonymous with Scotland? Despite being responsible for much of the modern fantasy concept of Dwarves as an imagined race, Tolkien never gave them any distinctively Scottish traits. They were based much more on nordic myth I thought. One of our Sales Managers pointed out that a possible source for aspects of dwarvish culture for Tolkien may have been the archetype of the “rough & hearty” working class miners of Cornwall or Wales, which would certainly fit with his stated goals of creating a modern mythology for the British Isles.

Wikipedia argues that the modern version of the ‘Scottish Dwarf’ originates from the book Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson (published in 1961, but originally a novella from 1953 ) which featured a Dwarf named Hugi with a Scottish accent and a man transported from WWII to a parallel world under attack by Faerie. The book was a major influence on Dungeons & Dragons, which introduced Dwarves as playable race in 1974 and helped disseminate a “standard” idea of what Dwarves were like.

From there it seemed to become a self-perpetuating idea. The parallels between the bearded Dwarves as warlike mountain dwellers and long-haired Scottish Highland warriors are fairly obvious, and perhaps this was Anderson’s starting point too. The love of drinking, feasting and fighting has perhaps more Viking or sterotypical “working class miner” associations. A recent animated film, How to Train Your Dragon ( based on a children’s book of the same name ) features Vikings with scottish accents ( though all the children & teenagers mysteriously have American accents ) who also look a lot like oversized Dwarves. The enormously popular Warcraft universe has steampunk Dwarves with Scottish accents.

It all came full circle with the film version of The Lord of the Rings having Gimli sport a very Scottish accent. It will be interesting to see how far they take this with The Hobbit film though. From the little we’ve heard in the trailers they don’t seem particularly Scottish, but time will tell …! What do think? Do you usually associate dwarves with Scotland or is it just me?

An apology for ‘A Crown Imperilled’ error

Sometimes things go wrong in the complex process of publishing a book, but we do try to keep it to a minimum! This time a glitch has slipped through our safety net, and unfortunately it’s in the otherwise wonderful A Crown Imperilled. We at Voyager are not only the publishers of Ray’s work, we are also his fans, so this pains us deeply.

We would like to apologise wholeheartedly for any inconvenience the error may have caused you. We are aware of the fault, and are correcting it in the reprint. For a new copy, you should take the book back to the store from which you purchased it and they will exchange it for a credit or a replacement, when they are available. The corrected edition is identifiable by a jewel printed on the inside front jacket flap.

For those who have purchased the e-book edition, an updated version will be provided and available as a free download from your e-book retailer.

A note from Raymond E. Feist and Jane Johnson:

Dear Reader, Putting a book together is a collaborative undertaking, but ultimately the responsibility for errors falls to the author. Even if someone introduces an error in production, the author is given the opportunity to read the final manuscript and should spot it. A Crown Imperilled has such an error, one potentially annoying to the reader. In the last stage of production, I inadvertently inserted a much early draft version of part of one chapter in lieu of the final draft, which resulted in a continuity gaff. For this I deeply apologize, and will do my very best to not repeat such a mistake. It’s the first real gaff in thirty years, and doubly galling because I know how it was supposed to read. Thank you for years of support.’

-Raymond E. Feist

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‘It’s not fair that Ray should shoulder all the blame. I was the editor in charge of getting a perfect book to press, and in the midst of a white-hot edit I missed the fact that suddenly Pug was in two places at once! Editors are supposed to be infallible (it’s our job), but I fear I was swept away by the story, reading like a reader and not like an editor. After 27 years you’d think I’d have got that one down. And then the proofreader, whose job it is to sweep up after both of us, missed it as well. I am so sorry: we pride ourselves on the quality – both in terms of the writer’s imagination and of our production – of Voyager novels, and I sincerely hope the glitch will not spoil this wonderful novel for you.’

Jane Johnson, Publishing Director