Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Mongoliad

Today marks the release of The Mongoliad, a collaborative fantasy release by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, E.D. deBirmingham, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, and Copper Moo.

This is an interesting one because it actually began as an app project. According to the website, "... a community-driven, enhanced, serial novel..." now compiled into a formal novelization available in print (and ebook) -- as of today.

So what do you get when you combine some of the foremost fantasy and sci-fi authors with a carefully plotted historical fantasy filled with fight scenes? The Mongoliad of course.

Set in the 13th century, The Mongoliad centers around the Mongol invasion led by Genghis Khan's son, Ogedei, the Khan of Khans. A mixed group of warriors has come up with a plan to save their homes -- if the Khan of Khan dies without naming a successor, all of his officers will return to their homeland to name a new leader, freeing up the people of the lands they've been invading for so long. And so the group must kill Ogedei.

Chapters alternate between narrators, including the Mongol point of view via a young man who has been sent to help Ogedei and the would-be assassins, mainly via Cnan, a Binder with excellent tracking skills -- and a woman. Each new chapter reveals a new thread of the plot.

It is amazing to me that so many authors can work together to create a fluid piece of fiction. The Mongoliad also marks my formal introduction to said authors. Though I'm familiar with Stephenson and Greg Bear, I've not really delved into their individual works as of yet. I dabbled a bit with Stephenson's Baroque Cycle ages ago and couldn't hack it at the time.

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