So a while back, it looked — much to my dismay — as if the Ethshar series was over. But where traditional publishing fails, the internets may find a way. Watt-Evans turned toward a reader-sponsored model, where he’d write a chapter after receiving a certain amount of money from (potential) readers, and with this finance model, he managed to write two more books, Lawrence Watt-Evans’ The Spriggan Mirror and The Vondish Ambassador .

The model doesn’t appear to have been wildly lucrative for Watt-Evans, and these books are only in print from small presses (The Vondish Ambassador, in fact, is basically self-published and you have to buy it directly from Watt-Evans for now), which is the sort of thing that makes me wonder at the reading taste of the fantasy-reading public. I mean, here are books set in a deep, rich world, each of which tells a self-contained little puzzle story; there’s almost nothing like them out there and they’re compellingly readable, yet apparently people would rather read Yet Another Turgid Epic than something fun and original like this. What’s with you, fantasy reading public?

Highly recommended to people who enjoy intelligent light fantasy, with a bit of a hard-SF puzzle-solving feel.


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