The Seven Samurai

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… is being written right now.  (Well, not right now, obviously, since I’m writing this at the moment).

The working title is THE FREE, which I quite like and suspect it’ll stick all the way through to publication, though you can never be 100% certain of these things.  Said publication is still quite some way off, but when the time comes it’ll be by Orbit again.

What’s it about?  It’s a return to what you might call heroic fantasy, I guess.  Swords, magic and desperate doings in a world of mercenaries, rebellions and … actually, here’s a paraphrased and edited extract from the proposal I submitted to Orbit, which says it pretty well:

Once there were many free companies, selling their martial and magical talents to the highest bidder.  Only one now remains, the greatest of them all, known simply as The Free in acknowledgement of its unique survival.  In the last, chaotic days of a savage rebellion against a tyrannical king, a potent mix of venegeance, love and loyalty is about to bring a storm down upon The Free; a storm so violent it might mean the end for the last of the free companies.

It’s a stand-alone novel, and if it’s about anything – beyond the main objective of providing entertainment and excitement, of course – it’s about freedom, though not necessarily in the ways you might imagine.

And just for fun, since Friday is traditionally the day when I post moving pictures up here, here’s some mood-setting visuals.  These are not exactly direct influences, but they were definitely in the original mix when I was first dreaming The Free up, and they might just give you an idea of where I’m coming from …

Man, trailers were just dreadful back in those days, huh?  Also, the women in The Free have considerably more … agency than in either of those films.  Just feel a need to point that out.

SPOILER WARNING!!! before this last one, as it utterly and completely spoils the ending of one of the best films ever made, The Seven Samurai.  I absolutely mean it when I say: don’t hit that play button if you think you might ever want to watch it in its entirety (and you should, honestly).

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