All the latest news about Conor Kostick, author of the books Epic and Saga.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Both the Irish Times (in a supplement on Children's Books for Christmas) and the Sunday Independent have recommended Edda for Christmas reading. The Independent says (after I corrected their spelling):
Conor Kostick's Edda (O'Brien Press, €9.99) is the third fantasy in Kostick's series based on gaming and virtual worlds. In spite of the science fiction/futuristic challenges, at its heart are good-hearted clever teenagers confronting danger and oppression in an exciting series of adventures. Continuity is created with the earlier novels in the series, in the form of characters who we know and like, while at the same time there is inventiveness, especially in the figure of Penelope who is physically on a life-support system but whose avatar is free to roam worlds. Kostick challenges the young reader intellectually, but the heart is always in the right place too. This book would work equally well for younger and older teenagers.
posted at Friday, December 16, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I've made the longlist for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for 2012. In Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lindgren created one of the most delightfully irreverent and independent characters in children's literature; this creative act was connected to the fact that Astrid Lindgren herself was a radical humanist and opponent of violence. I'm proud to be associated with her legacy.
posted at Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
There is an interview with Conor by Elizabeth Rose Murray at writing.ie. You should go over there and read it all as this is one of the best interviews with Conor that I have seen. I will extract just one exciting quote about Conor's possible next book:
I am enjoying a certain sense of freedom about my next novel. Mind you, I’m not going to be writing anything in a hurry as we’ve a baby due soon. When I do begin writing fiction again, it will be to develop a couple of characters I have been sketching out. I was thinking of writing something about a boy who is being trained for the priesthood in a Neolithic moon-worshipping society. The interest there being the clash between his own good nature and the darker more oppressive values that he is expected to project on to his people. I’m also having fun making notes on a hedonistic community of electronic intelligences.
posted at Thursday, August 18, 2011
One of my favourite books is The Táin, Thomas Kinsella's version of the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, with illustrations by Louis le Brocquy (Dolmen, 1969; Oxford University Press, 1970). So it was with great pleasure that I learned that Thomas Kinsella was visiting Farmleigh Library, which is where I am working at the moment: unravelling the mysteries of the Gerald of Wales manuscript I came across last year. Neither of us are particularly gregarious upon meeting someone for the first time, so I have no lively anecdotes from the day, other than this. Ed Mulhall (of RTE news) was showing Thomas Kinsella an ipad and by way of illustration of its use, called up an app to do with James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. Kinsella leaned over and began to read the page aloud. We were in the cafe at the time and in our corner of the room a hush developed as we leaned in to hear him. He has a great reading voice and what's more, it all made sense. It makes me think that someone - now that the Joyce copyright has nearly expired - should produce an audio book of Kinsella reading Finnegans Wake and I'm sure all of us who have struggled to get through it would then appreciate it so much more.
posted at Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Saturday, July 02, 2011
Friday, July 01, 2011
Remember how we noted that the French translation of Epic was coming? Well now we have photos of the front and back of the book. Notice how the players are in the same poses offline (on the front cover) and online (on the back)? Of course we love Tony Sahara's covers but this is clever. I like the way Erik turns into Cindella.
posted at Friday, July 01, 2011
The mission of the Skype an Author Network is to provide K-12 teachers and librarians with a way to connect authors, books, and young readers through virtual visits. Conor has signed up for this program and you can see his page here, including rather a good photo.
posted at Friday, July 01, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
This inspired Conor to write:
I never really enjoyed the books we had to study at school, so I have mixed feelings about schools using Epic as a text for study. Overall, I am pleased of course that people are reading and thinking about the book but I hope that it doesn't become a chore. Ideally, if you had Epic as a book to study, you'd read it first and enjoy it, and only then go back to answer questions about it. Instead, over a school year, each week we read a little of the books and plays we had to study and it sucked the life out of them.
Some of the questions set by Mark Twain middle school (8th Grade) are really hard. I mean, I'm not sure I could answer in one sentence the main idea of Epic. Without wanting to give the assignment away, I think I'd say something about a world where success or failure in an online game really mattered, and one where injustices are growing that need to be challenged. Similarly, to explain the theme of Epic in a sentence is tricky. I wonder what the 'right' answer is for this. Maybe someone has identified a really key theme - and it can often happen that the author has unconsciously developed themes that it takes a reader to point out - but my own feeling is that there are several valid answers to this. Again, I don't want to spoil the exercise, but any of these three: that defiance of convention can result in beneficial results; that loyalty to friends is fundamental to being a decent person; and that violence is unjustified in the functioning of a mature society; would all probably allow the student to fill a page with examples. If you are working on the assignment, I hope this helps, and that you enjoyed the book despite having to analyse it carefully.
posted at Thursday, June 30, 2011
The first press reviews for Edda are appearing, and they are great...
Kirkus Reviews gives a starred review:
Just as Saga (2008) exploded beyond opener Epic (2007), this third volume ratchets up this science-fiction gaming series to a whole new level.Read the full review here.
In the Irish Times Robert Dunbar writes:
At a time when so much young adult fiction seems determined to shock its readers with its sensationalism or bore them with its banalities, it is refreshing to read a novel that steers well clear of both tendencies. Conor Kostick’s Edda, the concluding volume of the trilogy now known as the Avatar Chronicles, is such a book.
posted at Thursday, June 30, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Conor Kostick appeared on RTÉ Two's Elev8 show to promote the newly published Edda. You can watch it here (until 16-June-2011). Conor appears about 12 minutes in. You can see that he is slightly thrown by the introduction, where the presenter Ivan wrongly thinks the film Avatar was inspired by the trilogy. Conor keeps his cool however and this is a good advert for the book. I like the way he is captioned as AWESOME AUTHOR.
Update: Conor writes:
Elev8 is a fun, fast-paced, show for kids on the Irish state channel, RTE2. When I got there I was hugely surprised to find the presenters of the show - Diana and Ivan - dressed up as characters from the film Avatar. They had gotten the idea from the fact the Epic-Saga-Edda series is called the Avatar Chronicles. The producer explained to me that they knew my books were different to the film, but it was a chance to have some fun with the make-up department, who had risen to the challenge. Their costumes were great, unfortunately though, in their opening remarks, both Diana and Ivan attributed the idea of the film to me, which isn't at all true. Still, the rest of the interview went well and I even got a chance to wave to Maya, my two-year-old daughter. When I got home, Aoife and I played the recording to Maya and she loved it, saying 'again' each time I waved to her and forcing us to rewind that moment over and over.
The program itself went out live, which was rather nerve-wracking in the few minutes before we began. Even though I've done a fair bit of TV it's usually pre-recorded - say for a history documentary - and we can reshoot if I don't get it right first time. Here, I was conscious that I could say something very foolish. It's a kind of vertigo you get just before things start happening. But once the questions came, you lose most of that self-conscious feeling. Diana and Ivan seemed genuinely interested in what I was saying, which helped.
Then came that strange game, where they avatarised three (turns out only two worked) famous people. Unfortunately, I am very ignorant of the person who they claimed was the most famous person in the world, I'm not a Belieber, so I was very stuck for that one. Nor was Brian O'Driscoll easy to recognise. Still, they helped me along with outrageously easy clues and I got through it. What was really good, although it doesn't quite come across in the clip, is that I could see the large screen behind the presenters, which was showing the Viking promo clip for Saga. Also, there was some pretty fast paced dance music going on the whole time to make the atmosphere of the studio feel more exciting. All in all it was a blast and I'm glad they invited me on the show.
posted at Friday, May 27, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Tony Sahara currently has this fantastic picture from the Edda cover as the background to his home page.
Updated to add: You can download Edda Wallpapers from Tony's site!
There are two impressive short pieces of Conor Kostick fan fiction set in the world of Epic over at fanfiction.net. For those who wonder about how authors feel about fanfic I recommend this piece by Charles Stross.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Conor Kostick writes
Calling all readers of this blog! My publishers want a good title for the Epic, Saga, Edda series. It is quite a challenge to find the right phrase. The Cindella Dragonslayer Trilogy is a bit long and perhaps misleading as although Epic and Edda have a lot of fantasy, Saga has hardly any. The Cyber Worlds Trilogy sounds a bit dated, while the Cloud Wars Trilogy is perhaps a bit cryptic. Avatar Chronicles is good and perhaps the front runner, but a bit too similar to the film Avatar. Multiverse Trilogy isn't bad but other authors, most notably Michael Moorcock, have already written books in a multiverse series. So does anyone have any good suggestions? I'd be very glad to hear them and I'll send a signed copy of the first run of Edda to you as well as my thanks if we use your idea.If you have ideas then please leave a comment!
posted at Monday, February 07, 2011
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