Friday, February 11, 2011

Welcome to Yos!

My first novel, The Calvanni, is an heroic fantasy adventure set on the world of Yos.

The book is no doubt heavily influenced by David Gemmell, my all time favourite writer.

To the left is a map of the continent of Kelas, where all the action in The Calvanni takes place.

On Yos all metal is magical. Weapons are crafted of exotic ceramics, the secrets handed down from master glassmith to apprentice for centuries. Razor sharp, but often brittle, the lanedd blades can be cast no longer than a long knife or calv. Calvanni means 'knife fighter'. On Yos there are no swords, and specialist pole arms called 'scythes' and spears are the weapons of choice in the field.

Control of magic is the ultimate basis for power. Since the fall of the Bulvuran Empire the Druids have monopolized power, outlawing the ancient practice of Sorcery, once the domain of the Bulvuran nobility.

Yos has twin suns that play havoc with the weather. Their regular eclipse causes Storm Season, when most of the wildlife - and the various sentient races - stay out of the cold and the vicious storms that follow. Any human unlucky enough to find themselves out in Storm Season has to contend with the Heat, a biological mechanism that can keep them alive - at a price.

The events in The Calvanni are set thirty years after the fall of the once vast Bulvuran Empire, when Kelas is divided into waring sardoms, and the ancient enemy of Man, the Eathal, plot their long-awaited revenge in the deep caverns of Maht.

My first foray into the world of Yos was a novella called Flight of the Phoenix, set at the fall of the Empire. Learning of the plot to destroy the Bulvuran Emperor and his family, the aging general Belin has to race through the night to save the life of the Empress Evylin and her newborn child. Always fearful of magic, Belin is confronted with powerful sorcery, facing an Eathal shapechanger in an epic battle that shakes the foundations of Yos itself.

The novella was published in 2003 in the Fantasy Readers Wanted - Apply Within anthology.

I am very excited to announce that Flight of the Phoenix will be republished by Naked Reader in electronic format (May/June)!

I have a signed copy of the Fantasy Readers Wanted - Apply Within anthology to give away (which has a poem by Neil Gaiman in it. No really.) to the first person to email me at "" with the answer to the following cryptic question:)

How many Temples of the Iris are there?

HINT: If you have not read The Calvanni, the answer is somewhere on my website.

Good hunting!


Jim McCoy said...

Hey, that's a sweet cover for the anthology. That's not available as a poster is it?

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

yeah, a poster of that would be great.

The world also sounds great, Chris, and I can't wait to read the stories.

MataPam said...

And hi-res download of the map? Please?

MataPam said...

Actually that one printed very nicely. Just twist NR's arms and get it included for those of us who love maps.

Kate Paulk said...

I second the request for that map in the NR publication! And I love the sense of humor in the anthology cover. That would make such a cool poster.

C Kelsey said...

That's a cool sounding world, Chris. A fantasy world with no swords. Heheh, I like it.

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Jim. It was a gret cover. Unfortunately You could try contacting Silver Lake Publishing - they would probably still have the artwork.

I did a quick check on Amazon - the anthology is still selling as new as well. You can save the jpg from the Amazon listing, which will give you a better look at some of the finer details.

Chris McMahon said...

Thanks, Sarah. This world has been with me for so long it's like a familiar set of comfy clothes. I spent years working on the background for the world - ecology, the orbits of the planets, the backstory, religions. Can't wait to bring some of that colour to life!

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Matapam. I'll try to get a better scan of the map. I think that one was a home job. I think I might have it in pdf from the first edition of Calvanni that came out here in 2006.

Great idea to get it included on NR. It would need to be good enough so you can see where the Delta province is - that's where Belin starts his journey to Raynor on his narsiit (winged horse).

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Kate. The resolution is not good enough to see it, but there is a monk trying to give a cheque to the Troll (the big green guy with the club) who is gesturing back to a sign with his thumb that says 'No Cheques Allowed':)

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Chris. It was a lot of fun. It made the weapons really intersting. The calv or long knife is the longest blade they can manage. The niche of the swordsmen as elite dualists is really taken by the scythemen. The elite weapon is called a greatscythe, which has two blades - one at either end. Very tricky weapons!

C Kelsey said...


Some friends and I once experimented with double bladed weapons like that. Extremely hard to become proficient at.

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Chris. Added to which they are razor sharp. As an added dimension, the greatscycthes also have a mechanism for releasing and retracting the blades while being used. They really are the elite weapon - used by a class of warriors similar to the samurai.

Most troops opt for the standard scythe, which is a polearm weapon with a single blade.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

Map should be included in the NR edition. Perhaps it should also be sold separately for download that could then be printed?

After you have a few books in the world, it might also make a great promotional swag-thing for conventions here. Posters are relatively cheap to print, particularly the printing-paper size which are also best for distro in a freeby table. Um....

And heck, Chris, just your description of the world makes me want to bring out my drawing pad. This is a GOOD sign.

Chris McMahon said...

Thank, Sarah. I'd have to say it's fantatic to be able to share it:)