Victor Milán Talks ‘The Dinosaur Knights’ in Reddit AMA


milan-dinosaurknightsAuthor Victor Milán dropped by to talk about his new book, The Dinosaur Knights, as well as his other books and and other interests. Here are a few of the great questions he tackled. Read the rest here.

MikeofthePalace: You’re trapped on a deserted island with three books. Knowing that you will be reading them over and over and over again, what three do you bring?

1) Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
2) The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
3) Raft Building and Provisioning for Protracted Ocean Voyages*

**Should this one be unavailable for some reason, I guess I’d go with a bound collection of the Carl Barks run of Donald Duck comics.

DeleriumTrigger: Hi Victor – My question is related to hype. Your book cover dropped well before the book itself came out, and generated a lot of buzz and excitement in fantasy circles. Does this kind of thing add a higher level of pressure on your side? Anxiety? Or is it just an exciting thing to see your book garnering excitement long before it releases? Thanks!

Oh, heck, no! When I first laid eyes on Richard Anderson’s eye-popping cover for The Dinosaur Lords, my breath stuck in my throat, my eyes stood out of my head on cartoon stalks, and the first coherent thought I was able to form was, roughly, “Holy crap, I’ve won the lottery!”

Walter Jon Williams calls it “The greatest cover in the history of the Universe.” I’m not sure even I would go that far, but … I also can’t say he’s wrong.
Although some people disagree, and say that it’s really Anderson’s cover for The Dinosaur Knights.

As of this Fall I’ve been a full-time professional writer for almost all of the last 42 years. This is the first time I’ve experienced anything within an order of magnitude of the hype for Dinosaur Lords, and now Dinosaur Knights are getting. I relished it last year, candidly. And this year, I find – I still do.

And, oh, yeah – Anderson’s doing the third book cover too! I hope we can acquire a similar symbiosis to that GRRM and John Picacio have.

ShovelThatEvil: Hi Vic! I’m really enjoying your AMA so far. No one’s even asked you for nudes! Can you talk a little bit about real-world analogues and inspirations for some of the characters and forces at play in your world? I know there is a crazy amount of research, cross-indexation and self-referentialism contained therein. Maybe drop a tidbit people may not have caught?

In that no one has yet asked me for nudes, Reddit users show perhaps unexpected wisdom.

Glad you like it!

Let me see. I’ve already copped to stealing liberally from history, as so many of your and my favorite writers do.

Here’s a possibility: some people think that shadowy operator and real-life supervillain Cardinal Richelieu was the man for whom history coined the phrase, “grey eminence.”

It’d be appropriate, since “Eminence” was and I guess still is the accepted form of address for a cardinal. But as I understand from my research into the Thirty Years’ War – of which he was perhaps the major player, and the closest thing to a winner – that name was not coined for him, but for his confessor, a man named Father Joseph. Who by being Richelieu’s puppet – or perhaps puppet master? – was a kind of shadow cardinal: a grey eminence.

Now, while there’s no direct analogue of Richelieu in The Dinosaur Lords books – at least, not yet – the man Richelieu mainly opposed when he started intervening in the 30YW was the man who blundered into it, the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II. And one of his key blunders was made in part on the counsel of a guest confessor: the esteemed Father Joseph of France.

Felipe, Emperor of Nuevaropa in the books, is based on Ferdinand, as well as brilliant blunderer Philip II of Spain. And whom do you think also has a mystery-shrouded confessor, whose advice doesn’t always turn out so well?