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A new week of Fantastic Fables starts today and we have a very special visitor. I’m a big fan of all things furry and it doesn’t get any better than man’s best friend. Oberon isn’t your average Irish wolfhound. He has a fine mind, some pretty cool abilities and a great sense of humor. Lucky for us, Atticus agreed to let him hangout with us for the day. Kevin Hearne’s HAMMERED (available now from Random House/Del Rey), is the third book in The Iron Druid Chronicles urban fantasy series, which is full of excellent mythology, worldbuilding and supernatural shenanigans. Thanks to Kevin and the wonderful people at Random House/Del Rey, four of you who comment on this post will win a copy of the latest book! See details below
Oberon is an Irish wolfhound bound telepathically to the ancient Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan in The Iron Druid Chronicles. He learned English gradually through their link and spent many hours watching movies and TV while Atticus was working. He is, in all other respects, a normal dog—except he can type with his front claws.
All Fables Would Be Better With a Hound
Okay, when I look at all those stories that animators peddle to tiny humans so their parents don’t have to be parents for an hour or so, I can’t think of any one of them that wouldn’t be improved by having me around to solve some of their problems. There is a reason that dogs are called man’s best friend. We are actually a woman’s best friend, too—don’t lay that sexism on me!
Take Cinderella for an example. She’s a doormat because her only friends are tiny little mice and some oddly cooperative birds. The mice are admittedly far more skilled at dressmaking than I am, but think of how much easier her life would have been if I’d been around to bark and growl at the stepsisters and generally persuade them to back the hell off.
I could have put food on the table by hunting deer. I could have protected their sheep from wolves, if they had any sheep or wolves. They would have been far more prosperous with a proper hound in the house, and all they would have had to do is feed me sausage and let me watch cable.
Speaking of wolves, Little Red Riding Hood seriously needed a hound if she couldn’t tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother. Either that or the grandmother needed a giant tube of Nair. But with me along, I could have sniffed out that wolf right away and torn out its throat, and we all would have been spared Red’s formulaic sentence structure as she slowly pieced together that her grandma probably went down kinda tough and stringy and she was to be the tender main course.
And Goldilocks! Good grief, if only I’d been there, I could have saved her life! No hound with the tiniest shred of loyalty would let their human get eaten by great big bears! I would have smelled who lived there right away and the temperature of the porridge, the height of the furniture, and the comfort of the beds would have been moot points!
So basically I’m saying I make everything better. Atticus told me so and he wouldn’t lie to me. If you don’t have a hound, you should get one and stock up on treats. You won’t be sorry.
Kevin is the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, an urban fantasy series published by Del Rey Books. The first three books of the series will be released in May and June of 2011.
An Arizona native, Kevin got hooked on comic books at an early age and embraced his inner nerd. Later he got hooked on coffee, but that did nothing to ameliorate his nerdhood. He spent time as a singing waiter in college and also contributed to the college newspaper as an editorial cartoonist and feature columnist. It was during this time he got the writing bug, thanks to Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
He now teaches high school English, reads lots of fantasy, and paints miniature dwarfs because the redundancy amuses him. He’s currently working on the fourth book in The Iron Druid Chronicles.
Want to read more from Kevin Hearne?
This giveaway is provided by Kevin and Random House/Del Rey
Four winners will each receive a copy of Hammered by Kevin Hearne
Available on July 5, 2011 from Random House/Del Rey
About the Book:
Think of it: The entire world’s collected mythology and folklore is waiting to be mined for fictional gold. That’s what makes urban fantasy the most exciting genre to read and write for me. The potential for supernatural shenanigans in the present seems infinite. To narrow the focus a bit and keep myself sane, when I sat down to write Hounded, the first book of The Iron Druid Chronicles, I made myself a list of what I wanted to contribute to the genre. I wanted an unusual hero, easily distinguishable from others; I wanted to give man’s best friend a voice, and I wanted it to be a big best friend, like an Irish wolfhound; I wanted a little old lady sipping whiskey on her porch, some gratuitous allusions to Shakespeare, and a beautiful, (mostly) normal girl in there with freckles and strawberry lip gloss; and I wanted a whole lot of gods and goddesses trying to survive in a secular world, especially from some pantheons we don’t hear about all that often. Also, because they kind of scare me, no leather pants.
The Iron Druid Chronicles follows the adventures of Atticus O’Sullivan, a 2,100-year-old Druid who’s discovered that it’s the little things in life that make it worth living, and he can continue to enjoy those things so long as he hides from the Irish gods who want to kill him. Unfortunately, once he decides to take a stand, he draws the attention of all sorts of beings who thought the last real Druid had passed from this world long ago.
Part of the great fun of writing a character this old is figuring out where Atticus was during all of history’s great events and whether he might have had a hand in them. But the pith, the core of what makes him so interesting to me is how he handles outliving all his friends and loved ones: How does he hang on to his humanity when his lifespan is greater than that of every other human?
The Iron Druid Chronicles still has plenty of familiar urban fantasy elements, but I hope readers will enjoy this very different hero who can talk to both gods and dogs, yet loves nothing so much as conversing with friends over a fine plate of fish and chips and a pint to wash it down.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
1. Leave a comment for Kevin, let us know what you think of this fable, book or series.
2. +1 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
3. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada only.
4. Please include your email address in your comment.
5. All Fantastic Fables winners will be announced on September 7th.
6. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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