Sunday, October 30, 2011

David Anthony Durham

David Anthony Durham received the 2009 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer of Science Fiction for Acacia and The Other Lands (the first two volumes of the Acacia trilogy).

The Sacred Band, the concluding volume of the trilogy, was released earlier this month.

Durham's reply to my recent query about what he has been reading:
The novel on my night table at the moment is Arms of Nemesis, by Steven Saylor. There’s a particular reason for this.

My next contracted book is about the Spartacus slave rebellion in ancient Rome. It’s to be a straight historical novel. As part of my research I try to read as much as I can about the period I’m writing in. The bulk of that is non-fiction, but I also enjoy reading novels set in Ancient Rome. A while back I read and enjoyed Saylor’s Roma. That one was a novel made up of linked stories that covered the early history of Rome, from its founding all the way up to the late Republic. It was a departure for him. He usually writes mysteries featuring a Roman Private Investigator named Gordianus the Finder. When I learned that one of those Gordianus novels is set during the Spartacus rebellion I knew I had to take a look.

I’m about halfway through and enjoying it quite a bit. Saylor’s writing is straightforward, not fancy but effective. It manages to feel like light reading, even though the novel’s subtext is an examination of slavery. He does a fine job of using small details of Roman life to give the setting real texture. I think Saylor is a novelist I’ll return to every now and then for some time to come.
Visit David Anthony Durham's website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Acacia.

The Page 69 Test: The Other Lands.

The Page 69 Test: The Sacred Band.

--Marshal Zeringue