Baiatul care s-a nascut in ocean


Click here for the English version of the story. Cu mare place va prezint un nou scriitor de primul rang, Sebastian Bangs, cu varsta de 5 ani. Aceasta poveste a fost scrisa de el in ultimele zile, cu redactare usoara de mine.

Doua balene au venit la copilul care s-a nascut in ocean. Baiatul a urcat pe balene si s-a dus la un loc secret in ocean balenelelor. L-au dus la un loc unde erau monede de aur.

Balenele i-au spus, “La revedere!” copilului care s-a nascut in ocean! Copilul a revenit la tarm. Copilul a fost invitat acasa la balene si era foarte speriat pentru ca credea ca balenele vor sa-l manance, dar nu erau asa de rele. Familia balenelor a crezut ca acest copil arata ca el e e prietenul nostru care s-a nascut in ocean.

Baiatul care s-a nascut in ocean avea o prietena pe care o cauta. Baiatul care s-a nascut in ocean a gasit-o pe prietena lui. Era pe partea cealalta a oceanului si doua balene care erau prietenele baiatului au spus ca s-a facut o noua casa pentru baiatul care s-a nascut in ocean. Si a stat acolo cu prietena pe care o cauta.

Niste serpi au vrut sa-l manance. Serpii au vrut sa-l puna in inchisoare. Si inchisoarea era un cuptor. Si serpii l-au pacalit pe baiat care s-a nascut in ocean. El credea ca cuptorul era perna lui unde se culca, dar era cuptorul. Serpii au facut foc in cuptor. Si l-a lovit foarte tare pe baiat care s-a nascut in ocean.

Cele doua balene au venit sa-l salveze. Si l-au salvat pe baiat care s-a nascut in ocean. Si l-au adus unde era prietena lui pe marginea oceanului. Si a jucat cu prietena lui.

Dupa aia cerul s-a schimbat in nori si erau multi serpi care erau facuti din curent electric. Serpii au vrut s-o manance pe prietena baiatului care s-a nascut in ocean. Si au venit balene de foc si serpii si balenele au vrut sa se distruge unii pe altii. Baiatul care s-a nascut in ocean a fugit cu prietena lui.

Dupa aia au vazut serpii din curent electric si balenele de foc si balenele cele doua. Balenele au batut pe serpi. Universul oceanului era salvat.

Dar mai erau niste serpi care au spus balenelor de foc, “Nu puteti strica planurile noastre!”

Si cele doua balene si balenele de foc si prietena si baiatul care s-a nascut in ocean au mers acasa.

The Boy Who Was Born In the Ocean


Dati click aici pentru versiunea in limba romana.

I’m delighted here to present the first work by a budding novelist of the first rank, Sebastian Bangs, age 5. The original story was composed in Romanian; it has been lightly edited and translated by myself.

Two whales came to the boy who was born in the ocean. The boy climbed onto the whales and went to a secret place in the whales’ ocean. They took him to a place where there were gold coins.

Then the whales said, “Goodbye!” to the boy who was born in the ocean. The boy returned to the shore. Then he was invited to the whales’ home, and he was very frightened because he thought the whales were going to eat him, but they weren’t so bad. The family of whales thought that this boy would be their friend because he had been born in the ocean.

The boy who was born in the ocean had a girl friend that he was looking for. The boy who was born in the ocean found his friend. She was on the other side of the ocean, and the two whales who were the boy’s friends told them that they had made a new house for the boy who was born in the ocean. And he stayed there with the friend that he had been looking for.

There were some snakes who wanted to eat him. The snakes wanted to put him in jail, but the jail was actually an oven. And the snakes tricked the boy who was born in the ocean. He thought that the over was his pillow where he slept, but it was actually an oven. The snakes made a fire in the oven, and they hurt the boy who was born in the ocean.

But the two whales came to save him. They saved the boy who was born in the ocean, and they brought him to where his friend was on the edge of the ocean. And he played with his friend.

Then the sky was filled with clouds and there were very many snakes made of electricity. The snakes wanted to eat the friend of the boy who was born in the ocean. Then whales of fire came, and the whales and the snakes wanted to destroy each other. The boy who was born in the ocean ran away with his friend.

Then the snakes of electricity and the whales of fire and the two whales came, and the whales defeated the snakes. The world of the ocean was saved!

But there were a few more snakes who warned them, “You cannot stop our plan!”

But the two whales, and the whales of fire, and the boy’s friend, and the boy who was born in the ocean all went home.

What I Saw in Budapest


This past week, my wife and I went to Budapest with our youngest son. Here are some things we learned:

  1. The Romanian mountains have some of the most picturesque villages you’ll ever see, especially in the autumn.
  2. There’s no need to pay to go into Matthias Church (one of the two major churches that tourists will want to see). Instead, wait until the evening Mass. Then you’ll get to see the interior of the church and enjoy the lovely organ.
  3. The subway has incredibly long escalators going down. It’s also extremely fast, and if you’re trying to visit multiple sites in one day, certainly worth a day pass.
  4. Our hotel, the Buda Castle Fashion Hotel, was an excellent deal, situated right in the heart of Buda Castle Hill, within a few blocks of major tourist sites, and had great staff. Also, we got a free upgrade to a 2-bedroom suite after being selected as the “Guest of the Day”. Highly recommended if you’re thinking of going.
  5. Hungarian spelling is really weird.

Enjoy our pics below!

“The Last Free Bear” to appear in Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly

Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly

I’m very excited to announce that The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly is going on sale on Nov 18, including my story The Last Free Bear.

I’ve seen the proofs for this book, and let me tell you it looks gorgeous, with fantastic cover art (that you can see above), as well as a collection of stupendous stories for anyone who likes epic fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, and heroic fantasy. It’s well worth your time.

Review: The Interpreter’s Tale: A Word With Too Many Meanings


The Interpreter's Tale: A Word With Too Many Meanings
The Interpreter’s Tale: A Word With Too Many Meanings by E.M. Epps
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was a little skeptical about a book called “The Interpreter’s Tale”. I was extremely skeptical about the dedication to “linguistic nerds” on the first pages—not because I wasn’t sure that I would like it, but because I wasn’t sure that anybody else would.

Well. I shouldn’t have been worried.

This is a charming, breezily-written story about an interpreter named Eliadmaru, a bookish, curious young man who has made a habit of studying obscure languages. He is picked up from his obscure post at a border station by a relative of the Emperor, called “the Autransi”, for a diplomatic mission to a neighboring country. His job, ostensibly, is merely to facilitate the Autransi’s attempt to heal the neighboring king’s sickly daughter with magic, and then help the Autransi woo the princess and secure a favorable trade agreement. Their mission becomes more complicated than it looks, as you might expect. There are enemies in the foreign court and members of their own mission who have ulterior motives. Eliadmaru develops a relationship with the imperial sorceress, a woman named Folso, and he finds himself with divided loyalties as his duties as a translator, his oaths to the Autransi, and his fondness for Folso all come into conflict.

This book is not a page-turner: the pacing is gentle, and the tone is measured and pleasant even when the stakes in the Autransi’s mission turn lethal. That’s not to say that the book is boring; on the contrary, after reading a series of arduously brutal fantasies Eliadmaru’s the calm confidence was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. And I was preparing to give the book a solid four stars, right into the last fifth of the book, where—

I don’t want to reveal anything about the last bits of the plot. However, the light-hearted nature of the story takes a sudden turn towards the end, and the store ends with a psychological and moral quandary of surprising depth. Characters I thought that I understood turned out to have more complexity than previously suspected, and the protagonist is forced into hard choices with no good options. And I am ambivalent about the ending, which has had me wondering for several days whether Eliadmaru actually did the right thing.

And as for the promise of the title and dedication: there are plenty of allusions to linguistic trivia and the mental and physical act of interpreting, but these discussions don’t overwhelm the story, and there’s plenty to recommend the book even to someone who isn’t terribly interested in linguistics. I’d recommend the book to anyone who enjoys a good political fantasy.

View all my reviews

Storm Bride shall return


As of a few days ago, Storm Bride is no longer for sale.

I’m not sure what that link is there for. It’s a 404 page where once there was a book. You can click on it if you want, if only to convince yourself that nothing is there for you to buy.

My publisher, upon hearing that I had moved to Romania, decided that they had to terminate my publishing contract, because they only work with U.S. authors. This was not an outcome that I considered likely when I moved here; but here I am, and here my book is not.

But all is not lost.

I am getting the file with the typeset book from the publisher. I’m getting a new cover. And I’m going to re-release the book in December 2015. So it’ll be back, and it’ll have some new features which I can do easily now that I’m publishing it myself, such as a map and a glossary.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in getting updates on when the book becomes available, you can sign up for my newsletter.