Harley J. Sims
   author/illustrator

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My illustrated fantasy epic the Unsung. is now available at Amazon (worldwide) and Chapters-Indigo (Canada). 

There is a lot of epic fantasy out there. 
More than any other, it's the genre that turns readers (and gamers) into writers. 
We imagine a better place; we want to bring people there. 
Language provides the timber, and we build a bridge.

Then what makes the Unsung. different?
I suppose I should be careful.
Borges wrote that  'God must not engage in theology
The writer must not destroy by human reasonings the faith that art requires of us'.

But Zadie Smith also said that "writing is the exact opposite of therapy'
and I can work with that one better.

the Unsung is literary fantasy.
This is a fact, not a boast.
If you don't love the wild magic of words themselves - 
if you see them as labels
and not as rocks kept ever damp and slippery by the rivers of meaning they cross,
then keep moving.

In the Unsung., the familiar is not a path, but a threshold.
The more steps you take, the less familiar it will become.

I promise
by the end, 
you will not know 
where you are.

Escape.
Awake.
Withstand Oblivion.

from Chapter 7 - Tear and Bleed 

 

“Good deeds are feeble things. Almsdeeds. They’re no harder than the choice to do them. Help an old man to his feet. Fetch a child’s doll from the stream where she dropped it. Hold the post straight while your neighbour hammers it in. You’re not a good person to do these things. You’re an arsehole if you don’t do them. You know it. The wretch you snub knows it. So whatever thanks you get for doing them is not clean, but brought forth from the ready grudge of the owed, like a blossom grown on a dunghill.


“And selfless? A good deed is only selfless in that the deed blesses itself. The doer? He’s a shoe to its foot. He is to be grateful for the chance to do something anyone else should have done. You ask me, this isn’t what good is. It’s a mean burden a man steps under whenever he is around other men, and which the strong end up shouldering the most of. It’s a weakling’s cheaping founded on warped shrift.


“What we seek to do is a better kind of good. It’s the only kind of good that the strongest ought to have a share in. Most folks, they work selfishly to bring themselves somewhere that doing good gets easy. It’s an afterthought, a copper tossed in a beggar’s lap. It does not pain them. It does not drain them. It’s a thrill of pride, a spring off the head of someone on his knees. That’s not what we want. We want the work and the deed to be one, to do the kind of good that puts an end to evil, whatever shape it takes. That’s what we want to do. The greater the better. We want to hunt the wyrm to its hole. Stare down the thurse. Make the troll eat fire. We want to drag the wolves back dead through the folds they fed from. That’s a kind of good few seek to do, and fewer can bring about, for the simple truth that a mistake means you’re dead. But those who die trying are still held up as better men than those who run the mill. And the ones who pull it off? They’re something even better.”


from the back cover:


This is Norráma. 

It is now the Age of Life. 

Everything that breathes has a soul. 

Man is but one of the World’s children. 

Knaks is a kingdom of Men. Its King is descended from Woden Himself. He will not share the land his ancestors have housebroken. 

But the World is older than this one Age. Forgotten horrors writhe beneath its newborn skin. 
Gloryseekers, desperate for renown, prod every boil they can find. And what bursts forth, not all of it can be stopped.

A self-taught swordsman from the downfallen north. 

A great tuskcat, his steed and soul-brother. 

A demoniacal warrior-wizard wielding powers he does not understand. 

A thuggish priest of a backbench earthGod. 

A man of nine bloods, whose genetic roulette has made him a superman. 

What they awaken overflows the scales of Good and Evil, and threatens to drown the very world they sought to champion.

A masterwork of worldcraft; a tribute to its genre; a work of fantasy decades in the making. The Unsung explores the edge between boldness and blindness, pitting indomitable hope against devastating loss, and asking what it is to live by the words 

"If you’re not remembered, you never existed."

Copyright ©2019