Category Archives: Beyond Redemption

Two Manifest Delusions Novels Coming Your Way!

The awesome folks at Talos Press (an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing in New York) will be publishing the next Manifest Delusions novel! We’re currently bouncing title ideas around (they won’t let me call it Fred) and discussing artistic direction for the cover (they won’t let me do a crayon sketch of the characters). I can’t wait to see what comes of all of this. Maybe someday down the road I’ll share the list of titles we’ve put together so far; we have about 30.

Tentative release date for this novel is mid-2017.

Without giving anything away, I can say that this book takes place in the same world as Beyond Redemption but introduces a completely new cast of characters. It is not a sequel.

“What,” you say, “not a sequel? But I thought—”

SILENCE!

There will be a sequel!

beyond_redemption_map_finalI’m currently giving The Mirror’s Truth—which takes place where Beyond Redemption leaves off—one last read through and making some minor tweaks before sending it off to the lunatic who has agreed to edit this monster. You’ll see many of your old friends and most of them will likely try and kill you. I’m also researching artists, trying to find the mad genius who will work for pocket lint and grilled cheese sandwiches. I keep thinking about running a Kickstarter for art and editing expenses, but if you sent me money my Doppels would just drink it. Bastards.

Anyway, my editor at Talos has asked if I’d be interested in including an excerpt from the as-of-yet untitled novel they’re publishing in The Mirror’s Truth and I think that’s a brilliant idea!

I’m self-publishing this novel and aiming to release it by November, 2016. So if you’re jonesing for some maddark, I should have two new novels coming your way in the next 12ish months.

Reviews and Best of 2015 Lists

Well, it’s early 2015 and I just went searching through the internet for word on Beyond Redemption. What follows are the results.

My mad book made fourteen fifteen Best-of-2015 lists!

BEST OF 2015 LISTS with BEYOND REDEMPTION

Joseph Mallozzi’s Weblog: Beyond Redemption took home the Rogue Star award for best novel of 2015. Joseph is the creator and Executive Producer of the SyFy series, Dark Matter.

Fantasy Faction: Beyond Redemption takes the #27 spot on their Best 50 of 2015.

The Speculative Herald: Beyond Redemption takes the #6 spot.

Beauty in Ruins: “The characters here are all worthy of the story they’ve been asked to carry; the pacing here is just about perfect, careening along from one scene to another with madcap intensity; and the action is intense, with beautiful moments of blood and brutality, and awe-inspiring feats of madness and delusion.”

Smash Dragons: Beyond Redemption takes the #2 spot. “Holy fuck balls… what a book. Beyond Redemption is brutal, and packed to the brim with adventure, action, and violence. It also, amidst all of this mayhem, offers a fascinating insight into the notions of power and difference. Truly the best fantasy debut I’ve read in the last decade, and the new standard bearer for the Grimdark movement.”

Leona’s Blog of Shadows: Beyond Redemption takes the #4 spot. “This book is a grimdark masterpiece.”

Smorgasbord Fantasia: “Few books this year left such an indelible impression on me like Michael Fletcher’s grimmer than grimdark effort that featured mad psychosomatic characters who are so original that they really shone for me. It’s a book that dared to be different. And really will tear through your guards. You’re forewarned.”

Pagina Cititorului de FantasyBeyond Redemption takes the #4 spot. “In mod sigur Beyond Redemption a fost cel mai original, cel mai intunecat si cel mai „dus cu pluta” roman fantasy aparut in 2015. Fletcher este la ora actuala cel mai grim dark scriitor pe care l-am citit si totusi acesta reuseste sa-si doteze personajelor abjecte si imorale cu cate o chichita care le face aproape „placubile”. Aproape…”

Mighty Thor: Beyond Redemption took the #1 spot. “A book that came out of nowhere and just blew me away!”

Book FrivolitySo, you thought you knew Grimdark? Wrong! This is the new high lord of the grim!

BiblioSanctum: “Damn, that shit was a hundred different kinds of awesome.”

Grimdark Magazine“Beyond Redemption is the grimdarkest book of 2015, and arguably, the decade. The characters are selfish, bloodthirsty, and fun as hell to read.”

Galleywampus: “This book takes the philosophy of ‘perception becomes reality’ and cranks it to 11. It’s an ambitious high-concept premise, and Fletcher delivers on that premise.”

El Ultimo Deseo FantásticoDe estos últimos, el que más me ha sorprendido y saliendo de la nada, está Michael R. Fletcher con su debut BEYOND REDEMPTION , una novela donde las locuras y creencias generales pueden tomar forma o modificar la realidad.

Timothy C. Ward: Beyond Redemption takes the #2 spot. “That eyebrow raising experience we get in our favorite books is found too many times to count in this one.”

Fantasy Book Critic: “Kudos to the author for coming up with such an original magic system and dark storyline.”

REVIEWS

Publishers Weekly (a starred, boxed review): “The dystopia and its victims never quite collapse under the weight of the horror, and their perseverance encourages the reader to endure the grimness until the thought-provoking conclusion.”

Library Journal: “Incredibly brutal, this unusual fantasy world from Fletcher (88) is populated by delusional sociopaths—literally. Mental disorders such as megalomania and kleptomania provide the sufferers power over those around them, giving the whole world an off-kilter manic edge. If you like your fantasy überdark, this might be an intriguing Freudian excursion.”

Anthony RyanNew York Times bestselling author of Blood SongSet in a world where madness equates to power, Michael R. Fletcher’s Beyond Redemption is often as nightmarish as it is fascinating. An alarming, original and compulsive tale laced with a blackly comic sensibility. Highly recommended.”

Django Wexler: “BEYOND REDEMPTION is that rarest of things, a truly original fantasy.  Fletcher draws a bloody, filthy, ugly world, full of madness and despair, and then makes us truly care about the damaged people who live there.  Highly recommended for fans of Mark Lawrence and Joe Abercrombie.”

Booklist: “The journey is dark and emotionally taxing, but there aren’t many fantasy novels as smart, ambitious, and excellently written as this one.”

RT Magazine: “This novel’s title is most appropriate, since so many of the characters have no redeeming qualities — in the best possible way.”

L.K. Evans: “[Beyond Redemption] took me out of the norm, and for that, I love it.”
Barnes and Noble blog: “…a work of singular power and grace…”

SFFWorld: “…a compelling novel that has a power to draw you in, despite the dark nature of the world and the unsavory characters who populate it. This appears to be the first of a series and I am equally horrified and fascinated to find out where Fletcher will next take the story.”

The Speculative Herald: “Forget grim dark, this is mad dark . . . and it’s awesome.”

Geeks of Doom: “I absolutely could not put it down.

Grimdark Magazine: “Michael R. Fletcher has put himself on the map as a grimdark author to watch and read for many years to come.”

T. Frohock: “Fletcher brings them all to vivid life and shows us their doubts and dreams and foibles with unflinching prose. Simultaneously poetic and brutal, Fletcher executes a deft balancing act between the surreal and the real and yet he never loses sight of his characters’ humanity. Highly recommended”

Smash Dragons: “Beyond Redemption is, and I don’t say this lightly, one the most original, thought provoking, and hellishly dystopian dark fantasies that I have read in ages. It is also disturbing, disgusting, and action packed. And god I loved it!”

BookWraiths: “Exquisite mayhem and madness, Beyond Redemption is a novel which appears once every few years; a harbinger of things to come that takes the familiar fantasy tropes and twists them into something fresh and original.”

The Bibliosanctum: “It’s impossible not to get completely sucked into this story. Not that I wanted to fight the pull, mind you. Beyond Redemption is so wildly imaginative and intensely entertaining, you just can’t help but embrace its bleak world, the tortured characters, the wicked concepts. Giving in to the madness has never felt so good.”

Timothy C. Ward: “When “Wow” is a reaction multiple times per page, on more pages than not, you have an incredible read in your hands.”

The Tenacious Reader: “I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been a fan of books labeled grim dark. You can’t get much more grim or dark than Beyond Redemption, but it is done in a way that makes it an incredibly enjoyable read.”

El Ultimodeseo Fantastico: “Libro totalmente recomendado para aficionados a la fantasía más grimdark, gran historia, buenos personajes y oscuros, muchos momentos de humor negro y aún más retorcido que los mismos personajes, y sobretodo un libro para disfrutar. Sin duda, el mejor libro que he leído de fantasía en todo el año.”

Beauty in Ruins: “If you’re at all curious, and are open to a story that challenges your intellect while delighting your imagination, then I urge you to give Beyond Redemption a read.

Mighty Thor: “Hell, to be honest this is probably one the best books I have read…”

Pagina Cititorului de Fantasy: (Review in Romanian) “Astept cu nerabdare urmatorul sau roman, dar pana atunci va las sa explorati cele mai intunecate cotloane ale naturii umane alaturi de o noua stea aparuta pe firmamentul literaturii fantasy.”

Leona’s Blog of Shadows: “Buy it ASAP! If you love grimdark and complex characters, you will be a big fan.”

The Book Addict: “I would highly recommend this book, not just for fantasy fans, but for anyone interested in mental illness. Fletcher has done an amazing job at literally bringing to life the manifestations of such illnesses. A brilliant book, excellently written, this is definitely worth a read.”

Grimdark Alliance: “This one easily lands in The Best of Grimdark and I hope to be reading some sequels soon.”

Book Frivolity (short video review): All shall read Beyond Redemption and all shall love it!”

Fantasy Smorgasbord: “…a book that will feature in the “Best of Lists” for a lot of fantasy lovers in 2015.”

Cursed Armada: “without a doubt one of the best debuts I’ve read in quite some time. A really unique twist on a magic system, a couple of trusted bloggers shouting praise, and an intriguing cover prompted me to buy this one at a local bookstore, something I don’t do too often these days. “

The Nameless Zine: “Surely one of the most interesting fantasy novels I’ve read in decades, if ever…”

The Bookbead’s Blog: “…a rip-roaring page turner…the cast is driven and twisted and crazed and it makes for a brilliant book. Beyond Redemption is a brutal world, featuring a hateful cast of actors and it’s great.”

El Jardin del Sueno Infinito:  “Estoy seguro que hay muchos más libros del genero que no he leído, pero me alegro de haber encontrado Beyond redemption, porque contiene el tipo de fantasía oscura que me gusta.”

Barnes and Noble: Five Fantasy Novels to Satisfy Your Cynical Side – “Fletcher’s world is brimming with detail and amazing ideas, including living-dead assassins, a charismatic slaver who would make the Purple Man squirm, and a style of sword duel that involves playing to the crowd to increase their belief in your power.”

LizLovesLiterature Video Review: “Bleak. Bloody. Bad-Ass. Best book ever!”

Fantlab (cool Russian review site): Построив причудливый мир и населив его интересными и достоверными маньяками, которые задействованы в динамично развивающемся сюжете, автор рассказывает нам следующую историю: “идеальное” религиозное государство волею великого во всех смыслах лидера ставит перед собой задачу выиграть местную гонку вооружений = добиться собственного первенства в контроле над сумасшествием мира, для чего ударяется в педагогические эксперименты. К несчастью этот процесс обращает на себя взоры некоторых личностей, внимания которых настоятельно рекомендуется избегать: например, троицы отъявленных и закоренелых преступников-неудачников, или, очень мягко говоря, эксцентричного рабовладельца. Добавьте к этому тот факт, что собственные элитные кадры нашего религиозного образования уже очень давно и сильно не способны сойти за нормальных людей, а оппоненты и того безумней, то вы можете представить к какому хаосу всё приходит в конечном итоге. И это только “развлекательная” ипостась романа, а при учёте скрупулёзного расчленения человеческих душ и лёгкого квеста в поисках духовности аморальных персонажей, книга приобретает глубину и объемность идей.

BEYOND REDEMPTION on GoodReads

88 on GoodReads


How Did I Get Here?

Disclaimer: I have no idea what this will be about. I’m sitting on my ass-damaged chair and I don’t feel like doing any ‘real’ writing and I’m gonna hafta go meet my daughter at the bus stop soon, but I wanna write something and so…

I have always read books. My earliest memories are of reading Winnie-the-Pooh with my parents. Or more likely demanding they read it to me. In grade seven/eight the school I went to gave out awards to students who read X number of pages in a year; ten thousand, twenty thousand, fifty thousand, etc. They didn’t have an award for the number of pages I read.

I don’t often think about the past. Though those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it, those who invent the past…

It’s only now as I sit here wondering what I’m writing about that I realize why I read so much. Escapism. It seems obvious, but to me it’s what I was escaping that’s more interesting. As a child we moved a lot. I was rarely in the same school more than a year or two before we packed up and went elsewhere. I started grade seven as the new kid; I knew no one. I was (and am) extremely introverted, though whether that’s a genetic thing, or the result of moving so often I have no idea. By the end of grade seven I had one friend and he moved away during the summer. Grade eight was a whole new hell. I spent most of the outdoors time secluded in the library and when they kicked me out of the library I sat in a corner of the playground and read.

My memory is pretty shaky, but I believe I was reading a lot of Farley Mowat at the time. Someone had bought me And No Birds Sang, and that set me off reading pretty much everything he wrote.

Somehow, by the end of grade eight, I’d made a couple more friends. During our first year of high-school one of them introduced me to the Role-Playing Club. I was hooked. I stopped reading Farley Mowat and Hardy Boys books and set out to read every science-fiction and fantasy novel I could get my hands on.

IMG-20151016-00565By grade ten I’d become addicted to being the GM (Game Master AKA Dungeon Master) and was creating my own story lines and adventures. From there it went rapidly downhill. At some point my parents took away my RPGshiding them in their closet—in the hopes I might pay more attention at school without that distraction. Or maybe it was a blackmail situation; I don’t clearly remember. It also didn’t much matter as I took all the books (we were paying a lot of Chaosium’s Stormbringer) and left them the emptied boxes.

Thirty years later I still get together with a couple of those guys (and some new friends met during university) to role-play. The stories have become more complex and at some point back in the 90s we wrote our own gaming system (which has also grown more complex), but the magic is still there.

Sometimes it’s escapism; everyone has stuff they need to get away from. It doesn’t have to be something huge and tragic, it can be something as minor as a crap day at work or a looming project. Hell, sometimes you just gotta get away from your kids. Much as you love ’em, they’re insane, demanding little monsters.

But sometimes it’s more than that.

A good role-playing campaign allows us to lose ourselves in the story, to be the villain or the hero. We can topple civilizations, ride dragons, or twist the world with our delusions. I think that’s how I got here. I learned my love of story telling while role-playing. But writing it down—capturing an adventure and making it eternal (or at least lasting more than a few hours) and sharing it with people beyond your half-dozen closest friends—is an entirely different experience.

And it’s addictive.

Beyond Redemption – The Art

Back when we were still up to our unmentionables in editing  Beyond Redemption, David Pomerico (Executive Editor at Harper Voyager) asked if I had any ideas for cover art and/or artists I particularly liked. We bounced ideas around, discussed a few cool names, and then David mentioned Richard Anderson. After a little googling I freaked out. Richard’s portfolio is amazing and the list of folks he’s worked with is downright intimidating. Seriously, check him out.

Some time later I received an email with three sketched ideas and was asked my opinion. This flew in the face of everything I’d heard about Big Publishing. Being a new and utterly unknown author, I didn’t expect anyone to asking my opinion on cover art.

Here are the three initial ideas:

BeyondRedemption_sketches_05_ra

And…

BeyondRedemption_sketches_04_ra

I liked the above because I immediately recognized Stehlen by her rat’s nest hair.

And finally…

BeyondRedemption_sketches_01_ra

As I recall this one clicked for everyone. The characters were immediately recognizable and it looked gritty and dirty. Being an unthinking twit I wondered why there was so much black at the bottom.

With the choice made, Richard returned to us with this…

BR Original

Grim and gritty and beautiful. The characters leapt out. Look at the way Bedeckt is hunched forward, a man about to crack. You can hear Wichtig’s ridicule as he wheels his horse about to mock Stehlen. Look at her insane hair; you can practically smell her! He even caught the mood of the horses!

Next, the good folks in the HARPER Voyager design department (who I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t yet had the honour of meeting) worked their magic.

And this appeared…

BeyondRedemption

All of a sudden that huge empty space under the three characters made perfect sense. This would be why you don’t hire me to do your cover art. I was ecstatic, blown away. The murky smear of that sky! This was the perfect cover for my gritty little insane novel. Nothing could make it better.

Except…

BR Cover with blurb

An amazing blurb from one of my favourite authors.

Mind.

Blown.

Office wall spattered in brain.

Remembering Why I Do This

BR Cover with blurbI wrote BEYOND REDEMPTION with no expectation of it either landing me an agent or being published. At best I hoped the folks at Five Rivers Publishing (who published 88) might publish it, but it seemed just as likely they might say it was too damned weird. I wrote the book thinking only a half-dozen of my close friends would ever read it. To some degree I wrote it for them, but mostly I wrote it for me.

After the good folks at Harper Voyager bought BEYOND REDEMPTION I threw myself into writing the next two novels. All was well and good until the reviews started rolling in. I found myself reading about how great the writing was, how original the concept was, and how well-written the characters were. It’s even made a few Best of the Year (so far) lists. Publishers Weekly gave it an apparently rare starred and boxed review. Booklist said, “The journey is dark and emotionally taxing, but there aren’t many fantasy novels as smart, ambitious, and excellently written as this one.”

PW Starred ReviewBy this point I’d finished the first drafts of both THE MIRROR’S TRUTH and THE ALL CONSUMING and was into editing. The reviews didn’t give me confidence, didn’t calm the fear that I had no fucking idea what I was doing. The reviews scared the shit out of me. How the hells did I write a book worthy of this praise? It felt like I’d done it by mistake, in spite of myself rather than due to skill or long hours of psychotic editing.

I began to look at the two books I was editing with doubt. Would people like them as much as they liked BEYOND REDEMPTION? Should I rewrite or edit to make them more accessible? Should I be trying to recapture what I wrote in BR? Did folks want more of the same, or something different but kinda the same, or did they expect me to come up with something equally genre-bending but totally different?

In short, I began to look at my books not as something written for myself, but as something written for you, the reader. It stressed me out. I don’t know you. We’ve never met. I have no fucking idea what you like. Writing for you is totally unlike writing for my half-dozen close friends.

Which is when I realized I was making a mistake. I can’t write for you. All I can do is write for myself and the handful of friends I’ve known most of my life. I will do my best to write books they will enjoy. I hope you enjoy them too, but that’s beyond my control and I tire of stressing myself out over things I can’t change.

BR at ChaptersI will say this: Each book will be different; I have no interest in rewriting BEYOND REDEMPTION over and over. I did it and it’s done. But there’s a lot in that world I still want to explore. Different cultures, religions, philosophies, and characters. The books might share some common themes, but there will also be new ones. Sometimes there will be heroes and sometimes there won’t. Sometimes those heroes will struggle through adversity to win the day, sometimes they’ll die trying.

And if you liked BEYOND REDEMPTION, maybe writing for you isn’t so unlike writing for my friends after all. Maybe you share their rather odd tastes.

I can but hope.

-Mike Fletcher

BEYOND REDEMPTION Translation Deals!

Just gonna steal this from the Donald Maass Site…

Polish rights to Michael R. Fletcher’s BEYOND REDEMPTION to Papierowy Ksiezyc, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi in association with Katie Shea Boutillier on behalf of Cameron McClure.

Russian rights to Michael R. Fletcher’s BEYOND REDEMPTION, to AST, by Alexander Korzhenevski Agency in association with Katie Shea Boutillier on behalf of Cameron McClure.

And now I’m gonna do a little dance and then get back to work editing THE MIRROR’S TRUTH.

Interviews and Appearances

THE GRIM TIDINGS PODCAST

Dallas Mullican (A Coin For Charon), Matt Staggs (blogger at suvudu.com), and I chat with hosts Rob Matheny and Philip Overby about metal and dark fiction and everything.

Listen to the Podcast

 

WHILE AT NYCC 2015…

Matt Staggs of SUVUDU and I chat about music and grimdark and consensual reality: http://suvudu.com/2015/11/beyond-redemption-author-michael-r-fletcher-on-his-new-novel-grimdark-and-sex-without-souls.html

I sat on a panel with Myke Cole and Peter Orullian (two awesome authors) discussing metal and fantasy at NYCC 2015. Good fun!

 

GRIM TIDINGS PODCAST

A talk with the awesome folks at the Grim Tidings Podcasthttp://thegrimtidingspodcast.podbean.com/e/episode-eight-the-grimdark-delusion/

http://thegrimtidingspodcast.podbean.com/e/episode-eight-the-grimdark-delusion/

OTHER INTERVIEWS

Must update this someday and include links to r/Fantasy AMA, etc.

SmashDragons: Interview

Beauty in Ruins: Interview

Author Origins: Interview

 

 

From the Beauty in Ruins Interview…

Talking Madness, Delusion, and Epic Fantasy with Michael R. Fletcher (Beyond Redemption)

Michael R. Fletcher is a Canadian science fiction and fantasy author who first hit the shelves 2 years ago with a cyberpunk novel called 88. It was a novel that garnered some attention and rave reviews, but I predict it’s next week’s release of Beyond Redemption that will establish him as a dominant force in the genre. It’s a book that’s been called darkly imaginative, gritty, and mind-bending – but that only scratches the surface.I’ll be sharing my enthusiastic review next week but, in the meantime, Michael has graciously agreed to stop by and set the stage . . .

Q: A huge thanks for taking the time to stop by today, Michael. For those who haven’t yet had a chance to give 88 (your cyberpunk debut) or Beyond Redemption (which blew my mind), please tell us a little about yourself and give us an idea of what we can expect.

A: Thanks for having me! I love being had. Wait…what?

Wanna read the rest of this insane interview?
http://beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.ca/2015/06/talking-madness-delusion-and-epic.html