When it comes to the fantasy genre, it might seem like there is little left to explore. In that case, what would happen if you took the very conventions of the genre and turned it on its head?
This is what local author and former University of Georgia graduate G. Derek Adams explores in his new book “Asteroid Made of Dragons.” The book launch party will take place April 5 at Avid Bookshop at 6:30 p.m.
“Asteroid Made of Dragons” is the Grady alum’s third book.
“The big thing I want to do [at the book launch party] is thank all the people that supported me in the campaign to get my book funded and even beyond that, just the people who supported me in reading my stuff and buying my books,” Adams said.
His writing is a response to grim fantasy. The central conflict of “Asteroid Made of Dragons” which, incidentally, is the fact that an asteroid that is also a cage for dragons is heading for the protagonists’ planet, is a play on the fantasy trope of some conflict that threatens to destroy the protagonists’ world.
“I’m trying to take the idea of a fantasy crisis, because most fantasy novels have something really bad that’s going to happen,” Adams said. “I wanted to take that to a ridiculous extreme, so I tried to think of what was the most ridiculous thing that could happen.”
The novel features characters from his previous novels with the addition of a new character, Xenon, who is scholar with no combat ability. When writing, Adams found this to be an interesting challenge because, unlike the other characters who have typical fantasy powers, she must work through all her issues without fighting.
While the overall conflict is trying to save their planet from the asteroid, the book makes time for certain fantasy themes such as fights, ridiculous situations like minotaurs having tea parties, friendship and challenges to gender roles; for example, a female king is seen as no big deal, and one of the female characters, Rime, is a powerful mage.
Despite technically being part of a series, Adams says it can be read as a standalone, as each book features a different style; the first book was a journey, and the second book was a murder mystery.
“If [new readers] like fantasy novels, they’re going to be able to walk right in the door and know immediately what’s going on,” Adams said.
Avid Bookshop, of which Adams is a frequent customer and supporter, did not hesitate in allowing Adams to hold his book launch party there. The event is free and will include readings from the book and music.
“Every single one of his books, we’ve had an event at this shop, but this kind of feels a little more special,” said Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop’s events and public relations coordinator.