You don’t need to look—or read—any further than The Mongoliad. The premise is great but how it came together is just as interesting. New York Times bestselling writer Neal Stephenson, who felt the swordplay in his earlier novels was lacking in true writer experience, began a Western martial arts study group. He eventually convinced several other writers to join and during their study formed a writing group—and The Mongoliad was created.
Probably from a lot of sweat, blood, and most definitely tears.
The contributing writers are Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, E.D. deBirmingham, Joseph Brassey, Erik Bear, Cooper Moo, and Mark Teppo.
The Mongoliad began as an online serialized story but has evolved over the last two years. The first book was published recently as a trade paperback with a hardcover coming later this year.
Here is more about The Mongoliad:
The first novel to be released in The Foreworld Saga, The Mongoliad: Book One, is an epic-within-an-epic, taking place in 13th century. In it, a small band of warriors and mystics raise their swords to save Europe from a bloodthirsty Mongol invasion. Inspired by their leader (an elder of an order of warrior monks), they embark on a perilous journey and uncover the history of hidden knowledge and conflict among powerful secret societies that had been shaping world events for millennia.
But the saga reaches the modern world via a circuitous route. In the late 19th century, Sir Richard F. Burton, an expert on exotic languages and historical swordsmanship, is approached by a mysterious group of English martial arts aficionados about translating a collection of long-lost manuscripts. Burton dies before his work is finished, and his efforts were thought lost until recently rediscovered by a team of amateur archaeologists in the ruins of a mansion in Trieste, Italy. From this collection of arcana, the incredible tale of The Mongoliad was recreated.
Full of high adventure, unforgettable characters, and unflinching battle scenes, The Mongoliad ignites a dangerous quest where willpower and blades are tested and the scope of world-building is redefined.
A note on this edition: The Mongoliad began as a social media experiment, combining serial story-telling with a unique level of interaction between authors and audience during the creative process. Since its original iteration, The Mongoliad has been restructured, edited, and rewritten under the supervision of its authors to create a more cohesive reading experience and will be published as a trilogy of novels. This edition is the definitive edition and is the authors’ preferred text.
Last Thursday, the seven contributing writers got together for a massive signing at the University Bookstore in Seattle, WA. It was great fun. Mark Teppo opened the event by talking about how The Mongoliad came to be, how the group wrote together, how they found a singular voice, and his role in bringing it all together. Then Greg, Neal, and the other writers jumped in, adding stories of the book’s creation.
It was a rare meeting of the minds. It is doubtful the writers will be together all at one time again any time soon. Thankfully, I got permission to video tape the event for those who could not attend!
EVENT VIDEO: THE MONGOLIAD
There you have it. From some of the best minds working in fantasy today. It just proves that there is room for all forms of fiction in this business and how passionate people can create wonderful literature.
The Mongoliad is in fine bookstores now!