Worldstorm is a big fantasy novel, something I could never have envisaged myself writing, but then never say never when it comes to envisaging your own future. The setting is a world much like ours was about two centuries ago but with one crucial difference: everyone in it is born with some form of super power, latent till the onset of puberty. These powers are divided into four categories, Air, Fire, Water and Earth (named after the four Aristotelian elements, of course). I’ve called these “Inclinations”, and within each Inclination there are various subdivisions, each representing a particular kind of power. The powers themselves are the sort of abilities that might be considered feasible in modern paranormal circles, i.e. telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, great strength, and so on. In other words, we’re not talking about laser-like eye beams or tossing spider web from your wrists.
Added to this is the titular Worldstorm, a great howling nightmare of climatic carnage which roves the planet, wreaking death and destruction wherever it goes.
So much for the premise. As for the plot, it weaves together three narrative strands which are at first seemingly unconnected but, of course, prove not to be. And to say any more would be to give away too much. I’d like this to be a book full of surprises for the reader. (It certainly was for me when writing it, in spite of the fact that I plotted it as tightly as I’ve ever plotted anything.) I’ve never attempted something on such a large canvas before, and I might go so far as to say that Worldstorm is a Dickensian piece, in size and scope if not execution. I’m very pleased with the result. I must, also, categorically state that there is going to be no sequel. I know I’ve muttered about doing one, or even two, but I’ve now decided firmly against the idea. Worldstorm is a standalone epic, and proud of it.
- Worldstorm [Gollancz hbk, September 2004] – ISBN 978-0575073876
- Worldstorm [Gollancz tpbk, September 2004] – ISBN 978-0575073883
- Worldstorm [Gollancz pbk, September 2005] – ISBN 978-0575076563
- Made SFX‘s list of honourable-mention, not-quite-the-top-ten Books Of 2004.
- “The protagonists are solidly likeable, warts and all, and the eventful story is excellently written… an enjoyable book… a nifty whodunit from the angle of the future victim. [Plus some Harry Potter comparisons which we shan't consider.]” **** — Andrew Osmond, SFX
- “…will surprise you with cleverness where you least expect it and doesn’t pretend to offer easy answers with neat solutions… the antithesis of so many fantasy quests: a quiet, frail, philosophising tour de force.” — Stuart Carter, stuandmel.plus.com
- “[blah blah blah, gives away the entire plot, every twist and turn right up to the final page, but nothing in the way of actual comment about the book though one assumed she liked it since she gave it 4 out of 5]” **** — Barbara Davies, Starburst
- “Worldstorm is tremendously entertaining. There’s tragedy, but also humor; there’s in-depth characterization, but also action. There’s suspense in the mystery of Elder Ayn’s death, and surprise in the unfolding of his plan. There’s even a neat twist at the end. [...] James Lovegrove’s world building is superb. He succeeds not only in bringing to life an improbable world in which nearly everyone is endowed with a supernormal power, but in convincingly imagining how differently such a world would work … Lovegrove has created an extraordinarily rich and fascinating world.” – SFSite
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• Filed under Books • 08/09/2004 •