Author Archives: Anthony Ryan

My Top 5 History Podcasts

My Top 5 History Podcasts

I realised it’s been quite a while since I did a ‘stuff I like’ post, so here’s my top 5 history podcasts in no particular order (webpages included but they’re all available on iTunes):

The Z List Dead List –

British comedian Izzy Lawrence corrals and impressive array of guests to highlight the forgotten heroes and villains of history, the rarely remembered bit-players who nevertheless had an undeniable effect on the course of human events. Examples include miserablist Roman poet and curmudgeon Juvenal, Martin Frobisher the crappiest pirate in history, and genius astronomer Tycho Brahe who had a solid gold nose and a pet elk. Stand-out episode: Series 3, Ep 4 – David Aaronovitch and Jon Ronson on their favourite conspiracy theorists.

Hardcore History –

Veteran US journo Dan Carlin focuses his well-honed insight on a wide variety of historical subjects, ranging from the fall of the Roman Republic to the current epic analysis of the First World War ‘Blueprint for Armageddon’ (18 hours and counting). Stand-out episodes: ‘Wrath of the Khans’, a terrific potted history of the rise of Genghis Khan and the subsequent course of the Mongol Empire.

Revolutions –

Mike Duncan’s follow up to the landmark History of Rome Podcast is an exhaustive look at the major revolutions in human history. Beginning with the English Civil War, Duncan then proceeds to cover the American Revolutionary War before embarking on an epic, as yet unfinished examination of the French Revolution. Stand-out episodes: #1.12-1.15 charting the transition of Oliver Cromwell from heroic Parliamentarian general to military dictator, sorry ‘Lord Protector’ (like that was fooling anybody).

The Civil War (1861-1865) –

Husband and wife team Rich and Tracy Youngdahl have taken on the mammoth task of producing a comprehensive narrative history of the American Civil War. Every major event is covered, the episodes based on a wide variety of sources and skilfully written so as to remain compelling without sacrificing important details. Stand-out episodes (so far): #96-99 ‘Sibley’s Campaign’ – a four part look at the Confederate attempt to carve a path to the western seaboard of the USA, an entire aspect of the conflict I knew nothing about.

How is this Movie? –

In less than a year Dana Buckler has turned a lifelong obsession with all things movie into an unqualified podcast hit. There are a few interview based episodes but most take the form of an in-depth look at a classic movie or franchise with Buckler’s comprehensive research unearthing details that would trump even the most know-it-all film geek – Frank Sinatra was offered the lead in Die Hard, yes really. Stand-out episode: Jaws.

and ‘Tower Lord’ in French is…

Le Seigneur de la Tour. Published on 17th April 2015. Thanks to everyone at Bragelonne for making this happen.

Tower Lord French cover


Self-Published Fantasy Authors – Mark Lawrence Wants YOU!

Or rather, he wants your book. Mark Lawrence, author of the highly acclaimed Broken Empire trilogy, is running a book-blogger focused competition to find the best self-published fantasy novel. Full details are on Mark’s blog.

As many of you know I initially self-published Blood Song and would have been very grateful for something like this at the time, so it’s a really great thing for Mark to do. Remember, you have nothing to lose but your obscurity.


and ‘Tower Lord’ in Mandarin is…

Tower Lord Taiwan cover

Although I love all my foreign editions equally… that cover. Wow. Thanks to my Taiwanese publisher Fantasy Foundation for making this happen. This version will be available worldwide excluding mainland China.

New Anthology Announcement: ‘Unbound – Tales by Masters of Fantasy’


Very pleased to announce that my story ‘The Hall of the Diamond Queen’ will now appear in the upcoming Unbound anthology from Grim Oak Press. Keen eyed readers will recall that this story was originally slated for inclusion in the sadly defunct Unveiled anthology and I’m grateful to Shawn Speakman at Grim Oak for finding a home for it.

Unbound will feature an introduction from Terry Brooks, cover and interior art by Todd Lockwood and twenty all new stories from the following authors:

Kristen Britain

Jim Butcher

Rachel Caine

Harry Connolly

Delilah Dawson

David Anthony Durham

Jason M. Hough

Mary Robinette Kowal

Mark Lawrence

John Marco

Tim Marquitz

Seanan McGuire

Peter Orullian

Kat Richardson

Anthony Ryan

Shawn Speakman

Brian Stavely

Michael J. Sullivan

Sam Sykes

Mazarkis Williams


When I started all this if someone had told me I’d one day appear in a line-up like that I would’ve though they were very nice but also very deluded. An awful lot can happen in three years.

A release date for Unbound is yet to be set but it’s expected to appear in early summer 2015. Grim Oak Press will be taking pre-orders on their website from 1st March. In addition to the ebook and trade hardcover editions, there will also be two special editions; a hardcover Advance Review Copy limited to 250 copies and a signed & numbered leather-bound edition limited to 500 copies. Anyone who orders a trade hardcover or ARC edition in March will also receive a free copy of the ebook. I’m also told the above cover is just a placeholder and the final version will feature an all new illustration by the excellent Todd Lockwood.


and ‘Blood Song’ in Japanese is…

Blood Song Japanese cover

Thanks to my Japanese translator Satoru Yaguchi (@YaguSaru on Twitter) and everyone at Hayakawa Books for making this happen.

Interview with The Grimdark Review

Many thanks to Eric Fomley at The Grimdark Review for inviting me to do an interview, which you can read here:


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