Robert H. Langan presents his debut novel, The Icons of Man: Book One. Released for Kindle on November 4th, 2017 and in paperback on December 7th, 2017, The Icons of Man: Book One is the first installment in a speculative fiction/YA fantasy series.
A storm is coming, a city is burning, and the only thing standing between massive floods and a million deaths is an illegal team of transcendental athletes.
Horror. Fantasy. Sports.
A storm is coming. Is your team ready?
Originally a sprawing thousand-page epic, Langan made the decision to divide The Icons of Man into five parts. “It honestly just worked,” he says. “It developed into a five-act story, and so the breaks have always been kind of obvious to me. I just resisted the idea of releasing them piecemeal because I was worried it was taking the easy way out. Fortunately, I had enough friends to convince me I was going to lose my mind unless I started getting my stuff out there,” he adds with a laugh.
Icons takes place in a world called Roslyn, which Langan describes as an ‘shambolic alternate present’. “Basically it’s a very similar world to our own, both in aesthetic and some other ways you’ll see as you read. But there are many things we’d consider supernatural too—the age of the characters, some of the excesses of the environment, and obviously the powers wielded by the Durationists”—Langan’s superpowered athletes who keep Roslyn safe from the sentient thunderstorms, conjured by soul-stealing specters called Blood Poachers—“but the exact nature of the world is meant to become clearer and clearer as the series progresses. Starting out, I rely on very strong, relatable characters to make an insane world feel common and digestable, and then I throw these characters right away into big action scenes with strong visuals. You immediately know what the stakes are.”
In Icons One, Langan presents us with Lucas from Slag Falls, a disgraced Durationist who walked away from hunting storms, only to return on the eve of the biggest storm to attack Roslyn in some time. “He’s sort of Percival,” Langan explains. “He walked away because he and the Durationist League didn’t see eye-to-eye, but ultimately he can’t escape his duty towards his country.” Lucas is accompanied by his protégé, Gemini from Bedlam Ghettos. “Gemini is, at the start, the perfect student. She’s diligent, earnest, and very impressionable. To her, being a Durationist is like a kid who joins the major leagues. It’s something she treasures.”
Both Lucas and Gemini race to save Roslyn in the face of the coming storm, and along the way they encounter many of their rival Durationists. But there are surprises along the way that erase any garauntee that Roslyn’s superstar heroes can save the day.
“This first book is essentially one giant battle scene,” says Langan. “Beneath it though are some very intricate philosophical ideas. They aren’t so obvious in this first book, by the time we get to books two, three, and so forth, you should have a pretty good idea of what the thrust is here. It’s been a blast to write, and the response so far has been very encouraging. Nothing makes me happier than making a connection with readers.”
The Icons of Man: Book One is for sale now on Amazon, Kobo, B&N, and Smashwords. The retail price for the ebook is $3.99, and the paperback’s retail price is $8.95. More information can be found at www.iconsofman.com.