Chat With an Author Giveaways

Relic Master Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Chat with Catherine Fisher

Hello everyone, and welcome to our stop on the official Relic Master blog tour! Today we are thrilled to have YA author Catherine Fisher over to celebrate the re-release of the second book in her Relic Master quartet, The Lost Heiress.

Please give a warm welcome to Catherine Fisher!

The Book Smugglers: Thank you for the taking the time to chat with us, Catherine, and welcome to our blog! Your Relic Master series was actually published (as The Book of the Crow series) in Britain many years ago, but now has been brought to the United States on an exciting book-a-month release schedule. Can you tell us a bit about the transatlantic journey of this tetralogy? For example, did you have any say in the change in packaging/titles/release dates/etc?

Catherine: Hello Ana and Thea; many thanks for your questions, and for inviting me onto your blog. The Relic Master series was originally published in the UK and a few other countries but never in the US, so I was really thrilled that Dial wanted it. I was a little concerned about the changes in the names of the books, but they do make the series more accessible. I am very fond of one word, mysterious titles, (like The Interrex) but certainly The Lost Heiress is a bit more explanatory. I also knew the covers would be redesigned, and I was consulted on the designs – in fact I drew the original map, which Dial’s artist has now turned into quite a masterpiece! (And I love the fact that it is hidden under the book wrappers.) I had no say in release dates etc, but the idea of a book a month is remarkably daring, and I like the fact that readers won’t have to wait too long between episodes.

The Book Smugglers: The huge success of your newest duology, Incarceron and Sapphique, introduced readers to a strange new world where the remnants of high technology commingled with a decaying, almost medieval world. The same sort of sensibility applies to the setting of your Relic Master books, which blend fantasy elements with science fiction. As avid SFF fans that love the juxtaposition of high-technology in a low-tech society, can you tell us what inspired this sort of genre-mixing theme so prevalent in your work? Are there any other types of books, films, etc that inspired you, or that you would recommend for fans of this type of worldbuilding?

Catherine: It’s true that both the Incarceron books and Relic Master have a mix of past and future. I like the fun of mixing incongruous elements- very obvious technology with historic things – especially in Relic Master where the society really is a medieval one, whereas in the Realm in Incarceron there is a certain amount of pretence.I’m sure there are books and films which do the same, but I can’t think of any in particular that inspired me directly. As an avid reader there are probably too many to remember.

The Book Smugglers: In The Dark City, and throughout the Relic Master books, what we readers recognize as technological devices are perceived of by characters as magical – even religious – artifacts. Yet, at the same time, there are truly magical elements at work in these books, too. Can the two really coexist?

Catherine: I am interested in the idea that technology can seem miraculous, and yet if it has no power, it is useless. The keepers have the ability to tap into any remnants of power and channel that, using it to become part of the web of life that is Anara. So there are both religious and magical elements here. The idea of a religion based on relics of a lost colony is not new, but I was interested in the way it would grow, what scriptures it would generate. And what would happen if it was outlawed.

The Book Smugglers: In both your Incarceron/Sapphique duology and in the Relic Master series, you use epigraphs to introduce chapters, but these also serve another purpose as they tell a parallel story to the overarching plot at large – do you plan out these epigraphs as you are writing the main story? Can you tell us a little bit about your process for writing these often poetic introductions?

Catherine: The epigraphs tend to be written as the story develops- I don’t write them all at the beginning or the end. They are very useful because they allow me different platforms or viewpoints to explain the story to myself, to work out past events and even comment on what happens in the current chapter. I like writing the poetry best, because I love poetry and it’s a very different, more intuitive way of writing. So I just let my mind drift and write down the first thing I think of, and then just tinker with the rhyme and the sense until it works. They tend to have far more drafts than any other part of the books!

The Book Smugglers: For the eager US fans that you are now amassing, can you tell us if there are any plans to bring any more of your previously published works states-side? And, for your fans everywhere, can you tell us about any new projects you may be working on?

Catherine: Some of my other books will appear soon in the US. These are Crown of Acorns, a triple-time story set in the city of Bath, and Darkwater Hall,
a fantasy novel based around an old manor house in Cornwall. Each is a stand-alone novel, and a little different from the more sci-fi books.

Also due to come out is a three book set for slightly younger readers called The Glass Tower, which contains some of my early short novels.

As for new projects, I am working on what I hope will be the first of a four-part set, but at the moment it is still in development!

The Book Smugglers: As an author of Young Adult and Speculative Fiction, are you a big reader of either genre? Who are your favorite authors (of any age-audience) and/or most beloved books?

Catherine: I am fond of fantasy and sci-fi but don’t get time to read much of it, as there is so much else to read. My favourite authors in the field are people like Christopher Priest, Robert Holdstock, and Alan Garner. (Try The Prestige, Mythago Wood, and Strandloper from these) I also love the early writers – William Hope Hodgeson, (The Night Land – flawed, but mind-blowing) Arthur Machen, (The Hill of Dreams, set near where I live) HG Wells, (The Invisible Man, etc) ER Edison. (The Worm Oroboros – crazy but I like it.) I enjoy that Edwardian- period mindset, where technology was new and a whole world of possibilities was opening up. I would also pay tribute to US writers like Poe and Lovecraft, who were amazing.

The Book Smugglers: We Book Smugglers are faced with constant threats and criticisms from our significant others concerning the sheer volume of books we purchase and read – hence, we have resorted to ’smuggling books’ home to escape scrutinizing eyes. Have you ever had to smuggle books?

Catherine: I never smuggle books. I am an open addict!

Many thanks and I hope everyone enjoys the Relic Master set.

Catherine Fisher is the author of the New York Times bestselling duology Incarceron and Sapphique and in the Relic Master series has created a world equally as developed, dynamic and dangerous as that of Incarceron. Visit her at

About The Relic Master Quartet:

Welcome to Anara, a world mysteriously crumbling to devastation, where nothing is what it seems: Ancient relics emit technologically advanced powers, members of the old Order are hunted by the governing Watch yet revered by the people, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. The only hope for the world lies in Galen, a man of the old Order and a Keeper of relics, and his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Raffi. They know of a secret relic with great power that has been hidden for centuries. As they search for it, they will be tested beyond their limits. For there are monsters-some human, some not-that also want the relic’s power and will stop at nothing to get it.

The Relic Master set is a four book series. Each book will be released over four consecutive months this summer:

  • Book One: The Dark City, May 17
  • Book Two: The Lost Heiress, June 14
  • Book Three: The Hidden Coronet, July 12
  • Book Four: The Margrave, August 9

For more about The Relic Master books, make sure to check out the official website, or the official widget.

The Giveaway:

We are giving away ONE copy of The Lost Heiress to a lucky winner! The contest is open to residents in the US and Canada only, and will run until Saturday June 18 at 11:59pm (PST). In order to enter, simply leave a comment here letting us know the title of your favorite book that blends both fantasy and science fiction elements. Only ONE comment per person, please! Multiple comments will be automatically disqualified. Good luck, and make sure to stop by later today to check out our review of The Lost Heiress!


  • Chris
    June 14, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Incarceron by Catherine Fisher it is unique and awesome!!!! 😀

  • Lindsay Smith
    June 14, 2011 at 5:49 am

    What a cool-sounding series! I have Incarceron and Sapphique on my shelves, though I haven’t dived into them just yet. Glad to know there’s even more Catherine Fisher on the way!

  • Lindsay Smith
    June 14, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Ah, crap, I’d delete/edit the above comment if I could. Anyway, my favorite blend of sci-fi and fantasy would have to go to Kate Elliott’s COLD MAGIC right now. I suppose it’s more steampunk than sci-fi, but to me, it’s engineery-sciency-funky, which I think qualifies!

  • Rebecca
    June 14, 2011 at 6:24 am

    My favorite…hmmm. I really liked the Artemis Fowl series. Fantasy, some scifi as well and really accessible to all kinds of readers.

  • Alexandra
    June 14, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Definitely the Samaria books by Sharon Shinn.
    I think Archangel is my favourite.

  • Mary
    June 14, 2011 at 8:23 am

    My favorite would be DUNE by Frank Herbert.

  • Tina
    June 14, 2011 at 8:42 am

    My favorite books that blend science fiction and fantasy are probably the Kate Daniels books by Ilona Andrews.

    Thanks for the chance to win! So far I’ve really enjoyed what I have read of Catherine Fisher’s work and can’t wait to read more.

  • MarieC
    June 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Great giveaway!

    I love the Artemis Fowl series, as well as the the book ‘Greyfriars’.

  • Stephanie
    June 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Like another reviewer here, I have read and really enjoyed the series created by Illona Andrews, (The Edge & Kate Daniels one) too. But, for me, no one has ever surpassed “Storm Queen” for me. This was part of the Darkover series by Marion Zimmer Bradley. In this 17 book series MZB masterfully combined space-age technology and magical fantasy elements to create a unique world of books that I adored and I read again & again. 🙂

  • Stephanie C
    June 14, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I would have to say Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher! It was such a mind-blowing mix of the fantastical versus the scientific.

  • jenmitch
    June 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

    this is hard for me to answer; most of the books i can think of fit pretty neatly into one category or another!

    the hyperion books by dan simmons are pretty clearly sci fi, but they have pretty fantastical elements as well. (such a good series!)

    thanks for the give away! i’m looking forward to starting to read ms fisher’s books! 🙂

  • Lisa (starmetal oak)
    June 14, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Definitely Cold Magic by Kate Elliott! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  • Josephine
    June 14, 2011 at 11:33 am

    His Dark Materials trilogy, especially The Subtle Knife!

  • Ellie
    June 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones

  • Michelle
    June 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I have a few, but my favorite is probably A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Elizabeth
    June 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    My favorite blend would probably be the Samaria series by Sharon Shinn. I love how some of the books lean more heavily on the fantasy side (like Archangel) and some are much more sci-fi (like Jovah’s Angel) yet all of them contain a little bit of both. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Victoria Zumbrum
    June 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Across the Universe. This series sounds really good. I would love to read it. Please enter me in contest.

  • Deserae McGlothen
    June 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    My favorite book that blends science-fiction and fantastical elements is A Wrinkle in Time. It was the first book that introduced me to such a seamless blend of genres— I was sucked in without even knowing it!

  • Jen B.
    June 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Wow, so many of the comments include books I have never read. My wish list is getting overwhelmed. The first book that comes to mind is Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars series. It’s more sci-fi but it has science based fantasy.

  • Jill
    June 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Cold Magic by Kate Elliott–I can’t wait for the next one to come out. I’m also excited to try Catherine Fisher. I’ve been eying her books for some time.

  • Jenny N
    June 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Lets the top of my head would be Relicmaster: The Dark City since I’ve read the first book in the series. Another one that I thinks had sci fi elements is The Dark Angel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce.

  • Kay-Kay-Bay
    June 15, 2011 at 12:16 am

    If anything by Diana Wynne Jones counts, it would be one of hers. Although hers seem to be generally a lot more fantasy than SciFi. But I also love “A Wrinkle in Time”, like many other people have mentioned already.

  • Jill of The O.W.L.
    June 15, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I guess the first ones that I think of are the Artemis Fowl books!

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    themgowl at gmail dot com

  • Jessy Wylie
    June 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I like Embassytown. It is set on a strange planet and people speak different languages. Once you get used to the writing style it is a reallly amazing read.

  • Kaethe
    June 15, 2011 at 8:15 am

    I think I’d have to go with the Chaos Walking trilogy, just to say something other than Incarceron.

  • alana
    June 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

    For me it’s definitely the Chaos Walking trilogy and the Inferior series. The Inferior was all fantasy and then it started to change. I just read the Deserter and the sci-fi elements are even more strong. Loved it.

  • Sue R
    June 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Artemis Fowl is the only series I can think right now.

  • Scribe Kira
    June 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    his dark materials trilogy

  • readaholic421
    June 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    i loved The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer which was a little more fantasy but had a sci-fi twist to it and Across the Universe by Beth Revis which was amazing but more on the sci-fi side.

  • Kimberly B.
    June 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I think my favorite series that combines the science fiction and fantasy genre is probably the Ravirn series, starting with WebMage, by Kelly McCullough.
    Thanks for the great giveaway! Can’t wait to read Catherine’s books!

  • Asura C
    June 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Cold Magic was a great blend for me I cannot wait for book two released this year. I really enjoyed the Dark City.

  • Teri C@Snarkymamma
    June 15, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I loved the Hundred Thousand Kingdom series. It was a great pair so far for me and book three sounds awesome.

  • Kaya H
    June 15, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    A book that blended both genres in for me was really
    The Princess Bride. It seemed a bit of both but otherwise really it just rocked.

  • Marlene Breakfield
    June 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    My favorite is Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series.

  • Audra Holtwick
    June 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    i love DUNE and A WRINKLE IN TIME=please enter me into the contest

  • Melissa (Books and Things)
    June 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I’m drawing a blank at the name, but I can see the book cover in my head. Does that count? Oh this is going to bug me. I did enjoy The Dark City and I’ll pick that one since my brain isn’t playing nice.

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Breanne
    June 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I really had to think of one and then it hit me, Clockwork Angel! It did have a clockwork army after all. That’s science fiction-y.

  • CG
    June 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I guess my fave science fiction/fantasy mix up would be LK Hamilton’s Merry Gentry Series…Being a Fairy Princess in modern day Hollywood is not as great as it sounds…:)

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • Megan
    June 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve always loved A Wrinkle in Time!
    mearley1979 at gmail dot com

  • joan elgort
    May 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Enjoyed the Oracle Prophecies also by Catherine Fisher – unless you think that’s all fantasy and no sci fi. And love works of Ursula K. Le Guin.

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