The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Scott Bury

October 9, 2012 at 12:37 am (fantasy, Links, writing) (, , , , )

I love having the opportunity to showcase fellow Canadian genre fiction writers, so I’m happy today to turn the spotlight on Scott Bury

Scott Bury is a novelist from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In his first novel, The Bones of the Earth, he set out to break as many rules of the fantasy genre as he could, while telling a compelling story about believable characters.

The Bones of the Earth will be available free on Tuesday, October 9 from Amazon at (

 “Epic fantasy novels seems to try to emulate JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis. The authors draw a map of a fantasy world, then populate it with mythical beings from fairy tales: elves, dwarves, dragons, fairies, goblins and so on. The fantasy world almost always bears a strong resemblance to north-western Europe, especially Britain. Character and place names sound English or Celtic, with slight changes in spelling. Examples: Terry Jordan, Christopher Paolini, George RR Martin, Terry Brooks — the list goes on.

“In The Bones of the Earth, I turn that on its head. The story is set in our world, in a real place in history: the Eastern Roman Empire in the sixth century CE, the darkest time of the Dark Ages. No names of places or characters are invented (except for one — see if you can guess which).

 “All the mythology comes from the various cultures extant at the time: Greek, Roman, Slavic, Teutonic, Sarmatian (that people was recently extinct by the 500s, but they left artefacts and memories in other people behind) and Celtic.

 “Also, there is no royalty in this story. There are people who call themselves ‘king’ and ‘queen,’but the titles are appropriated; they don’t descend from a long-lost race of kings.

 “The main character is heroic, but he is also poor, full of self-doubt and, as far as I can tell, unique in that he is on the autism spectrum. I have not yet read a book about a character with autism, at least not in fiction.

 “Finally, there is a real love story woven into the book. It may not follow the typical fairy tale love story arc — but I don’t want to spoil the ending for you.”


Profession: writer, editor, journalist

Born: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Communications, Carleton University, Ottawa

Career history:

  • Editor, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
  • Editor, Graphic Arts magazine
  • Editor-in-Chief, PrintAction magazine and Electronic Composition & Imaging
  • Editor, Silviculture, Journal of the New Forest
  • Professor, English, Algonquin College, Ottawa
  • Professor, English, Humber College, Toronto

 Other fiction:

  • Sam, the Strawb Part (proceeds to charity)
  • Dark Clouds (The Witch’s Son, book 1: The Mandrake Ruse)
  • What Made Me Love You? (The Witch’s Son, book 1: The Mandrake Ruse)

 Works in progress:

  • Walking from the USSR
  • The Mandrake Ruse (The Witch’s Son, book 1)
  • One Shade of Red (parody)


The following excerpt comes from Part 2 of The Bones of the Earth. In this section, the hero, Javor, a poor farm boy on the run from horrors and in search of answers to the murder of his parents, has followed a mysterious stranger from Constantinople, Photius. They have met with an errant troop of Roman Legionnaires, and have been more or less drafted into the Romans’pursuit of a dragon that has attacked the Roman fort and kidnapped two young women — including the girl that Javor loves, Danisa.

Look there!” Photius shouted, pointing with his staff up the mountain, and at the same moment, one of the legionnaires at the back called”Look out!”

Javor looked up the slope and saw a white human form splayed out against the cliff—Danisa!—then whirled back. Two legionnaires were pointing back the way they had come, and others were fitting arrows to longbows.

Down the slope, near the tree line, stood a group of figures that must have been human, once. They were emaciated, as thin as the vampire-witches on the other side of the mountains. What was left of their clothing hung in rags and strips around them, useless for warmth or modesty. What was left of their hair hung down as raggedly, limp, grey, but most of their scalps were grey or red, creased with tears and rents. They shambled forward, low moans coming from their lips, their eyes dead.

Don’t let them near you! I’ve seen them before. They’ll try to eat you!” Javor shouted. The archers aimed their arrows, but waited for orders.

They may be the dragon’s victims,” said a soldier.

Hold,”said Meridius. “No one shoots until he gets an order!”

Don’t wait!” Javor screamed. “They’re not alive!” But at the same time, Zdravko and Volos started calling “Veca! Veca!”

One of the shambling ruins of a human being came up to the troop, moaning, hands out, palms up in supplication. It touched the leg of a wide-eyed Legionnaire, leaned forward and bared its teeth. A short Roman sword swept down, decapitating the thing. No blood spurted as the body collapsed.

 The Bones of the Earth is available in e-book form exclusively from and in print from Amazon and other bookstores.

 The e-book version will be FREE Tuesday, October 9, from Amazon.

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