A Blade of Black Steel Giveaway!

I’m deep in the revision process for Book III of the Crimson Empire trilogy, and that means I’m listening to music most constant-like. For me music isn’t just the soundtrack to my writing but the actual fuel I need to keep it going, and I’m always on the look-out for new sounds. Hence, this here giveaway:

I’m giving away three hardcovers of A Blade of Black Steel, the sequel to A Crown for Cold Silver. All you have to do is post a comment below linking to a single song you think should be on a Crimson Empire soundtrack–it can be on bandcamp, soundcloud, youtube, whatever, so long as this luddite can click the link and hear the song. Contest ends Thursday, July 7th, whereupon I’ll choose three winners using some esoteric system of my own devising.

Oh, and due to the beastly cost of international shipping I’m going to have to limit this to US residents. Cheers!


A Blade of Black Steel Unsheathed!


SVC Announcement and Contest Results


  1. Nick Sharps

    I submit “Smooth Sailing” by Queens of the Stone Age. It’s got that sexy/sinister vibe that I get from The Crimson Empire. Here are some lyrics I find particularly fitting for Cold Cobalt…

    “It’s all in motion, ain’t no stopping now
    I got nothing to lose and only one way, up
    I’m burning bridges, I destroy the mirage
    All visions of collisions, fuckin’ bon voyage”


    “I hypnotize you, ignore, then defy you
    I blow my load over the status quo… oh
    Here we go”


    • Better late than never I’m catching up on actually responding to all these… And yes, this was quite apt (and I dig the salary men video!). Thanks for taking part!

  2. Prepare for battle. And destroy.

    CIRCLE – SACRIFICE (vox by Bruce Duff)


  3. Roy Thomas

    I have a self diagnosed problem with reading. Anyways I know where your coming from, without music the real world would drown me.


    This song from the new Witcher game has powered me through several Final Papers for my history degree.

  4. “Wanna Fight” by Cliff Martinez, from the movie “Only God Forgives”.

    Suitable for any number of slow motion giant monster sequences or viewings of terrifying vistas.


    • Martinez’s work on Refn’s soundtracks is sooooo good–don’t know if you’ve seen/heard the Neon Demon yet, but it’s another winner.

  5. Perfect for any writer locked away in a hotel in the snow: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B36ByqOoFd5DSW1nc0xGNEJmOG8/view (I swear it’s a song, not a spam link)

  6. With more bar smoke than an underground Parisian nightclub, Tom Waits delivers a sinister lament in ‘Little Drop of Poison.’

    A song layered with intrigue and soul, perfect for clawing that last drop out of your prose.


    • One of my favorites of his, thanks! Caught him in 08, if memory serves, on his Glitter and Doom tour–such a force of nature. And nurture.

  7. Chris Chenault

    This, the soundtrack of decades.

  8. Jon Davis

    I present to you Burnt Offering by The Budos Band: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-gOK9LjTtl8

  9. Joshua Bass

    Here’s Smokey Kingdom with ‘Dopus’, found somewhere closer to Lark’s Tongue Peak than the Panteran Wastes.


  10. Joshua Bass

    And here’s YOB with ‘Marrow’, from the album ‘Clearing the Path to Ascend’. This might be found somewhere between the Witch Wood and Agalloch.


    • And fvck yes to YOB! Think I mentioned on FB I had a character named Yob in A Blade of Black Steel but my editor worried that might make him seem like a less serious character to British readers so I went with something else…now to find a more oblique way of mentioning them in Book III!

  11. Ready for some cheese? Maybe. I dunno. I get laughed at for enjoying this.
    And while I don’t yet know what best fits for this world, I feel like THIS fits every epic fantasy world….


  12. Lisa


    Tim Hecker’s In the Fog II

    It’s either a daydream or a nightmare, depending which way you swing.

  13. Jesse Miller-Riley

    Turn Loose the Mermaids (instrumental version) by Nightwish.

    The first time I heard it, it conjured up images of epic fantasy…and although “epic” is oft overused these days, the Crimson Empire series is TOTALLY epic. I’m almost finished with A Blade of Black Steel and can’t wait for the third installment. This song reminds me of the sweeping events happening on the Star, as well as the characters and their colorful backstories.


    • Nice, thanks for sharing–always think of Nightwish as being all about her vocals, but the band is obvs just as talented as their lead.

      And really glad you’ve enjoyed the series so much to date–means a lot to connect with like-minded people, and I hope the third book holds up to your expectations…once I finish it!

      • Jesse Miller-Riley

        Yes, please do hurry up and finish it. I want more adventures in the Star!!! 🙂

  14. Jared Chapman

    It’s the gristle between your teeth that might or might not be your dead enemy: https://accidentpronerecords.bandcamp.com/album/pilgrimage-of-loathing

    The Somnambulist from MAKE’s meaty new album Pilgrimage of Loathing.

    (Honorable mention Atticus Atlas from Moth Gatherer: https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-earth-is-the-sky)

    • These are both choice, but like Joshua above I felt it might be unfair to choose ya since y’all overachievers posted more than one track each! Really appreciate the thoughtfulness of your selections, though, and of course your time for reading!

  15. Jared Chapman

    Oh hells. If it’s about music that sounds like it belongs in Crimson Empire I can’t fail to mention the monster songs: “Serpents”, and “Wings Beating Over Heaven” by CROWN from the album Natron: https://candlelightrecordsuk.bandcamp.com/album/natron

    • And holy mother of fvcks, CROWN is somehow new to me but feel like the title of the first book should be a reference to them. Excellent contribution, thanks so much!

  16. Maly O

    “Mother of Earth” by The Gun Club


  17. Tony Markham

    Did you mean July 2016? Dammit! Oh well, this is a site that various artists have used to put the world of Gravity’s Rainbow to music. Its faster than reading the whole book (again) plus it’s music.


    • Hey, better late than never! This looks cool, plus it will serve as cliff notes since I must admit I’ve never actually made it through Gravity’s Rainbow. Haven’t tried it in fifteen years or so, though, so probably time to try it again!

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