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The Gods are Bastards by D. D. Webb

Wizards, elves and cowboys 

It was a land of sword and sorcery, knights and castles, adventure and heroics . . . but that was a thousand years ago. The Gods are Bastards brings high fantasy forward into the Industrial Revolution, to a more complicated and more cynical era.

In the world of Tiraas, an ancient Church is making its final grab for ultimate power, an upstart young University seeks to bring its Enlightenment ethos to the world, and a teetering Empire struggles to balance tradition with progress. Better weapons, magics and technologies have changed the landscape, for better and for worse, and the age of ancient evils and heroic deeds is long over.

So when an ancient evil does rise again and heroes are needed to beat it back, the people of Tiraas must scramble to meet the challenge . . . if they can only stop scheming against each other long enough.

One thing is becoming clear: this time around, the gods will be no help.

Note: The Gods are Bastards contains some graphic violence and harsh language.


An ongoing series, with new episodes twice weekly

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Listed: Oct 6, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

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Outstanding fantasy

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Oct 12, 2014: Update Dec 31 2014: I’ve now been following this serial for several months – it’s very compelling, the writing quality is high, and the updates are very generous and consistent (highly dedicated author). It’s become evident there’s considerable depth to this story: background, plot, and characters. This serial is based off a fairly standard fantasy genre, with its own unique set of twists and takes on the world, yet it is a standout in the field. A great choice for anyone looking for a new fantasy serial to follow.

Also, if "fantasy western" doesn’t quite strike your fancy, be aware it’s a bit of a misnomer – this story actually weaves between a variety of fully developed environments – an urban capital, hinterland, prairie, forest, mountain, underworld.

Original Review:

"The Marshal cursed and squeezed the switches on both his wands; their muted click was lost in a tremendous CRACK as bolts of lightning sprang from the tips . . . ."

This engaging tale set in a fantasy world’s magic-based Industrial Revolution and Wild West quickly caught my interest. It’s well written, and full of imaginative and intriguing details like the magical Rail trip (I prefer the mechanical version!), and a professor’s explanation of the difference between objective (physics) and subjective (magic) actions on energy and matter. The story switches perspectives frequently, but doesn’t lose momentum.

Something I couldn’t help noticing at first was that certain aspects of the world, and more specifically, certain characters, are VERY similar to some in Tales of MU. This didn’t decrease my enjoyment of the story, as I like that world and characters, but I did feel like it should be acknowledged. It’s now, I would say, a couple multiverse portals removed from the ToMU universe. And Webb’s writing style is very distinct from A.E’s, and very good in its own right.(EDIT: Based on a conversation with the author, the similarity with Tales of MU was accidental and the story gets less MU-like as it progresses. The two stories do share the overall premise of having D&D-type races and magic in a more modern world).

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Absurdly feminist but otherwise fantastic

By Vegetate, member

Nov 26, 2016: Even though I have numerable issues with the story, this story absolutely excels in pretty much every other area. The character interactions are fantastic. At times they are funny and at other times they show humanity and lead to believable and meaningful character growths. The world is extremely fleshed out and I absolutely adore how it is essentially sci-fi disguised as fantasy. Subplots weave together very well, and I found it easy to sympathize with many POV characters besides the villain POV (which to be honest was somewhat boring to [more . . .]

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It’s fun to read

By Taulsn, author of Reaper

Oct 12, 2014: Edit: I stand by what I said before at that point in time but now at chapter 5-15 the MU parallels are mostly gone. D.D. Webb has only gotten better, and TGaB holds a spot in my top five serials I consider it recommended reading for everyone.

At the time of me writing this The Gods are Bastards is up to chapter 2-1. I’ll do my best, but there might be minor spoilers.

[more . . .]

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The best ongoing serial on the Internet

By Paragon, member

Aug 14, 2016: With a title like that, I guess you know where this review is going, so let’s get started. The trend these days in fantasy/superhero fiction is towards the hyperrealistic. This usually manifests itself in the gritty, dark story that we all know and love (think The Dark Knight or Worm). TGaB maintains the hyperrealism. Every character is a well thought out human being with strengths and flaws and a backstory for those strengths and flaws. No organization is purely good or purely evil either; in fact, just as in real [more . . .]

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