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An Orc on the Wild Side is the latest comic masterpiece from one of the funniest writers in fantasy.
WINTER IS COMING, SO WHY NOT GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?
Being the Dark Lord and Prince of Evil is not as much fun as it sounds, particularly if you are a basically decent person. King Mordak is just such a person. Technically he's more goblin than person, but the point is that he is really keen to be a lot less despicable than his predecessors.
Not that the other goblins appreciate Mordak's attempts to redefine the role. Why should they when his new healthcare program seems designed to actually extend life expectancy, and his efforts to end a perfectly reasonable war with the dwarves appear to have become an obsession?
With confidence in his leadership crumbling, what Mordak desperately needs is a distraction. Perhaps some of these humans moving to the Realm in search of great homes at an affordable price will be able to help?
Praise for Tom Holt
'Uniquely twisted . . . cracking gags' Guardian
'Holt doesn't skimp on the flashes of brilliance' SFX
'Clever, funny, tirelessly inventive' Christopher Moore
J.W. Wells seemed to be a respectable establishment, but the company now paying Paul Carpenter's salary is in fact a deeply sinister organisation with a mighty peculiar management team.
Paul thought he was getting the hang of it (particularly when he fell head over heels for his strangely alluring colleague Sophie), but death is never far away when you work at J.W. Wells. Unlike the stapler - that's always going awol. Our lovestruck hero is about to discover that custard is definitely in the eye of the beholder. And that it really stings.
Tom Holt's exceedingly comic fantasies are populated with evil goblins, annoying sprites and people like us. However, it's not always possible to tell the difference.
When the Supreme Being and his son decide that being supreme isn't for them any more, it's inevitable that things get a bit of a shake-up.
It soon becomes apparent that our new owners, the Venturi brothers, have a very different perspective on all sorts of things. Take Good and Evil, for example. For them, it's an outdated concept that never worked particularly well in the first place.
Unfortunately, the sudden disappearance of right and wrong, while welcomed by some, raises certain concerns amongst those still attached to the previous team's management style.
In particular, there's one of the old gods who didn't move out with the others. A reclusive chap, he lives somewhere up north, and only a handful even believe in him.
But he's watching. And he really does need to know if you've been naughty or nice.
There are all kinds of products. The good ones. The bad ones. The ones that stay in the garage mouldering for years until your garden gnome makes a home out of them. Most are harmless if handled properly, even if they do contain traces of peanuts. But some are not. Not the ones that contain traces of magic.
Chris Popham wasn't paying enough attention when he talked to his SatNav. Sure, she gave him directions, never backtalked him, and always led him to his next spot on the map with perfect accuracy. She was the best thing in his life. So was it really his fault that he didn't start paying attention when she talked to him? In his defence, that was her job. But when 'Take the next right' turned into 'Excuse me,' that was when the real trouble started.
Because sometimes a SatNav isn't a SatNav. Sometimes it's an imprisoned soul trapped inside a metal box that will do anything it can to get free. And some products you just can't return.
Colin Hollinghead is a young man going nowhere fast. Working for his dad might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but starting at the bottom in the widget-making industry has somehow lost its appeal.
And now the business is in trouble. At least his father has a plan to turn things round - a new work force that will improve profit margins and secure the company's future for eternity. The deal looks great on paper, but they do say that the devil is in the detail - and the old rogue certainly seems to be involved in some capacity.
Colin needs help. Perhaps his new friend from J.W. Wells & Co. (Practical and Effective Magicians, Sorcerers and Supernatural Consultants) can help.
Sparkling with wit and oozing charm, Tom Holt's new comic caper will delight his readers and prove once and for all that going to work can actually be hell.
Starting a new job is always stressful (especially when you don't particularly want one), but when Paul Carpenter arrives at the office of J. W. Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discover that the apparently respectable establishment now paying his salary is in fact a front for a deeply sinister organisation that has a mighty peculiar agenda. It seems that half the time his bosses are away with the fairies. But they're not, of course.
They're away with the goblins.
Mister Tom Holt, Master of the Comic Fantasy Novel, cordially invites you to join him in his world of madness by reading his next hilarious masterpiece.
Ever been offered a promotion that seems too good to be true? You know - the sort they'd be insane to be offering to someone like you. The kind where you snap their arm off to accept, then wonder why all your long-serving colleagues look secretly relieved, as if they're off some strange and unpleasant hook ...
It's the kind of trick that deeply sinister companies like J.W. Wells & Co. pull all the time. Especially with employees who are too busy mooning over the office intern to think about what they're getting into.
And it's why, right about now, Paul Carpenter is wishing he'd paid much less attention to the gorgeous Melze, and rather more to a little bit of job description small-print referring to 'pest' control ...
A HAPPY WORKFORCE, IT IS SAID, IS A PRODUCTIVE WORKFORCE.
Try telling that to an army of belligerent goblins. Or the Big Bad Wolf. Or a professional dragon slayer. Who is looking after their well-being? Who gives a damn about their intolerable working conditions, lack of adequate health insurance, and terrible coffee in the canteen?
Thankfully, with access to an astonishingly diverse workforce and limitless natural resources, maximizing revenue and improving operating profit has never really been an issue for the one they call 'the Wizard.' Until now.
Because now a perfectly good business model-based on sound fiscal planning, entrepreneurial flair, and only one or two of the infinite parallel worlds that make up our universe-is about to be disrupted by a young man not entirely aware of what's going on.
There's also a slight risk that the fabric of reality will be torn to shreds. You really do have to be awfully careful with these things.
A suburban house, a child called Jason who strangles large snakes whilst still in his cot, the Olympian gods and a Girl Next Door are the ingredients of this fantasy by Tom Holt, author of Flying Dutch and Expecting Someone Taller.
Being a hero bothers Jason. It's easy to get maladjusted when your mum's a suburban housewife and your dad's the Supreme Being. It can be a drag slaying fabulous monsters and retrieving golden fleeces from dragons, and then having to tidy your room before your mum'll let you watch Star Trek .
Same as the Old Evil, but with better PR.
Mordak isn't bad, as far as goblin kings go, but when someone, or something, starts pumping gold into the human kingdoms it puts his rule into serious jeopardy. Suddenly he's locked in an arms race with a species whose arms he once considered merely part of a calorie-controlled diet.
Helped by an elf with a background in journalism and a masters degree in being really pleased with herself, Mordak sets out to discover what on earth (if indeed, that's where he is) is going on. He knows that the truth is out there. If only he could remember where he put it.