Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter Is Coming

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pat Rothfuss on Thanksgiving

I've been extra busy at work these past few weeks, so updates have slowed, but I did find a moment to read Pat Rothfuss writing very movingly about Thanksgiving and his son, Oot:
Actually, that’s not true. I have a very good imagination. I can imagine exactly what it would be like to not have enough food for my baby. It’s a horrifying feeling. It’s a huge feeling. When I think about not being able to feed my baby, my mind brushes up against the edge of something very big and dark in my head. Like nighttime swimmer who feels something firmly bump against his foot. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Steven Erikson - News

Pat is reporting that Steven Erikson is done with the revisions to The Crippled God, which means it will be published on schedule, February 22 2011.  Also of note, Steven says on his Facebook page that he's working on a new Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novella called Excesses of Youth.


Friday, November 19, 2010

A Game of Thrones - Set Photos

Tor has posted some photos from the set of the new HBO series A Game of Thrones.

That's Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly.  They also have a shot of Daenerys, and Cersei.  I'm not sure about Dany but Cersei looks spot on.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Malazan Re-read of the Fallen - NoK Ch.6 & Epilogue

Amanda and Bill wrap up their Malazan Re-read of the Fallen with the final chapter and epilogue of Ian Esslemont's Night of Knives:

What I felt I was seeing in NoK was an author relatively new to his craft, still trying to feel out how to pace a novel: what scenes to select, which to omit; where to go slow and where to speed up; where to show and where to tell, when to let the reader find the meaning and when to help them along or just tell them. It was rough, but the potential was clearly there. Return of the Crimson Guard has, I think some of the same flaws, improves on many of them, and manages to find a few new ones. But I do think it is a better book, Amanda. And my assumption is Stonewielder will continue that progress and I’m very much looking forward to getting my hands on it (wink wink hint to our Tor overlords).
They move back to the main timeline next with Deahouse Gates.  


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Malazan Re-read of the Fallen - Nok, Ch. 5

Amanda and Bill are up to Chapter Five of Night of Knives in their Malazan re-read:

Do you know that this book is reminding me a little of the story behind the classical music piece Night on a Bare Mountain? The idea of one man (Temper) being sorely tested by demons and sprites on the night of a witches’ Sabbath. There are also hints of Night of the Long Knives from history. The idea of a night of terror, where it seems as though the dead walk. Very, very atmospheric.
Add your thoughts in the comments.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Fantasy Novelist's Exam

Over at Rinkworks David J. Parker and Samuel Stoddard have crafted The Fantasy Novelist's Exam:

Ever since J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis created the worlds of Middle Earth and Narnia, it seems like every windbag off the street thinks he can write great, original fantasy, too. The problem is that most of this "great, original fantasy" is actually poor, derivative fantasy. Frankly, we're sick of it, so we've compiled a list of rip-off tip-offs in the form of an exam. We think anybody considering writing a fantasy novel should be required to take this exam first. Answering "yes" to any one question results in failure and means that the prospective novel should be abandoned at once.

  1. Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages?
  2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage?
  3. Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn't know it?
  4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy?
  5. Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world?
  6. How about one that will destroy it?
  7. Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about "The One" who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good?
  8. Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information?
  9. Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise?
  10. Is the evil supreme badguy secretly the father of your main character?
  11. Is the king of your world a kindly king duped by an evil magician?
  12. Does "a forgetful wizard" describe any of the characters in your novel?
  13. How about "a powerful but slow and kind-hearted warrior"?
  14. How about "a wise, mystical sage who refuses to give away plot details for his own personal, mysterious reasons"?
  15. Do the female characters in your novel spend a lot of time worrying about how they look, especially when the male main character is around?
  16. Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued?
  17. Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals?

Anything look familiar?

Source: Pat (as always).


Friday, November 5, 2010

Chain Mail

This week I received a cryptic piece of mail from someone asking: "Where is fox pass?"  Given the nature of this site (and my own obsessions) I immediately took it to be a location in an RPG the person was playing, but if it is, it's not part of a game I've played.  A quick google revealed a band by that name, a myspace account and some other bits and bobs, but nothing that resembled a map or clue I could hand to this person.

I also got an enquiry from Seventh Star Press asking if I'd like to review Thrall, the latest novel from Steven Shrewsbury (yes please!) and K.J. Parker taught me (via Devices and Desires) how to make boiled leather, and explained that if you want to make the leather even harder you should use melted beeswax but you have to be careful on a hot day.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Malazan Re-read of the Fallen - NoK Ch. 4

Amanda and Bill are up to Chapter 4 of Ian Esslemont's Night of Knives:
“By the Autumn Worm. It is he.” The wonder in this statement means that the cultist must be someone that Artan really didn’t expect to seeDancer or Kellanved? Ahh, seeing the scene from Temper’s perspective reveals it is Dancer. Now this is interesting: finally coming face to face with one of the most mysterious and charismatic characters of the series so far.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Heroes

Joe Abercrombie says he's finished his read-through of the page proofs for The Heroes:

You might think I would feel an overwhelming sense of self-satisfaction on the completion of this long and involved project (well, a sense of self-satisfaction even greater than my usual one), but in fact I find you don’t tend to get that as a writer.  No moment of typing “THE END” on your clackety-clackety typewriter then perhaps flinging the final sheet away like Stephen J. Cannell used to at the end of his TV shows.  Finishing the first draft segues rapidly into revision and editing, the editing process is naturally spread out and winds down through various stages, each with less impact on the final result than the one before.  Writing a book peters out rather than ends with a sharp bang in the way the reading of a book does.  And of course over the next few months people begin to read the book, and respond to it, and so it is very much still in your thoughts.  Plus the nebulous end of the writing process for one book dissolves naturally into the nebulous start of the process for the next.  Tis a strange business, all in all.
He also writes that this will be his shortest novel in a while.  Joe has been on a good pace since The Blade Itself, hopefully he's got another title churning around inside him already.