Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

“You can divide infinity an infinite number of times, and the resulting pieces will still be infinitely large,” Uresh said in his odd Lenatti accent. “But if you divide a non-infinite number an infinite number of times the resulting pieces are non-infinitely small. Since they are non-infinitely small, but there are an infinite number of them, if you add them back together, their sum is infinite. This implies any number is, in fact, infinite.”

“Wow,” Elodin said after a long pause. He leveled a serious finger at the Lenatti man. “Uresh. Your next assignment is to have sex. If you do not know how to do this, see me after class.”

Name a more anticipated novel releasing this year? Tough, ain’t it? Whether you’ve read The Name of the Wind or not, it’s hard to get out from under the shadow cast by the looming release of Patrick Rothfuss’ long-awaited sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear.

In anticipation, Tor.com has posted an excerpt from The Wise Man’s Fear. Only a couple of weeks to go!

FUZZY NATION by John ScalziThrough my involvement with Tor.com Fantasy, Macmillan, the parent company of Tor Books, in part pays for the bread on my table, the beer in my fridge and the heat in my home. As such, consider this following article not a recommendation or formal review, but a collection of my subjective thoughts on the novel.

Stephen Donaldson once said, and I paraphrase, that releasing The Gap Cycle helped him realize that his success wasn’t necessarily built on the backs of Stephen Donaldson fans, but rather he had been lifted to stardom by Thomas Covenant fans. He suppose that a majority of readers grew attached to characters, stories and worlds, rather than to the authors themselves. I thought of this quote several times throughout my time with Fuzzy Nation, the latest novel from super-blogger John Scalzi.

You see, the more I read of his work, the more I realize that while I’m a slavering fanboy for John Perry, the protagonist and narrator of Scalzi’s award-nominated Old Man’s War, I’m only a mild fan of John Scalzi. To then further reduce that distinction, I’m nuts for Old Man’s War, which blew me away and proved itself a worthy 21st-century analogue to Starship Troopers and The Forever War, but, while enjoying each one in turn, have been somewhat let down by each Scalzi novel I’ve read since. So, in reality, I’m not so much a Scalzi, or a even John Perry fan, but a fan of Old Man’s War. And, at this point, I’m almost certain that Scalzi will have trouble ever reaching those heights again.
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I’m willing to bet there are more than a few Zelda fans among my readers. It’s one of Videogames’ most storied franchises and means as much to the childhoods of many as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. Recently, on a forum I frequent, the members there started compiling some of the wonderful art produced for the series, officially or fan-made, and it made me bloody nostalgic.

I’ve gathered together some of my favourite images from that thread, all illustrated by fans of the series:

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good! THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good! THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good! THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good! THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good! THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good!

And some great thinking-outside-the-box portraits of the ubiquitous hero of the series:

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good! THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good! THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good!

And, then… there’s this:

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA has never looked so good!

Truly the stuff of nightmares.

Many more images can be found at this link.

'The Unremembered' by Paul Orullian

Rumors have beset the eastlands of Aeshau Vaal. Some people flee toward the cities for refuge. One regent, to answer these unseen threats, is set to recall the Convocation of Seats—something that hasn’t been done for ages. But one man doesn’t believe, and would use the fear of nations to advance the power of his dangerous League of Civility.

For Braethen, an author’s son, it will mean the sudden chance to turn his lifelong desire of entering the Sodality into a reality. But being a Sodalist is not the romantic dream he’s read about in his long years of study. As a sworn protector to the feared Order of Sheason, he must be prepared to give more than his life, and to take up a mythical weapon before his hands are even accustomed to steel.

For Wendra, raped and now heavy with child, it will mean learning the reality of a trade that travels the highways across the nations of man, even a trade in human lives. She’ll take responsibility for a pageant-wagon boy, whose street-theater is considered seditious; and find through protecting him that her ability to make song with her voice carries a great power, but one that may flow darkly.

For Tahn, it will mean finding answers to a lost childhood. Words he feels compelled to speak every time he draws his bow may finally be understood, but the revelation it will bring he may wish to have left unremembered. And though it will also introduce him to a beautiful woman of the legendary Far, the nature of their separate and very different lives will force dreadful choices upon them.

These three, and others, attended by a hard man, an exile, whose sentence is to care for orphans and foundlings in the middle of a wasteland, and by a Sheason whose uncompromising, yet best intentions are destroying his own order, will fight the past even as they face a dark future.

Because the threats are more than rumor . . .

One of the 2011′s more intriguing debut Epic Fantasies is Peter Orullian’s The Unremembered, the first volume in the (potentially very long) The Vault of Heaven series. Tor seems to be positioning it, alongside (or perhaps just below) Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archives, as one of the big, epics to fill the gap left by Robert Jordan’s soon-to-be-finished Wheel of Time. Will it actually live up to that sort of hype? It’s impossible to say. Publishers like to scream to the heavens about every new Epic Fantasy series and how it’s going to re-invent the genre and make Patrick Rothfuss look like a sales-chump (*cough*Robert Newcomb*cough*), but that’s rarely ever the case.

Still, with a beautiful cover and an reasonably interesting synopsis, The Unremembered is firmly on my radar. To help you decide if it’s worth getting excited about, Orullian’s recently released the prologue of the novel on his website.

In addition to this excerpt, Orullian has also published two short stories on Tor.com: Sacrifice of the First Sheason and The Great Defense of Layosah.