Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Shadow Rising

By Robert Jordan
Pages: 1008 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: 10/15/93
ISBN: 0812513738


Yarr! There be spoilers for the series ahead. Ye’ve been warned!

The Shadow Rising is considered by many fans to be the current pinnacle of Robert Jordan’s near-legendary Wheel of Time series. Despite being the longest volume, clocking in at 393,000 words, The Shadow Rising is a showcase of Jordan’s writing where his strengths are in full evidence and the weaknesses that bog down later volumes have yet to become overwhelming. It’s even less concise than the preceding volumes, and already Jordan’s tendencies towards rambling narrative and long-winded, repetitive internal dialogue and self-conflict continue to escalate in frequency and annoyance, but The Shadow Rising also contains many of the series’ most genuinely terrific moments that those flaws are if not unnoticed at least forgiven.

One interesting addition to the series are the ‘Bubbles of Evil’ that Jordan introduces early on in the novel with three of the most memorable scenes in the entire series (in particular, Mat’s fight against the figures from the playing cards has always been one of the most ‘otherly’ and interesting scenes I’ve come across in an Epic Fantasy). These acts of seeming randomness allow Jordan to keep Rand and co. on edge by constantly hovering the threat of violence over their heads. It’s one thing to know that Trollocs can pop out of any shadow (and, by this time in the series, the reader has more-or-less lost any sort of respect for the threat they pose, having seen Trollocs dispatched in absolute droves by the end of this novel), it’s entirely another level of anxiety to know that the sand littering the floor can erupt into a maelstrom of razor-sharp wind trying its damnedest to shred you to pulp.
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From Brooks’ website:

MAGIC KINGDOM FOR SALE – SOLD! To Warners and Weed Road

Warner Brothers has optioned Terry Brooks’ best-selling MAGIC KINGDOM OF LANDOVER series of books for Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road Pictures and Andy Cohen’s Grade A Entertainment. Goldsman and Cohen will produce with Weed Road’s Kerry Foster and Alex Block overseeing for Weed Road. Warner Brothers’ Matt Cherniss brought the book series into the studio and will run point. Brooks was represented by Anne Sibbald of Janklow & Nesbit Associates.

The film will be based on the first book in the series, MAGIC KINGDOM FOR SALE – SOLD!, which was first published in 1986 by Del Rey Books, a division of Random House. The most recent book in the six book, ongoing series is A PRINCESS OF LANDOVER which came out in 2009. Other titles in the series are: THE BLACK UNICORN, WIZARD AT LARGE, THE TANGLE BOX, and WITCHES BREW.

Brooks is a prolific author best known for the LANDOVER series and the SHANNARA series of fantasy books, which began with THE SWORD OF SHANNARA. There are currently 19 books in the SHANNARA series with the next book due out later this year.

Weed Road is in preproduction on A WINTER’S TALE written and to be directed by Goldsman. Recent credits include PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 and FAIR GAME.

Cohen last produced UNTRACEABLE starring Diane Lane. He’s currently working on the stage show, HEATHERS – THE MUSICAL and the indie film, IN SIGHT.

As one of the few Brooks fans among the blogosphere, I’m excited about this. I feel that Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold! is a better fit for film than Brooks’ more popular Shannara novels, but I’ll also keep any of my enthusiasm in check until principal filming begins.

For those unfamiliar with the novel, you can read the first 50 pages of Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold! for free via Suvudu.

Hugo Awards LogoEvery year, George R.R. Martin takes the time to talk about some of the authors/artists/editors/fan writers/novels/etc… that he feels deserve to be on the Hugo Award ballot. I always look forward to these posts and it’s something I wish more voters would do. Give fans (and other Hugo voters) a taste of what you think are the best of the best in any given year. Martin has always been a big proponent of trying to get blogs and bloggers on the ‘Best Fanzine’ and ‘Best Fan Writer’ short lists. This year, he’s gone further than just suggesting that we all think of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist and instead wrote at some length about why he feels that bloggers deserve a shot. From his latest post:

The Best Fanzine category is one of the oldest Hugo Awards, but is currently embroiled in controversy. Traditional print fanzines are still around, though both their numbers and their readership are dwindling, and in recent years the fans have been nominating things like e-zines, blogs, and podcasts in this category. Last year at Reno, a rules change was enacted to exclude all those new forms of fanac from this category. If that change is ratified in Chicago, Best Fanzine will once again become the exclusive property of traditional fanzines. If you don’t own a mimeograph machine, you need not apply. However, (1) the change needs to be ratified, if it is defeated at this year’s business meeting, it will not take effect, (2) it is NOT in effect this year, so this may be the last year when e-zines, blogs, and podcasts can be nominated in the category. As I think you can tell by my sarcastic tone, I am opposed to the change. I think there are some great fannish blogs and e-zines and podcasts out there, I think they are the future, and I’m going to nominate a bunch of them. Some of my own favorites include PAT’S FANTASY HOTLIST, THE WERTZONE, MAKING LIGHT, THE BLOG OF THE FALLEN (okay, he doesn’t like my stuff, but it’s still a good read), STOMPING ON YETI, CHEESE MAGNETS, HATHOR LEGACY, and PUNKADIDDLE. And for Best Fan Writer, I’d suggest you consider some of the folks who write for these blogs and e-zines, including Patrick St. Denis, Adam Whitehead, Adam Roberts, and John J. Miller.

Sound familiar?
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The very first YouTube comment more-or-less sums up my thoughts:

I’m watching this in the nude. & yes, I’m very excited :}

More to the point, though you don’t seem him in many frames, the trailer is clearly centered around Tyrion (who’s also, in my opinion, the lynchpin of the novel). Peter Dinklage has risen to great heights on the back of that small man, Tyrion Lannister, and it will be fun to watch him climb yet higher with his performance in the second season of Game of Thrones. Great stuff.

THE GUNSLINGER by Stephen King

Very good. The rest of the novels:

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

Very nice. Fresh, but still instantly recognizable as Dark Tower novels. And then there’s the cover for the forthcoming Dark Tower novel, The Wind Through the Keyhole, which will slot in somewhere between Wizard and Glass and The Wolves of Calla. Also very nice.

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

Which of the covers is your favourite? What do you think about the cover for Wind Through the Keyhole?