News broke earlier this month that after a 21 year absence, Tad Williams is returning to Osten Ard, the fantastical world that put him on the fantasy map, with The Last King of Osten Ard, a sequel trilogy to his enormously popular and influential epic fantasy, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.
“I believe I can now write a story worthy of those much-loved settings and characters,” Williams said, explaining the origins of the unlikely sequel. “One that people who haven’t read the originals can enjoy, but which will of course mean more to those who know the original work. More than that, I feel I can do something that will stand up to the best books in our field. I have very high hopes. I’m excited by the challenge. And I’ll do my absolute best to make all the kind responses I’ve already had justified.”
Though the news was released earlier than Williams originally hoped, he’s only a few chapters into writing the first volume, he’s not shy on providing details of what fans can expect from the new trilogy.
“[The Last King of Osten Ard] is going to be at least as bursting-at-the-seams as the first one,” he said. “Since the originals are already written, I’m not going to spend anywhere near so much time setting up the world. Stuff is going to be happening from pretty much go. And one thing I can definitely tell you. LOTS of Norns. A much closer look at the Norns, collectively and individually, then we had in the first books. Much like what we learned of the Sithi in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.” Read More »
I was asked for this post to write about hope in fantasy. And that means I need to talk about grimdark.
I was asked for this post to write about hope in fantasy. And that means I need to talk about grimdark. (Definition from TV Tropes here, for those who need it.) And I need to say, before I start, that I am a practitioner of grimdark; the Doctrine of Labyrinths quartet (Melusine (2005), The Virtu (2006), The Mirador (2007), Corambis (2009)) can be nothing but. So I’m not speaking as someone who abhors grimdark, but as someone who loves it.
One of the things behind grimdark, I think–and it’s not just grimdark, either, but most of Anglophone literature since somewhere around World War I–is a conviction that being pessimistic, tragic, depressing, dark means that a text is more “realistic,” more “serious,” and therefore inherently “better” than it would be if it allowed optimism and hope. I’ll get into the issue of “realism” later, but I want to point out here that tragedy is not inherently “better” as a literary form than comedy and writing a tragedy does not demonstrate greater skill/talent/genius than writing a comedy. (Kind of the reverse, in fact. Comedy is hard.) Read More »
On Saturday, April 19th, the 2014 Hugo Award nominations were announced, and I’m proud to announce that A Dribble of Ink is represented in two categories: Best Fanzine and Best Related Work.
Alongside The Book Smugglers*, Elitist Book Review, Journey Planet and Pornokitsch*, A Dribble of Ink is in the running for Best Fanzine of 2013. If you’ve followed my writing for any time, you’ll know that I’ve long been critical of this category for dipping its pen into the same inkwell too often, so I’m thrilled to be included on a ballot that is guaranteed to see a new winner.
On that note, I expect to get crushed by Pornokitsch and/or The Book Smugglers, but it’ll be fun competition between these friends of mine regardless. Read More »
Via Tor.com, the list of nominees for the 2014 Hugo Award nominees (with added squee!):
2014 Hugo Award nominees
Best Novel (1595 ballots)
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit)
Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit)
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia (Baen Books)
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books)
Read More »
If it wasn’t for unconventional publishing, that would have been the end of the road for Hollow World.
Publishing today is a complicated business full of many options and proponents on different sides vocalizing their path is “the right one” with full-throated conviction. For the record, I see the advantages (and disadvantages) of each. I also don’t think there is a “universal right choice,” just a choice that is going to best fit on an author by author basis.
Currently I’m a ‘hybrid author‘ because I have works available both through self-publishing and traditional routes. What’s more, my traditional routes include both big-five and small presses and there is a world of difference between them.
I think Hollow World, my latest novel, was probably produced in one of the most unconventional ways possible. First it was submitted to my publisher, Orbit. My editor loved the book, but the marketing department didn’t. They need to focus on what sells (and I don’t begrudge this mindset) and currently they think that means military science-fiction and space operas. A classic-style, social science fiction novel such as those written by Asimov or Wells just didn’t fit the bill.
If it wasn’t for unconventional publishing, that would have been the end of the road for Hollow World, and I know far too many authors who have shelved books because they couldn’t get them picked up (or were offered too little). But from past experience, I knew a closed door just means I should look around for an open window. Read More »