Posts Tagged: Patrick Rothfuss

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While fans wait patiently for The Doors of Stone, the third volume in Patrick Rothfuss’ massively popular Kingkiller Chronicles, the author has been busy on several projects, including work on the final volume, The Doors of Stone. The most imminent of these, due for release in November, is The Slow Regard of Silent Things, a novella announced by Rothfuss in April, 2014.

If there’s anything that Rothfuss wants to make clear about The Slow Regard of Silent Things, however, it’s that the novella is not the third volume in the Kingkiller Chronicles. “It’s not a mammoth tome that you can use to threaten people and hold open doors,” Rothfuss explained in his announcement post. “It’s a short, sweet story about one of my favorite characters. It’s a book about Auri.”

In the announcement post, Rothfuss revealed an early synopsis for the novella:

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is set at The University where the brightest minds work to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences, such as artificing and alchemy. Auri, a former student (and a secondary but influential character from Rothfuss’s earlier novels) now lives alone beneath the sprawling campus in a maze of ancient and abandoned passageways. There in The Underthing, she feels her powers and learns to see the truths that science—and her former classmates—have overlooked.

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Change Can Be a Good Thing. Or not...

Readers, in many ways, want the same experience they’ve already had, only slightly different.

I was at a convention recently, and I was sitting on a panel with R.T. Kaelin, Timothy Zahn, and Pat Rothfuss. The subject of the panel was the ins and outs of writing the trilogy, but as you tend to do on panels, we started to wander toward other topics. Thus was born the subject of this post.

I was blabbering on about how you create arcs, not only for individual books but for an entire series (a trilogy or longer series), and I coughed up that old chestnut, that your characters need to change over the course of the story. Pat, being the contrarian he is, said something like, “I don’t really know that that’s true. Readers, in many ways, want the same experience they’ve already had, only slightly different.” I’m paraphrasing, of course, but the point is that he DISAGREED WITH ME! How DARE he! No, wait, that isn’t the point at all. Once I got over being flustered, I started to think of all the ways I could defend my point.

I ran out of those relatively quickly.

Then I started thinking about the ways I was wrong. Is it true? Should characters, in fact, not change much at all? Read More »

Unfettered, edited by Shawn Speakman
Herding Cats

Ever hear the expression, ‘herding cats?’

I’ll tell you something: All anthologists know it!

I know it now too. I am the editor for Unfettered, a fantasy short story anthology that features some of the best writers working in the field. It is newly released as an eBook and a hardcover, the proceeds from sales going to alleviate medical debt I accrued after treating Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011.

In that regard, it is a special book. At least it is to me. I lacked health insurance due to a pre-existing condition and racked up one helluva medical bill. I could have easily taken the medical bankruptcy route and become another statistic. No one would have begrudged me that course. I decided to take a different path though. And in so doing, be free of the crushing debt that increased day by day by day…

To start, I had lunch with Terry Brooks, author of the bestselling Shannara series. I have been Terry’s webmaster for thirteen years and we are close friends. I asked him to donate a short story to my cause, the proceeds to go against that debt. He agreed. But he added more advice, advice that led to Unfettered:

‘Shawn, you should ask your other writer friends for the same thing,’ Terry said. Read More »

Unfettered, edited by Shawn SpeakmanAt long last, Unfettered, a fantasy anthology edited by Shawn Speakman, is available for purchase. So, please excuse me while I have a little fangasm.

If you’re unaware of the anthology, Unfettered has a history that stretches back to Speakman, owner of The Signed Page, being diagnosed with Hogdkin’s lymphoma in 2011. Uninsured (due to a past cancer diagnosis), Speakman did the only thing he could think of to deal with the monumental medical bills accrued during his cancer treatment: he called his friends, he made a book.

Oh, yeah… his friends include Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Naomi Novik and Lev Grossman. Each author contributed an original short story to the anthology and, as the title suggests, were not restrained by an overall thematic structure as is often the case with anthologies.

Authors and stories included in the anthology:

- Foreword by Patrick Rothfuss
- Introduction: On Becoming Unfettered
- Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks
- How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
- Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
- The Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey
- Mudboy by Peter V. Brett
- The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian
- The Coach with Big Teeth by R.A. Salvatore
- Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood
- Heaven in a Wild Flower by Blake Charlton
- Dogs by Daniel Abraham
- The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne
- Select Mode by Mark Lawrence
- All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
- Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth
- Nocturne by Robert V.S. Redick
- Unbowed by Eldon Thompson
- In Favour with Their Stars by Naomi Novik
- River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
- The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan
- The Duel by Lev Grossman
- Walker and the Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks
- The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman

The slam dunk here looks like Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s “River of Souls,” which is a deleted sequence from A Memory of Light, which explores the off-screen actions of Bao, the Wyld, who Wheel of Time fans might recognize by a different name. With Jordan’s Wheel of Time series concluding earlier this year, this on-the-cutting-room-floor excerpt from the series is one last chance to dip a toe into Jordan’s world.

I’ve not had a chance to read through the entire anthology, but a meander through its pages, along with the handful of stories I have read, Unfettered seems to live up to its promise of being one of the most comprehensive and exciting anthologies of mainstream fantasy released in years. The Table of Contents won’t set anything afire for pushing boundaries, but the (admittedly male-heavy) list of authors includes Sanderson, Carey, Abraham, and Rothfuss, and looks to provide a variety of short stories that is sure to please readers.

Unfettered can be purchased now from Grim Oak Press, Kobo, Nook and Kindle.

Disclaimer: I provided editorial feedback to Todd Lockwood on his story, Keeper of Memory, which appears in Unfettered.

Ever wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons against some of Fantasy’s best (and coolest) authors? Of course you do. Last year, thanks to Justin Landon, we were privy to a documented game of D&D featuring Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett, Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, Elizabeth Bear and a whole bunch of other awesome people. The saliva lost by drooling Fantasy fans was enough to fill the Dead Sea (and just as salty). You can read Brent Weeks’ account of the game right here on A Dribble of Ink, in fact. Now, this time around, you (yes, you), have an opportunity to take part in the next D&D game, alongside many of these same authors, including Patrick Rothfuss and Peter V. Brett, and newcomers like Sam Sykes. How? By auction. Read More »