The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

From Rothfuss’ blog:

I thought about it. Back in 2007, I was sure I’d have the book done by 2008. But I was hugely ignorant and optimistic back then. So I was dead fucking wrong. That caused a lot of grief.

I told her I was really sure I could have it finished by September.

Come hell or high water? She asked me.

Come hell or high water, I said.

So we agreed that I’d have the book finished by September. It was nice. It made us both happy.

So that’s part of the news, that I’ll be finished writing The Wise Man’s Fear by September.

But here’s the rest of the news: that means that the book can’t come out until March of 2011.

Why? Well, for a bunch of reasons. Mostly because there are a lot of things that have to happen before a mass of text becomes a printed book on a shelf. It needs to be copyedited. The edits need to be confirmed. It needs to be proofed, checked for consistency, fiddled with. Fonts need to be chosen. It needs to go through layout. Then it needs to be proofed again. Marketing needs to happen. It needs to be sent to reviewers, and the reviewers need to have time to read it before they write the reviews. It needs to be put into catalogs of to-be-published-books so people who run bookstores can learn about it and order copies for their stores. It needs to be printed, boxed, warehoused, shipped. We need to sacrifice a black she-goat and pray to strange and terrible gods. Then we need to proofread again.

So, March 1st, 2011. It seems like we finally have a release date that inspires some confidence. Humbly candid, as always from Rothfuss; few authors with that level of popularity are willing to speak so clearly about the issues with and quality of the their works-in-progress.I’m sure I won’t be the only one re-reading The Name of the Wind in February, 2011! Any bets on how long the release of The Wise Man’s Fear buy Rothfuss some respite? A Feast for Crows was barely on store shelves before the vultures devoured it and set back upon poor Mr. Martin.

In any case, cheers to Pat and his publishers for nailing down that much sought after release date!

  • Drewids April 28, 2010 at 8:10 am

    “A Feast for Crows was barely on store shelves before the vultures devoured it and set back upon poor Mr. Martin.”

    Hmmm… one wonders if someone is trying to incite another GRRM debate?

  • David April 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I’m in the middle of a “The Name of the Wind” reread at this moment. I went to go look something up (don’t ever remember what now) and when I looked up i had been sucked into Kvothe’s childhood for a couple hours.

    If Mr. Rothfuss creates a book of the same quality as “The Name of the Wind” it will probably buy him just as much time as it takes us all to read it (that is, about a week).

  • aidan April 28, 2010 at 9:04 am

    @Drewids — Cute.

    @David — With all the work that’s gone into The Wise Man’s Fear, it’ll either be an absolute disaster, or the best book of forever… at least as far as popular Internet opinion goes.

  • Illifer April 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    To be fair, GRRM set himself up for a world of hurt with the post script for A Feast For Crows. The whole ‘the next book is pretty much finished’ shtick has, I think, contributed a bunch to the subsequent grief he’s suffered.

  • Adam Whitehead April 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    True, and at the same time a lot of the problems Rothfuss has suffered have come from his claim in 2007 that the entire KINGKILLER trilogy was completed and ready to go at one-year intervals.

    In both cases, however, other things happened and situatons changed (and for Scott Lynch as well). The question does arise, well at what point do you move on? And if all three authors had said their next books would take 4-5 years to come out, would that have automatically been okay or would people have still complained?

  • Kevin April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    It’s kind of Patrick Rothfuss to give us the date, though he has little to gain and much, much to lose by doing this. I got kind of crazy for a minute when I heard the news, then realized knowing the release date doesn’t get me any closer to the book. I updated my status with the news and that’s about it lol.

    Deep down where I imprison my cynic, I don’t think we will get the book in March. It’s still essentially a year away and things happen.

  • Shawn April 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    The one thing I can tell you about Pat is that he is honest and honorable to a fault.

    Yes, he made a mistake when he said all three books were written and would be published at one year intervals. The books WERE written though, and you can’t overlook that fact. The 18 months of editing he put into WIND though changed the next book considerably, and it has taken him time to enact all of those changes without hurting his story’s continuity.

    That said, we know the book is, by his and his editor’s estimation, more than 90% ready to go to the press. When I last saw Pat in late July, he was only at 70%. In less than 9 months he improved the book by 20%. That’s a lot of work, obviously, especially for a book that is far larger than WIND.

    He has five months to finish up the last 7% or 6% that needs improvement to go to press. I think he will be able to do that just fine and he wouldn’t have stated it on his website if he doesn’t fully believe it 100%. In this climate of GRRM — a climate Pat is very aware of — he would never state a date that isn’t solid.

    Could he scrap the whole thing like George has done in the past and start over, pushing the date back years? Sure. But that’s true of every other author out there as well. The one thing we know for certain with Pat is he has the trilogy completed. Unlike George, Pat knows the important events of all three books. That bodes well for the March 1 release date.

  • Bush League Critic May 3, 2010 at 7:34 am

    He did make a mistake by saying all three books were written and would be published at one year intervals. But he learned from his mistake and has since been honest and up-front about everything – including this latest announcement. Good news tempered with a caveat: that goes a long way toward keeping the vultures at bay.