Cover Art for The Very Best of Tad Williams Art by Kerem Beyit

If you’re read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m something of an unabashed Tad Williams fanboy. He’s best known for his long (long, long, long) fiction, like Memory, Sorrow and Thorn or Otherland, multi-volume epics that would make most other authors weep at their length, but it’s often overlooked that some of his most finely crafted and powerful fiction is actually found among his shorter works. If this collection, coming from Tachyon, is, indeed, the ‘very best’ of his work, readers are in for a treat. The art on the cover is by Kerem Beyit, and is just lovely.

  • Adam (@sensawunda) April 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read Williams for years. Which of his series (any genre) would be a good place to start?

  • Aidan Moher April 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Ultimately, it depends on what you’re looking for. Memory, Sorrow & Thorn and Shadowmarch are slow, chunky and satisfying Epic Fantasy. Otherland is a weird blend of Cyberpunk, Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction. War of the Flowers is a criminally underlooked single-volume Epic/Urban/Faerie Tale Fantasy that really informs a lot of my own decision in writing fiction. As I suggested above, and knowing your background with short fiction, I’d suggest hunting down some of his short stories and giving those a go. Getting into his longer work can be a bit daunting, but, it’s the best-of-the-best if you’re willing to commit yourself to it.

  • Paul Weimer (@princejvstin) May 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Yeah, a gorgeous, draconic cover. I had not heard of Kerem Beyit before, but with covers like that, many people soon will…

  • John May 2, 2013 at 2:08 am

    @Paul Weimer

    Till now he has mostly done german edition covers for Tad Williams,Naomi Novik,Blake Charlton etc,it’s only recently that he started doing english edition covers – Miles Cameron’s The Red Knight for Gollancz and Chris Willrich’s upcoming debut The Scroll of Years for Pyr.

  • Amir Adel May 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Dying to get my hands on this one!

  • Ted Fauster May 4, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Williams has been a HUGE influence on my writing. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the OTHERLAND series is arguably his finest work.

    I know I’m in a minority; I’m okay with that. When this series came out, I read every book the moment they came out. It was probably the first entire series that I could not put down – each and every book.

    I love how he slipped in the most subtle of references to Blade Runner (was it book 2?), and especially enjoyed the sim world developed around old cartoons. That was insane!

    I’ve read THE DRAGON BONE CHAIR, WAR OF THE FLOWERS, and STONE OF FAREWELL – all just as brilliant. But my initiation into Williams will always be OTHERLAND.

    Tad’s imagination knows no bounds, and he’s not being properly recognized for this brilliant, brilliant series.

    In any case, I very much look forward to this new book. I’d like to see how he does with shorts.

    Tad is da man!

  • Raphael May 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I read MST and Shadowmarch (which nobodoy mentioned so far?) and neither convinced me. I found them to be rambling and the endings to be unsatisfying (see reviews over on my website). I like Tailchaser’s Song better, so maybe a collection of shorts is worth a look.