Thursday, April 15, 2010

Signing Tonight in Lincoln NE + Convention Tomorrow

Brandon's assistant here. He's currently on a plane somewhere over Nebraska, 25 minutes after he was supposed to land in Omaha. He's scheduled to sign tonight at the Nebraska Bookstore in Lincoln at 6:00 p.m., but he's going to be late. Don't expect him there before 6:45.

Date: 04.15.10 Time: 6:45(?) p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Place: Nebraska Bookstore
Address: 1300 Q Street
Lincoln, NE 68508-1515
Phone: (402) 476-0111

Brandon will also be Author Guest of Honor at Lincoln's science fiction convention this weekend, Constellation. It runs Friday through Sunday, though Sunday seems to have little programming (so if you want to hit one day, pick Saturday). The whole con is $35 and Saturday by itself is $20. (Age 13 and under gets a discount.)

Address: Guest House Inn and Suites
5450 Cornhusker Highway
Lincoln, NE 68504
Phone: (402) 464-3171


Friday 7:00 p.m.
Panel: How to Get into Writing

Friday 8:00 p.m.

Saturday 11:00 a.m.
Youth programming: Meet an Author

Saturday 12:00 noon
Panel: Wheel of Time

Saturday 2:00 p.m.
Panel: Creating Fictional Worlds

Saturday 4:00 p.m.
Guest Q&A

Saturday 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gemmell Voting, Wheel of Time Article, Audible Tournament Winner + Updates

Voting has begun for the David Gemmell Legend Award, which I mentioned last week. It will continue through May 31st. Both WARBREAKER and THE GATHERING STORM are among the five nominees, but if you're struggling to pick one I'd recommend THE GATHERING STORM since I feel it's more in the spirit of Mr. Gemmell's work.

There's a great article on Robert Jordan, Harriet, and finishing the Wheel of Time in the Charleston City Paper. I'm not sure about the print edition, but online it's listed as the cover story.

THE GATHERING STORM has won Audible's 3rd Annual Tournament of Audiobooks, defeating THE HELP in the final round. Wow! Since this is a fan-voted award, I'm honored that you decided to give it the nod. I'm sure Mr. Jordan is also pleased. Performers Michael Kramer and Kate Reading have many fans as well; if you haven't had a chance to check out the Wheel of Time series on audiobook, give it a try.

Speaking of audiobooks, over at Fantasy Literature they've posted reviews of both audio versions of WARBREAKER. There are also reviews of my other titles on that page, and many other reviews throughout the site.

In the most recent podcast episode of Writing Excuses, Dan, Howard, and I brainstorm story concepts using ideas from science. We started out by using a New Scientist article called "13 More Things We Don't Understand". Check it out.

In the most recent MISTBORN 3 annotations I talk about the beginning of Vin's climax and her fight with the Inquisitors, Marsh and the earring, and cinematic writing. We're getting close to the end . . . I guess I should start putting up the WARBREAKER annotations soon.

Finally, my good friend Janci Patterson just got her first fiction sale: her YA novel SKIPPED was bought by Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt. I couldn't be more pleased for her; I gave her some comments on the book (I basically thought it was brilliant). Janci also gave me some comments on THE WAY OF KINGS that proved invaluable in writing the final draft; if you're following me on Twitter or Facebook you heard a little more about that. You may also recognize Janci from the MISTBORN 3 chapter 30 annotations. Anyway, I assume Janci's book will be out in 2011 or 2012, after which you can all buy it and find out for yourself how great it is.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Suvudu Cage Match: How It REALLY Went Down

So, from what I’ve heard, Rand won the Suvudu cage match.

This leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand, I am pleased and proud. On the other hand, George R. R. Martin’s write-up of how he thought things would go was simply epic. In his version, the fight went as it should have in many ways, particularly near the end. Rand and Jamie, sword to sword, man to man. A win without a kill, respect given on both sides.

Robert Jordan is smiling somewhere, Mr. Martin.

If we take an infinite multiverse view of things (as is suggested in the Wheel of Time world) then what Mr. Martin wrote did indeed happen. And it didn’t. And everything in between happened as well.

However, in the version imagined by Brandon Sanderson, here’s how the fight goes down.

Mr. Martin’s narrative is more or less dead on until the end. Rand and Jamie struggle and fight, and it comes down to man against man. However, neither man can gain advantage over the other.

Then something flickers in Rand’s vision. Perhaps it’s a trick of the light. Perhaps it’s an assassin’s bolt, dipped in the poison of an asp and fired toward Rand in a moment of weakness. Perhaps it’s Rand’s madness asserting itself. Regardless of the cause, he thinks he’s being attacked by someone other than Jamie and his allies. Treachery, a violation of the trial of seven.

It may be real. It may not be.

Rand, in desperation, somehow forms weaves of power. Reckless weaves, fueled by anger, perhaps delusion (or perhaps when the One Power pool surrounding King's Landing was used up, some started trickling in from surrounding areas through One Power drainage ditches and has just come close enough for Rand to tap). He creates a gateway through which to escape, but also lets loose a brilliant bolt of balefire, firing it at shadows moving on the other side of that gateway.

A column of liquid light springs forth, passes through the gateway, and hits Suvudu itself.

Now, it’s hard to say what effect this should have. Balefire, for those unaware, has the power to burn threads from the pattern and rework time itself. Kill someone with balefire, and things they did prior to being killed will be reversed.

Perhaps this should mean that the battle never happened. Perhaps it should wipe the entire experience from our minds. But balefire is an odd thing, as is a contest such as this one. And so, Rand’s actions remove the previous fights from existence, but don’t change what is happening between him and Jamie.

Through accident, Rand’s balefire brings back each and every fighter who participated in this tournament. Everyone appears on the battlefield at once.

Rand and Jamie stare in wonder at the chaos that follows.

Aragorn, Garet, and Hiro have a conversation about who is really the greatest swordsman in the world. It involves much stabbing, some pizza, and very little coding.

Kahlan exclaims that she was never part of a “fantasy” novel in the first place, and so disappears in a puff of hypocrisy.

Arthur Dent says, “Oh no, not again.”

Dumbledore tries to send Lyra on a quest to find some random magical object that is going to save the world, really, and is terribly important. So important that he can’t go himself. Honestly.

Roland ponders for twenty-two years before telling you what he does.

Harry Dresden decides this is really all too much work, and wanders off to get himself something to drink. He gets beaten up seventeen times on his way, but saves two orphanages.

Ender writes a poem about the Shrike, entitled “It Might Be a Demonic, Sadistic, Terrible Monster Made of Blades, Thorns, and Terror—but It’s Really Just Misunderstood.”

Kvothe flies in, riding Temeraire, Hermione at his side, and— (I’ve written the second two thirds of this sentence, but I’m not giving them to you yet.)

The Wee Free Men start chatting about this interesting fellow they met WHO SPEAKS IN ALL CAPS and wonders if this is all going to create a great big paradoxical mess he will have to fix.

Edward broods.

Ged, Vlad, and Conan give Eragon a wedgie.

Polgara throws something breakable at somebody, then goes to find Belgarath, who is most likely drinking with Mat, Tyrion, and Harry at this point.

Haplo and Raistlin get into an argument about how to pronounce Drizzt’s name.

Elric tries to decide just who among these people he likes the most, so that he can be forced to feed them to Stormbringer at a terribly dramatic moment, causing much personal angst.

Anita takes out Edward for good measure.

Gandalf and Aslan eye everyone mysteriously, then have a discussion over tea about whose resurrection was more meaningful.

Locke steals Gandalf's staff and sells it on eBay as an authentic prop from the film trilogy. He then does the same thing with Hermione's wand.

And at that point, the great Cthulhu himself awakens, and his terrible, alien nature drives everyone irrevocably insane.

Rand wins by default, since he was already insane, and Cthulhu showing up doesn’t really change him at all.

Ladies and gentlemen, we just got Cthulhu’d.



Monday, April 05, 2010

Gemmel Nominations, Audible Tournament, Suvudu Cage Match + Updates

The first round of David Gemmell Legend Award voting is over, and I was surprised to learn that both THE GATHERING STORM and WARBREAKER have made the short list (going up against THE CARDINAL'S BLADES by Pierre Pevel, EMPIRE: THE LEGEND OF SIGMAR by Graham McNeill, and BEST SERVED COLD by Joe Abercrombie). I still feel that THE GATHERING STORM is a better fit for the award since it is much more in the spirit of David Gemmell's work than WARBREAKER is, and I'd rather not split my fanbase's vote, but this is a fan-voted award and you (the fans) can give it to whatever book you think best deserves it. I definitely want to win that battleaxe one of these days, but I'm sure Harriet would like a battleaxe for Robert Jordan too. (As Joe, Graham, and Pierre would each like one for himself.) Voting on the final round should start fairly soon; I believe it will happen at this link and run until sometime before the awards ceremony in June. I'll mention it again sometime after voting has begun.

THE GATHERING STORM has also made the final round of Audible's 3rd Annual Tournament of Audiobooks where it will be up against THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett. THE HELP got 75 more votes in the semifinals than THE GATHERING STORM did, so TGS is going to need some . . . help . . . if you would like it to win the tournament. Voting starts here sometime Tuesday afternoon. (And here's a non-flash link.)

Finally, Suvudu has been running a cage match for the last few weeks pitting fantasy characters against each other; the winners are selected by popular vote. Rand al'Thor has gotten past Locke Lamora, Conan the Barbarian, Roland Deschain, and Drizzt Do'Urden to make it to the final round against Jaime Lannister from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Now, George posted over on his Not A Blog a scenario proposed by the Lannisters: that each combatant in the final round choose six companions to fight at his side:

Jaime's six will all be characters from the worlds and stories of George R.R. Martin (that would be me); Rand is free to fill out his six with characters from the works of Robert Jordan AND Brandon Sanderson. (Yes, he can even include Conan, since Jordan wrote about him).

Not sure how that last would be possible, since Rand apparently already balefired Conan from the pattern in the second round. I do wonder what restrictions there would be, since if Rand can choose anyone from Robert Jordan's works or my works, he would have several deities to choose from. (Of course, Jaime already defeated Cthulhu, so he's proven his mettle.) If you were picking six characters to fight at Rand's side, who would you choose?

I was going to say that I was fine with this scenario if it was cool with the folks at Suvudu, but it looks like David Pomerico has already posted his version of Rand's response to the challenge, where he says he'll take on any number of Jaime's companions by himself. Now, Jaime's previous round against Kvothe from THE NAME OF THE WIND featured awesome writeups by both George and Pat Rothfuss on how they thought the fight should play out, and Jason at Dragonmount (among others) really wanted me to provide something similar for this round. EDIT—SEE BELOW—

(All, this originally said I wasn't going to do a writeup. When I dictated this post to Peter, he misunderstood what I said and wrote that I wasn't going to do a writeup. I'm totally planning to do one—I said I didn't know if I could do one like GRRM did, in-character, because I wasn't sure if it was appropriate. Rand doesn't belong to me, and I don't know if it would be right to do something from his eyes.

I AM however, planning to do a separate write up to talk about the match, maybe from my viewpoint. I'm not sure what I'll do yet, but I am planning to squeeze in the time to do it, despite my deadlines. Sorry for the mixup. I was kind of mumbling when I told Peter about this, as I was working on something else, and I guess he thought I said I wasn't going to do one at all. Back to the original post now.)

I look forward to seeing what George writes. The fans ultimately decide who comes out on top, so check Suvudu and start voting sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Want to break in? Come to Minicon.

A heads up to aspiring writers. If you live in the Twin Cities area, you should really be considering coming to Minicon. I spent hundreds of dollars when I was trying to break in going to conventions, trying to meet editors. Well here, you have a Tor editor (my editor, who I first met at a convention) coming to your town, ready and willing to chat with you.

Meeting Moshe is not going to mean that you'll get published by Tor, or even picked up by him. But during my early years, I found that meeting and talking to editors was invaluable for the advice they gave, for the connections I made, and for the simple change in perspective it gave. I began to see editors as part of the community, rather than fearsome gatekeepers gleefully rejecting manuscripts.

You'll also have the chance to talk to me about writing and ask me questions. Really, this is worth the $60 bucks or so it would cost you to get in. ($30 or so if you decide to pick one day and go.) You visual artists will also have the chance to talk to Dan Dos Santos about how he started doing covers, and listen as he explains the process of painting a cover. (We're bringing the WARBREAKER original art to the convention to show off.)

This is a fantastic opportunity. If you're wanting to break into writing/painting fantasy or sf, and you aren't going to Minicon (which is one of the premier local sf conventions in the country) then you're throwing away one of your best chances to network and learn.