It's nearly summer in the northern hemisphere and that means convention season is well underway. Dragonmount would like to highlight some conventions and other fan events that will feature the Wheel of Time series. Of special note to European and Canadian fans, Sanderson plans to attend conventions in France, Norway, England and Toronto this summer. Keep in mind that all these events are subject to change. Items may be deleted or added to his itinerary. We'll do our best to keep you updated on changes, but you'll want to double check with the event organizers before making travel plans. From May 26-29, Sanderson will be attending Les Imaginales in Épinal, France. You can view his schedule for the event on their website. Sanderson does not have an official signing scheduled, but will be happy to sign any book he wrote in between panels. On June 1st, Sanderson will be signing at Outland Kirkegata in Oslo, Noway. On June 4, Sanderson will have a signing at Forbidden Planet Megastore in London, England. On June 10, Sanderson will have a signing in Paris, France. Details to come when we have them confirmed. From June 11-13, Sanderson will attend Etonnants Voyageurs in Saint-Malo, France. From July 15-17, Sanderson will be a guest at Polaris 25 in Toronto, Canada. In addition to Sanderson's signings and panels, it looks like they've got a good variety of fan panels on the Wheel of Time this year. You can see details on their website. From August 17-21, Sanderson will be a programming participant at "Renovation", the 69th annual World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, Nevada. No word on schedules yet, but Wheel of Time fans Linda Taglieri and Jennifer Liang are also confirmed as program participants. Additionally, Sanderson has been nominated for a Hugo Award along with fellow authors Howard Tayler and Dan Wells for their podcast Writing Excuses in the category of "Best Related Work". Hugo voting is open to any member of last year's WorldCon (AussieCon IV) or members of this year's WorldCon registered by July 31st. For more information about the Hugos, check out Renovation's website. September 2-5 will mark eleven years of Wheel of Time programming at Dragon*Con, one of the largest fan conventions in North America. Brandon Sanderson will NOT be attending this year, but Maria Simons, one of the continuity editors for the series will be participating as an Attending Professional. You can get the latest information about the Wheel of Time track on their website. If you are interested in meeting Wheel of Time fans at these conventions, feel free to plan get togethers on our Meets and Conventions board. Some of these events already have planning threads started. And as always, if you'd like to file a convention or signing report to be featured on the site, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Dragonmount Fantasy Review Interview Patrick Rothfuss Hey everyone! I’ve got a bit of a special surprise for you. Our next review isn't due until June, but this was burning a hole in my pocket and I couldn't wait to share it. Following my review of Patrick Rothfuss’ bestselling novel, Wise Man’s Fear, the author himself was kind enough to take time out and do an interview with us. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed making it. James: Last time you hung out with Dragonmount (before Name of the Wind was published) you said “maybe after I sell a million or so books, I'll be too fabulous to accept personal messages", and yet here you are. How’d you avoid the megalomaniacal urges of being a Fantasy God? Or are you just hiding them—in which case how does it feel to be a megalomaniacal fantasy god? Pat: You're obviously overestimating my success. I haven't sold anywhere close to a million books. James: I don't suppose I can cling to the 'or so' element of that question? No? Alright. As I understand it, you had already written out the entirety of Kvothe’s story in an early draft form before The Name of the Wind was published, and now are in the process of revising and fine tuning it. I was wondering if you could explain to us what’s involved in that revision process? Pat: You know what it's like when your car doesn't run. So you take it apart, then replace a bunch of the parts and put back together again and then it works? Yeah. Me neither. But that's pretty much what I did with the book. Except instead of a car, it was my novel. It's a metaphor, you see. I can't explain to you what I do to a book in 50 words or less any more than I could teach you how to fix a car. It's just too big. James: Ok, love the car analogy, it expresses the complexity of writing--my follow-up is: what about fine-tuning. For me, I can point to each book that I've written and see the things I've learned from writing them--is it the same for you? Is there anything specific you learned writing/revising Wise Man's Fear? Pat: A lot of things. Hundreds of things, really. The problem is that while all cars work in pretty much the same way, all stories are different. James: Could you give us an example of something you changed in the Wise Man’s Fear (from the original rough draft), and why you changed it? (forwardslash how it evolved, etc). Pat: Well, just to pick one thing out of the dozens…. I expanded and improved the Adem section from about three chapters to the current length it is now. Why? Because the way I wrote it back in 1999 sucked. It was like a lame 80's training montage. The Adem had no real unique culture of their own. None of the language or the philosophy they have now. They were cheap cardboard cutouts. James: Are you expecting Day Three to take the same amount of time to fine tune as Day Two? Pat: Maybe. James: How much work remains to be put into it? Pat: A lot. James: There is a lot of information out there on things new authors should not do in the first work—no novels of over a 120,000 words for a fantasy manuscript, for instance, and I recall reading an agent’s blog that listed a ‘story within a story’ format as an ‘argh rejection’, yet your books have done many of these supposedly bad things, and done very well with them. So my questions are... Did you encounter problems in trying to get published due to these elements? Pat: Yeah. Probably. It probably didn't thrill agents when they read my query letters and it said, "200,000 word epic meta-fantasy." But then again, I sucked at writing query letters. So trying to pick one particular thing that turned them off is probably a fool's errand. James: Did you ever consider changing your story because of them? Pat: Not really. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to be doing any of that stuff. I was just writing the story the way I thought was best. James: What are your thoughts/advice to aspiring writers in regards to these elements? Is there merit in the resistance to their use? Pat: Okay. First and foremost, you have to realize I'm not a role model. I'm an aberation. A statistical anomoly. Following in my footsteps is about the dumbest thing you could ever do. Secondly, you need to realize that most writing rules aren't laws, they're rules of thumb. That means you can break them, but you probably don't want to. And if you *do* break them, you better have some good reasons why. I didn't have good reasons, that's probably why it took me so long to write and revise these books. I had to figure a lot of that stuff out for myself. I reinvented the wheel a few times. James: Reading the story, one can feel that the world we’ve not yet seen is vast and complex, perhaps even beyond what we have seen—is this correct? Pat: Yup. James: How much time do you spend on worldbuilding? Pat: I don't know. A thousand hours? Two thousand? A billion? James: I’m going to indulge in some fan hero worship for a moment and rave about the Adem. They are one of the most interesting elements I’ve seen introduced to a fantasy world in a long time—so is your depiction of the faen world, or the concepts of sympathy, but I’m geek-locked on the Adem for the moment. Pat: That's nice to hear. I'm rather proud of them. James: Where did you get the idea for them? Pat: I didn't really "get the idea" for them anywhere. That implies that I sort of…. I dunno…. bought them out of a catalouge or something. Or that I dug through a history textbook and found them there. Truth is, I made them. It wasn't paint-by-numbers worldbuilding where I just took mongols and gave them a different haircut. I built Ademre from the ground up. Culture, mythology, language, philosophy, economy, I put it all together very carefully. James: And when did you learn the truth that man-mothers aren’t real? Pat: What makes you think they are real? James: That’s an interesting question to ask of a gay man. Your point is taken, though. Pat: It's amazing to me that people end up getting hung up on that aspect of that book. People believe crazy shit. That's what a culture is: the crazy shit people believe. Of course, the key is that sometimes they aren't the crazy ones. Sometimes their ideas are the right ones and they only seem strange to us because of what we were taught when we were young.... James: That is… apt. I’ve no other word for it. That’s it for this interview. Pat, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!
One of the most common questions we get asked is, "When does the final book come out?" Well, folks, we don't have exact answers yet, but we can tell you a few useful things about A Memory of Light. Our very own Kristen Nedopak gives us the full scoop in the latest Wheel of Time Video News. For even more information about this book, check out our A Memory of Light info page. Special thanks to James Luckman ("Luckers") for contributing his theories on what we might see in the final book. This episode of the Wheel of Time Video News is sponsored by TaverenTees.com -- the official location for WoT t-shirts. "Wear a piece of the Pattern." http://www.youtube.com/embed/WqYLqT-Og1Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
This week on Fan Art Friday, we're looking at Nynaeve al'Meara, one of the main characters of the Wheel of Time series. Nynaeve is a powerful channeler, who grows from ill tempered village Wisdom to ill tempered Aes Sedai and all around bad ass. Nynaeve's character arc is one of the most interesting to me. It ranges from romantic, to funny, to dramatic with everything in between. RoseMuse agrees with me, looking at her "Stages of Nynaeve". Look at all that stuff she does. For awhile, I was convinced that Nynaeve was the female lead of the series, not Egwene. I still think you can make at an argument for her. Egwene might get to be Amyrlin, but Nynaeve was going toe to toe single handedly back when Egwene was still playing Wise Ones' apprentice. One of Nynaeve's defining physical characteristics is her braid. Not just a fashion statement, the braid is also a barometer of her moods. She tugs it when she's annoyed, and deliberately sets it aside when she's trying to project an aura of calm. This piece is by vild. This is another really nice version of Nynaeve by RainfeatherPearl. Like many Aes Sedai, Nynaeve tends to wear her Ajah color (yellow). But she also favors colors like green, blue and white since those her husband's favorite colors. Oooh! Check out this great Nynaeve miniture by laundryhamper! I'd love to see a "making of" to go with it. I'm not terribly crafty myself, but I love seeing how folks put together things. And that's all I've got this week. See you next week!
Welcome back to another Fan Art Friday. This week, I'm nursing a pretty nasty cold, so my comments will be brief so I can go back to bed. See how I suffer for you, Wheel of Time fans. This one just makes me go "Oooh!" It's a very nice painting of Perrin and a wolf by TheKarelia. Despite Faile's attempts to clean him up a bit, Perrin still thinks of himself as a village lad. Fan art tends to reflect that, placing him in rural or rustic settings. Perrin just belongs out in the woods somewhere. Another gorgeous painting, this one by Dragonmount member Seeshi_suin. This is Perrin pre-Failoe, obviously. Note the lack of beard. The composition on this one is really interesting to me. Perrin would normally get the focus, since he's one of Our Heroes. But instead liruichen focused on Aram, the underling, who saves Perrin's life during the Battle of the Two Rivers. To round things off, here's a study done by Toraneko. This Perrin is suitably shaggy. By the way, if you aren't in the habit of coming back to these after I post them, several posters (especially SaraV) have made it a habit to find and post their own favorite fan art based on whatever theme I picked that week. Since I have a self imposed limit of just three or four pieces in every article, this is a good way to see things I might have missed. Also, we recently updated the software for Dragonmount's Gallery. It's easier than ever to find artwork, or even upload your own to share with friends. And now I'm going back to bed.
The Dragonmount Fantasy Review The Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker This month on Dragonmount's Fantasy Review, I’ll be looking at R. Scott Bakker’s The Prince of Nothing Trilogy, which is the first series in a two part set that will be called The Second Apocalypse. I should probably begin it with a content warning, because this series is much darker and contains much more adult content than the Wheel of Time. There is sex, violence and coarse language in abundance, so with that in mind, let’s continue. What is the Prince of Nothing series about? The Prince of Nothing is a story on three levels. The uppermost level deals with the growing Holy War between two major religions, the Inrithi and the Fannim, in the area known as the Three Seas. The political vying of the various kingdoms, empires, religious orders, and magical Schools on the Inrithi side of the conflict, is the tapestry in which the series is laid out. And to the knowledge of most involved, this is the only game being played. The second level involves the machination of the Unholy Consort, who wish to bring about the Second Apocalypse and the return of the No-God, Mog-Pharau, and their opponents, the Mandate School of magic who retain the memories of their founder, Seswatha, who lived through, and fought in, the First Apocalypse. Into this walks the third level of the story; Anasûrimbor Kellhus, an unknown, and largely unknowable element to those involved. Kellhus is one of the Dûnyain, which are a reclusive monastic society dedicated to the study of logic, rationality and reason. Added to the thousands of years of selective breeding, and the process of training the Dûnyain call ‘conditioning’, this upbringing results in a warrior whose abilities to study, analyse, understand and predict those around him to such an extent that ‘world-born men’, as the Dûnyain name them, become like children before him. Kellhus enters the Three Seas from the Ancient North, a land devastated in the First Apocalypse, with a purpose—hunting down his father, another Conditioned Dûnyain, presumably to end the threat he poses to the secrecy of the order. Perceiving a weapon in the Holy War, Kellhus sets about a coldly calculated manipulation to usurp it. Why Do I Suggest This Series to Wheel of Time Fans? The scope of this series, like the Wheel of Time, is vast, spanning a continent with a multitude of ethnicities, religions and nations, and a history going back thousands of years. As with the Wheel, there is the over-arching theme of good versus evil, though in this context the shades of gray are much... murkier. Bakker uses this set up to explore much deeper themes, much as Jordan was want to do, and like Jordan, he drew heavily on real world events, history and mythology in the construction of his world, granting it a sense of depth and solidity. I spoke above of the darker, more adult tone, and that is true, but for those who enjoyed the complexity of the Wheel—especially in the nature of character growth and worldbuilding, then there is much to be found in The Prince of Nothing. Themes, and the Importance of Philosophy Within the Prince of Nothing Bakker explores the depth of the human condition—from the dangers of the coldly rational mind to the extremes of religious fanaticism, Bakker shows the sordid truth of how history is built—one lie at a time. And yet, even as Kellhus slowly subverts the Holy War, you see him learning, both through his interactions with his teacher, Drusas Achamian, and through philosophical extremes his assumed role within the Holy War take him. The Literary Style Whilst beautifully written, Bakker’s style does not lend itself to casual reading. Heavily anchored in Bakker’s literary past, the complicated prose is in some ways both the highlight and the major setback in Bakker’s novels. It will take you to the heights of the emotional and metaphysical struggles of the characters—if you stick with it. The Role of Magic The only other comparison I would draw is that if you liked the One Power, I suspect you will enjoy the magic of Bakkers world. Not that the two are in anyway similar, but the magic Bakker has woven is a thing of dark philosophical implications, beautifully examined in the relationship between the Mandate Sorcerer, Drusas Achamian, who is at once both the most hopeless and hopeful characters of the series, and Kellhus himself. And in that, it evoked in me a similar sense of fascination as the One Power, and the potent effect it has on its channelers (especially the men). Conclusions The Prince of Nothing is a complex and beautifully woven story, and brings to the table far more than a hack and slash battle. It’s themes, it’s character development and the sheer potency of the writing, make it in my opinion, a must read—though that being said the content and the style of the writing could very easily be off putting to some. You can purchase the first book, The Darkness that Comes Before from Amazon here.
In this week's Wheel of Time Video News, Kristen shares her experience of learning how to channel. Hmm. Perhaps she should remain a Novice bit longer.... This episode of the Wheel of Time Video News is sponsored by TaverenTees.com -- the official location for WoT t-shirts. "Wear a piece of the Pattern." http://www.youtube.com/embed/a4R00UNuDI8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Dragonmount is proud to announce a partnership agreement with Tor books to produce multiple videos to promote A Memory of Light. Building on the success of the Towers of Midnight book trailer, Tor has commissioned us to produce multiple live-action videos for the final Wheel of Time novel. In addition to these video "trailers", a collection of behind-the-scenes features will be produced, along with other associated media, prize give-aways and fun stuff. The campaign is expected to begin sometime near the end of 2011. In case you missed it, DM produced a "book trailer" last year for the release of Towers of Midnight. It received strong positive reviews and quickly became Tor's most viewed video ever. You can read all about the making of the video (with video and photos) on our Behind the Scenes page. A Memory of Light is the fourteenth and final novel in the WoT saga. No official release date has been announced, although it is expected sometime in 2012. Production for these video will happen over the summer in California. If you're interested in helping with production, please send an email showing your interest with appropriate filmmaking or related skillsets to email@example.com. The Towers of Midnight book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/embed/apJJ0NzOXEg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Well, I'm finally back from JordanCon. If you haven't had a chance yet, check out the excellent episode the Dragonmount Video team made about it. This week, we're looking at the Aiel. Next year's JordanCon will be "Car'a'con", so it's never too early to start getting ideas for costumes. This is an excellent group portrait of several Aiel by Jeremy Saliba. The Aiel form of dress is based on Arab tribesmen and I think this illustrates that. The clothes are flowing, with lots of pockets and layers that allow for cool air to be trapped inside and protect the skin from the sun. But since the Aiel are also warriors, it takes the form of loose trousers and shirts, rather than flowing robes and caftans. Jeremy is one of two officially licensed fan artists, but unfortunately this piece isn't for sale. This Maiden pencil sketch is done byNelly Lozanova. Far Dareis Mai is the only all woman warrior society in Randland until Elayne creates her bodyguard. The Seanchan army seems to be gender neutral, and the forces of Randland proper seem to be predominantly male, with the exception of a few women mercenaries. I like the shading and the lines on this piece. This sketch of the Wise Ones by Gala Maia is a little rougher than the other pieces, but I still think it does a good job of conveying the strength and power of these women. Sorilea (in the middle) in particular looks like she could kill and eat me. This is a very lovely digital painting by fee-absinthe called "I have toh". Aviendha lies about her feelings to Rand, and has to meet her toh. She chooses to be beaten by the Wise Ones, though she does not tell them who she lied to or what about. The colors in this are amazing and I love that the background is unfinished. It lets you really focus on the subject. Really nicely done.
Over the weekend, the 2011 Hugo nominations were announced. The Hugos are considered the highest honor in fantasy and science fiction writing and fandom. While Towers of Midnight wasn't nominated in the "Best Novel" category this year, there is a nomination of interest to Wheel of Time fans. Brandon Sanderson's podcast, Writing Excuses, (with writers Dan Wells and Howard Tayler also hosting) was nominated for a Hugo in the "Best Related Work" category. This is the first time a podcast has been nominated in this category, and the second podcast to be recognized by the World Science Fiction Society in any category. Also of interest, Moshe Feder, Sanderson's editor for his solo novels, was nominated this year for "Best Editor-Long Form" If you're interested in voting on the Hugos this year, you will need to be a registered member of this year's WorldCon held in Reno, Nevada Aug. 17-21. If you are unable to attend, WorldCon offers Supporting Memberships that allow you to vote without attending the convention. Wheel of Time fans Linda Taglieri and Jennifer Liang are confirmed Program Participants for the convention. Brandon Sanderson will also be attending, along with hundreds of other authors, editors and fans.
Last weekend was the third annual JordanCon, the fan convention founded in honor of The Wheel of Time author Robert Jordan. Guests this year included Hugo nominated author Eugie Foster, steampunk and urban fantasy writer Jana Oliver and JordanCon Guest of Honor David B. Coe.Other notables included Brandon Sanderson, Harriet McDougal, Maria Simons and Alan Romanczuk. If you missed out on the fun, here are some reviews, recaps and photo galleries, along with a special extended edition episode of Dragonmount's Video News with Kristen Nedopak. http://www.youtube.com/embed/M1F6Ga7Kg_k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Photo Albums Lannis's Album Stephen A. Watkins's Album Featherynscale's Album AniMajor's Album Convention Reports Eugie Foster's Report Stephen A. Watkin's Report Leigh Butler's Report (Part One/Part Two/Part Three/ Part Four) Linda Taglieri's Report (Part One/ Part Two)
JordanCon, the only convention in the world dedicated to Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series is this weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. This year's Guest of Honor is fantasy author David B. Coe. Other attending authors are Brandon Sanderson, Jana Oliver, Jamie Chambers and the Hugo-nominated Eugie Foster. Joining them will be fan personalities Leigh Butler, Richard Fife, Matt Hatch, Linda Taglieri and our own Jason Denzel and Jennifer Liang. Here are some links you may find useful, or at least interesting: JordanCon's official Facebook group. JordanCon tentative schedule JordanCon Progress Report At the door registration is $65. Single day memberships are available. You can also check out our special JordanCon episode of "Wheel of Time Video News". http://www.youtube.com/embed/oBflGf5H0OI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Kristen Nedopak and the rest of the video team will be at the convention, so you might get a chance to be on camera with them.