As we reported earlier, Brandon Sanderson is on tour in Europe this month. One of our staff members, Thomas C., was able to attend the signing and give us this official report from Saturday's signing at Forbidden Planet bookstore in London. Brandon's next official stop is Paris, France. Finally! After over seven years of being a member of Dragonmount, I finally got a perk! And that perk was being sat next to Brandon Sanderson at his recent book signing at the Forbidden Planet Megastore in London on Saturday 4th June 2011. And this I believe was his first book signing in the country – and hopefully it won’t be the last! Arriving at the store about half an hour before the schedule 1pm start, my girlfriend (a member of the forums that goes by the username North Star) and I were taken backstage to meet the team involved with the book signing. There we saw Brandon Sanderson updating his Twitter status to say that he was finally in the UK! My girlfriend was cheeky and got one of her copies of the Mistborn books signed, as well as one for a friend. It was at this point that we got an understanding of the plan for the day. Brandon Sanderson wanted to start the book signing with a reading that seemed to have caught the store’s staff off guard as they hadn’t planned for it! What was meant to be a reading of about 5 minutes was nearer to ten, but I am sure the fans wouldn’t complain, even if they had to stand! And I think the store were surprised at the number of fans who turned up – at the start, it was probably around the 75 mark, and was definitely a lot more by the end of the book signing. Brandon Sanderson decided to read some unpublished material from his forthcoming book The Alloy of Law, a fourth book for the Mistborn trilogy. And before you jump up and down about a trilogy only having three books, this is a Mistborn novel, and is set 300 years after the end of the trilogy. Brandon Sanderson said that while the magic was the same, he wanted to take it into an industrial age. He did point out that it would not be steampunk, but would have that feel to it. At some stage in the future, he would like to do a sci-fi series based in the Mistborn world. Spoilers for Mistborn: The Alloy of Law Brandon Sanderson read from chapter 1 of the book, which focuses on the character Waxillium Ladrian. The passage focused on Waxillium getting an unexpected meeting from someone related to an incident that happened six months ago. He was back in the city, having put his guns down and focusing on trade. And that incident was a tragedy when chasing a psychopath in a Wild Wild West environment that affected Waxillium on the inside. It sounded intriguing, and I am sure Mistborn fans can’t wait! End of spoilers. After the reading, Sanderson went to the floor for an open question and answer session before the book signing session. The question and answer session covered both the Wheel of Time and Brandon Sanderson’s books, and had a total of 12 questions. From these questions, I will pick the highlights from this. The second question focused on the release date of A Memory of Light, the final book in the series. Sanderson answered that it would in 2012, probably between March and November, but more likely to be towards the end of the year. The reason for this is because Harriet had requested more time to edit the book as she felt the previous books were rushed, hence the typos. During the book signing stage, Sanderson also revealed that his re-read of the Wheel of Time was another reason. Questions also focused on Sanderson’s books, so I will have to put some of those in. Sadly, I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet, but I have heard nothing but good reviews. I will get their eventually! I made a start by buying the first two parts of the first book of the Mistborn trilogy! Fans wanted to know when the next book in the Way of Kings series would be out. Sanderson confirmed this would be after the last Wheel of Time book was published. At this stage, I must point out that I am extremely impressed in the way that Sanderson juggles so many different series at the same time. And this leads nicely to the answer to question eight, which wanted to know how Sanderson kept track of all his series! He admitted he has a scatterbrain approach at times, which meant he constantly lost things, for example, keys. However, he never forgot stories, and has some stored in his brain from over a decade ago. He also pointed out that he works to the policy of having one book being revision, one being written and one at the planning stage. The sixth question was a good one. The questioner wanted to know Sanderson’s view on working to deadlines and meeting publisher’s demands. Basically, the question looked at quality versus timing. Sanderson made it clear that he never comprised on the writing. If there were to be any shortcuts, it was more likely to be in the proofreading stage. As pointed out earlier, I hadn’t read any of Sanderson’s work outside of the Wheel of Time. But question nine got me really interested. They wanted to know if there was a connection between all of Sanderson’s books (excluding the Wheel of Time). Sanderson confirmed there was a link between the different universes, and that there was a character that appeared in them all. So basically, he suggested his readers keep an eye out for this and more details will be revealed... The twelfth and final question returned to the Wheel of Time and wanted to know if there were any plans for prequels and outriggers. From the point of view as a fan, Sanderson said “yes”, he would love there to be something like this. But from the point of view of the person in charge of Robert Jordan’s legacy, it was a “no”. It felt as if they would be capitalising on Jordan’s name. When the question was raised during the book signing, Sanderson rated it at about a 5% chance of happening. So probably very unlikely one then. From my own view, I think this is fair. The series needs to be completed before anything like this is considered – and this is an opinion that Sanderson expressed as well. But don’t rule it out – just look at Terry Goodkind. I am pretty certain Goodkind said he wouldn’t write in his Sword of Truth world once Confessor was finished. But a new book, The Omen Machine, is coming out shortly and is set in the world of Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell. Only time will tell... It was time to move onto the book signing, and because of the numbers, which continued to swell, Sanderson said he was happy to stay until about 3:30pm to 4pm. It was at this point that Sanderson stated that he would personalise a couple of books (this definitely got ignored!). He also had a small dig at the likes of Amazon, which reduced the price of books, but didn’t allow for book signings – something that gives book stores an advantage. The event then moved onto the book signing itself. I really wished I had kept a count of how many people turned up. Overall, I would say it was well over 100, if not nearer 150. It might have been many more! So, a great success. British fans came from all over the country, with Ipswich and Norwich to the East, York and Durham to the north, Wales to the west and of course London and the south. Europe was also represented, with fans coming from the Netherlands (where I gather there was an impromptu meet when Sanderson got delayed with his flights) and Sweden. I can’t see Sanderson dodging Scandinavia again, as I got the impression the Oslo signing was a huge success. Special mention must go to the American fans that turned up as well. A whole range of books appeared to be signed, coming from Sanderson’s series and the books he has written in the Wheel of Time series. The most surprising book to appear was an advance reading copy (ARC) of The Way of Kings. Sanderson advised the owner of this book to look after it well, considering that some ARC can fetch a small fortune! Sanderson invited those getting books signed to ask any questions they had. I made loads of notes relating to these, but I will focus more on some, and then summarise the rest. Otherwise, this report would be massive! Sanderson has sold the film rights for the Mistborn trilogy. I believe this is common knowledge. What I believe is not common knowledge is that Sanderson has read the screenplay and is extremely pleased with it. All that is needed is a studio... Also, the series should appear as three films. Question of the day went to the guy who asked Sanderson if he could be a soup, what kind of soup he would be! Sanderson confirmed he would be a potato chowder but without the clams! Sanderson said he now had an answer to the question that asked him what was the strangest question he had ever been asked! It was definitely a curveball of a question, and got everyone laughing! Sanderson talked about his plans while in London. His wife was currently in London trying to find tickets for a show tonight and early next week. He had asked his fans via Twitter what he should see. On the Sunday, he planned to visit some of London’s free museums. I also got the impression he was off to Guildford for another book signing down there, and a few fans admitted they would see him again! To which Sanderson said he would find a new passage to read! A few questions covered the Wheel of Time being turned into a movie. Universal have the rights to the turn the first book, The Eye of the World, into a film. One fan asked if Sanderson would like a cameo role in the film. Sanderson said he would love a role, even if he was getting eaten by a Trolloc. I hope Universal take note of this! Sanderson confirmed that there would an update for the companion book, The World of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, lovingly known as the Big White Book. This would be in the form of an encyclopaedia, and contain much more information. A proposed date for this release would be about one year after A Memory of Light. One fan asked what Sanderson felt was the main difference in the writing style between himself and Jordan. Sanderson felt Jordan was a better prose craftsman, which I agree with. The other difference was in the action scenes. Jordan had lived through battles as he was a Vietnam veteran, whereas Sanderson went more for a cinematic approach. I will look out for this on my next re-read! Several fans wanted to know how Sanderson felt about picking up the baton and continuing the Wheel of Time series. He felt daunted to begin with, mainly over the fear of not doing a good enough job. He knows it isn’t perfect (like how Jordan would have written it), but he has loved the challenged – and I am sure us fans do like what he has done. He was initially surprised at the hardcore nature of Wheel of Time fans. He jokingly viewed himself as a stepfather to the fans! I got the impression that Sanderson was blown away by the level of detail and research Jordan undertook for the mythologies etc behind the books. He said there were shelves and shelves of textbooks on the mythology, and Harriet was able to pick the necessary books should he need to do some background or further reading. Sanderson had an interesting discussion with one fan (I gathered he was a keen writer) over the merits of e-publishing. I didn’t even know such a concept existed! Sanderson felt this worked well for those who wrote quickly and also wrote shorter series. For those who wrote longer series, these people were better off with a publisher. Sanderson gave a good plan for someone who wanted to use e-publishing with regards to selling a short trilogy. He said that the first book should be about $0.99 with a good blog to get people interested. Then, the two remaining books should be sold for about $2.99. And if you could over 20,000 copies electronically, he felt a publisher would give you serious consideration. One fan happened to have the same t-shirt on as Sanderson. It was a grey t-shirt, with dovie'andi se tovya sagain (“it's time to toss the dice”) and a red hand on it. As Social Group Leader of the Band of the Red Hand, I felt extremely jealous. I think I am now on the lookout for one! [Editor's note: Those shirts are for sale from Ta'veren Tees, an officially licensed t-shirt production company.] After the sad and untimely death in 2006 of David Gemmell, a bestselling British fantasy author, a series of awards were set up in his name as a legacy in 2008 – the David Gemell Legend Awards. The top award for this is the Legend Award for the Best Fantasy novel. Brandon Sanderson is nominated in this award category twice – once for The Way of Kings, and secondly for the Towers of Midnight with Robert Jordan. The announcement of the winner is on 17th June 2011, and Brandon was disappointed not be in Europe at the time of the award. But I am sure we all wish him the best of luck in the category! Now, after those lengthy detailed insight into questions, time now for some summaries of other key points raised... - Bela survives! - Sanderson admitted he was one of four people who knew the ending that Jordan had written for the Wheel of Time. And I think I can put money on who the other three are... - One fan got Sanderson to do his signature on their iPad, which led to the representative from Forbidden Planet getting a picture of this! Sanderson was extremely impressed with how his signature turned out! - Sanderson confirmed he would be appearing at Supernova in Australia in February 2012 (but not which city) as well as SwanCon in Perth in April 2012 - Sanderson revealed some of his favourite scenes from the Wheel of Time – Rand at Rhuidean; Nynaeve and Lan when she overcame her block; and Perrin and the Siege of the Two Rivers - Sanderson admitted that there were landscapes/settings that he moved around his universes until he was sure that they fitted properly. - There were definitely a lot of questions relating to detailed parts of Sanderson’s non-Wheel of Time work. While I did make notes, my lack of knowledge of these works would mean I would probably make mistakes. So apologies for not covering that in greater detail. Sadly, no-one dressed up. Sanderson did get a few gifts. A fan from Wales had brought along a Dalek keyring. One fan had written his name down on a piece of paper, gave it to his sister who gave it to Sanderson to hopefully use in a future book. One had written a letter to Sanderson, which he would read later. Once all fans had been and gone, a few hung back. While getting his books signed, one fan, Matt, had bought his Magic: The Gathering cards along with him and mentioned this to Brandon Sanderson, who admitted that they might play at the end of the signing if time allowed. Matt returned, and both Sanderson and Matt played a quick game in the store. From what I gathered (as I don’t know much about the game), Matt seemed to make a good start, then Sanderson pulled out an ace card and Matt lost in three moves! Matt didn’t seem to mind – I think the experience of playing a game with Sanderson was far more important! At the end of the signing, the staff from Forbidden Planet felt it had been one of their more successful book signings. Personally, I agree with that. I put that down to the fact that this was Sanderson’s first time in the UK, and I don’t there had ever been a Wheel of Time related event like this here either. I do hope those involved in the Wheel of Time series and Sanderson’s team take note of this – there is a huge fan base over here in Europe just waiting for you! The Towers of Midnight tour was a huge success in North America – there is no reason why something similar for A Memory of Light wouldn’t work in Europe! And finally, I would like to thank Jennifer for giving myself and my girlfriend the chance to attend and for our special access. And I would also like to thank all the fans that took the time to come to the signing – without you, it wouldn’t have been a success! There is a gallery of pictures relating to the day under the gallery section of the website. I apologise to Matt - I do have the picture of you playing Magic: The Gathering with Brandon Sanderson, but the picture is too big to upload. If you do drop by the site, drop me a message and I will send it over to you!
Sorry about last week everyone. It was one of those perfect storms of obligation, plus another round of illness. The last month and half or so for me has been pretty busy and last week was the culmination of quite a few things. But enough of that. You don't care about me. You just want some sweet, sweet fan art. Faile seems to be one of those love/hate characters. She's pretty young, even compared to the other protagonists who are in their late teens and twenties, and she's not a big of the direct, open, honest communication thing. Her marriage to Perrin isn't always hugs and puppies and a good portion of that comes from her stubborn refusal to just tell Perrin why she's upset. But despite those flaws, Faile truly loves her husband. She's brave, intelligent and cunning. She is fiercely protective of her people and feels a great responsibility to them. Perrin may have earned his lordship through brave deeds, but Faile that teaches him what that means and how to perform the role. This fantastic watercolor by Seeshi_suin captures some of that strong character. Faile is never described as "beautiful" or even "pretty". But even with that, she would be someone you'd still look at and pay attention to. You can see her strong nose and slightly tilted eyes. The pose the artist gave her, especially that little head tilt, indicates a strong personality. I think this really captures her well. This version of Faile by anti-ignoramus also includes her totem animal, the falcon. "Faile" means falcon in the Old Tongue and it's the nickname her father used for her and everyone always says it suits her better than her given name. I like the detailing on her dress. It seems like a very Faile kind of outfit. Rich, without being elaborate or impractical. She is a woman of action. aiconx's version of Faile is dressed a little sexier than I imagined, but I think still does her justice. I like the inclusion of the fans. It almost looks like she was interrupted in the middle of dancing the sa'sara. Before I close this up, one thing I've had questions on lately is "How do I get featured on Fan Art Friday"? There's really no process. I just take an hour or two each week and Google like crazy until I have three or four pieces I like for whatever theme I'm going for. If you've got something you want to make sure I see, either upload it to the Dragonmount Gallery. I always check there first. Or, if you have it somewhere else, email me a link. My email address is Jennifer@dragonmount.com. If I can fit it into a theme, I'll use it. I also appreciate suggestions for themes you'd like to see. I've also been known to post things I like, but decide not to use on Tor.com's official Wheel of Time Facebook portal, which I am the host of. So either way, it'll be seen by a lot of fans.
This episode of the Wheel of Time video News features our hostess Kristen Nedopak talking about some of the latest news in the world of WoT fandom. She discusses Brandon Sanderson's European Tour, the latest t-shirt from Ta'veren Tees, and some hiring news for the A Memory of Light book trailers. 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." For more information about their special Memorial Day promotion, visit their website and learn how you can get their best t-shirt yet! For more information about JR Burningham, who has been hired to direct the first AMOL book trailer, please visit his website at www.JRBurningham.com For information about the final book in the Wheel of Time series,, check out our A Memory of Light info page. http://www.youtube.com/embed/156-wRTnHY4?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
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.