io9’s Ten Absolutes For ‘The Doors of Stone’

KvotheSketch4hairfaceeyesmWith no confirmed release date for Patrick Rothfuss’ The Doors of Stone, the final novel in the Kingkiller Chronicle series, we are left to speculate other things about the book, such as what it will actually be about. When you think about what Rothfuss has to jam into this book to even relatively tie up all the loose ends he has sprawled on the floor of his literary universe, it seems quite daunting. Here is a sampling of the ten things that Rob Bricken of sci-fi/fantasy super site io9 believes Rothfuss will need to check off in his final book to achieve a satisfying conclusion (spoilers ahead).

1) He’s got to kill a king.

The books are called The Kingkiller Chronicles after all, and now that Kvothe has told two-thirds of this story — although he’s only up to his late teens — he hasn’t met a single king yet, let alone killed one. The popular rumor on the internet is that Kvothe’s archnemesis at the University, the noble brat Ambrose, will end up being king, although as it stands Ambrose is so far the way down the line of succession Kvothe can fight him pretty significantly and not get himself beheaded (not that Ambrose wouldn’t like to).

2) He has to figure out the mystery of the Amyr and the Chandrian.

In a story about a story about stories, there are tons of tales that remain half-told, but the one that has to reach some sort of conclusion is what is going on with the Chandrian, the mysterious, seemingly cursed, possibly immortal group of seven who serve as the Chronicles’ main antagonists — as well as the Amyr, the order of church knights that had fought them until they also seem to have inexplicably disappeared. While most people regard the Chandrian as legends, Kvothe has first-hand knowledge of them — so it stands to reason the Amyr exist, too. But what happened, and where did they go?

Be sure to check out the rest of the list at io9.

Game of Thrones Season 3 Trailer

Behold! The Game of Thrones Season 3 trailer is here. March 31st marks the return of George R.R. Martin’s series to HBO, bringing the wildly popular show back for its third season, which will cover the events of A Storm of Swords.

As for news on Martin’s sixth book, The Winds of Winter? Well, hopefully we’ll see it sometime this decade. Much like Patrick Rothfuss’ equally anticipated The Doors of Stone, there is no confirmed release date. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that by the time the TV show has caught up to the books, the sixth book will be out and the seventh and final book will be underway. Surprisingly though, Martin has been pretty open about what we can expect from the book, including having a sample chapter up on his website and confirming some of the viewpoint chapters that will be featured.

In Defense of Literature

IMG_1517

This is a nice quote in defense of literature from reddit user OnlyFoolin. Why do we read? Well, here’s one perspective.

The universe is huge. Time is impossibly vast. Trillions of creatures crawl and swim and fly through our planet. Billions of people live, billions came before us, and billions will come after. We cannot count, cannot even properly imagine, the number of perspectives and variety of experiences offered by existence.

We sip all of this richness through the very narrowest of straws: one lifetime, one consciousness, one perspective, one set of experiences. Of all the universe has, has had, and will have to offer, we can know only the tiniest fraction. We are alone and minuscule and our lives are over in a blink.

All of this strikes me as terribly sad, and if I believed Someone were in charge, I could muster an argument that our awareness of vastness makes our tininess unfair.

But here’s the thing. Literature lets us experience life through a second consciousness. For a time we share the perspective and experience of the author and his imagination. Our experience of the universe is broadened, multiplied.

Without literature, we are all limited to our own lives. With it, we can know something of what it is to be other people, to walk in their shoes, to see the world their way.

Literature needs no further defense than this, I would say. It is our species’s most advanced and successful technology for cheating dismal fate out of the abstract aloneness it would otherwise impose on us.

Along this same lines, here are some prominent authors speaking about the importance of libraries.

*(The above picture is my reading stack to start the year).

Christopher Lee Reads ‘The Raven’

I can’t think of anyone more appropriate.

NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge

SSC2013_TopLogo01Today marks the last day you can officially sign up for the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. For those unfamiliar with it, it is a writing competition put on every year that challenges writers to pen a story in a small window of time on an assigned subject. I did this contest a few years back and it was a lot of fun.

Although there have been some grumblings recently about feedback or lack thereof from the 2012 contest, I think there is still a lot of value to the experience. The value of the competition comes in forcing you to write something in a genre you might otherwise avoid. I don’t think people really understand how helpful that can be for a writer. Not only does it push you to write something new, but it may also open you up to a completely new genre. And if the feedback from the judges is a little sparse or underwhelming, I know they have a writers forum you can submit your work to for additional feedback. I’m not 100% I’m going to do the contest this year, but if you’re looking for something to jar you out of a writing lull, this might be the ticket. So, check out the details at the NYC Midnight site.

This Week’s Writing Links

AMOL_cover_lgThis week’s writing links include a conclusion to the Wheel of Time series, news on the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book, a great 2012 short story recap and ebook author JA Konrath offers some advice upon hitting his million ebook sold milestone. 

Despite only reading about six book in the series, I thought it would be nice to highlight the end of the Wheel of Time, which with Brandon Sanderson’s help, Robert Jordan was able to complete posthumously with A Memory of Light. The consensus from the hardcore fans (at least the ones I talked to) seem to be that it was a fitting end to the series. The average rating on Amazon right now for AMOL is only three and half stars, but that doesn’t really mean much. Honestly, if you go through and read most of the one star reviews they read like they were written by robots or hill people, so it’s hard to take them to heart. I figure if you stuck with the series this long and the ending isn’t that it was all just an autistic kid’s dream, you should be relatively satisfied. And I must say after fourteen books, Rand (I’m assuming this is Rand on the cover) really got his posing down. Good for him. He’s been through a lot.

Also, my book The Exiles of the New World is now available on Nook for $1.99. It was previously only on the kindle for ebook form, so it’s nice to get that bit of expansion on the digital platform. Against all odds I managed to finish a draft of my next book this week too, which despite being far from complete, is getting there. It always feels nice connecting the dots, even if the dots are blurry for now. A good four or five months of revising will really help this one out. And if no real progress is made during those four or five months, I’ll just change the ending and make everyone ghosts and pretend like that’s profound. Sound good? Cool.

Oh, here are some links.

 

Links:

– AV Club Reviews A Memory of Light (avclub)

– How To Write A Character From Start To Finish (writersdigest)

– 10 Books That Could Save Your Life (flavorwire)

– How I Got My Agent: Joanne Bischoff (writersdigest)

– io9’s March Bookclub: The Best of All Possible Worlds (io9)

– Rachel Swirsky’s Short Story Recommendations For 2012 (amptoons)

– SF Signal Reviews Son of Destruction By Kit Reed (sfsignal)

– Speechless: Writing Dialogue For Characters Who Don’t Speak (torforge)

– Ron Howard May Take Over Graveyard Book Adaptation (avclub)

– How To Sell ebooks (jakonrath)

– Amy Poehler Is Writing The Book To End All Books (avclub)