Tad Williams’ “The Heart of What Was Lost” available for pre-order on Amazon

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ig news today, as Amazon has added Tad Williams’ The Heart of What Was Lost to its website as an item which may now be pre-ordered from Amazon. The new novel, a sequel to the original classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” books, takes place sometime shortly after the events of the original series.

Amazon gives the length of the novel as 368 pages in hardcover, with a publication date of January 3rd, 2017. Amazon also lists the Kindle edition as available for pre-order. Williams, the international bestselling author of more than twenty speculative fiction novels, including The War of the Flowers, Caliban’s Hour, and the “Otherland”, “Shadowmarch”, and “Bobby Dollar” series, talked a bit about some of the plot details of the new novel, including a few spoilers:

[R]eturning characters from MS&T are Isgrimnur and Sludig […] There are also a few others such as Akhenabi (a Norn magician) who had brief appearances in MS&T.

So two of the characters will be the returning Rimmersmen Isgrimnur and Sludig; readers of the original series will recall Isgrimnur, the aging Duke of Rimmergard in “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”, a major point-of-view character who throws his lot in with the rebel Prince Josua Lackhand of Erkynland in their quest to remove Josua’s brother, the treacherous King Elias, from the Dragonbone Chair.

Sludig was Isgrimnur’s lieutenant, and he was a dynamic and important character in the original trilogy. It is Sludig who accompanies Simon, Binabik and Binabik’s wolf companion Qantaqa north from Naglimund Castle, skirting around the western and northern sides of Aldheorte Forest in a desperate, cold attempt to retrieve the lost sword  Thorn from the “Rhymer’s Greate Tree.” Sludig and Binabik eventually return to Prince Josua with the Great Sword Thorn, but it is Simon who is knighted by the prince.

The Heart of What Was Lost is Williams’ first new Osten Ard novel since 1993’s bestselling To Green Angel Tower, and this first new novel will be followed by four additional novels. The second novel, The Witchwood Crown, is already scheduled for an April 2017 release.

 

 

Tad Williams Releases Early Maps and Diagrams from “The Witchwood Crown”

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egendary science fiction and fantasy writer Tad Williams, author of the “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”, “Otherland”, “Shadowmarch” and “Bobby Dollar” speculative fiction series, has spent the last two years writing The Heart of What Was Lost and The Witchwood Crown, the first two of five new books set in the same universe as “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”.

Williams is now releasing some early, provisional sketches that he created during the writing of The Witchwood Crown, which his wife and business partner Deborah Beale kindly shared with us, and which we are now sharing with all readers.

5678The first sketch is a map (right, clickable) of Sturmrspeik, the great mountain of ill repute inhabited by the Norns, embittered relatives of the immortal Sithi. Beneath the great mountain lies the ancient city of Nakkiga, home to Utuk’ku Seyt-Hamahka, Queen of the Norns and Eldest of all living beings in Osten Ard. Williams’ rough map shows the location of the mountain itself, with the great Nakkiga Gate guarding the pass. Around these landmarks are the white waste of the Himilfell Mountains, which stretch both eastward and westward from the area.
1234The second map sketch (left, clickable) is also of Sturmrspeik and Nakkiga, showing the locations of several well-known Norn landmarks as well as some which are entirely new. The Queen’s throne room appeared in the classic series, and makes a reappearance in the new map. Among the new landmarks are a Black Garden and a White Garden, as well as a subterranean lake, and an area marked as Great Processional. A bridge over the moat connects Nakkiga’s tunnels with the Queen’s Bridge.

We have more maps and diagrams, and will share more soon.

Tad Williams Writes About Editing Process of New Osten Ard Novels, Hints of More to Come…

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his week, acclaimed Science Fiction and Fantasy author Tad Williams, author of the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn; Otherland; and Shadowmarch series, announced via his official newsletter that he is in rewrite mode on two of his new novels, The Heart of What Was Lost and The Witchwood Crown, both due for publication by DAW Books in 2017. Both novels are set in Osten Ard, in the same universe as his classic Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books. Williams wrote:

I am deep, deep, DEEP in Osten Ard history at the moment.  Having finished the first drafts of both THE WITCHWOOD CROWN and THE HEART OF WHAT WAS LOST — in the first case, most of a year ago — I’m in rewrite mode on both to finalize the stuff I left vague in the first drafts.

Williams began writing The Witchwood Crown in 2014, and had finished the rough draft  back in May 2015. The first draft of The Heart of What Was Lost was completed in November 2015.

Williams has communicated that the writing process for the new Osten Ard novels has been unusual in that although he normally writes very detailed drafts, in this case, he has spent much more time on the worldbuilding, because returning readers already know this world:

I know so much more about my own imaginary environment than I did a year ago, despite the fact that I think it was already one of the more catalogued invented worlds.  I know the name of all the original Scrollbearers (the learned folks who make up the League of the Scroll) when King Ealhstan began it, two hundred years or so before Simon and company.  I know the history of the two great families of immortals, the Hamakha and Sa’onserei, all the way back to the garden, in far more detail than anyone else needs to know.  I know the order in which the Eight Ships came to Osten Ard, and I know what happened to Seni Ohjisá, mentioned only in a song in the first set of books.  I know the names of people’s horses when even the names of the people who ride those horses will remain essentially meaningless trivium in the final story, if they even show up.

Stone of Farewell, book 2 of Memory Sorrow and Thorn

Stone of Farewell (1990) discusses the Hamakha-Sa’onserei feud and the eight ships of the Garden

Williams’ mention of the families Sa’onserei and Hamakha refers to the ruling dynasties of the Sithi and the Norns, two of the immortal (and ever-feuding) races in the classic Osten Ard novels, with Queen Amerasu no’e-Sa’onserei presiding over the mortal-hating Sithi, and Queen Utuk’ku seyt-Hamakha ruling over the even-more-mortal-hating Norns.The two families’ bitter, centuries-long feud is a central plotline in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, and lies at the heart of the conflict in the series.

Williams’ reference to the “Eight Ships [that] came to Osten Ard” harkens back to the legendarium of the Gardenborn, the immortal clans exiled from the Lost Garden, which the author only briefly hinted at in passages of the classic Osten Ard novels, written in the 1980s and 1990s. Stone of Farewell (1990) mentions the eight ships, as the protagonists Simon and Aditu enter the Gardenborn city of Jao e-Tinukai’i, and pass by the woven cord art at the edge of the city:

They crossed a bridge over one of the river-forks, then turned and followed the watercourse down a long corridor of willows. A ribbon of white cloth wound in and out among the trees on their left, wrapped about trunks and looped over branches. As they passed farther down the row of willow sentries, the initial ribbon was joined by another. These two snaked in and out, crossing behind and before each other as though engaged in a kind of static dance.

Soon more white ribbons of different widths began to appear, woven into the growing pattern in knots of fantastic intricacy. These weavings at first made up only simple forms, but soon Simon and Aditu began to pass increasingly complex pictures that hung in the spaces framed by the willow trunks: blazing suns, cloudy skies overhanging oceans covered with jagged waves, leaping animals, figures in flowing robes or filigreed armor, all formed by interlaced knots. As the first plain pictures became entire tapestries of tangled light and shadow, Simon understood that he watched an unfolding story. The ever-growing tapestry of knotted fabric portrayed people who loved and fought in a gardenlike land of incredible strangeness, a place where plants and creatures thrived whose forms seemed obscure even though precisely rendered by the unknown weaver’s masterful, magical hands.

Then, as the tapestry eloquently showed, something began to go wrong. Only ribbons of white were used, but still Simon could almost see the dark stain that began to spread through the people’s lives and hearts, the way it sickened them. Brother fought brother, and what had been a place of unmatched beauty was blighted beyond hope. Some of the people began building ships…

“Here,” Aditu said, startling him. The tapestry had led them to a whirlpool swirl of pale fabric, an inward-leading spiral that appeared to lead up a gentle hill. On the right, beside this odd door, the tapestry leaped away across the river, trembling in the bright air like a bridge of silk. Where the taut ribbons of the tapestry vaulted the splashing stream, the knots portrayed eight magnificent ships at sea, cresting woven waves. The tapestry touched the willows on the far side and turned, winding back up the watercourse in the direction from which Simon and Aditu had come, stretching away from tree to tree until it could no longer be seen.

Williams then writes about the editing happening on both of the new novels, writing that he has received (hopefully useful) feedback from early readers of the manuscripts:

And I’ve also been getting the first feedback from readers of the new manuscripts in the last half-year, so I’m trying to let that wash over me as well, influencing the rewrites in a good way without overwhelming my own natural trust in what I’m doing.

That last part is particularly important, because I chose to let my first readers see a much rougher first draft (at least of TWC) than usual, so of course everyone pointed out the stuff that I would most liked to have fixed first before releasing, like “So-and-so has no personality”.  I mean, it’s true — So-and-so is definitely a stiff at this point, but part of that is because when I was writing it I wasn’t exactly sure how old So-and-so was, or what he or she had experienced in life, or what was going to happen to him or her later on, and which of the character’s traits and what part of his or her life history would be useful and necessary to deepen the character, and so on.

He then reveals that he is considering, down the line, writing an Osten Ard compendium, perhaps something like the Tolkien Companion or George R.R. Martin’s The World of Ice and Fire:

The balance point here, as in any worldbuilding, is knowing how much material you need to know to feel comfortable writing in that world — which will always be less than you’ll actually use.  Even though my worlds are generally long on history and convoluted recitations thereof, I obviously won’t cram everything I’ve figured out into the books themselves (although I am getting more resigned to having to do an Osten Ard Companion someday, with Silmarillion-like tellings of all this background material.  A good project for my old age, shortly before all the dog hair I breathe and cat scratches I suffer from every day finally kill me).

If such a project takes place, the Osten Ard Companion would become the tenth or eleventh Osten Ard book, after The Burning Man, The Dragonbone Chair, Stone of Farewell, To Green Angel Tower (parts one and two), The Heart of What Was Lost, The Witchwood Crown, Empire of Grass, The Navigator’s Children, and The Shadow of Things to Come, the last three of which are expected sometime after the publication of The Witchwood Crown.

Williams’ original newsletter posting can be found here. You can subscribe to the newsletter at this link. Readers can speculate on who “so-and-so” is, and of what import the eight Gardenborn ships might play in the new series, and what role long-dead King Eahlstan has to play, on the Tad Williams Message Board, where there are already speculation threads for The Heart of What Was Lost and The Witchwood Crown.

Why Are Female Fantasy Authors Pushed To The Back Of The Bus?

This blog posting by Leona Henry, on female authors in Fantasy literature, is definitely worth reading.

Leona's Blog of Shadows

There was an interesting thread on reddit /r/Fantasy

where I learned some rather disturbing facts about the publishing industry. The person who opened the thread was wondering why women prefer writing teen romance centered Urban Fantasy and YA Fantasy and why there are too few female epic fantasy authors.

I have to shamefully admit I had the same misconception myself since this is the pattern I see in the best seller lists, book blogs and the word on the street. Big shot female authors who write fantasy write YA and UF centered on romance. Hardly any female names pop up in epic fantasy category. There is Robin Hobb, but she is where she is today because Robin Hobb is a gender neutral pseudonym. I had no idea she was a woman until last year. I know I am not alone in this, I talked to a number of her readers who thought she was…

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Tad Williams updates readers with the chapter titles for “The Witchwood Crown”

Tad Williams, author of the “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” books, today posted an update on his progress with The Witchwood Crown, volume one of “The Last King of Osten Ard”, sequel series to “MS&T”

The current manuscript is over 1,000 pages, comprised of 54 chapters. (Williams is no stranger to very long manuscripts, many of his novels clocking in at around the same size. The third “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” book, To Green Angel Tower, is one of the longest novels in the English language.)

Williams wrote:

Here are my much-delayed revised chapter titles.  These are still subject to change, but they all have something to do with their chapters now.  (Often I will start a chapter with a title, but decide to deal with something different instead of my original plan for that chapter, then forget to change the title.)

Anyway, make of them what you will.  It will be a while until I have a good cast list to share.

THE WITCHWOOD CROWN
Volume One of THE LAST KING OF OSTEN ARD

Foreword

PART ONE: WIDOWS

Ch. 1 – The Glorious
Ch. 2 – Conversation with a Corpse-Giant
Ch. 3 – Brother Monarchs
Ch. 4 – Island of Bones
Ch. 5 – An Aversion to Widows
Ch. 6 – The Finest Tent on the Frostmarch
Ch. 7 – Audience with the Ever-Living
Ch. 8 – A Meeting On Lantern Bridge
Ch. 9 – Heart of the Kynswood
Ch. 10 – The Third Duke
Ch. 11 – Ghosts of the Garden
Ch. 12 – Baroness Alva’s Tale

Ch. 13 – Hymns of the Lightless
Ch. 14 – At the Top of the Holy Tree
Ch. 15 –  A Passage of Arms
Ch. 16 – A Hand In The Snow
Ch. 17 – No Shadow
Ch. 18 – A Bad Book
Ch. 19 – Unnatural Birth
Ch. 20 – His Bright Gem
Ch. 21 – Crossroad
Ch. 22 – Death Songs
Ch. 23 – Testament of the White Hand

PART TWO: ORPHANS

Ch. 24 – Terrible Flame
Ch. 25 – Example of a Dead Hedgehog
Ch. 26 – The Small Council
Ch. 27 – Noontide At The Quarely Maid
Ch. 28 – Cradle Songs of Red Pig Lagoon
Ch. 29 – Bones and Black Statues
Ch. 30 – The Slow Game
Ch. 31 – A High, Dark Place
Ch. 32 – Rosewater and Balsam
Ch. 33 – Secrets and Promises
Ch. 34 – Feeding The Familiar
Ch. 35 – The Man with the Odd Smile
Ch. 36 – A Foolish Dream
Ch. 37 – Two Bedroom Conversations
Ch. 38 – The Factor’s Ship
Ch. 39 – A Grassland Wedding
Ch. 40 – Watching Like God

PART THREE: EXILES

Ch. 41 – Hern’s Horde
Ch. 42 – Forest Music
Ch. 43 – Into Deeper Shadows
Ch. 44 – Charms and Tokens
Ch. 45 – A Nighttime Sun
Ch. 46 – River Man
Ch. 47 – Hidden Chambers
Ch. 48 – The Little Boats
Ch. 49 – Blood As Black As Night
Ch. 50 – Stolen Scales
Ch. 51 – Several Matters of State
Ch. 52 – Homecoming
Ch. 53 – The Queen’s Pleasure
Ch. 54 – Voices Unheard, Faces Unseen

There are some inconsistencies with the chapter titles; for example, Chapter 27’s title, referring to the Quarely Maid, is not the name of the inn chosen by readers on the official message board last year. But of course, these chapter titles are subject to change or revision. The Witchwood Crown is expected to be released in Spring 2016, followed sometime thereafter by Empire of Grass and The Navigator’s Children.

Ein Interview mit Tad Williams, Teil 4

Here is part 4 of “An Interview with Tad Williams”, translated into German by OstenArd.com contributor Olaf.

Genau wie Tad Williams, haben wir versucht mit drei Teilen auszukommen, aber es sind dann doch vier geworden. Im Anschluss ist Teil vier von OstenArd.coms Interview mit dem internationalen Bestseller Autor Tad Williams. Er ist Autor der „Chronik der großer Schwerter“, und der „Otherland“, „Shadowmarch“ und „Bobby Dollar“ Romane und hat kürzlich bekannt gegeben, dass er die erste Fassung von „The Witchwood Crown“, des ersten Bandes einer Nachfolgetrilogie zu seinem Klassiker „Chronik der großen Schwerter“, fertig gestellt hat. „The Witchwood Crown“ soll im Frühjahr 2016 erscheinen, aber ein genaues Datum steht noch nicht fest.

Die folgenden Fragen wurden von Lesern des Tad Williams Message Boards und Mitarbeitern von OstenArd.com gestellt. In diesem Teil des Interviews fragen wir Tad Willians nach Plänen für die Veröffentlichung der neuen Bücher und Hörbücher, ob es Neuausgaben der ersten drei Bände der „Chronik der großen Schwerter“ geben wird und was er als größte Herausforderung beim Schreiben eines wesentlich älteren Simons, einer Miriamele, eines Binabik und der ganzen anderen Charaktere empfand (wenn er es denn überhaupt als Herausforderung empfand).

OstenArd.com: Tad, die neue Reihe wird sicherlich ein großes Buch Event werden und die Verlage für die amerikanischen und britischen Ausgaben sind bereits angekündigt. Gibt es bereits weitere Verleger über die du sprechen kannst? Gibt es schon Pläne wie die neuen Bücher veröffentlicht und vermarktet werden sollen? Wird es Hörbücher zu den neuen Romanen geben?

Tad Williams: Ich bin ziemlich sicher, dass es Hörbücher auf Englisch und Deutsch geben wird, obwohl ich noch keine Details kenne. Zu all den anderen Fragen, kann ich wirklich nichts sagen. Deborah (Tads Ehefrau und Geschäftspartnerin Deborah Beale) weiß darüber wahrscheinlich mehr. Ich gebe nur mein Bestes um diese Bücher zu schreiben.

OstenArd.com: Wird es Neuausgaben der Original Trilogie geben? Als gebundene Ausgaben? Im Hörbuchformat? Irgendwelche Neuigkeiten dazu?

Tad Williams: Dazu die gleiche Antwort wie oben. Aber wir drängen auf eine Neuausgabe.

OstenArd.com: Im „Re-read der Chronik der großen Schwerter“ auf dem Tad Williams Message Board hatten wir großen Spaß dabei alle möglichen Verweise auf Mythologien, historische Ereignisse oder andere Bücher zu suchen. Können wir damit rechnen, dass auch der „Letzte König“ voll mit solchen Verweisen sein wird? Gibt es einen besonderen Verweis in der „Chronik“, den du besonders gemocht hast und den noch niemand gefunden hat? Gibt es also noch einen versteckten Verweis?

Tad Williams: Ich habe wirklich keine Ahnung, ob es noch irgendwelche versteckten Hinweise gibt, die den laserscharfen Augen des Tad Williams Boards entgangen sind. Beim nächsten Wiederlesen halte ich die Augen danach auf. Wahrscheinlich muss ich die Bücher noch einmal lesen bevor ich den ersten neuen Band abschließen kann, und falls ich noch etwas finde, dann lass ich es euch wissen. Aber es ist immer besser, wenn ihr solche Dinge selbst findet, denn selbst, wenn ich etwas nicht als Hinweis gemeint habe, kann ich weise gucken und nicken und sagen: „Aber ja, das. Das war sehr schlau von mir, nicht wahr?“

OstenArd.com: Gab es Aspekte beim Schreiben des 30 Jahre älteren Simon oder der 30 Jahre älteren Miriamel (oder irgendeines anderen Charakters der „Chronik“, die auch im „Letzten König“ wieder auftauchen), die du überraschend oder herausfordernd gefunden hast?

Tad Williams: Es ist wirklich noch zu früh das zu sagen, denn hier wird es nicht nur darum gehen wer diese Charaktere am Anfang sind, sondern wie sie sich im Laufe der Bücher verändern. Genau wie im Verlauf der „Chronik“. Aber das wir sie alle als junge Menschen kennen, ist alles eine Herausforderung. Der Unterschied zwischen einen Teenager und einen Erwachsenen ist so groß als hätte man es mit zwei verschiedenen Menschen zu tun. Aber ich denke, ich kann euch mehr darüber sagen, wenn ich tatsächlich mit dem ersten Band fertig bin (auch mit allen Überarbeitungen), denn dann kann ich „Die Hexenholz Krone“ als Roman lesen, der mir viel darüber sagen wird ob sich die älteren Simon und Miriamel richtig und angemessen anfühlen.

(Herausgeber: Dies schließt unser mehrteiliges Interview mit Tad Williams ab. Wir möchten kurz innehalten und uns bei Tad Williams und Deborah Beale für ihre Zeit bedanken. Außerdem vielen Dank an die Mitglieder des Tad Williams Message Boards, die viele tolle Fragen gestellt haben.)


The Witchwood Crown Trivia Quiz

The Dragonbone Chair, book 1 of Memory Sorrow and ThornTake the Goodreads Quiz
The Witchwood Crown Trivia Quiz

If you have a Goodreads account, you can take this 20-question “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” quiz; be sure to like and share the quiz with your friends!

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