Otherland, the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game from Drago Entertainment, loosely based on Tad Williams‘ critically-acclaimed four-volume cyber series Otherland, is scheduled for early release on Steam on September 10th.
The highly-anticipated multi-player game, set in a virtual reality world where anything is possible, was originally announced in October 2008, then went through seven years of development hell. Drago promises gamers will be able to “embark on exciting adventures in a virtual multiverse of worlds ranging from fantasy to sci-fi and beyond.”
Deborah Beale, wife and business partner of Tad Williams, has released this statement:
“Book one of Tad Williams’ ‘The Last King of Osten Ard’ isn’t in in the DAW spring schedule owing to pressures arising from the integration of Penguin/Random House. We will know more about that after Tad’s September meeting with his publishers.
“Beyond this, we have been focussed on a number of projects related to ’The Last King’. The road to volume one, ‘The Witchwood Crown’, will be dotted with many Easter eggs, some of which will be announced after that September meeting. This is a trilogy that is expanding from the front end of things!”
The Witchwood Crown is the first volume of “The Last King of Osten Ard“. This sequel to Williams’ classic 1980s fantasy trilogy/tetralogy was set to be released in Spring 2016, though no definite date had yet been set. The announcement of “a number of projects related to “The Last King of Osten Ard” is intriguing. Williams has written of several possibilities on his official message board over the years.
More news will come from Tad Williams or Deborah Beale when it is available; hopefully in September. Meanwhile, Hodder Books in the UK has released The Dragonbone Chair on audiobook, via Audible.com/Amazon.co.uk, the first time MS&T has been available as an audiobook for the general public. A review of the reading from this site is forthcoming.
I’ve finished the (tidied and revised) version of the first draft of The Witchwood Crown. Currently it’s 1071 pages, about 311K words. Yes, I’ve written another not-small book. Surprise!
The writing process has been very fast, with the announcement of the highly-anticipated new series only being made in April of last year. The Witchwood Crown is expected to be published in Spring 2016, with subsequent volumes, tentatively titled Empire of Grass and The Navigator’s Children, published sometime thereafter. Negotiations for foreign-language translations have already been inked.
News of Williams’ return to Osten Ard has readers and critics alike excited, with Daniel Kaszor of The National Postwriting that “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” “redefined what traditional fantasy could be”, while Google calls the series “the trilogy that launched one of the most important fantasy writers of our time.”
Dutch publisher Luitingh has acquired the publishing rights to the new series in the Netherlands. Luitingh has previous translated Williams’ four-volume “Shadowmarch” series as well as the single-volume entry, The War of the Flowers.
In Germany, a major market for Williams’ books, Klett-Cotta has acquired the rights to publication in Germany, according to PublishersMarketplace.com (registration required). Klett-Cotta has previously published translations of most of Williams’ books, including “Shadowmarch”, a four-volume edition of “Das Geheimnis der Großen Schwerter” (“Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”), Traumjäger und Goldpfote (Tailchaser’s Song), the “Tinkerfarm” books (“Ordinary Farm”), Der Blumenkrieg (The War of the Flowers), “Otherland” and Der brennende Mann (The Burning Man).
The Witchwood Crown, the first volume of Williams’s upcoming “The Last King of Osten Ard” trilogy, is expected in the US and the UK in Spring 2016. Foreign-language editions will be published sometime afterwards. The Witchwood Crown will be followed by Empire of Grass and The Navigator’s Children.
Deborah Beale, wife and business partner of Tad Williams, has revealed a few new details on Twitter about Williams’ progress writing The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the sequel to Williams’ classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” series, “The Last King of Osten Ard”. The Witchwood Crown will be followed by Empire of Grass and The Navigator’s Children.
Beale tweeted several of Williams’ comments about the manuscript:
I’ve about 70pp to go to finish first draft which will then grow again in revision…
The finished thing will come in at about 1000 to 1100 pp. about 330 words per page
I’ll know much better what I’ve got when I sit down to read it before rewrite
I’ll probably release chapter titles in the next few weeks #TheWitchwoodCrown
During the writing of The Witchwood Crown, Williams has kept fans up to date regularly on page counts and some plot elements, including character lists and settings. The last update, in mid-December, mentioned that almost 800 pages had been written at that point, so about 200 to 300 pages have been written over the holidays. Williams is making rapid progress on the writing of the novel, which is expected to be published in Spring 2016.
On his official message board today, bestselling speculative fiction author Tad Williams (The Dragonbone Chair, Tailchaser’s Song) posted a progress update on his manuscript of The Witchwood Crown, volume one of his planned three-book return to Osten Ard, “The Last King of Osten Ard”, sequel to the classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” series.
Williams revealed that he will have completed 800 pages of the manuscript this weekend. “I’ll crest 800 pages this weekend, I think, God willing and the river don’t rise,” he wrote, after much flooding in the Bay Area. The page count likely refers to manuscript pages rather than published book pages.
Williams, one of the most respected names in speculative fiction and whose fans include Christopher Paolini and George R. R. Martin, also released a partial character list for the new series, 34 of which are new characters, and the remaining 18 are characters who originally appeared in “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”. Several of these 18 listed characters died in the original series, so they are likely only mentioned in passing in the new book, rather than zombie resurrections, although Williams has been known to resurrect characters who were long thought dead, as fans of his work well know.
Simon, Binabik and Miriamele will be returning in “The Witchwood Crown”, Book One of “The Last King of Osten Ard”.
Returning characters include fan favorites Simon, Miriamele, Binabik, Aditu and Jiriki. Also apparently returning, at least as mentions in the book, are Duke Isgrimnur, Prince Josua, Tiamak, Lady Vorzheva, Pasevalles, Akhenabi, Jeremias, Count Eolair, Prince Hakatri, Sisqinanamook, and of course everyone’s favorite 10,000-year-old ice queen Utuk’ku Seyt-Hamakha, who is believed to be a major antagonist in the new series.
Unmentioned in this announcement are Derra and Deornoth, the twins whose respective prophesies caused over 20 years of fan speculation while Williams wrote other novels. Williams has confirmed in previous announcements that Derra and Deornoth will appear in the new series.
Williams also wrote of his plans for the new book, including his intention that The Witchwood Crown will move a little faster than the beginning of The Dragonbone Chair, stating, “[T]his one moves a little faster and jumps into multi-person [point-of-view] pretty much immediately. The “moves faster” part may not be so obvious after I revise and put in some of the detail I skipped over in the heat of first-drafting, but I think it will probably still feel this way. (Thus, for returning readers, I will have to make sure it still feels pretty similar in terms of depth of character and background).”
Also returning are the Sa’onserei siblings, Jiriki and Aditu.
The Witchwood Crown, the highly-anticipated first book in the new Osten Ard sequel series, is tentatively scheduled for a Spring 2016 release by DAW Books, publisher in the United States, and Hodder and Stoughton, the publisher in the United Kingdom. This will give the publishers time to edit what promises to be a lengthy manuscript, promote the book in international markets, and commission appropriate cover art on both sides of the Atlantic. An official release date for the first volume has not yet been set.
Tad Williams announced today that he has written well over 500 pages of the first draft of The Witchwood Crown, the first volume in his new series, “The Last King of Osten Ard”:
Just to let you all know, I hit a nice little milestone today — 555 pages of the 1st draft, end of Chapter 30. I’ve actually had time again to get into a rhythm, and it’s amazing how much faster it goes when I have dedicated working time and thinking time.
With 30 chapters of the first draft having been written, the manuscript may already be larger than Stone of Farewell, which only contained 28 chapters. In comparison, The Dragonbone Chair had 44 chapters and To Green Angel Tower had 60. This means that the manuscript is approaching or has already exceeded the size of previous Osten Ard books. Williams is known for long, intricate stories, and it looks as though The Witchwood Crown will be no exception.
In other news, it appears as though the publication date of The Witchwood Crown has been pushed back to Spring 2016, to allow time for editing of what is likely to be a massive manuscript. The original publication date had been set to Fall 2015. Williams writes very fast, and there likely will be no long publication delays that have been seen in other massive epic fantasies such as Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” or George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Indeed, The Witchwood Crown was only announced in April of this year.
Tad Williams has announced that he has written around 400 pages of The Witchwood Crown, Book One of his new epic fantasy series “The Last King of Osten Ard”:
I’ve had a lot of other things going on, so I’m only at about page 400 of the book, but I’m back into a stretch where I can work on it full-time again.
The first volume of the new Osten Ard series, a sequel to the classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” books, is expected to be published sometime late next year, but no concrete date has yet been set. Each new novel in the series is expected to be about the size of previous Osten Ard novels, which were between 750 and 1,600 pages each.