Saturday, March 25, 2006

One Link, Two Link, Three Link...

Here's two or three things I've come across on the internet...

Robert Jordan, love him or hate him, is one of the stars of the fantasy field with his Wheel of Time multi-epic tale. He first came out with his first book The Eye of the World around 1992 and after eleven books, the end's still not yet nigh. However, it's just been revealed that for the writer, it may be. How serious? Well...

I have been diagnosed with amyloidosis. That is a rare blood disease which affects only 8 people out of a million each year, and those 8 per million are divided among 22 distinct forms of amyloidosis...Untreated, it would eventually make my heart unable to function any longer and I would have a median life expectancy of one year from diagnosis. Fortunately, I am set up for treatment, which expands my median life expectancy to four years.

In an interview with Locus magazine, he also said that he--no, really-- has one more book to go:

After Knife of Dreams, there's going to be one more main-sequence Wheel of Time novel, working title A Memory of Light. It may be a 2,000-page hardcover that you'll need a luggage cart and a back brace to get out of the store. (I think I could get Tor to issue them with a shoulder strap embossed with the Tor logo, since I've already forced them to expand the edges of paperback technology to nearly a thousand pages!) Well, it probably won't be that long, but if I'm going to make it a coherent novel it's all got to be in one volume. The major storylines will all be tied up, along with some of the secondary, and even some of the tertiary, but others will be left hanging.

A lot of people-- including myself-- are still reading his stuff because we want to know how he's going to end his story. (Who wouldn't?). Hopefully, he makes it. (From Locus.)

In other news, I found this great interview of Alberto Manguel. My radar first picked up Manguel when I found this interesting book of his, Stevenson under the Palm Tree. Unfortunately, I didn't get it then as it was way too expensive even for me (and I still had my deus ex machina credit card at the time).

I found his interview quite informative, especially the reason why he writes:

What I would say is that most of the things I have written, with the exception of the novel...I am not a writer in that the impulse come from reading. I wrote a History of Reading because I wanted to know what it was I did. I wrote Reading Pictures because I wanted to extend that field. I have written a book of essays, Into the Looking Glass Wood, which was all about relationships between readers and writer’s work, their books. So they are peculiar in that sense: They are simply explorations of an activity that very many people share. Being a writer is something different. You allow yourself to be a sort of lightning rod that conducts the electricity and you filter an inspiration that isn’t entirely yours—it belongs somehow to the place you are in, the time you are in, and so on. And I don’t know if I do that.

Now that's something I can empathize with: I'm more of a reader than a writer meself. And the stories I come up with are like the meteor dust that fall to Earth after a passage of a meteor in space. (From The Mumpsimus.)

Meanwhile, I like James Morrow's stuff and I can't wait to check out his latest book, The Last Witchfinder after reading this good review. After all, where else can you find books battling... other books?

The Last Witchfinder is narrated by an unusual voice: Isaac Newton's book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Yes, the story is told from the viewpoint of a book, although it is a thinking, feeling, omniscient one. And in Morrow's world, books have their own culture wars. This child of Newton's rational thinking has battled for centuries with Malleus Maleficarum, the 1486 witchfinding bible of religious inquisitors.

Fascinating, yes? (From Locus.)

Lastly, I thought this piece of trivia was pretty cool: a group of writers called The Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), which had in its rosters some of the great writers of the fantasy field. The roster included:

  1. Poul Anderson (for his novels The Broken Sword and Three Hearts and Three Lions)
  2. Lin Carter (for his "Thongor" series)
  3. L. Sprague de Camp (for his Pusadian tales and his working in popularizing Robert E. Howard’s "Conan")
  4. John Jakes (for his tales of "Brak the Barbarian")
  5. Fritz Leiber (for his "Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser" series)
  6. Michael Moorcock (for his tales of "Elric of Melniboné")
  7. Andre Norton (for her "Witch World" series)
  8. Jack Vance (for his "Dying Earth" stories)
  9. C. J. Cherryh (for her "Morgaine" novels)
  10. Diane Duane (for her novel The Door into Fire)
  11. Craig Shaw Gardner (for his tales of "Ebenezum")
  12. Avram Davidson (for The Phoenix and the Mirror and numerous other works)
  13. Katherine Kurtz (for her "Deryni" novels)
  14. Tanith Lee (for her "Birthgrave" series)
  15. Roger Zelazny (for his "Dilvish" stories and "Amber" series)

Goes to show that Wiki is your friend...

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