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Cocteau Author Events

We had a great time Tuesday night at the Jean Cocteau. Melinda Snodgrass handled the interview task, with me as the subject, and did a wonderful job. Sellout crowd, and of course I signed a lot of books -- DOWN & DIRTY, KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, and the new coloring book.

((Autographed copies of all three will soon be available from the JCC website)).

Next up, in November...

DEBORAH HARKNESS returns on November 8, to sign THE BOOK OF LIFE.

And two days later, on November 10, we'll have a launch for the WHEEL OF TIME companion.

Books and seats for both events can be reserved on our website. Do remember, our last three author events sold out... and we do hate turning people away at the door, so reserve your place soon.


Oct. 29th, 2015 08:34 pm (UTC)
Sorry I missed the Q&A.

Here's a bit of a meta-Q&A question you probably never get the chance to answer at any Q&As: are there any questions that you're really tired of being asked at these events?

Setting aside the obvious "when is Winds of Winter coming?"
Oct. 29th, 2015 08:43 pm (UTC)
"Who is your favorite character?"
Oct. 29th, 2015 08:44 pm (UTC)
Ha! Yeah, should've guessed that one...
Bill Mottola
Oct. 30th, 2015 05:09 pm (UTC)
Wheel of Time and Ice and Fire
I read The Wheel of Time last spring, and I got the impression that it and A Song of Ice and Fire are sibling series. They are works of approximately the same period. They are both epic fantasy series with huge page-counts and casts. They are mostly about human struggles playing out in the shadow of an imminent inhuman threat (or so we are led to believe, this was subverted in Wheel of Time and may be subverted in Ice and Fire).

They depart mainly in two ways. First, magic plays a much bigger and more obvious role in Wheel of Time, whereas magic in Ice and Fire is contained and inaccessible, though still a mover of events (so far as we know). The other, greater, difference is that good and evil are not clearly defined in Ice and Fire. People die senseless deaths and are generally selfish until that moment. The higher powers, if they exist, seem to be indistinguishable from demons which grant their followers powers in order to do battle with the followers of other demons. Even all that represents guesswork. In Wheel of Time, however, good and evil are clearly defined, as it their relationship with each other and humanity. Both of these points can be illustrated in the respective protagonists of the two series. We know Rand al'Thor is the hero of Wheel of Time. He wields incredible power, and his arrival is heralded by prophecy. The protagonist of Ice and Fire could be any one of a dozen with plausible significance. It is unknown if there even is hero of the story, because no higher power has presented itself and said "This is hero and this is what the hero must do."

So, there you have it. The Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire come from a similar background and tell stories comparable in broad strokes. Wheel of Time sought to encapsulate the essence of fantasy, while Ice and Fire sought to restore surprise. Am I just imagining things, or am I on to something?
Oct. 30th, 2015 10:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Wheel of Time and Ice and Fire
I think both can be seen as part of a broader movement in fantasy away from stories in the 1980s that were either incredibly dark and grim (like Donaldson and Glen Cook) or light and fun (like Eddings) to something that was more epic and in keeping with the spirit of Tolkien. That movement I would argue began properly with Tad Williams's MEMORY, SORROW AND THORN (which started in 1988), continued with WHEEL OF TIME (which started in 1990) and then, several other intervening series later, with A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (in 1996). I think in any other deliberate terms of influence thematically or in story terms there is little or none.

However, in marketing and sales impact WHEEL OF TIME allowed much longer series like George's to get off the starting blocks a bit more easily. Also, Robert Jordan's cover quote on the front of AGoT had a big impact on sales, as did Jordan and GRRM sharing stories in Robert Silverberg's LEGENDS anthology in 1998. I know a lot of hardcore ASoIaF fans crossed over from the WoT fanbase in the late 1990s. If you read ASoIaF carefully, I believe you can even see George tipping the hat to Robert Jordan a couple of times :)
Bill Mottola
Oct. 30th, 2015 11:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Wheel of Time and Ice and Fire
It's weird how the cover went from "Epic Fantasy Approved" to "As Seen on TV."


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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