Since a considerable list of interesting tidbits for the Fantasy readers community surfaced in the last couple of days, I thought that a little round-up was appropriate.
First of all, Aidan at A Dribble of Ink stumbled upon a piece of news from Brandon Sanderson that really went under the radar. The prolific author wrote a short novel named The Emperor's Soul (no link with any series so far) that will be released in December this year:
Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Though condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Despite the fact that her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead from the attack of assassins.
Delving deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan’s truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it. Her only possible ally is one who is truly loyal to the emperor, but councilor Gaotona must overcome his prejudices to understand that her forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.
Skillfully deducing the machinations of her captors, Shai needs a perfect plan to escape. The fate of the kingdom lies in one impossible task. Is it possible to create a forgery of a soul so convincing that it is better than the soul itself?
If you're looking at Reddit from time to time, you know that since of couple of months, several Fantasy authors participated in AMA's (ask me anything...). You can get some very interesting pieces of information from these sessions. Here the list of some authors who participated or will do so in the near future:
Brandon Sanderson - September 2011
Robin Hobb - October 2011
Patrick Rothfuss - December 2011
Joe Abercrombie - January 2012
Paul S. Kemp - January 2012
Guy Gabriel Kay - February 2012
Howard Andrew Jones - February 2012
Saladin Ahmed - February 2012
Steven Erikson - February 2012
Brent Weeks - March 2012
Jon Sprunk- March 2012
Peter V. Brett- March 2012
Mark Lawrence - March 2012
Scott Lynch - April 4th 2012
Michael Sullivan - April 24th 2012
Stephen Deas is another busy author. He posted that the last rewriting of The Dragon Queen, the fifth book in the Memory of Flames/Dragon series is done and should be out in 2013. The wordcount is at 204 000. Now, you may ask: "The fifth?" Indeed, the fourth novel, The Black Mausoleum will be out on May 31 (UK). The author is also working of the third Thieftaker novel (after The Thieftaker's Apprentice and The Warlock's Shadow) that will be out this summer.
Orbit books posted an excerpt from the upcoming follow-up to Daniel Abraham's The Dragon's Path, The King's Blood. Here's a glimpse and the link for the full extract:
The apostate, called Kitap rol Keshmet among other things, stood in the soft city rain, the taint in his blood pressing at him, goading him, but being ignored. Fear and dread welled up in his throat.
In any of the cities and villages of the Keshet or Borja or Put, the temple would have been the central fact of the community, a point of pride and honor, and the axis about which all life turned. In the vast glory of Camnipol, it was only another of a thousand such structures, awe-inspiring in its scope, beauty, and grandeur, and rendered unremarkable by its company.The city was the heart of Imperial Antea as Imperial Antea was the heart of Firstblood power in the world, but Camnipol was older than the kingdom it ruled. Every age had left its mark here, every generation growing on the ruins of the old until the earth below the dark-cobbled streets was not soil, but the wreckage of what had come before. It was a city of black and gold, of wealth and desperate poverty. Its walls rose around it like a boast of invulnerability, and its noble quarters displayed great mansions and towers and temples casually, as if the grandeur was trivial, normal, and mundane. Had Camnipol been a knight, he would have worn black-enameled armor and a cloak of fine-worked wool. Had it been a woman, she would have been too handsome to look away from and too intimidating to speak with. Instead, it was a city, and it was Camnipol.
Soft rain darkened the stone walls and high columns. Wide steps rose from street to landing and then again to the shadowed colonnade. The great spider-silk banner—the red of blood with the eightfold sigil of the goddess at its center—hung beneath the overhanging roof, dark at the bottom from the rain and at the top from the shadows, and the breeze sent ripples across it. The carriages and palanquins of the highest noble families of Antea filled the narrow road, each trying to reach a more prestigious place on the smooth-cobbled street and none willing to retreat a step that might give a rival some opportunity. And it was still hardly past first thaw. When summer and the court season came, the place would be unnavigable. To the north, the great tower of the Kingspire was greyed by mist, its top shrouded so that it appeared to grow up into the spreading cloud: the Severed Throne reaching out in all directions and weighing down the world.
Alongside the release of the season 2 of Game of Thrones (Hurrah!!!), HBO added an interactive map of Westeros and Essos (here's the link):
Finally, the next Malazan novel by Ian C. Esslemont now has a name, a blurb and a release date (thanks to Adam at the Wertzone for the heads up!). The book is named Blood and Bone and will be out in December 2012 (I know... two in the same year...cool but I really have to pick up Orb, Sceptre, Throne):
In the western sky the bright emerald banner of the Visitor descends like a portent of annihilation. On the continent of Jacuruku, the Thaumaturgs have mounted yet another expedition to tame the neighboring wild jungle. Yet this is no normal wilderness. It is called Himatan, and it is said to be half of the spirit-realm and half of the earth. And it is said to be ruled by a powerful entity whom some name the Queen of Witches, and some a goddess: the ancient Ardata. Saeng grew up knowing only the rule of the magus Thaumaturgs -- but it was the voices out of that land's forgotten past that she listened to. And when her rulers mount an invasion of the neighboring jungle, those voices send her and her brother on a desperate mission.
To the south, the desert tribes are united by the arrival of a foreign warleader, a veteran commander in battered ashen mail whom his men call, the Grey Ghost. This warleader takes the tribes on a raid like none other, deep into the heart of Thaumaturg lands. While word comes to K'azz, and mercenary company the Crimson Guard, of a contract in Jacuruku. And their employer... none other than Ardata herself.