One of my favorite authors was in Portland tonight: Patrick Rothfuss, whose first book was The Name of the Wind, the sequel to which, Wise Man's Fear, came out a couple of days ago -- and is #2 on Amazon, yay fantasy readers!!!
I have not yet read Wise Man's Fear; I procured it tonight (a pre-signed one, since the assembled fan mob would have meant hours in line for signing, and that is NOT a toddler activity). I'll have to reread The Name of the Wind first and refresh, but I clearly remember the delight with which I devoured it a few years ago. Not totally dissimilar to the delight with which I today devoured a Voodoo mango tango donut!*
Here is the new book:
Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2011: The Wise Man's Fear continues the mesmerizing slow reveal of the story of Kvothe the Bloodless, an orphaned actor who became a fearsome hero before banishing himself to a tiny town in the middle of Newarre. The readers of Patrick Rothfuss's outstanding first book, The Name of the Wind, which has gathered both a cult following and a wide readership in the four years since it came out, will remember that Kvothe promised to tell his tale of wonder and woe to Chronicler, the king's scribe, in three days. The Wise Man's Fear makes up day two, and uncovers enough to satisfy readers and make them desperate for the full tale, from Kvothe's rapidly escalating feud with Ambrose to the shockingly brutal events that mark his transformation into a true warrior, and to his encounters with Felurian and the Adem. Rothfuss remains a remarkably adept and inventive storyteller, and Kvothe's is a riveting tale about a boy who becomes a man who becomes a hero and a killer, spinning his own mythology out of the ether until he traps himself within it. Drop everything and read these books. --Daphne Durham
It's the kind of rich lose-yourself epic fantasy that does not come along every day. At least, that does not come along well every day. It's got everything: love, magic, magic college (I love school books), music, war, wandering minstrels, dragons, storytellers, genius (I love genius characters), and so much more. I can't wait to start at the beginning, catch up, and keep going. I will have to wait, though, because I have packed all my books for the impending move (impending precisely when remains unclear), and The Name of the Wind went with them.
So, check out the crowd at Powell's.
And you can't even see the overspill into the aisles and the back of the store.
The book sold out well before Pat arrived. They sold out because they only had 350 copies.
Can you imagine? Happy Powell's tonight. That's over $10,000! Again I say: yay, fantasy readers, spending the dollars at the indie bookstore :-)
And yay, Patrick Rothfuss:
Attending readings with a toddler, you can't exactly grab a seat in the thick of things. You need to be able to maneuver, ready for anything. Which, in a packed house like this, means you won't be able to see at all, but I could *mostly* hear. One piece of advice Pat gave writers was this:
Live somewhere cheap.
I love this advice, because it is totally mundane and so right on. It's why Jim and I moved to Portland ten years ago -- to escape San Francisco cost of living. Cost-wise, Portland is certainly no Steven's Point, WI (where Pat lives). But we moved here at a good time and bought a little cottage that needed heaps of
work love, and then we spent as little time as possible at jobs we wouldn't spare a thought to while we weren't at them (and maybe not even then :-). The rest of the time we painted and drew and wrote and pursued the careers we really wanted. Also, we waited to have kids.
Not everyone can choose where to live, but it is sound advice, and if you can, consider it.
Pat also fan-boyed about meeting Neil Gaiman (who, by the way, I saw on his blog, is in China working on some mysterious project he can't talk about. Doesn't that strum at your imagination? What secret thing is Neil Gaiman doing in rural China? It's been going on for a while too -- this is his third trip. Hmmm. What???), and he (Pat) as much as said that if he were to bump into Joss Whedon on the ComicCon floor (which Jim has), he would pee (which Jim did not. He was pretty excited though, and called to tell me. The detail that makes it real is that Joss was wearing a tiny see-through plastic kid's backpack. Cute :-)
Okay. It's almost 2 am, heh heh, so I shall take myself off to dreams, but first:
And second, a challenge:
Are you "not a fantasy reader"? Is fantasy "not your thing"? Try some anyway. It doesn't have to be this, but be selective, because there's a lot of dross (as there is with all genres, including "literary fiction"). Just do. Something I hear all the time from readers is: "I'm not a fantasy reader, but I loved your book!" And I always wonder what makes people identify themselves as "not a fantasy reader." I can't understand why one would choose to cut fantasy and magic out of their minds. There's ALL KINDS of fantasy -- it's not all epic high-fantasy with wizards and dwarves (not that there's anything wrong with that). There's magical realism, contemporary urban fantasy, vampires, fairy tale retellings, etc etc and more. Try it. You might like it.
(Should we compile a list of you-won't-be-sorry fantasy reads for the unbelievers? Suggestions?)
*For donut company today: Victoria Stapleton from Little, Brown, publisher of my forthcoming book and the one after and the one after (and hopefully many more after that :-) Victoria is the first person I've met in person from L,B, and she was totally awesome to hang out with. I was amazed by how much she finds the time to read -- and not just L,B books, but all the competitors too. She seems to have read everything. I stand in awe. Okay, sit. I sit in awe.
I sleep in awe. Good night!