Robin Hobb's Blog, page 6
October 23, 2012
Today Epic becomes available. This anthology from John Joseph Adams has an amazing line-up of authors. I feel privileged to be among them. Here’s a sneak peek at the Table of Contents:
Introduction—John Joseph Adams
The Word of Unbinding—Ursula K. Le Guin
The Burning Man—Tad Williams
As the Wheel Turns—Aliette de Bodard
The Alchemist—Paolo Bacigalupi
Sandmagic—Orson Scott Card
The Road to Levinshir—Patrick Rothfuss
While the Gods Laugh—Michael Moorcock
Mother of All Russiya—Melanie Rawn
Riding the Shore of the River of Death—Kate Elliott
The Bound Man—Mary Robinette Kowal
The Narcomancer—N. K. Jemisin
Strife Lingers in Memory—Carrie Vaughn
The Mad Apprentice—Trudi Canavan
The Mystery Knight—George R. R. Martin
Visit the site for a link to sample the stories and links to interviews with the authors.
And here is a link to an update on the Patrick Rothfuss/ Lee Moyer calendar for 2013! The calendar is sold as an fundraiser for Heifer International. This is not, as some thought, a charity to benefit animals, but one that supplies farm animals such as heifers, goats, pigs and chickens to families to enable them to lift their standard of living. It’s a charity that keeps on giving, as the gifted families then extend your gift by passing on some of the animal’s offspring to other families. It’s a great charity, and a wonderful calendar! I’m proud to say that one of my characters will be featured in the 2013 calendar.
September 14, 2012
Cleaning my bookshelves today. Some volumes will go off to the second hand store. A lot of the YA is moving upstairs to the bedroom that the kids use when they visit. Many of the out grown books will come down to be sorted into ‘keep’ or ”give away.’
Some of the books are no-brainers as to where they go. My father’s illustrated by Louis Rhead editions of Treasure Island and Kidnapped. Old fairy tale books illustrated by Edmund Dulac. The old Oz books. Family treasures. I always stop to look at them and read a few pages. And there it is, among my other treasures: the first fantasy novel that I ever found on my family shelves and read to myself. The Joyous Story of Astrid. Sadly, the book I had when I was a kid disappeared a long time ago, but I replaced it with one discarded by the Orangeville Public Library. It’s a first edition, I now realize, from 1931.
It’s about a child who is born half in the old year and half in the new. She has green eyes and laughs aloud instead of crying. She is left on the doorstep of The Man Who Wrote Stories. Here is a bit about that: “The Man carried her in and they looked and looked at her and could not think where she had come from. And her laughter amazed them becasue babies usually cry. They put her to bed and gave her milk and wished she had been left anywhere else. They did not like babies and they expected every baby to do exactly the same things as every other baby has done from the beginning of the world, and that was foolish becasue if babies all did the same old thing we should never gat any farther. So everything she did they thought was wrong.”
Here’s a paragraph from chapter two, called Early Snow and Inu.
“ Next night, when Astrid woke up and ate her supper there were little oranges, very sweet, which had come up the sound in a ship from Japan. She took one in each hand when she went out in the snw where the Lady in the green dress was waiting for her, and Astrid gave one to her one to Starlight, the youngest Wolf. It was a great treat to him, for Wolves hardly ever see oranges. You should think of that when you eat them.”
This book has a section on how to make mind flowers. And how to dream true. It tells about the Rabbit in the Moon, and the Tea Kettle Princess. And The Cats that Told Time.
And I was once convinced that it was written exactly for me. After all, Astrid is part of my name, and my eyes are green. And I always wanted to stay awake all night and sleep by day.
The Asian influences in the story are quite clear. I suspect the author is Lily Adams Beck, a Canadian writer of that era, but I don’t see this book listed in the bibliographies of her works that I’ve looked up. Still, the Asian influences in her other writing are very clear. So I think that this is hers, and somehow it has been overlooked. She is referred to as ‘first prolific female fantasy writer in Canada.’
I think maybe it’s time to read this book aloud at my house.
September 10, 2012
Visit Pat Rothfuss’s site for the full details on this calendar of fictional characters as pin-ups!
The quick version is that amazing author Patrick Rothfuss and talented artist Lee Moyer are creating a pin up calendar of fictional characters. They have quite a line-up of authors offering some extraordinary characters. Neil Gaiman, anyone? Peter S. Beagle? Ray Bradbury? George RR Martin! Hop over to Pat Rothfuss’ site for a glimpse of the calendar cover, and a full listing of the participating writers.
The angle for me is that one of my characters will appear in the pin up calendar. I’m not going to post which characater it is; I’ll leave that for Pat and Lee to reveal as the calendar release date gets closer. The only hint is that out of all my characters, there was one who I thought would truly enjoy being a pin up!
The recipient of the funds is Worldbuilders, a charity organized by Pat Rothfuss to benefit Heifer International. Mydescription: help people get a start on the path to self-sufficiency by helping them acquire a cow, or some ducks, or a pig. (Wish I could find a way to donate all my extra Bantam roosters!) Pat has described it as a charity for people who like cute ducks. Here is a baby pictures of my own cute ducks and geese. They are now much larger. Fred has proclaimed them ‘seaworthy’ and when the flotillas is on our pond, the geese are postively threatening.
Imagine gifting someone with their own flock of poultry for meat, feathers, and eggs! Um, mine are only for eggs, of course!
If you’d like to pre-order a 2013 calendar or two for yourself or as gifts for friends, you can do that at The Tinker’s Packs. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
September 8, 2012
Sword and Laser bills itself as “The producers of “The Guild” bring you a diverse line-up featuring the very best of indie geek culture!” And indeed they do! Video. Podcasts. A book club. What more could you ask?
And they did a very flattering Kick Off video for their August book club selection of Assassin’s Apprentice. I’m very honored that they chose AA as their selection for August reading. Tom Whitta and Veronica Belmont do a wonderful job of introducing the book to readers.
Scroll through their interviews and discussions to appreciate how much of the Fantasy and SF field they are covering. There is an August book club wrap up. If you haven’t read Assassin’s Apprentice, you might want to beware of spoilers in the wrap up session.
Their September read is Isaac Asimov’s Foundation! An excellent choice!
I hope you’ll enjoy the Kick-Off video, and tune in to Sword and Laser for my Skype interview with them towards the end of October.
September 4, 2012
HarperAudio has sent me a link for a Free Sample of the Robin Hobb audio books. Check them out!
September 2, 2012
I am so happy and honored to announce that I will be a Guest of Honor at Loncon 2014, the next Worldcon to be held in London, England!
It will be from August 14 to 18 in London at the ExCel Exhibition Center. Fellow guests include author Iain M. Banks, writer John Clute, artist Chris Foss, editor Malcolm Edwards, fan Jeanne Gomoll, and comic book writer and artist Bryan Talbot.
That’s a stellar list! I am speechless to be put in such company!
Hope that I will see some of you there!
September 1, 2012
Today I visited two ends of the book lover’s spectrum. I began my morning in Decatur, Georgia, with a stroll through the Decatur Book Festival. The streets are blocked off to allow all pedestrian traffic, there are rows of tents and open air stalls, and it’s very much a street fair of books. There were many families out walking in the sunshine, and I passed a YA panel that was very lively and noisy. It was early in the day and the crowds were just arriving. People were selling catfish and fries, book marks, jewelry, and more books. There was a small town feel to it that was very pleasant and calming.
I wandered Decatur for a bit, enjoyed a sammitch at the Sammitch Shop, talked to book sellers and readers, bought some books, and then realized it was time to go back to Dragoncon for my autograph session and reading. So off I went, back to downtown Atlanta and Dragoncon. There I signed books for about 90 minutes, with plenty of time to talk to readers as I signed. I love unrushed signings! And the reading was very well attended, with a few hardy souls even standing in the back of the room.
After my events, I had plenty of time to wander Dragoncon again. I ogled costumes, listened to music, bought a Pandora Celtica CD, met up with friends old and new, went to a panel on leather mask making (I’ll have a few new tricks next time I try to stamp book marks), saw more puppets, art, books and T shirts and generally had a lively time with a very different slice of the book buying public.
I had a completely new experience, that is, standing in a long queue for the opportunity to get on an escalator! The hordes of people at the convention were mind boggling to me. I know that San Diego Comic Con was actually larger in terms of attendees, but Dragoncon really packed us in! And the energy was all good. Other than one small child who was very briefly lost and distressed, I really didn’t witness anyone in a cranky mood.
My final thought when I finally returned to my quiet Decatur hotel for the night. Here are two arts festivals, about 20 minutes apart, bringing together people in a good natured mob scene, and both pumping up the economies of the cities they are in. Nice to think that books, comics, movies and zombies can do that!
August 29, 2012
I’ll hope to see some of you in Atlanta! My schedules for Dragoncon and Decatur Book Festival are posted in my events calendar.
August 24, 2012
I’ll be spending Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia and meeting readers at two very different venues for the bookish set!
On Friday August 31 and Saturday, Sept.1, I’ll be at Dragoncon! My events are as follows:
Friday, 10 AM at Room A707 at the Marriott. Coming of Age . I’ll be joining some YA authors to talk about the books we read as teenagers.
Friday, 11:30 AM Embassy D-F at the Hyatt. Gimme A Break–Breaking In and Breaking Out. Professional writers talk about breaking in: selling your first book or story, and breaking out: achieving best seller level.
Saturday at 1PM M301-M304 Marriott Autograph Session
Saturday at 4 PM Marietta at the Hyatt Reading
I’ll hope to see some of you in Atlanta!
July 27, 2012
I think one of the greatest pleasures in life is rejoicing in the successes of your friends. Now, I will admit that I’ve known a few writer who seem to view other writers’ successes as some sort of rivalry. “If you make the New York Times Bestseller list and I do not, it must be because you took my spot on it!” Or something like that. I confess, I’ve never been able to make sense of that sort of ‘writers as competitors’ attitude.
Instead, what makes me really happy is to watch friends succeed. I like to read books in manuscript and blurb them, though far too often, by the time I get around to reading it, it’s out in mass market paperback! Research and writing seem to take up more and more of my time, with less and less time to spend on reading for pleasure. Sad to say, I think this is true of every author I know.
And then there are the books that I will probably never get to read, even though they are written by wonderful friends. Attending international festivals such as Imaginales or Utopiales in France, or Trolls&Legendes in Belgium has allowed me to meet many fellow writers whose works have never been translated into English. It makes me feel a bit odd that my author friends are able to read my stories in translation or, for the many European writers who are multi-lingual, in the original English, while the best I can do is look at their cover art and grope my way through a few pages.
Above you glimpse the cover for Nathalie Dau’s most recent novel. Here is the cover description in French:
Les Mages Bleus, servants de l’Équilibre, ont été décimés, mais l’un des leurs a survécu au prix de son honneur, motivé par le besoin impérieux de transmettre la vie.
Le jeune Cerdric, né bréon de la noble famille Tirbald, va, quant à lui, affronter une mère qui ne l’a pas désiré, un monde qui semble incapable de l’aimer.
Et si la solution à ses tourments résidait dans la Marche voisine, là où vit son mystérieux père, en exil ?
Mais au terme de son voyage, Cerdric recevra surtout le poids d’un secret terriblement lourd à porter : celui de la Somme des Rêves, une espérance de renouveau pour ceux qui refusent de s’incliner devant les dieux…
And for those of you who, like me, are limited to English, the teasing translation of a book we cannot read:
The Blue Wizards, servants of the Balance, have been slaughtered, but one of them managed to survive, though losing his honour in the process, feeling an overwhelming need to spread life.
Young Cedric, from the noble family Tirbald, will be confronted with a mother who never wanted a child in a world that seems devoid of any love.
What if the remedy to his woes laid in the neighborhood March, where his mysterious, exiled father lives ?
But at the end of his journey, Cerdric will mostly receive an terrible burden, a tremendous secret : The Sum of all Dreams, also a formidable hope for those who refuses to bow down before the Gods…
The title translation is Sum of Dreams. Cover art by Mathieu Coudray.
While I cannot read this book to blurb it, what I can tell you is that I’ve found Nathalie Dau to be charming, intelligent and clever. And thus I expect you will find this to be true of her book as well. Here is a brief glimpse of her in an interview at Imaginales.
Congratulations, Nathalie! May your book find all the success it deserves!