Book Launch Day – The Story Behind “Re-reading Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”
My new book, Re-reading Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, is available on Amazon starting today.
It is indeed a bit of a departure. It is not fiction like Dusk Before the Dawn or Software By The Kilo. It is not about a place we’ve traveled to, like the Grand Canyon and Quebec City apps and eBooks.
This book actually has been categorized by Amazon in the “History and Criticism” genre. It started out of a series of re-read posts that I made for Tad’s epic fantasy series, and I’ve documented the reasons for that lengthy re-read here (mainly my poor memory and getting read for the new series Tad is writing in the same world of Osten Ard).
Contrary to popular opinion, I did not write this to help me survive the mad doldrums between the end of Sharks hockey season and the start of Packers season; though certainly a motivating factor, it is not the main one.
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is an important series in the history of the fantasy genre. It bridged the gap after Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and other epic fantasy series. The series suffers a bit from recency bias – it was first published about 25 years ago. With the upcoming release of a new series set in the same world as well as additional novels in Osten Ard, my motivation is to bring this series back to the forefront of the fantasy genre…to prepare for the new books, to refresh on the originals.
I’d recommend everyone read this series. If you need a refresher, try my re-read ebook or the re-read posts here on this site.
The ebook has all of the re-read posts, edited and cleaned up as appropriate for an ebook, interlinking all of the chapters (this is my equivalent of “didn’t I just read about that somewhere before?”). Also added is a re-read of The Burning Man, the only other story set in Osten Ard outside of this trilogy. There are articles on the Three Swords that are at the center of the trilogy’s plot, some summaries of Tad Williams’ other series, and some predictions on what the new series holds. The article that I originally wrote for SFSignal on where this series fits in the history of fantasy has also be updated and included. With the kind permission of Tad Williams and Deborah Beale, excerpts are included where appropriate.
The table of contents of the book is at the end of this article. If your copy does not include this table of contents, please request that Amazon send an updated copy – the first few pre-order copies were sent without The Burning Man chapter.
This book is dedicated to my friend John DeNardo who until recently spent many long hours running the two-time Hugo award winning SFSignal. The site has been retired, but John’s penchant for helping authors, publishers and bloggers has left a long lasting legacy. Those of us that were privileged enough to write for the site enjoyed freedom and support. There were more guest posts, launch posts and interviews than any other site in its time frame, and many of those helped launch books and careers. John did it because he liked reading science fiction, and he liked helping people who enjoyed both reading and writing it. Luckily, I live close enough to John that he cannot get away from me by simply shutting down an award winning web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Tad Williams is Ruining My Calm
Background: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and its Place in Fantasy History
A Note on These Re-Reads
The Dragonbone Chair, Part One: Simon Mooncalf
The Dragonbone Chair, Part Two: Simon Pilgrim
The Dragonbone Chair, Part Three: Simon Snowlock
Stone of Farewell, Part One: Storm’s Eye
Stone of Farewell, Part Two: Storm’s Hand
Stone of Farewell, Part Three: Storm’s Heart
To Green Angel Tower, Part One: The Waiting Stone
To Green Angel Tower, Part Two: The Winding Road
To Green Angel Tower, Part Three: The Turning Wheel
To Green Angel Tower, Part Four: The Blazing Tower
The Burning Man
Thoughts on The Three Swords
Thoughts on The Last King of Osten Ard
Other Series by Tad Williams