It looks my monthly shipment of books will take slightly longer than expected.
On the tracking page the package seems lost somewhere into Germany. On flight and waiting for delivery I also have a package with the American hardcover first edition of “The Darkness That Comes Before” (the one with the pretty cover), and some drugs (well, not really) I bought from here.
The plan is that I finish the second book of the Black Company in two/three days (I keep delaying it even if I’m just 80 pages from the end) and then start to finally *work* on Erikson. I want to keep a good pace even if I still read very slowly by other blogs standards. About a book every month, fitting that second book by Abercrombie somewhere, so that I can then order Abercombie’s third and Erikson’s seventh at the same time since they have similar release dates (March/April). Then continue the epic reading task of Erikson up to book 7 and in time for the Hardcover edition out for June/July of “Toll the Hounds” (book 8), as announced. Which should also be out along with the huge tome of Esslemont also set in the Malazan world.
Plenty to read, and even if I still haven’t read anything to Erikson, I HAVE TO like it, because he tries to do exactly what I want from fantasy. And if he fails I have little hopes to find it somewhere else. Not that the genre is arid, see my recent comments about “The Blade Itself”.
I read that Erikson is already well into book 9, and expects to complete it even before book 8 is out. I think this is the first case EVER of a writer who not only respects the schedule, but that is AHEAD of it. I have high hopes that the series will be complete by January 2010, and, no matter of personal tastes, Malazan will surely be the most ambitious fantasy project ever realized.
There’s also this aspect I wanted to discuss. You may think that when a writer pushes out books too fast they will feel rushed. While a writer like, say, Martin, takes his time and rewrite endlessly chapters till they aren’t absolutely perfect. So you have this different approach. From a side books that are made to last, going as close as possible to perfection (art). And then books that are considered like “consumables”, so they need to be pushed out in time, see a sudden, short-lived success, and then disappear (commodities).
Well, I have instead a very high respect for those writers who work their asses off, and don’t wait for “inspiration” before starting to write a word on a page. Writing is still “work”. It’s fatiguing, and if you aren’t fatigued it doesn’t work. As a matter of fact, it’s almost a rule that those books that come out quickly in a series are usually the best, and those that get delayed, and then delayed more, almost always finish to disappoint and reveal a dip in the quality. This, I think, because writing is a matter of complete immersion. Either you lose your life to be completely absorbed by it, or it doesn’t work. There is no other way to write a book than your blood.
When it comes to books it seems in practice that more time almost never equals to better quality. But the opposite.
I also noticed that my don’t-call-me-review of “The Blade Itself” was linked by Abercrombie himself. So I guess I’m losing my “covert”, low-profile purposes for the drift of this blog toward books. I like staying anonymous. On the other side I feel like I got more “validation” in two months writing sporadically about fantasy books than three years writing daily, and more competently, about MMOs. But then, who cares. Validation isn’t between the goals, and I’ll “reward” Abercrombie by being very harsh with his second book ;)
Anyway, to those landing here for the first time, remember that I’m not English native speaking. So I try to write as I can, hoping it can be at least interesting for an occasional reader.