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Another Awesome Turtle-Bear Tattoo, and Some News

This week’s fan art features a turtle-bear designed by Ben Fairfield, who has it tattooed on his chest:

It’s awesome! And I forgot to ask Ben: who put this tattoo on you? (We like to credit tattoo artists when we can.) Not much more to say about this one, except thanks for sharing it with us!

Now for the Weekstopia news:

Brent will return to his monthly Q&R series on FB Live next Thursday, 15 October. Time is TBD–we’ll of course share more details as they become available.

Also, we are opening the Shopify store a bit early this year. We will have Weeks wares available starting October 15 until mid-November. Keep an eye on social media and/or Brent’s newsletter in the coming days for more details regarding what will be available to buy there.

Everyone be well and wear your masks!

Real Life Fantasy: Vapor, Nature’s Lightsplitter

Welcome back to Real Life Fantasy! Today we’re sharing a simple one–nature refracting full-spectrum light in the air.

A supernumary rainbow captured by Larry Andreasen in Oregon

Many of you will recognize this as a fancy way of saying “RAINBOWS,” but it’s a little more than that.

As such, we have fog machine vapor wafting through a RGB laser:

Shared on YouTube by Marek Treecki

And, of course, circumhorizon arcs, aka “fire rainbows.”

Original photo taken by Luis Argerich

Which begs the question, “why?” This is neither made with fire, nor is it an elliptical “rainbow.” Language is weird. But never mind that, here’s more vapor magic:

from Amusing Planet
from Daily Mail UK, 2006

I snagged this word bite from Christopher Schmitt on flickr: “To see this rainbow, the ‘clouds must be at least 20,000ft high and the ice crystals within them align horizontally instead of their usual vertical position. The sun also needs to be at least 58 degrees above the horizon. Then, the magic can begin.'”

from the UCSB Geography Dept

Nature is the best, y’all! Especially when it’s not, you know, on fire. All our best to the firefighters along the west coast who are still working tirelessly to contain the wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington.

Lightbringer Tenth Anniversary: Ten Years of Fan Art

I love artists. I love working with them. I love seeing what they do in their own fields and being blown away by talents that are so different from my own. In fact, I’m often jealous of artists–especially so in the visual arts. With a writer, it might take hours of reading to know if they’re deeply skilled, much less gifted. With visual arts, it’s instant. No fair! But something I’d not considered before I started my own journey was how my work might inspire art.

Below is a list of ten (only ten?! how do I choose?) pieces of Lightbringer art I’ve particularly loved over the past ten years.

With great difficulty, I narrowed down my list to 27. Oops. So then I sought advice, and gave bonus points for things like work in a different medium, or a unique perspective. (There were enough awesome tattoos alone that I could have crowded this top ten with those!)

Artists, thank you for what you do. Everyone else? Enjoy!

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Idris Elba-inspired Ironfist, created by Tim Hoffman for the Nine Kings Card Giveaway. This was one of the few I saw with Ironfist in his ghotra. I love the intensity Tim captured here.

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Kip, by @avacairen in 2016. I always wanted Kip to be a visually striking figure. He’s a multi-ethnic kid who feels like an outsider, but by belonging to no particular satrapy, he somehow can belong to all of them. Here I see a Kip who’s finally–finally–coming into his own and becoming a force to be reckoned with.

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Andross the Red Nine Kings card by Shea Britton. I love the style of this one–and also love seeing young Andross. Look at that nice young man! He’s just got a world of possibilities before him.

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Kip v Kylar tattoo by Rob Zeinog, on Evan Ennis. Here, Evan and Rob edged out some other wonderful tattoos by having both Kip AND Kylar. Hey, play to the judge, right? Great work.

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alt="lightbringer_art_flyboy_elm" alt="lightbringer_the_mighty_blood_mirror"

Cruxer & Ben-Hadad by Oliver Elm, @flyboy_elm on Twitter. One of the joys of writing Lightbringer was getting to spend time with the Mighty. Watching them crack heads, crack jokes, and bust each others’… limitations was a joy. Love the attention to detail in this one, too.

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Nine Kings card by Elly, @elly_mii on Instagram. A deceptively simple style here, capturing the essential lines of the character while hinting at Orea Pullawr’s gravitas. Orea sees what you’re trying to get away with. It’s not going to work.

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Found on the Brent Weeks fan page on Instagram, @kylarguile; Mist Walker by @aryencyph. Given how Teia’s magic works and what it does to one’s eyes, it’s not easy to portray Teia using her power as being anything other than spooky. Aryencpyh captures a sensitivity–even a woundedness–here. Plus the art style is really different. Love it!

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Janus Borig by Cyndy, @reiyeka on Instagram. Cyndy has consistently done some of my favorite Lightbringer Art. I posted this one because Janus Borig is one of those characters that walked onto the page and stole my heart. I wish we could’ve spent more time together, but then I… ahem, well. Not ME. But, you know, someone did that thing that made it so she couldn’t.

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Possibly the oldest entry, this is Gavin by Xoujji and was posted in 2015. There are a lot of ways you could depict Gavin Guile. This captures some of the happy arrogance of the man early in the series. Ah, Gavin, you have such beautiful self-confidence. Be a shame if anything happened to it.

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You can contact us for the full PDF.

This is the first of the 14-page character sheet for playing a Drafter in D&D 5e. Dylan Rainville put this together by building upon a previous iteration in 2017.

I’m not certain if all the art is original–because there’s a LOT here, and it’s all really good–or if some of it is repurposed, but the adaptation that handily earned this one its place on the list is the incredible amount of work Dylan put in to translate a drafter into a playable D&D class. I haven’t play tested it myself, but this looks totally legit. Very, very impressive.

You can also check out another version of the Drafter character class (not as thorough as Dylan’s, but still interesting), posted to the D&D Wiki HERE.

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Artists, you’re amazing. You bring me and others joy by creating such beautiful, winsome, quirky, and original work. Keep bringing your visions to the rest of us. We need you.

Oh, and I’ll do my best to bring you new cool things to imagine in the next ten years.

THE BURNING WHITE is a Dragon Award Finalist

We have some fun news to share!

DragonCon logo with black background and red/orange flames

THE BURNING WHITE, which is now available in trade paperback, is a finalist in the 2020 Dragon Awards for Best Fantasy Novel (including Paranormal).

The Dragon Awards were established by Dragon*Con in 2016 as a pop culture award for outstanding works of speculative fiction in literature, movies, television, and gaming. They’re voted on by fandom, and winners are announced during the Saturday of each Dragon Con. This year the awards will be presented during the virtual Dragon Con on Saturday, September 5.

Click through HERE to register to vote for your favorites!

Dragon Award trophies

Lightbringer 10th Anniversary Extravaganza: Updates

Featuring covers from all 5 Lightbringer books

We have exciting news to share with all of you (and who doesn’t need a bit of good news right now?!) regarding the Lightbringer Series and THE BURNING WHITE.

Throughout the month of August, we will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of THE BLACK PRISM being unleashed upon the world, as well as the trade paperback release of THE BURNING WHITE–the stunning finale to the series.

THE BLACK PRISM ebook will be discounted to $2.99 through the end of the month. (This is Brent’s Amazon Affiliate link.) The trade paperback edition of THE BURNING WHITE is available now!

On release day (August 11), Brent was in conversation with the incomparable Joe Abercrombie, via Orbit Crowdcast. You can watch the replay on the home page.

Brent will ALSO embark on a virtual book tour via Crowdcast! He will be in conversation with more fantastic Orbit authors as follows:

Andrea G. Stewart, author of THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER
Friday, August 21 at 7pm PDT
Sponsored by Mysterious Galaxy
Register for the event on Crowdcast

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Django Wexler, author of ASHES OF THE SUN
Tuesday, August 25 at 6pm PDT
Sponsored by Powell’s Books
Register for the event on Crowdcast

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K.S. Villoso, author of THE WOLF OF OREN-YARO & THE IKESSAR FALCON
Tuesday, September 1 at 3pm PDT
Sponsored by Joseph-Beth Books
Register for the event on Crowdcast

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Evan Winter, author of THE RAGE OF DRAGONS & THE FIRES OF VENGEANCE
Wednesday, September 9 at 4pm PDT
Sponsored by Tubby & Coo’s
Register for the event on Crowdcast

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More information regarding these events will be shared as they become available. Some details are subject to change, so stay tuned.

Celebrate Gavin, Kip, Andross, and company with us!

May 24: THE BLACK PRISM is a Kindle Daily Deal

Amazon is offering THE BLACK PRISM as a Kindle Daily Deal for $2.99. A steal at twice the price! (This is also Brent’s affiliate link.)

This smokin’ hot deal won’t last long–open up that Amazon app and buy a copy–your brain will thank you.

Reasons to buy a(nother) copy of Lightbringer #1 for Kindle:

  1. You want to protect your [signed] hardback copy
  2. Your friend/parent/coworker/cousin/roommate/sibling borrowed it months ago & refuses to return it
  3. It’s your bookworm friend’s/parent’s/ coworker’s/cousin’s/roommate’s/sibling’s/partner’s birthday
  4. Someone you care about/random stranger asked for a book recommendation
  5. You’ve read Night Angel 500 times and need a new series to get into
  6. You want to read along while you listen to the dulcet tones of Simon Vance narrating the audiobook

You’re welcome!

Real Life Fantasy: Atasifusta IRL

WHOA.

A grove of Draceana cinnabari in Socotra, off the Yemeni coast.

That sums up what I have to say about these astonishing and beautiful trees. There are several different types of trees that produce a blood-red resin or sap, known colloquially as dragon’s blood–but it’ll look to Weeks fans like red luxin from the Atasifusta.

For those of you needing a refresher on the mythical tree from the Seven Satrapies, here’s a snippet from The Black Prism:

“…Each pillar was a full five paces thick— atasifusta, the widest trees in the world— and none narrowed perceptibly before reaching the ceiling. The wood was said to have been the gift of an Atashian king, five hundred years before. Even then it had been precious. Now they were extinct, the last grove cut down during the Prisms’ War.

Draceana draco in the Canary Islands

“…What made the atasifusta unique was that its sap had properties like concentrated red luxin. The trees took a hundred years to reach full size— these giants had been several hundreds of years old when they’d been cut. But after they reached maturity, holes could be drilled in the trunk, and if the tree was large enough, the sap would drain slowly enough to feed flames. These eight giants each bore a hundred twenty-seven holes, the number apparently significant once, but that significance lost. On first look, it appeared that the trees were aflame, but the flame was constant and never consumed the wood, which was ghostly ivory white aside from the blackened soot smudges above each flame hole. Gavin knew that the flames couldn’t be truly eternal, but after allegedly burning day and night for five hundred years, these atasifustas’ flames gave little indication of going out anytime soon. Perhaps the flames nearer the top were a little duller than those lower as the sap settled in the wood, but Gavin wouldn’t have bet on it.

“When the wood wasn’t mature, it made incredible firewood. A bundle that a man could carry in his arms would warm a small hut all winter. No wonder it was extinct.”

So we have, in summary, three primary species of dragon’s blood/Atasifusta trees that exist today.

There’s the Dracaena draco tree, native to the Canary Islands:

The Dracaena cinnabari tree, native to Socotra (an archipelago between Yemen and Somalia):

From an article in The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2013/11/the-galapagos-of-the-indian-ocean/100634/

This variety, native to Socotra, has a fascinating past, and an uncertain future. Just like Brent’s Atasifusta, these stunning trees are being threatened by human intervention. National Geographic (objectively the best periodical ever) has published a compelling article about the island, and the trees.

And finally we have the Croton lechleri, or sangre de drago, found primarily in Ecuador and Peru:

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It’s worth noting that sap from these trees has been used IRL for a long time as traditional medicine, as incense, and as a pigment; it is also sold by contemporary online retailers as ‘natural medicine.’ I found several images of trees that have endured scarring from humans collecting the resin.

It’s tough to say (at least for me) whether this is bad for the trees and/or harmful to their ecosystems at large. I mean, it looks pretty bad, right? But I also wrote this post while eating pancakes and maple syrup. So there’s that. We’d love to hear from anyone who knows more about these gorgeous plants!

Thanks for reading, everyone. Stay home and stay safe.

Fan Art Tuesday: The Blinding Knife

Just gonna get right to it today… Check out this 3-D printed version of the Blinding Knife:

This was created by fan Dylan Jacob, using a rendering that was designed by Ryan Ernst. Well done, guys–it looks great!

Dylan has more cool 3-D printed models in his Twitter feed, and Ryan has some super snazzy renderings on his website.

That’s all we’ve got for now, friends. Take care of yourselves, and please do stay home.

Real Life Fantasy: Microwaves and X-Rays

Greetings from the hermitage! In this edition of Real Life Fantasy, we’re taking a closer look at two contemporary machines that have some surprisingly Satrapied roots.

First we’re going to talk about the hardest working multitasker in your kitchen/dorm room, the microwave oven.

For most of us, microwaves are a fast, easy way to transform frozen comestibles into piping hot delectables. You put the dish in, push a couple buttons, wait for the pleasant *ding,* and viola! Dinner is served. Well, friends, we’re about to reveal the secret behind these magic boxes… It’s paryl luxin.

Restored antique schematic of an early microwave oven design.

Yep, scientists found a way to harness the energy from chunks of paryl luxin to safely and effectively heat food. They acquire the luxin shards from archaeologists, who sell the fragments to microwave manufacturers in order to fund other less lucrative but ultimately more profound digs in the Mediterranean.

YES! They finally brought back the Malleus Haereticorum button. That bitch Carol from work is going DOWN.

Second, we’re going to take a closer look at x-ray radiography, aka the x-ray machines used in medical offices and hospitals around the globe. The technology is remarkably similar to that of the microwave oven; a shard of chi luxin is activated electronically, the energy is projected through the object to be imaged, and the machine captures the chi ‘shadow’ onto an x-ray sensitive plate.

Original image by Blausen Medical Annotations by Mikael Häggström – By Blausen Medical., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58054654

I always wondered why my radiologist called herself The Keeper. I guess that explains it!

For those of you who can still draft and/or see in the chi spectrum, you’ll note in the image below the tiny shard of chi luxin hovering ominously between the anode and the cathode in the tube. Shives me the givers, y’all.

By Daniel Frost Comstock – Downloaded from Daniel Frost Comstock & Leonard T. Troland (1917) The Nature of Matter and Electricity: An Outline of Modern Views, D. Van Nostrand Co., New York, p.190, Plate 5 on Google Books, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3270127

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That’s all for this time; we’ll be back next week for Fan Art Tuesday. Everyone stay healthy and safe out there–stay home as much as possible, and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

With love from everyone on Team Weeks.