For those of you who missed our fantastic $1.99 deal for Way of Shadows, Orbit has come back with an (almost as good) bargain: The Way of Shadows e-book is available for just $2.99 on all e-book platforms! And this deal lasts all month. The bargain ends October 31.
Due to the Gallic genius of Bragelonne (and the generous cooperation of my English-language publisher, Orbit — thank you Alex!), the color quiz that I originally wrote to describe a little bit about the world of The Seven Satrapies and the magic users who inhabit it is now live in French.
Bragelonne has translated and coded anew the quiz here. If you enjoy it, please “like” the Facebook page for both The Black Prism and Bragelonne, and be on the lookout for Le Prisme noir, coming in October!
The mass market paperback of The Black Prism released this week, and in addition to having a nicely reworked map, the paperback also has a sneak peek into the forthcoming second book of The Lightbringer Trilogy, The Blinding Knife.
I didn’t want the people who bought the hardcover to be left out, so I’ve successfully lobbied Orbit to give us the rights to post the first three chapters of The Blinding Knife here. You can also access it under the “Extras” tab from the main page.
(I should note that The Blinding Knife is slated for a September 2012 release, and that these chapters may see significant revisions between now and then. But if you don’t mind seeing scenes that are hot off the presses, and maybe a smidge rough, please click over here.)
I’m happy to announce that the book trailer for The Black Prism is now available! Many thanks to director Leo Kei Angelos, the Orbit team, and the hardworking cast and crew. Go here to watch it now or click the banner above. Hope you love it!
To celebrate the mass market paperback launch of The Black Prism on August 23, Orbit and I teamed up with talented filmmaker Leo Kei Angelos to make what I think is the coolest book trailer you will see this year.
“Book trailer?!” you might be saying. “You mean those pale imitations of movie trailers? Except without the budget or creativity? No thanks.”
My thoughts exactly.
Then I saw a couple of the cool things Leo has done. In the last two months we’ve worked closely together, and Leo has made some magic. The first 14-second teaser was released on Friday on the Black Prism Fan Page on Facebook. A couple more teasers will be released in the next week, along with a few other goodies, and the full two-minute trailer will be up on the 23rd. And my huge thanks to the cast and crew who poured so much passion into this. (Amazing how much work it is to make two minutes, huh?)
This month in my Writing Advice Update, I discuss one of the most important subjects in fantasy: creating your own magic system. Along the way, I discuss working with a high-magic versus low-magic worlds, magic and technology, well-defined and ill-defined magics and the benefits of each, and what kinds of questions you need to ask yourself while you’re creating your system if you want to be rigorous.
And thanks for your patience in this slightly delayed post — as I mentioned earlier, we had a couple big posts earlier this week, and I’ve just finished the first draft of The Lightbringer Trilogy #2 yesterday! It’s called The Blinding Knife and will be out in September 2012 (ish). Now I get the joy of editing for the next few months, and then Orbit begins work on production.
Hope you enjoy the writing advice update!
Today Orbit has unveiled the cover art and announced the release date for Perfect Shadow. (Hint: June!) You can check out their full post here. We’ve been working hard to make this available to all my fans simultaneously (see, Australia, I’m not forgettin’ you guys) and found out that if we pull it off, this will be the first *ever* simultaneous international e-book release. So my kudos to Orbit for being on the forefront of electronic publishing. (We’re not betting the farm yet that every international vendor will have it up on their servers on June 1, but we’re trying!)
I’m also delighted to announce that Orbit is doing an unabridged audiobook version available for digital download voiced by the incredible James Langton. (You can hear more samples of his work here.) I’ve spoken with James about the work, and he brings a deep experience and keen understanding to this project. The audio book will be available on the same launch date.
*Update* We’ll post the pre-order page for the audio editions–and for all international editions–as soon as those come online. This is publishing happening in overdrive here, and when dealing with multiple online sellers in multiple countries (each with their own laws, taxes, etcetera) and in very different time zones, there are a lot of moving parts.
It is with great pleasure I announce my new novella, Perfect Shadow, featuring Durzo Blint. Here’s the blurb:
The Foul, Unnatural Murder of Gaelan Starfire & the Birth of Durzo Blint
“I got a bit of prophecy,” the old assassin said. “Not enough to be useful, you know. Just glimpses. My wife dead, things like that to keep me up late at night. I had this vision that I was going to be killed by forty men, all at once. But now that you’re here, I see they’re just you. Durzo Blint.”
Durzo Blint? Gaelan had never even heard the name.
Gaelan Starfire is a farmer now, happy to be a husband and a father; a careful, quiet, simple man. He’s also an immortal, peerless in the arts of war. Over the centuries, he’s worn many faces to hide his gift, but he is a man ill-fit for obscurity, and all too often he’s become a hero, his very names passing into legend: Acaelus Thorne, Yric the Black, Hrothan Steelbender, Tal Drakkan, Rebus Nimble.
But when Gaelan must take a job hunting down the world’s finest assassins for the beautiful courtesan-and-crimelord Gwinvere Kirena, what he finds may destroy everything he’s ever believed in.
I’ve had a lot of fans ask for more about Durzo Blint, and much as I love Durzo and as intimately as I know his story, I’ve always resisted. The story’s dark and gritty–and I’m in the middle of a completely different trilogy right now! My brain is full!
But finally I could hold out no longer. Perfect Shadow is the story of how an idealistic hero became Durzo Blint. I had intended to dash off a short story quickly and move on, but I became deeply enrapt with the story, revisiting Durzo and Momma K and the ka’kari and even more minor characters like Scarred Wrable. Not surprisingly, my quick “short story” swelled to a long short story, then a novelette, and finally it bumped right against that novella demarcation–with enough plot and subplot that I seriously considered making the whole thing a novel.
Instead, I’ve kept it a novella, because I want every word to tell. I want to reward re-reading, and I think this story does that. Perfect Shadow does, I think, all I hoped for it to do: 1) gives fans another dose of a great character, 2) allowed me to experiment and stretch myself as a storyteller, 3) gives a ton of Easter eggs for the attentive fans who’ve read and re-read the Night Angel books, and 4) advances the main stories that I didn’t wrap up at the end of the Night Angel trilogy and to which I shall return after the Lightbringer Trilogy. If you can’t tell, I’m really proud of how it turned out.
I’m also excited about how we’re releasing this book. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be able to give more details, but here’s what I can tell you now: Orbit will be releasing Perfect Shadow for all major ebook platforms in June for a mere $2.99.
And for all collectors, I’m very pleased to announce that Perfect Shadow will also be coming in a limited print run special edition from Subterranean Press, signed and numbered by me. Subterranean Press is taking pre-orders now!
*UPDATE: a note of explanation*
I see that there’s been some confusion, some excitement, and even a bit of outrage, strangely enough, about the above. Publishing in ebook only is unusual, so I wanted to explain how I decided to do that. Some people seem to think I’m holding the story hostage or something, and my intent is exactly the opposite.
I knew the story I wanted to tell in Perfect Shadow, and I wrote it exactly as long as it needed to be to tell the story as well as I could, and that is 17,000 words–which is too long to publish in the magazines that do SFF short stories (usually, they top out at 7,500), and it’s too short to be published as a novel. If I had wanted to cash in and exploit you, I would have filled the story with fluff and published it as a novel. But I believe I should always publish only the best I am capable of, so my choices were to cut half the story and publish it as a short story or to wait a number of years, write some more novellas, and publish it in a collection.
I chose a third option: to publish the story electronically. I know from looking at the numbers that a large number of my fans do have e-readers, so this was by far the best way to get out my story to the largest number of fans inexpensively, without making artistic sacrifices that I wasn’t willing to make, or ripping you off.
If I can, I will make the story available other ways in the future, too. And I will announce those when and if they happen. I love the story, and I want to share it with you. So please don’t impute bad motives where none exist–we’re all doing our best in a rapidly changing market!
* UPDATE 2: ‘limited’ vs ‘lettered’ & what are the limits of ‘limited’, anyway?
I’ve had questions about what ‘limited’ means and what ‘lettered’ means. The limited edition novella will be leather-bound, signed by me, and numbered 1 to 1,500. It may have interior illustrations as well. No artist for those or cover artist has been signed yet. The lettered edition is A-Z, and is very expensive, for the super-enthusiasts out there. This will be bound in different leather, have different and more elaborate foil stamping, have a leather traycase, may have more interior illustrations, and will of course be signed. Subterranean has always had the rights to make the lettered edition, but they overlooked that when they put up their initial post announcing the acquisition. I’m sure they would have corrected it once they put up the full post with cover art, and pictures, and more details.
The next thing is something you have every right to be ticked off about. Subterranean is well on its way to selling out of the limited edition–before they even have cover art or anything. In other similar cases they’ve encountered, they find their books on eBay on the day after publication sometimes for four times the list price. So they asked me if they could increase the print run from 1,000 to 1,500. I said yes. If you’re buying this book purely to profit, I’ve just diluted your stock price–and I understand if you’re mad at me for that. If you want a refund, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and get it. But against the interests of investors who want to sell the book on eBay, I was thinking of fans who just want to get the book. If they sell out ridiculously early, some fans aren’t going to be able to buy it at all. I mean, heck, the limited edition already IS expensive without someone’s eBay markup. I also understand that a person can be a fan and also an investor… so again, if you’re mad, I’m sorry, and please feel free to ask for a refund. I do my best to write great stories, but I don’t always get things exactly right, and I do my best to balance the interests of my fans and those I do business with, and if I don’t always get things exactly right here either, that doesn’t surprise me too much. An apology and a refund is the best I can do for you.
Wish you could see high-resolution, full-page version of the maps in my books? Frustrated with the resolution on your Kindle or other electronic paraphrenalia? Wish for an excuse to pull out your iPad at random gatherings and show everyone how cool you are? Well, wish no more — we now have maa-aaps! Thanks to the hard work of the folks at Orbit, they’ve provided us glorious, high-resolution maps of both The Night Angel Trilogy and The Black Prism. Check out Midcyru here, and The Seven Satrapies here. Or you can follow the links from my Extras page here.
And now comes the terrifying time when I start to hear from reviewers–who often read differently than fans. Gulp. Here we go…
Grasping for the Wind says, “When I expected [Weeks] to zig, he zagged, and when I expected a character to be a certain type of person, Weeks would throw me for a loop…. Weeks has written an epic fantasy unlike any of its contemporaries. It is a truly visionary and original work, and has set the bar high.” Oh, hey, that wasn’t too bad.
Fantasy Book Review says, “‘The Black Prism’ is first and foremost a novel with tremendous narrative energy. It just grabs you and never lets go…. I am still awed at how Mr. Weeks infuses the story with so much vigor, while keeping quite a few balls in the air and never slipping a bit…. There are dramatic twists and turns and scenes that will just floor you….[and] The world building is superlative.” Yeah, definitely, I’ll take that!
But you know you’re in trouble when The Onion reviews you. “His prose rings like crystal; his dialogue is witty, chatty, and brisk; and his pacing is frictionless, even when he’s embedding convoluted exposition into action scenes… The narrative flies along…” No, no, wait! Don’t go! He didn’t actually like it. There’s a critical art called “damning with faint praise.” Check this out; it’s awesome: “Weeks does deserve props for his oh-so-slight deviation from the fantasy formula, not to mention his lively, engaging storytelling.”
This is what it is to be a writer: one review says “truly visionary and original” the next says, “oh-so-slight deviation.” Is there cognitive dissonance in this job? Oh yes.
I will be posting links to pretty much every review, good and bad, on the review page. The next time you see me, either my skin will be thicker, or my head will be. Thanks to all the reviewers for taking the time to read and write your reviews.
A couple more reviews have rolled in before I head out on book tour.
WordTipping has more of an analysis than purely a review, dissecting what makes my books tick. Although I’m definitely quoting that bit about “flat out great storytelling” and “the best male writer of female characters I’ve ever read.”
Janicu’s Book Blog also gave me such a nice review that I’m going to have to restrain myself from pulling too lengthy of a quote from it. (Ahem) She found the female characters “spot on…the world building unique and better than Weeks’ last series, and the twists and turns addictive.” It was “jam packed with epic goodness.”
The reviews are coming in faster now, so after this round, they’ll go straight to the REVIEWS page of my website. I take a pretty laissez-faire approach to reviews: I’ll post good and bad so long as they appear to be from book-focused blogs or review sites. I don’t post reviews that spring spoilers on you without warning. I always include links so you can see the whole review if you wish.
Civilian Reader gives it a “very highly recommended,” saying, “The dialogue is great (witty, intelligent, brisk); his characters are complex, realistic, and likeable; and the story is highly imaginative and original… this is brilliant, epic fantasy.”
The Bookbag (which was a little tough on the Night Angel Trilogy), says The Black Prism “is an excellent start to what promises to be a superb trilogy. Highly recommended.” “The size of ‘The Black Prism’ is only indicative of the huge imagination Weeks has.”
The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf and Book Review says, “Weeks managed to surprise me again and again with the depth [his characters] have. His greatest strength to date has been hiding secrets in plain sight yet still making them difficult enough to decipher that you have to laugh at yourself for not realizing the truth.”
Alternative Worlds calls The Black Prism “an exhilarating thriller…. Fast-paced and character-driven.”
The Falcata Times asks, “Is [Weeks] a one world, one series author and [will] his next project expand on his creativity? What unfurls is a rich new tapestry… Great stuff.”
Got Schephs gives it a 9/10, noting “the trademark humor…great characters…The fight scenes are some of the best I’ve ever read…. Ultimately, this book takes it to another level that even the NAT [Night Angel Trilogy] didn’t reach.”
LEC Book Reviews says “It establishes a thrilling world, fascinating magic system, and satisfying engaging characters.”
The King of the Nerds praises The Black Prism for having “extraordinarily entertaining characters absolutely bubbling over with vitality.”