Welcome to Looking Through the Palantir, a weekly recap where I bring you the latest news, features, releases and more from the realm of science fiction/fantasy. So cozy on up to your favorite seeing-stone and check out this week’s divinations.
A big week of news, features and most importantly, book releases. Lots to be excited about so let’s get right to it.
If you missed the Phoenix Comic Con, here’s a really great panel talking about the various magic systems that exist in fantasy and how authors approach using magic. Featuring authors like Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Butcher, and Sam Sykes, it’s a fascinating breakdown that’s a must view for anyone interested in learning more about how magic impacts storytelling, or looking to write their own.
Meanwhile, over on TOR, author Brian Sanderson did an extensive Q&A on The Way of Kings. Fans submitted questions so he covers a ton of topics, and it’s definitely got some unintentional spoiler potential if you haven’t read the book yet (tell me, what exactly have you been doing?) It’s a great interview and the perfect complement if you’re working through your first re-read of the book…or maybe like your fourth…okay fifth. Don’t judge.
It’s a big week, as we’ve got three great titles releasing today. First up is Rogues a compilation edited by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin and featuring new original stories by the likes of Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Patrick Rothfuss, and Martin himself! It’s a pretty incredible line up of fantasy authors all putting their twist on the story of a rogue.
Next up, from Harry Turtledove comes Two Fronts, Book 5 in the War That Came Early series. The foremost author of speculative historical fiction, Turtledove’s examination of how different World War II could have been if only for a few small decisions, continues. The true mastery of Turtledove’s writing is how effortlessly he builds detail into a world built on speculative history and doesn’t look sight of the impact of the war on average citizens, even as the strategic machinations of entire nations unfold.
Last, but certainly not least, the waiting is over as Kevin Hearne returns with the seventh book in the Iron Druid Chronicles: Shattered. Since the beginning the Iron Druid Chronicles has been one of my favorite series – the perfect blend of comedy, pop culture, mythology and action. Also, who doesn’t dream of having a telepathic link to their dog? With each book Hearne grows the series, ups the stakes and introduces a greater pantheon of gods. And after six books of hearing Atticus talk about his great teacher, we finally get to meet the man that made Atticus the Druid he is today. Still not excited? Well, Shattered also marks the first time the series is available in hardcover.
So what are you still doing here? We’ve all got plenty of reading to do, and with Game of Thrones ending it’s season last Sunday, there are no excuses. Just make sure to stock up on snacks. Might I suggest lemon cakes or sausages?
Tom Hoeler is a freelance writer and editor who spends his time collecting stories,felling dragons, scrambling over the rooftops of Gotham, and cooking up delicious food. He serves as the eternal intern and apprentice to the Del Rey and Star Wars Books team under the guise of Darth Internous.