Progress report, and thank-you

I’m on the last chapter of Tiassa, and I want to take a moment to thank Alexx Kay for his timeline, Mark Mandel for Cracks and Shards, and everyone who has been maintaining the Dragaera Wiki; these resources have been especially useful over the last couple of days.

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Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

0 thoughts on “Progress report, and thank-you”

  1. Given the tendancy for flashbacks – all of that is possible and plausible. I’m looking forward to the release Any word on a potential release date?

  2. Huzzah!! Not for release date in a year. But much joy and rapture for another book.

  3. And here I was just thinking how I haven’t had time to update Lyorn Records in ages. Glad to see others are keeping up. (majikjon I presume.)

    And a “woohoo” for a new book, too.

  4. Anything I can do to pay back for the years of wonderful stories is entirely my pleasure.

    Very glad to hear that the resources of the wiki are useful; and let me add my thanks to Alexx and MaM for their marvelous sites also.

    Waiting for Tiassa has me trembling in antici—

    (wait for it)


  5. Steve @ 2-4:

    Heh. Three separate interwoven timelines, eh? I hope it comes together okay. That certainly sheds light on some earlier comments made around here.

  6. Great job on the book. When you’re done please cc it to me for review and I’ll give you my thoughts.

    What?!? It’s worth a try.

  7. deebly indebted for the many hours of entertainment and thought, if only the morons in Hollywood could see the value in doing a Vlad.
    When will you start a Valabars Chain?

  8. Just want to throw this out there:
    My husband and I are re-reading through the series and we have both decided that Cawti and all of her actions during and after Teckla are irritating. More than irritating.

    I understand that there are reasons for her actions, but she just seems to ignore that fact that Vlad has thrown his life away FOR HER. He has the entire Jhereg after him now, including the Left hand, has been wandering destitue in the wilderness for years etc. etc. etc. and all she cares about is that her honor is impugned by having to be rescued from stupid situations she keeps putting herself into.

    AND, Vlad ISN’T pissed about the whole kid thing, which, if Aliera was there for the birth, then Morrolan and Sethra (obviously, as seen in Orca) were probably aware of as well.

    WHY does Vlad keep throwing himself into more and more trouble for this chick while she continually nonchalantlly kicks the metaphorical dirt in his face?

    ARGH. Ok. Done. Just wanted to get that off my chest. Still like Vlad, still love the books. Still extremely excited about what is next to come.

  9. Cait @16,
    It’s also possible that Vlad is far more put out than he admits in his role as narrator. On the other hand, just as we cannot entirely trust Vlad as a narrator of his own feelings, he may not fully understand (or fully relate) everything Cawti thinks or feels, or even expresses to him.

    Mind, you, I am inclined to agree with you about Cawti, but perhaps even that is part of the point: an ideology can blind someone to individuals; that certainly seems to be how Vlad sees it.

  10. Ah! Excellent points from both Dusty and jeff. Thanks for another viewpoint.

    I suppose another thought is that Vlad has changed. One of the characteristics of Jhegaala is metamorphosis. Perhaps one of the points of that particular novel was that Vlad has changed from the kind of guy who lets his anger get the best of him.

  11. LOL. Cait, I have had the same thoughts many a time. As a husband and a father, I just cannot fathom not being completely angered by the keeping the kid knowledge especially given the totality of the sacrifices he made for her.

    When I raised those issues on other threads, others raised points similar to those of Dusty and I mulled them over, but ultimately, I am with you.
    I will say, that my irritation with Cawti subsided significantly in Iorich. I think the fact that she seems to building Vlad up in the eyes of Vlad Norathar has a lot to do with that.

    Anyway – SKZB, I am happy to hear that you have worked through the difficulties you were having with the latest installment. I look forward to the day I can embark on the journey that will happen all too quick.

  12. Congrats, and like that, skzb. By the way, Brokedown Palace? Hegel. I knew it would come to me eventually, although it took a nudge from Mandel’s Jokes and Allusions list to get me there. And does anybody happen to know how often he checks his C&S e-mail? I don’t want to bother him with my list of Roger Zelazny series refs if he’s already decided that Hegel and the rest aren’t worth a response.

  13. Ed @ 15 – Don’t be silly. You can’t do Valabar’s as a chain. I don’t know any surer, faster route to turning a Platonic Ideal, the archetype for all inimitable restaurants, into a hollow shell however lucrative. I just enjoyed getting to dine there, in Dzur.

    Good news, re: Tiassa. I only just managed to lay hands on a copy of Iorich, and as of p. 114 am enjoying it a great deal. Vlad -has- changed, understandably, through his experiences in Jhegaala and since he aquired Lady Teldra as a great weapon.

    I am touched that Morrolan likewise calls Godslayer “Lady Teldra”. The bit I have seen of Morrolan and of Sethra so far have been satisfying but bittersweet. It may even be possible for Steve to show me an Aliera I don’t want to slap, here, but I am not holding my breath. ; )

    (Never understood people who were strongly anti-Cawti, but don’t mind Aliera one bit. But if we all liked the same thing, it would be a dull world.)

  14. Dan’l@22

    Maybe it’s easier to be mad at Cawti because she’s being a jerk toward our hero, while Aliera is a jerk towards everyone.

    Also, I think I really want to like Cawti, while Aliera is just a jerk to everyone. :-)

    One more thought. Even though Aliera is a jerk, she won’t hesitate to swoop in and save the day, or Vlad.

  15. skzb- I think it’s both frightening and an honor that you trust your fans enough to use their collected knowledge as a resource on your own writing.

    everyone talking about Cawti- I want to point out that I think Cawti didn’t want Vlad to know about V.N. because she wanted to protect him from the need to see his own kid. The end of Iorich supports my thinking, I think. Cawti may have her differences with Vlad, but she still has feelings for him, and it’s obvious that he loves her.

  16. I thought that the Vlad & Cawti scenes in Iorich were excellent, and show credible, human emotion between two fiercely independent people, who have loved and still love deeply, without having had an easy time of it.

    Actually, having finished Iorich, I come to the conclusion that Steve, unlike fantasy authors who start a series, build a rep, then mail it in, is actually improving still at this writing thing.

    These books just keep getting better. I am very much looking forward to Tiassa.

  17. I have to say, I love that you’re using the wiki for fact-checking. Last fall, I plowed through the books of Joel Rosenberg’s “Guardians of the Flame” series over the course of a month, and noticed little inconsistencies… perfectly reasonable when you’re dealing with ten books written over twenty years, but annoying when you plow through them in a short time.

    Given how anal-retentive fans tend to be, it gives me a happy.

  18. NoRaD @25

    In addition to the fact that Vlad would be in danger visiting her and VN they too would be put in danger by his visit. So she is also protecting her son by withholding the knowledge.

  19. Dan’l@ 22

    For me, I see Aliera as consistent. She is not likable, but she’s no hypocrite. Cawti, on the other hand murders without conscience and then has the audacity to judge Vlad months after she has had a conversion of thought that she didn’t bother to share with her husband.

    Norad @ 24
    I have a hard time ascribing any nobility to Cawti’s deception on Vlad Norathar. She had to have been with child during the events of Phoenix, which meant that she was willing to rot in a dungeon while Vlad was throwing away all that he had for her. As a matter of simple respect, he should have been given the knowledge that he was also saving his yet to be born son. Seems to me this was more of a matter of self-interest, as it would have been harder to justify her position in Phoenix and as Jason sbf points out above, is really about protecting VN from Vlad (and Jhereg trouble that follows him). Maybe there was selflessness to it, but that wasn’t my impression.

    Dan’l @ 25

    I couldn’t agree more with the totality of this post. It is Iorich that made me warm back up to Cawti and those scenes in particular. Especially when VN asks Vlad why people want to kill him and Cawti immediately answers “Because he was saving my life”. That was the first time I can recall her acknowledging the fact in a tone that wasn’t anger. Also concur about SKZB not mailing it in, the way, say Stephen King has. Each Vlad installment shows growth and it is fun to participate in it, even if it is from the view of the audience.

  20. First off, thanks skzb for all the countless hours
    of entertainment. Thanks to the C&S guys too. I have some high hopes for tiassa despite the knowlegde that it’s supposed to ‘piss off the readers” (or maybe even because of it). Keep the literary gold comin skzb and my best to you and Reesa.

    Now, on to business. In regards to the cawti debate, I was under the impression that vlad had at least partially aware of VN. I draw this (as has been pointed out elsewhere in these forums) mainly from the scene in pheonix (?) in which vlad asks loiosh if rocza is pregnant. Loiosh answers that she is picking up on cawti’s mood. Vlad has an “oh” moment followed immediatly by another “oh” moment which I personally took to be his realization that cawti was pregnant. Jugding by vlads inconsistent narration when it comes to personal emotion, and the amount of silent tension between vlad and cawti in that book, it would not surprise me if vlad did in fact know his wife was carrying his child. In fact, it might have been a driving factor as to why he willingly ruined his life for a woman that wanted no help to begin with. Whether the conversation about VN was ever held out loud between the struggling couple is debateable, but it is highly unlikely considering vlads incredibly quick wit and intelligence that he would miss such a large detail. So the argument that cawti was hiding it for which ever reason, I personally view as moot, because for te last quarter or so of the book I read under the assumption that vlad was aware of the situation and just did not tell us. I could be wrong on all this and probably got some facts mixed ip but that’s my take on this.

  21. My problem with Cawti is this.

    Before I fell in love with the series and read them all several times and in a variety of orders (published, chronological, chronological-pedantic [includes reading Taltos as 3 totally separate books and in different places in the storyline], all-but-the-Cawti-pain-ones [pretend that Teckla, Phoenix, Athyra, Orca, and Jhegaala completely fail to exist], …), I read them for the first time in published order, from Jhereg through Phoenix (because that’s where I “caught up” and have been waiting patiently for The Writer In Question to write and release ever since).

    And for two books, the relationship was just about perfect. Waking up every morning next to the person you love most in the world, knowing that you two will help each other through thick and thin in a world of strangers… I’m not saying it well, but it was wonderful. As much as the wisecracks and fast reflexes, it’s the relationship between Vlad and Cawti that hooked me on SKZB’s writing.

    Teckla’s prologue was awesome. The Laundry list. Even when I read the series as “Teckla, etc. don’t exist”, I often read the prologue of Teckla just because “Verra, may the water on thy tongue turn to ash, that should have been the end of it” (I hope I remembered that quote properly enough).

    By the end of the third chapter or so (can’t remember — Teckla is still one of my least-read of the series), I threw the book across the room. I mean, seriously. My world was rocked, and although Taltos extended an olive branch (without its break from the pain, I would have probably stopped reading the series), Phoenix took my guts, previously torn out and tossed on the ground my Teckla, and stomped them. That so many pivotal plot points happen in Phoenix that it must be re-read to really understand all that which follows only makes it worse. No future in it.

    Forget Vlad. Cawti betrayed *me*. I trusted her. Fell in love with how she fit into Vlad’s life. And then she dumped us. I didn’t want to know that.

    As for Aliera, she’s a jerk. But she’s a Dragon. All Dragons are jerks. As near as I can tell, it’s their defining characteristic. Plus she’s an e’Kieron, which is a bit snooty if you ask me, and Adron’s daughter. I mean, seriously, try living *that* down. Aliera is who I would expect her to be. I love that she pulls off “jerk” in a way that does not make one want to knife her.

    OK, now I want to go read Yendi again.

  22. Cawti has fallen for the idealistic political attitudes expressed in the writings upon which the “movement” is based. Because of this, she is confused about her own role in the world, and therefore about how to deal with her feelings about Vlad. Apparently she still has enough respect and – shall I say it? – love for him that she does teach Vlad Norathar to like and respect his father.

    Aliera is not confused at all about her political beliefs, whatever they may be. She loves only one person, and that is Aliera. (What about Mario? I dunno – maybe just a “crush” or fascination because of his savoir faire and his profession.) She is arrogant, overbearing, and self-centered. She respects Morrolan and Sethra, among others, including perhaps even Vlad to some degree. Still, though, there is no question or doubt in her mind about who is right on any question that may arise: she is, of course!

    No, I don’t like the way Cawti’s treating Vlad, and I wish she’d get her mind straight. I really think she wants to, but she’s so tangled up in her mind that she keeps getting her emotional relationships mixed up with her political beliefs.

    Damn – I wonder – is she blond?

  23. Great to hear an update about Tiassa. Late to the game, but not too late.

    Regarding the Cawti discussion, if I may chime in. I felt much the way many readers have felt – sad, betrayed, angry, some more sad. However, where I am right now is understanding.

    While the politics is what first drove a wedge between them, what really seems to be the real reason for the prolonged separation is simply that Vlad’s an assassin. That Cawti was an assassin makes it a bigger deal. It’s not that she doesn’t understand him or why he does it – she understands better than anyone else, and that’s why she can’t be with him.

    It’s a dangerous profession. Not just for him, but for anyone around him. It’s not just the Jhereg, who have rules they play by to reduce collateral damage. It’s more about the many dozens (hundreds?) of powerful people Vlad has lethally pissed off. They don’t have rules. They have no problem obliterating the whole BLOCK where Vlad is, if they can, in order to get him.

    Think about it this way: what if Vlad wasn’t an assassin, but a meth addict? Maybe Cawti was a tweaker, too, but quit. He’s still charming, he still loves her, and she him, but while he’s still “using” he doesn’t belong anywhere near her, or anywhere near their child.

    That’s how I think about it. So while I root for Vlad every time he puts a sharp object into the left eye of an a-hole who totally deserves it, I also think about the space it puts between him and Cawti. Every shine widens that gap.

  24. I am busily rereading all the Dragaeran books again, this time in chronological order. It is an imaginative and wonderful world that you have built, Steve. I love the mild escape it brings to visit now and again.

    “Lord of Castle Black”: Hilarious!

    Thanks again.

    Any chance of another Paarfi book down the line?

  25. I just have to say, while I claim to be a fan of Vlad, I must be a rather pathetic one to have not known there is a new book coming out. The only reason I even noticed this page is because I’m in the middle of re-reading the series for what feels like the hundredth time at least. These books are definitely in my top five beloved series list.

    Seeing this page made me ecstatic, and now I’m prepared make a calendar dedicated to counting down the days till the release date amazon has up (even if it’s wrong).

  26. I love how polarized people get about Cawti. I don’t mean that in a particularly judgemental way … I’m finding it interesting to read the strong opinions people have been posting here.
    Human relationships really are complicated, layered, multi-faceted, joyous & painful … seems like Steve has managed to get that right, whether we all like the way he’s done it or not.

  27. I think Verra has been messing with all of your guys memories and nobody knows whats really going on here…not even our beloved creator…next bottle of brandy is on me….Cheers!

  28. Geez. I can’t post the link or something to the pdf with the blurb in it, but I posted a link in an earlier comment…

    Ok, Google Tiassa blurb, scroll to fifth link down: “The books we are expecting in 2001”, near the end of the page is a post by Jussi that posts the blurb and links to a pdf of future Tor releases. In the pdf, look for april 2011 to see for yourself.

    There must be some restriction here on posting links or posting links to files (the pdf). Or why are only some of my comments posting?

    Anyway, Jussi’s post was in August! Dang. Well, this is exciting. We might need a topic to discuss the book Steve, now that we know what it’s about.

  29. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

    Need more VLAD!!!

    Articulate, ain’t I?

  30. Thanks for the link Billy! I am in the process of re-reading the Paarfi books, and I often find myself wondering if (a) Vlad was going to interact with Khaavren at some point (significantly, they had a brief interaction in either Teckla or Phoenix…can’t remember which one off hand) and (b) how much (if any) of the Khaavren romances Vlad has read. He makes reference to reading Paarfi, but not any specific work and Phoenix Guards would have been in publication during Vlad’s life. Whether he has read Five Hundred Years After all depends on when the cycle turns, which one is led to believe will occur soon, since Zerika has seemed to imply in her conversations with Vlad that she was close to abdicating & she installed the Heir as Warlord (if only briefly). Unless Vlad figures a way to extend his life the way Laszlo has, he won’t be alive to read the Viscount of Adrilanhka.

    I am very excited for the next Vlad installment, and of course, I will read it too fast and be pissed with myself for doing so.

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