Looking Through the Palantir: April 1st



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.

If you’re looking to delve deeper into the sci-fi genre, be sure to check out this great article listing some of the authors who have done stellar work in science fiction, but perhaps are less heralded. What separates an author from fame and obscurity is razor thin, but that seems to be the case even more in sci-fi/fantasy (I have no empirical evidence for this, it just seems to be true, probably because once a book reaches the zenith of a particular category, similar titles are often dismissed as derivative). If you’re looking to push past the same “top 10” lists, this is a great place to start.

Last week, David Trampier passed away. He was a writer and artist probably most known for his cover illustrations for the original Dungeons and Dragons books. Here’s a great essay about Trampier, and the impact he had on one writer. Anyone who grew up playing D&D will have a hard time forgetting the first time you saw Trampier’s artwork and how much that contributed to the desire to pick up those amazing books and start playing.

Finally,news that the planned movie adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be a trilogy of films. The book, an actual text within Harry Potter , was published as a mock textbook in 2001. It follows the wizard Newt Scamander traveling the world categorizing monsters and creatures. Again the trilogizing (totally a word) trend rears its ugly head, but we’re talking about the Harry Potter franchise here, so in this case it actually makes some sense. I for one look forward to seeing wizard Charles Darwin.

On to the new releases this week:

New on sale is Lynn Flewelling’s Shards of Time. This is the final novel in the famed Nightrunner fantasy series, that began all the way back in 1996 with Luck in Shadows. Nightrunners are a hybrid thief/spy/rogue occupation and the series follows the adventures of Alex and Seregil. Any opportunity to spend more time with Alec and Seregil is one worth taking, as is Flewelling’s almost lyrical approach to the prose. The series also is a stand out for it’s exploration of LGBT themes, providing an expanded voice in the genre.

Also, new in paperback is Tim Lebbon’s Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void. A unique entry in the world of Star Wars books. Lebbon, a first time Star Wars author, tells an early story of the Je’daii Order, before the split into Jedi and Sith. If you’ve been looking for a different voice in the world of Star Wars or have always been fascinated about the early years of the Force and the Jedi, this book is a must purchase.

Until next time, enjoy April Fool’s Day everyone. Just remember, don’t believe everything that you read on the Internet, except for the stuff in this recap. You can totally believe everything I write. I am Batman.

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 intern and apprentice to the Del Rey and Star Wars Books team under the guise of Darth Internous.