Looking Through the Palantir: July 8th



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.

The week after a major holiday weekend is often slow and boring. But not this time! Plenty of awesome new tidbits to pass along, starting with an unofficial holiday of sorts.

The latest edition of the famous role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) saw it’s first bit of new material released last week, hooray! In honor of that, here’s a fascinating read about the D&D Dragonlance novels, and how they shaped not only the publishing of D&D novels, but the legacy of the game as well. If you’re unfamiliar, the Dragonlance novels are well known as books that were based off the actual gaming adventures of the authors. Also, they feature lots of dragons (spoiler!).

Author James S.A. Corey, who penned Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves, recently stopped by for a chat at Google. James S.A. Corey is actually the pen name for two authors, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.In the conversation they touch on many aspects of writing sci-fi, with a big emphasis on world building. Must watch interview for anyone into making their own sandboxes to write or play in. Check it out here.

New Releases

Only one notable release this week, but it’s from the legendary Terry Brooks, so it kind of deserves it’s own space. The High Druid’s Blade: The Defenders of Shannara is out today. The first in the Defenders of Shannara series, it’s a stand alone novel set 100 years after the events of the High Druid of Shannara. While all that sounds daunting, the book is indeed a stand alone tale, so if you haven’t jumped into the world of Terry Brooks to this point, High Druid’s Blade should be a nice entry point.

Brooks is a must read for anyone looking to round out their sci-fi/fantasy bona fides, but also for any aspiring writer who has designs on world building their own fantasy playground. It’s one thing to build up a massive world with all your own twists on the genre. It is quite another to do it so compellingly that you can publish 26 books about it over the course of nearly 40 years, with more planned in the future.

Next week can only be described as substantial in terms of new releases. So, let’s all break, go grab a few snacks and we’ll meet back here in seven days, okay? Someone remember to bring guacamole and chips.

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.