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Tor/Forge December 2009 Newsletter

In This Issue

EVE: The Empyrean Age by Tony Gonzales

EVE and the Human Story

By Tony Gonzales

Storytelling in novels is a unique dialog between authors and readers. When delivered well, the imagination is engaged on every page, as the audience is lured deeper into the tale and the world in which it takes place. The reader may become so immersed that he or she might wish to experience the setting more directly, if not become a part of its landscape and join the adventures of its characters.

This is the allure of novelizing games. The vision described by authors who write for established settings like EVE is not expressly their own. However, it is their own creativity which uses the lore to provide the game universe with more depth, and entices readers to join the virtual setting. Many fans of science fiction have imagined taking the helm of a powerful starship; the beauty of EVE is that it allows them to do just that.

EVE is a depiction of mankind tens of thousands of years in the future. In this setting, Earth is a forgotten memory, but there are no alien civilizations to distract us from confronting ourselves. It is only raw humanity and its grueling survival through the ages, with all of its triumphs and failures alike. Without question, EVE is a dark universe, yet there are glimmers of hope throughout. The writers thus focus on the human story—the timeless drama of heroes and villains, of good versus evil. They weave tales which speak of the corruptive vice of power and those who fall victim to its destructive influence; and they describe how justice is often a matter of perspective, wallowing in gray areas that are difficult to resolve.

People are what drive the story of EVE Online. This is evident in its novels, through characters that are refreshingly—and sometimes agonizingly—human; and in its players, who forge their own stories through bold actions within the game. It is a huge playground for both writers and gamers alike, and for the science fiction audience, a brave new world to explore.

The first tie-in novel from the EVE Online franchise, Eve: The Empyrean Age (0-7653-6390-9 / $7.99) is an August Mass Market paperback from Tor. Eve: The Burning Life (0-7653-2486-5 / $24.99) will release in hardcover in spring 2010. You can sign up for a free trial of EVE Online here.

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Now Available: EVE Online: Dominion

EVE Online: Dominion

Dominion represents the type of conquest never realized by pretty words and poetry. It is true power born from the broken hulls of a thousand starships, the genes of the ambitious and the hubris of the greedy. EVE’s 12th free expansion offers the power of control to anyone bold enough to seize it, bringing you the tools for you to rally legions together and carve out your own space. Learn more and see the trailer.

A new look for the Starscape edition of Ender’s Game

By Susan Chang, Senior Editor

Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardWhen we were choosing the books that would launch our Starscape imprint for middle grade readers in January of 2002, the number one pick on our list was the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. The protagonist is a brilliant child character, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, and from the fan mail we’ve gotten over the years since its initial publication in 1985, we knew that the book appealed to young readers. So, for the Starscape edition, we wanted to make the cover more attractive to a younger audience.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardTo create a new cover for one of the most beloved science fiction classics of all time was a daunting task. Our art director chose a talented artist named David Gaadt to illustrate a scene of Ender and his fellow trainees in the Battle Room. In print for eight years, the Starscape edition of Ender’s Game has been a huge success, selling hundreds of thousands of copies and introducing the books of Orson Scott Card to a whole new generation of readers.

In 2008, the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association chose Orson Scott Card as the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award, honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens, specifically citing Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow.  “Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow continually capture the imagination and interest of teens,” said committee chair Brenna Shanks. “The conflicts of self and society, on a personal level and on a universal stage, never lose relevance.”

Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardNow that we are approaching the 25th anniversary of the book’s publication, the time has come for a facelift. Here it is: the new cover for the Starscape edition of Ender’s Game, which will be available starting in December 2009 (978-0-7653-4229-4; $5.99/$6.99 CAN).

What do you think? Drop us a line and let us know.

Muse and Reverie by Charles de Lint

Newford Revisited

By Charles de Lint

The thing I enjoyed most about putting together my Muse & Reverie Newford collection was having the opportunity to revisit this setting and all these characters that are so dear to my heart.

I don’t reread my own work except for a situation such as this—or when I’m looking up a reference from an earlier story. But since I’ve taken a hiatus from Newford, that hasn’t happened for quite some time. These days I’ve been spending my writing time in the desert, running through the hills with a yellow dog, imagining the music of a band called Malo Malo (wish there were some way I could get my hands on a recording I could actually listen to), and worrying that my friends (err, I mean my characters) might get caught up in gang violence or picked up by the border patrol.

These wide-open spaces, with their dry heat and big sky, are a far cry from the urban sprawl of Newford. Which is probably why I’m there. I needed the change.

But it’s certainly been fun to visit with the old crowd again. It was like going back to a place I once worked, or the neighbourhood I used to live in, and realizing how much I missed these people.

In case you haven’t noticed, I should probably explain that I end up being very invested in the people I write about. I doubt I’m alone in this. I think most writers develop this sort of intense relationship with their characters. We’re aware that we’ve made them up, but they become individuals and close to us—because we spend so much time in their company. And it’s not just when we’re writing. Even when we’re not at the keyboard, the story goes on in our heads as we go through our days, the characters chatting away in the back of our heads.

Ellen Klages told me that she’s found herself coming home from yard sales with items that she knew a friend would like only to realize that this friend was a character in one of her books. I haven’t done that yet, but I have found myself in situations where I’d think Jilly or Geordie would love this and have to remind myself that they only exist in the pages of books and in my head.

It’s an odd thing. When we finish one book and start another, it really is like going from one workplace to another, with all new co-workers to fill up your days, and intriguing or interesting as these new people might be, you still find yourself missing your old friends.

The Newford stories exist largely because they were my opportunity to go back and catch up on the gossip of this repertory cast I’d met in that city. Sometimes they’d pop up as supporting characters in a novel, but often that simply wasn’t enough. I needed to find out more about what they were up to. So I’d write a story, like the ones collected in Muse & Reverie.

I haven’t written a Newford story in a good while now. Leaving Newford was a conscious choice I made to let myself explore different settings and meet new characters on the page. I’m having fun with that, but the old gang and their cool town will always hold a special place in my heart. Hopefully my readers will enjoy catching up on the Newford gossip as much as I have. And don’t fret too much…I still have enough uncollected stories for one more visit, so we’ll all meet there again sometime down the road.

Muse & Reverie (0-7653-2340-0; $25.99) by Charles de Lint releases from Tor this December 2009. Visit the author’s website at charlesdelint.com

 

Bones of the Dragon by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

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