Friday, October 26, 2007


Got an email from Stephen R. Donaldson a few weeks ago, replying to a question sent to his Gradual Interview page on his site; he let me know that his touring schedule in the UK will mean he isn't coming to this year's World Fantasy Convention.

I'm bumming.

Not just that I was looking forward to hearing him read a bit from Fatal Revenant, the new Covenant book, or that I wanted another autograph (he's signed my first edition Covenant books and Runes of the Earth for me... I think).

No, it's mostly that I was looking forward to saying "thanks!" for returning to the Land and Covenant. It took me two or three times to dig into Lord Foul's Bane. I was a dedicated Tolkienite; Donaldson's work threw me hard, being the first epic fantasy I'd read that didn't derive a lot of its... well, everything from Tolkien. It went to new places. The dynamic wasn't good vs evil, it was health vs illness; wow, not even a "near hit" like Moorcock's Law/Chaos! It was an entirely new paradigm.

And frankly, Covenant was a bastard. That threw me hardest of all. How many people had trouble getting past page 81 (IIRC) in LFB? I did. The fact that he was a suffering bastard and his arc was about redemption was tough going for my 13-year old brain.

Now here I am, 30 years later, and my wife and I have white gold wedding rings because of SRD. He heard about that, too, at WFC in Madison back in '05. He got a laugh out of it and said, "Don't blame me if something happens!"

Well, I won't see him this time around but I hope he'll be at whatever future WFC we go to-- you have to say thanks when you have the chance, you know?

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