For the holidays this year, I thought I’d post a short story for you all. In fact, I’m posting “Defending Elysium,” which I generally regard as the best short story I’ve ever written. Now, that’s not saying a whole lot, as I’m a novelist. That’s the form I’ve practiced, and writing short stories is a very different art. I’m constantly in awe of what great short story writers (like my friend Eric James Stone) can do with just a few pages.
You’ll note that even this “short” story is actually more of a novelette. It even has several different character viewpoints and two or three sub-plots to go along with the main storyline and the main thematic elements. (I can’t compress my thoughts any farther. I guess I’m just a novelist at heart.) Also, note that if you’ve already read “Defending Elysium,” I’ve also added an annotation for you to give an explanation of the history of the story.
Anyway, thank you all for making this such a wonderful year. The tour was amazing, and the response to THE GATHERING STORM was incredible. I’m humbled by your response—including the responses of those who had complaints about the book. (Often legitimate ones.) There weren’t many of those, and the bulk of the ones I read were presented in a thoughtful, non-combative way. You are a classy bunch. Thank you for that.
Tomorrow is the long-celebrated, and often disturbing, Koloss Head-Munching Day. Munch a head and read the short story. Or, if you’re not into that, I believe there are a few other holidays coming up. . . .
Next year, I will be spending a lot of the early months blogging about THE WAY OF KINGS. A lot of people have been asking about it, and Tor has nudged me to begin speaking about it more. There WILL be more info about TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT too, but I’ll probably be holding off on that for a while. I know you’re hungry for more information. I’ll give you what I can, but I’ve been asked to be more secretive about these books than I normally am, and (as I have said before) I feel it is respectful to keep to Harriet’s wishes.
(Progress on TofM is going well, but this is—in many ways—a much BIGGER book than TGS. There are a lot more viewpoints and plots to wrangle, including many people who were not seen in TGS. TGS was very focused by intention and design. TofM is going to feel very different, as we’re going to be expanding the scope a little to include all of the things we need to see to get ready for the Last Battle. That’s making the editing and revision process of what I’ve done go more slowly than I would have liked.)
Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukah! Happy Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, or New Year! May you get books as presents.