AISFP 44 – Tracy Hickman

New York Times Bestselling author Tracy Hickman joins us to discuss his relationship with Wizards of the Coast and what is happening (or not happening) with Dragonlance.

Show Notes:
– Is that the sweet sounds of Sam’s sultry voice? I believe it is! I’m not trying to steal your intro, Tee. It just came out.
Publishing News: Locus announces this year’s inductees into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Baen now has ebooks available through ereads, founded by Richard Curtis.

Bonus News Segment: Here’s a bonus story for you listeners visiting the website. Every month we will be including extra content here on the website that will not be shared on the podcast. Today, my commentary on Wastelands, a new anthology about the end of the world.

I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Jeremy Lassen of Night Shade Books several times. I even interviewed him for my podcast. So, I don’t mean this blog post as an insult to him, Joseph John Adams, or anyone else involved with the new anthology, Wastelands. But a mistake on the book’s cover is something I must address, because it’s a mistake that I see (and hear) quite often.

From the back cover of Wastelands: “From the Book of Revelations to The Road Warriors; from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving eschatological tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity.”

What’s wrong with that sentence? Well, having just consulted my Bible just to make sure, the Book of Revelations doesn’t exist. It never has, as far as I know, but I hear it said on television or see it referenced in books quite regularly.

But what about the final book of the Bible, you idiot! Oh, you mean Revelation. No “s”. Given that the Bible is one of the most important documents in the history of western civilization (probably the most important), why are so many Americans clueless about what this famous book is called?

The Night Shade guys certainly aren’t the first to make this mistake. In the name of fairness, I’ll call out one other respectable writer of note. J.C. Hutchins mentions the Book of Revelations in book 3 of 7th Son. I emailed him about it, and he electronically cringed. (Love you, Hutch!)

This mistake isn’t the most egregious offense in the world, but it is inexcusable. “From the book of Revelations” is a popular cliché, but eventually someone needs to crack open the Bible and see what the book is really called. This isn’t a religious thing. It about historical accuracy, and knowing what we’re talking about. I mean, if we don’t know what the book is called, do we have any right to refer to its contents?

That being said, Wastelands looks like a killer book! I’m all over it. I just won’t read the back cover to keep from gagging.

– Interview with Tracy Hickman. Please check out Tracy’s podcasts Dragonhearth and Killer Breakfast.
– Shaun and Sam discuss Wizards of the Coast and how authors (and fans) should be treated.
– Email from Jonathan regarding Terry Goodkind’s interview. That’s it for this week. Please tell a friend, blog about us, or write us a review in iTunes. We’ll see you next week with a special episode.

Promo: Mur Lafferty’s podiobook, Wasteland
Promo: The Future and You

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Re “BoRevelation[s]” Oops. I’ll have my copy editor and my copy writer shot.

  2. Shaun Farrell says:

    I guess that means you’ll be accepting applications? 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by, Jeremy. You guys are putting out some great books. Keep it up!

  3. John W. Oliver says:

    After listening to the show, I was shocked to hear how Wizards/Hasbro was treating Hickman & Weis. However, from a marketing POV, I can see the publisher’s perspective. The authors were trying to finish off one of their cashcows. The company probably does not want the product line to end, so they got someone else to write something that will not finish off the series. However, I am still left wondering why Hickman & Weis’ names are still associated with the project, and why the company did not bother to come forward on their own?

  4. Shaun Farrell says:

    Interesting point, John, but I’d think that Wizards would serve their own interests better by keeping their biggest guns happy and informed. They may be cutting off their nose to spite their face.

  5. John! Hi! Thanks for the post. I definitely understand your point, but I’m with Shaun on this one. So far, all WotC is getting from this is disgruntled fans and bad press… that doesn’t seem like a very smart business decision to me.

  6. Indiana Jim says:

    Utterly ridiculous. A CRIME against all authors.

  7. Considering how many times it has been translated from other languages, don’t you think the Revelation versus Revelations point is a bit pedantic?

  8. Shaun Farrell says:

    Jim – Yes!

    Elmo – No!

  9. Why don’t you tell us what you really think, Shaun? 😉

  10. Just listened to the Tracy Hickman ‘cast today (hey, I do timeshifting over months and years, what can I say?). I was curious if he’ll be on to both update us and to talk about some of the other matters he said he’d like to do as a follow-up in a future interview. I’ve never read any “Dragonlance” (I read little fantasy, let alone game-oriented fantasy), but it was a very interesting interview.

  11. Shaun Farrell says:

    Hi, Fred. The issue was resolved, and the final book will be published in Summer 2009.

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