I was hoping to blog sooner about Patrick Rothfuss's appearance at Manchester Waterstones last Thursday, but Friday night was a bit messy (there was alcohol involved) and then today was taken up with dozing off my hangover in the sublime weather we're having in England at the moment. And then there was the small matter of the FA Cup final...
Anyway, to the point. The Rothfuss gig was pretty well-attended, with about 40-45 fans turning up. Not the biggest crowd I've seen (GRRM attracted well over a hundred) but it was easily one of the most enjoyable author events I've attended.
Things I learned about Pat Rothfuss:
1) He's not quite as scary in real life as he looks in photos (and man, can he look terrifying in photos!).
2) He does, however, still look like the bastard offspring of Rasputin and a grizzly bear. Which is cool, let's be honest.
3) His beard is friggin' awesome.
4) He has this amazing Santa Claus laugh. Really, it's fantastic. When that lovely beard of his eventually turns to grey, he'll make an excellent Father Christmas.
5) He's a very, very nice guy. And very, very entertaining.
Seriously though, it was a great evening. Rothfuss is very down-to-Earth and has a great sense of humour, and provided plenty of laughs. One highlight was when a fan asked him: "Joe Abercrombie says you have the best beard in fantasy. What would you like to say back?" Pat thought about it, then eventually replied, "I'm a little jealous that Abercrombie's author photo is better than mine. I think someone should put a dent in his handsome face!" Much laughter at that, and no doubt this information will be fed back to Joe at his signing next week...
The structure of the event was pretty standard - Q&A for an hour or so, then a reading (from The Wise Man's Fear) and then the book signing. As you can see above, I managed to get my picture taken with Pat and he was kind enough to scribble on my first-edition US hardback copy of The Name of the Wind. I also picked up a paperback version, so I now have a copy I can take on the train - and thus read! Because - although there was no way I was joining the single brave soul who admitted to not having read the book when Pat asked) I still haven't read it. Must rectify that soon.
Pat confirmed that The Wise Man's Fear should surface next year. He also confirmed that there will be a third book to finish the trilogy, and then potentially a few stand-alone novels set in the same world. He said that he wouldn't have wanted the Wheel of Time gig for all the money in the world and that it's in very good hands with Brandon Sanderson, he very much enjoyed Abercrombie's trilogy, and that Nation by Terry Pratchett is a superb book. Ought to check that one out...
So overall, a great evening. Hopefully Pat will come back for another one once The Wise Man's Fear is done and dusted...
Extract from Ken Liu's THE GRACE OF KINGS
11 minutes ago