December Ask Terry Q&A

Terry Brooks

For many years the only chance a fan had of speaking to Terry was to meet him at tour events or conventions.

With the establishment of this website in 2000, Terry began accepting two questions from each fan per month. On the last day of the month, five questions are randomly drawn. Terry answers these five questions and they are posted monthly for your enjoyment.

Below are the questions selected from December 2018 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Hi All,

Ho, Ho, Ho!  Christmas comes nine months late when talking about Ask Terry!  But Santa cares about his little elves, so here we go:

John S. Allen writes: If Elves were a separate species in a different phylogenetic tree, how is possible that we have half elf human characters. And if gnomes and trolls originated from humans, why are there few if any half gnome/human and troll/human characters?

Terry Brooks replies: John, you are going to have to learn to speak English if you want to communicate with this poor science guy.  So Elves are part of some other tree than humans?  Do you know this?  Do any of us know?  And how do we know how many gnome/human and troll/human characters there really are?  Just because I haven’t written about them doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.  And what about shared Elven/Human characteristics and tree splicing experiences one over the centuries?  But most of all, this is a fantasy, not a scientific treatise.  So you need to cut the poor author some slack on authenticity.

Roderyck Evans writes: I was looking at the map of the Four Lands from the Shannara map and while looking at it I was comparing it to current day maps of the northwestern to middle united states, since that is the area where the children of Armageddon took place and originated from. Is there any real map locations that you used for reference when designing the map of the Four Lands and if so what are they?

Terry Brooks replies: You have to remember that the Great Wars also involved seismic upheaval of part portions of the earth and changed the geography in major ways.  Not much of what was remained the same, even though we can presume the mountain ranges were mostly left intact. So nothing much of the old world stayed the same geographically and I left it up to the reader to imagine where parts of the old world might have been.  I offer you that same pleasure.

Charles Tanner writes: I just read Street Freaks. Really enjoyed it! What is next for the Freaks and Ash’s journey to find his synth?

Terry Brooks replies: Not much is happening yet.  He is out hunting, but no writing on his search has been done.  The sequel is in the planning stages, but the actual book is probably a few years away.

Joseph Spix writes:  I have heard you speak about the Shannara prequels. You never talk about the Word and the Void in those discussions. They aren’t listed on your website in the reading order either. Why? It’s obvious to me that they set up Armageddon’s Children. Love your series. I have been with you since you published The Sword of Shannara.

Terry Brooks replies: Thanks, Joseph.  I appreciate the loyalty.  As for Word & Void, the separation from Shannara is intentional.  The Word & Void really have nothing to do with the Shannara world other than to provide a brief set up to what is coming when the latter starts.  Other than a reference to Two Bears and Findo Gask, no characters are shared by the two series.  It was always my intention to keep one foot in the world or Word & Void and one in the world of Shannara.  That separation is important to me, and I intend to see it maintained.

Chris Cruver writes: The world of Landover is supposed to be the connection to multiple worlds. Are there any plans to give a story that visits any of those other worlds?

Terry Brooks replies: Not at the moment, Chris.  We only know of one other world – our own, Ben’s world.  Not sure I will ever write about those other worlds, but you never know.  One more book remains to be written, and when I get around to it perhaps we will experience another of those worlds and its inhabitants.  Maybe they will all be cousins to the G’Home Gnomes!

Boy, you readers really like to challenge me, don’t you?  Keep up the good work, your interest is appreciated.  Will keep writing. Happy Summer, All!

Your beleaguered author friend,

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