Most of you know by now that The Last Druid was moved from early June to late October because of COVID -19 and concerns about publicity, marketing, and sales with bookstores closed for some considerable time. We still have distancing and masks to contend with and the very real prospect that things are not going to go back to how they were any time soon.
So thanks for your patience and understanding about the postponement of the final Shannara book in the series. But know that there is a bit of good news to go along with the bad because now I will have three books coming out from Del Rey Books between October 2020 and June 2021. For me, that might be a record.
The one I want to talk about today is Small Magic, which comes out about five months after The Last Druid in late March. Some of you may remember I have talked and written about this book before. It is a collection of all my short fiction from between the early 1990s up to the present. It covers stories from Shannara, Magic Kingdom, Word & Void, and one stand alone based on the works of Poul Anderson. Some have appeared before in other anthologies or just as e-books, but for most this will be the first time they have been in print.
I find writing short stories a lot harder than writing long fiction. I think it is fear of constriction – too many words and too little space. I keep wanting to boil things down to under fifty pages and find that immensely difficult. As a result, although there are only 11 stories, the book runs a bit longer than you might expect. True, the new Word & Void story is more novella than short story, but I thought you should have at least one longer tale in the mix.
I’ll go out on a limb here and say I think you will enjoy these stories as much as you have enjoyed my books. But don’t look for me to switch horses and start being a short story writer and not a novelist. I doubt that is going to happen – further short stories down the road notwithstanding.
Above is a print of the cover for the book so you can enjoy an early preview. We went around and around on how this should look and cast aside many choices along the way in order to get to this one. But I like it a lot and believe it does justice to the stories it wraps. What do you think? Post your thoughts in the comments below.
See you for this one early next year. Be well, be safe,