I was just looking around to figure out how things are going with two series I enjoyed and would really like to read their respective endings at some point. In both cases I’m merely past the very first book but it’s quite disappointing knowing that nothing is certain about their future.

The first is the “Instrumentalities of the Night” series by Glen Cook, whose fourth volume has been in limbo for quite a while even if the author confirmed having completed years ago. The problem here is with the publisher, Tor, since it seems this series isn’t exactly selling too well and this fourth book still isn’t listed anywhere. I loved it, but I recognize the first book is dense and hard to get through. It’s brilliant, but also not the stuff you expect to be popular.

I was able to find an interview with Glen Cook that is a year old and he confirms the fourth volume, “Working God’s Mischief” was delivered, but he also mentions a possible FIFTH with an absolutely awesome title: “He Lost His Shadow Somehow”. Along with bad news: “but that is unlikely to happen. Paperback and e-book sales for the series have been disappointing and the fourth book was a hard sell.”

TOR PLEASE. We can never have nice things. This is a superb series, it can’t be left unexpressed. And that book has too an awesome title to not get published.

EDIT: Tor tells me the fourth book should be out this year.

The other series is “The Wars of Light and Shadow” by Janny Wurts. She’s currently working on the 10th and penultimate volume, so a critical time in her series. She posts on her site updates from time to time about how the writing is going, and they are always fun to read. This is the last:

Destiny’s Conflict is moving ahead – the second scene in Chapter 7 was a blasted BEAR to make it tight – finding the angle that worked was an immense frustration (and I will NOT dawdle about – the series is into MAJOR CONVERGENCY and about to bust WIDE OPEN – so each step must be exactly precise to support the ‘before and after’ build. Each day I hammered on the scene in question/hit a wall, then moved to do other productive things so as not to stall the think tank time doing nothing. AT LAST I got the angle – (many convention/publicity interruptions tend to create a wider gap as they take me out of world/and I have to sink back into the ambience – knew that when I signed for the cons, but they are a necessary step/awareness of this series HAS to grow).

I am now working up the second to last scene in Seven – the one that trips the wire, so to speak – the climactic plunge is one wild ride, and it’s looking to be Set 8 that will be the first climax/tipping point – and it’s all Fast Motion reveal from there to the end of Song of the Mysteries – mostly, as the seeds for that volume have to be planted NOW.

It’s all in line with what was planned: the difference now is, I am carrying it ALL/on all the levels – none will be hidden, very shortly, which means I can’t slip into sprawl territory at all – there is no room in the story for sag.

In the earlier days, very sadly, there was NOT THIS NEED FOR AUTHORS TO DO CONSTANT EFFORTS AT PUBLICITY – blogs, websites, social networking/presence out there on the net – now, it is expected – the publisher relies on it….ONE DAY I dream that there will be enough reader response that I don’t have to…that time is not yet. The books aren’t widely known ‘out there’ enough yet to get the enthusiastic mention they deserve. This build takes time/and the period where they were not all in print/or avail in the USA made a lag – there’s still a lot of catching up to do.

Rest assured, I am writing diligently. There are lots of balls in the air/I am NOT WATCHING….drumroll ;) – football. Never have. Never will – in fact, we don’t HAVE any TV service here.

Since she usually does quite extensive editing I’d say the book is still a couple of years away. And then there’s the last volume.

R. Scott Bakker is deep into the third and likely last in this second trilogy, The Unholy Consult (the title of the book, not the trilogy). This is the volume that reveals some big things and opens the way for the final duology. But as far as I know this is the true turning point, so there’s some anticipation around this book.

Despite being an amazing achievement (Bakker is with Erikson the most important and most ambitious writer in the genre by a wide margin), Bakker’s series also isn’t doing spectacularly well with sales, and so the writer can’t write full time as he wishes. This slows things down. It seems the book is almost complete, but it also may require extensive editing/rewriting of earlier chapters. The most recent news was in this forum post (that gives more info than what Bakker offers on his own blog):

Just heard back from Scott this afternoon. He says he’s labouring on the final two chapters of TUC and that the book is getting ridiculously big. And at this point, he has no sense of what the rewrite will entail.

So it probably won’t be out before a year/a year and half. I hope it won’t be split in two. And I hope he goes all out, instead of simply teasing for the final duology. He needs to play things to their full potential.

And finally I also gave a look about what’s up with Malazan stuff. Erikson is rarely (more like never) late, but in the case of the second book in the Kharkanas trilogy, “The Fall of Light”, it seems release has been pushed back to January 2014. Being fair this isn’t really a delay since Erikson’s goal with this new trilogy was a more relaxed pace of 1.5 to 2 years, which is still very fast by the industry standard.

Instead no particular news, as usual, from Esslemont. His “final” book (unless it produces a sequel, since this was mentioned as a possibility, long ago) in the Malazan series, that still hasn’t a definite title, seems still on track for a December release, but it’s all completely unconfirmed and Esslemont simply doesn’t exist on the internet, so we rarely get to know what he’s up to.

About MY OWN reading progress, I’m going incredibly slow, but mostly because I’m splitting attention between too many things. Don’t even look at the progress bar up there since at some point I think I was reading more than 15 books at the same time. But I’m finally doing some decent progress with Glen Cook’s “The White Rose”, so that’s the one I’ll finish next.

In the last week I’ve ordered four books, and you can see how wildly all over the place my interest goes (even if it follows its own consistency). All four being quite interesting:

The Tunnel, by William H. Glass (his writing is just too good, I’ve read some articles that are deep and written so beautifully)
Imajica, by Clive Barker (his own most ambitious work, though I’ll probably end up reading Weaveworld first)
Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul, by Giulio Tononi (following Bakker’s suggestion, it’s really a lush book, paper gloss, images)
Where Tigers Are at Home, by Jean-Marie Blas De Robles (French book recently translated in English, I got it in Italian. Quite intriguing.)

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