Patrick Rothfuss on his strange new novella
he agonising wait for the third book in Patrick Rothfuss’s acclaimed Kingkiller trilogy just got a little easier. Hot on the heels of Bast- centric short story “The Lightning Tree”, which featured in George RR Martin’s Rogues Anthology, comes The Slow Regard Of Silent Things – a novella about mysterious Underthing dweller Auri. But where Auri is involved, nothing is ever quite that simple.
“Typically stories have certain things,” Rothfuss tells Red Alert. “They have action, they have dialogue, they have tension, they have pacing, just very standard things. As I continued to write this story I was like, ‘ This does not have any of those things!’” Slow Regard started life destined for Rogues before Rothfuss realised the tale wasn’t right for an audience new to Temerant. “I was anticipating it being a light, fun, trickster story, and it very quickly became clear that’s not what it was,” he admits. “An anthology should offer a new reader the opportunity to enter my world easily. I live in terror of people picking up this who have not read my other books.”
As well as giving Kingkiller fans something to savour during the wait for The Doors Of Stone, non- trilogy work has helped Rothfuss better understand his world. “I learned a lot about Auri. I learned so much more about the Underthing. It also helps me lay down the third book for a little while, because it’s essential with a project this big and vast and complicated and… heavy. I feel this crushing responsibility to get it right and working on some of these other projects lets me relax – and then I can go back to it fresh and excited.”
TThe Slow Regard Of Silent Things is out on 28 October from Gollancz.
Patrick Rothfuss is regarding you. Slowly.