Quiet Looks

Pa­trick Roth­fuss on his strange new novella

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

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.

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