The Golarion Novel


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When will it be published and who will write it?.... oh come on, don't tell me you did not think about that one!

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

TabulaRasa wrote:
When will it be published and who will write it?.... oh come on, don't tell me you did not think about that one!

This has been discussed ad nauseum on these boards since day one. The answer is that they are inevitable but at present they have no further details. Paizo's pretty busy now getting the PRPG out and the campaign setting and the slew of other products that are on the schedule. For the time being, there is serialized fiction in the Pathfinder's Journal. And beginning in 2009, Elaine Cunningham will be writing that. Patience is a virtue.


I think Nick should write one. And it should be rated at least X. Probably Z++ or something. And it should be a graphic novel. :D

yoda8myhead wrote:
And beginning in 2009, Elaine Cunningham will be writing that.

Yeah? Not bad. I liked her novels. I liked Danillo. Too bad he's long dead now, what with the spellplague and all that.

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:

I think Nick should write one. And it should be rated at least X. Probably Z++ or something. And it should be a graphic novel. :D

yoda8myhead wrote:
And beginning in 2009, Elaine Cunningham will be writing that.

Yeah? Not bad. I liked her novels. I liked Danillo. Too bad he's long dead now, what with the spellplague and all that.

I'd be pleased as punch to contribute to Pathfinder fiction. I shall beg and scrape at my new boss' knee and we shall see if I can get a crack at a short story! :-)


I just saw the following post by Erik over on a thread asking about the possible return of the Dungeon/Dragon lines:

Erik Mona wrote:

Let's take this one year at a time, please.

Step 1: Launch Pathfinder successfully (Check)
Step 2: Launch Pathfinder RPG successfully (in progress)
Step 3: Launch Pathfinder fiction line (2009)
Step 5: ?

--Erik

Step 3 in particular seemed to me to be relevant to the topic of this thread.

Edit:
*link to thread in question*


yoda8myhead wrote:


And beginning in 2009, Elaine Cunningham will be writing that. Patience is a virtue.

Elaine and a Golarion novel? *shudders*

When counting only former WotC authors, Paul S. Kemp might be a nice fit, as evidenced by his Erevis Cale novels. His writing has got that gritty edge that has been prevalent in Pathfinder products since day one.

He's sort of Nick Logue, Jr. ;-).

Liberty's Edge

EC is one of the best (fantasy) genre writers out there! Who are you kidding? She's an accomplished writer, a good writer, and her work sells!

I would personally love to see Kemp or Baker write a Golarion novel, but that's because I love Cale and Baker's got a gritty style I hope we see in Pathfinder fiction, but truth be told, Cunningham or, dare it be said aloud, Salvatore, would make bank for Paizo.


Of course it would sell.

Foolish me - I'm still hoping that that isn't all that counts, nowadays. Yes, Paizo is a business, and they have to make money. No, they wouldn't have to hire a "guaranteed seller author" if that meant to take something away from the setting. Not stomping on EC here - it's just that I think her writing style doesn't suit the setting.

Well, the whole discussion is somewhat academic in nature, anyway ;) If I were a betting man, my money would be on a short story anthology, written entirely in-house. Maybe novels after Paizo can judge the success of Golarion-based fiction.

Liberty's Edge

Dance of Ruin wrote:
...Not stomping on EC here - it's just that I think her writing style doesn't suit the setting...

I don't mean to ellipse your words so much, but I think that's a really good comment. Whose writing style does fit Golarion? And thinking only of available writers (no offense to the genre staples like EC or Kemp and crew, but Miéville is not likely available for a Golarion novel).

I agree with you, that Cunningham has a style not suited IMHO for Pathfinder fiction. So who could do justice and put Paizo on the NY Times Bestseller lists?


With all due respect, are you guys assuming that Elaine can't write "grittier" novels because of her work for TSR/WOTC? Given that, at least until the 3e era, there were quite a few strictures on the writers given how "dark" they could make a story?

Paul S Kemp is a great writer, but he started writing for WOTC in an era where they took the blinders off and said, "we WANT dark, we WANT anti-heores."

That having been said, Elaine probably isn't one to write books that end on a depressing, Lovecraftian note of despair, no, but last time I looked none of the adventure paths really seemed to assume the default ending of a persistent, "evil wins no matter what the PCs do" kind of way.

I loved Evermeet and Song and Swords, but honestly, there were quite a few darker notes in Starlight and Shadows and the Councilors and Kings trilogies, and some of her short stories, especially ones like "Fire is Fire," show that she get down in the darkness as well as any fantasy writer.

(BTW, if you haven't, pick up the Best of Elaine Cunningham FR compilation . . . there are some excellent short stories in there that haven't seen the light of day in a long time, and give a better range of her shared world depth I think)

Grand Lodge

I'm looking forward to Elaine Cunningham's writing. Paul Kemp is a decent writer but he's been getting more and more long-winded. I've been reading the first Twilight War book and will probably not be finishing it.

Ok, not to derail the thread. Can't wait to see what Elaine has coming to Golarion.

Liberty's Edge

KnightErrantJR wrote:
With all due respect, are you guys assuming that Elaine can't write "grittier" novels because of her work for TSR/WOTC?...

Oh, no! And, by and far, I loved the Starlight and Shadows trilogy (despite the long wait between the first and second books), Dark Journey was a good SW novel, and I enjoyed the Dream Spheres, but I'd say her demonstrated body of work is more traditional in language, tenor, and style than Kemp (all hail Erevis Cale), Byers and Smedman, who have each been resoundingly modern and noir. Don't get me wrong, I buy all of Elaine's books and enjoy them, but I'm personally hoping for a bit of a dark tone (and some PG-13+ language and gore and violence would be nice, as well) complete with a dash of existential depression--but, as I'm sure many posters might guess, when my old age and dotage come I would shuffle off this mortal coil happily if there's a single line of Lovecraft I can still read with the last of my dying vision.


We can't have proper PF fiction without profanity and gory violence! ;-)

Contributor

Andrew, if you're interested in darker stories, my Changeling urban fantasy books (Shadows in the Darkness, Shadows in the Starlight) are quite different from my FR work. May I also suggest "Dead Men Tell No Tales," a short story in the anthology SAILS & SORCERY, a grim little ghost story, as an example .

I can't add anything to the question under discussion--"The Golarion Novel: When, What, and Who?"--but my primary goals for the serial fiction I'll be writing for Pathfinder are 1) tell a good story about 2) interesting characters that 3) is true to the tone and feel of the setting. My understanding of Pathfinder is that dark fantasy is preferred and a PG17 rating is appropriate, so that will be one of my main priorities. I hope you'll be happy with the results.

Liberty's Edge

Sounds like you've pretty much got all the boxes ticked there Elaine. I'm looking forward to it.

Liberty's Edge

Elaine Cunningham wrote:
...My understanding of Pathfinder is that dark fantasy is preferred and a PG17 rating is appropriate, so that will be one of my main priorities. I hope you'll be happy with the results.

I am so very, very happy to read that! (I'm literally smiling)

On your suggestion, I just ordered all three from Amazon, and good timing--there were only single copies remaining of both Changeling tales. I'm really looking forward to these--Charles de Lint hooked me into the quasi Magical Realism of a contemporary fantasy, and the description looks like my kind of stuff.

EDIT:
I just read the first chapter of Shadows in the Darkness, a novel I was previously unaware of--I take it all back! I think it really says something that the writer of Evermeet also wrote this very contemporary novel. I eagerly await Elaine's Golarion tales.


*crawls out from under rock*

Seriously, I must have missed the announcement that Elaine IS, in fact, writing Golarion-based fiction. I thought we were still speculating here.

Elaine: Thank you for your post. I hope you didn't take my above posts too harshly, as they weren't intended as a personal attack or anything like that. I have to admit KnightErrantJR has a point: my opionion of your writing style has been heavily influenced by the books you wrote for WotC. But, honestly, what other way of evaluating an author is there? Anyway, your post has allayed some of my 'fears'. I'll definitely be picking up whatever you write for Paizo, so I can judge more accurately - and I'm looking forward to you proving me wrong ;-).


Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Andrew, if you're interested in darker stories, my Changeling urban fantasy books (Shadows in the Darkness, Shadows in the Starlight)

I'll check them out as well. I also stumbled Upon "Cloaked in Shadow: Dark Tales of the Elves" I'll see whether those evles can match Terry's in vileness.

I'd have been interested in Reclamation as well - had it only come out sooner.


Elaine can do 'dark' - even her 'fluffier' stuff like Evermeet had its dark moments (nearly all of the Queen's children wound up dead or missing, by the end!), not to mention the whole 'meta-plot' that the history was framed in. Some of her Elves could be quite vile...

Paul Kemp is a rising star, and not only do I think his writing is a perfect fit for Golarion, but I think he could take some stuff in new and unexpected directions. He did wonders with all the hand-tying WotC does with its authors, and I think with a little more creative freedom he can really come into his own.

RAS is good too, just for that 'pulpy' stuff (which is fine), and Ed does amazing background material. You may not like the story he is telling, but you will have the most incredibly vivid picture of everything in the region firmly in mind - thats where he truly shines.

Andrew Turner wrote:
I would personally love to see Kemp or Baker write a Golarion novel, <snip>

Accent mine.

You do know Rich Baker is in-house with WotC, and is pretty much the face-man for 4e D&D, right?

There isn't a snowballs chance in hell he will do a novel for Paizo... even if he wanted to. Now give it a year or two, and see how things 'shake out' over there, end you never know.

Contributor

Dance of Ruin wrote:
Elaine: Thank you for your post. I hope you didn't take my above posts too harshly, as they weren't intended as a personal attack or anything like that. I have to admit KnightErrantJR has a point: my opionion of your writing style has been heavily influenced by the books you wrote for WotC. But, honestly, what other way of evaluating an author is there?

I didn't consider your posts harsh, so no worries. You're right--the only way to evaluate an writer is by the books you've read. If you'd only read, say, THE UNICORN HUNT, a young adult novel I wrote ages ago, you would probably conclude that my writing style would be a bad match for the Pathfinder setting. Even broadening the mix a bit, Forgotten Realms in second edition, which is when most of my stuff was written, did not lean toward dark fantasy, as it tends to now.

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:
I also stumbled Upon "Cloaked in Shadow: Dark Tales of the Elves" I'll see whether those elves can match Terry's in vileness.

I have a short story in that anthology--a rather odd tale, set in medieval Tuscany and based in Tuscan folklore and the Stregheria witchcraft tradition. The linchetto--night elves--are malevolent entities, utterly foreign and inhuman. Drow are downright cuddly next to the Italian elves.

Terry Pratchett's elves are pretty damn creepy. I love what he does with them.

Liberty's Edge

MarkusTay wrote:


You do know Rich Baker is in-house with WotC, and is pretty much the face-man for 4e D&D, right?

There isn't a snowballs chance in hell he will do a novel for Paizo... even if he wanted to. Now give it a year or two, and see how things 'shake out' over there, end you never know.

Yeah, I wrote Baker because I'm reading Swordmage right now; he was in my forebrain--I really meant Byers, but I still like Baker's style, too. I'm thinking the Last Mythal trilogy and his contributions to the War of the Spider Queen. I didn't realize he is a WotC employee; I thought he was freelance. At any rate, I wouldn't imagine Wizards has a policy against their employees writing freelance fiction.


Andrew Turner wrote:
At any rate, I wouldn't imagine Wizards has a policy against their employees writing freelance fiction.

Well, they do have a policy that forbids their employees to work for someone else. I'm not sure whether that just includes roleplaying itself or extends to fiction, but I think it means they can't contribute period.

Elaine Cunningham wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
I also stumbled Upon "Cloaked in Shadow: Dark Tales of the Elves" I'll see whether those elves can match Terry's in vileness.
I have a short story in that anthology

Yeah, I know, the book came up when I searched your name on amazon.de to get the changeling books (when I entered their titles, the site gave me all kinds of stuff, but not the novels whose names were a perfect match. Search engines can be weird)

Elaine Cunningham wrote:


Drow are downright cuddly next to the Italian elves.

I'd say drow have been somewhat cuddlyfied in the Realms, anyway - long before the 4e disaster, too.

I'll wait to see what Golarion's drows are up to - by the way, are you writing about those?

Elaine Cunningham wrote:


Terry Pratchett's elves are pretty damn creepy. I love what he does with them.

I'd love to sic them on my players some day.


Elaine Cunningham wrote:


I have a short story in that anthology--a rather odd tale

I have started reading Cloaked in Shadow, and if it's indeed an odd tale, it should feel right at home in that anthology: Elvish plastic surgeons, brain-eating elves who aspire to be scarred, Australian dingo-elf changelings, cloning supercorporations.... I can sense a strong presense of absinthe in the writers' veins ;-)

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

By the way: When can we expect the next Changeling Detective Novel? Is it tomorrow? If not, it's too long to wait! :)

Contributor

While the plans for the standalone Pathfinder fiction line (as opposed to the Pathfinder's Journal, which Elaine is already signed on for) are still nebulous, I'd like to point everyone interested in it to Worlds of Their Own. This anthology has short stories from 18 of the best shared-world authors, but all playing in their own sandboxes, and it's fabulous. Easily my favorite Planet Stories product to date, and a great chance to see what some of these authors can do when all bets are off... it's certainly been educational for me! You can bet that for future Pathfinder fiction projects, we'll be contacting some of our favorite folks from there (and in fact already have - thanks, Elaine!).


James Sutter wrote:
While the plans for the standalone Pathfinder fiction line (as opposed to the Pathfinder's Journal, which Elaine is already signed on for) are still nebulous, I'd like to point everyone interested in it to Worlds of Their Own. This anthology has short stories from 18 of the best shared-world authors, but all playing in their own sandboxes, and it's fabulous. Easily my favorite Planet Stories product to date, and a great chance to see what some of these authors can do when all bets are off... it's certainly been educational for me! You can bet that for future Pathfinder fiction projects, we'll be contacting some of our favorite folks from there (and in fact already have - thanks, Elaine!).

Can you tell me what Elaine's story in that one is?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

KaeYoss wrote:

I'd say drow have been somewhat cuddlyfied in the Realms, anyway - long before the 4e disaster, too.

I'll wait to see what Golarion's drows are up to...

Golarion drow are eeeeevil. With 5 "e"s.

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:
Can you tell me what Elaine's story in that one is?

It's called "Lorelei," though it was originally published as "The River War" back in 1999.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Wowser.. how did I miss this thread. Good stuff! :)

Hmm Elaine even posted here on my birthday.. interesting.

Still chomping at the bit for more fiction!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

This week is a major hurdle. Before we can spend much time thinking about stuff beyond the current schedule (through March of next year, roughly speaking), we need to ship the Pathfinder Beta, The Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting hardcover, Pathfinder #13, The first Pathfinder Companion, Worlds of Their Own, and a product catalog.

All that's got to go out by tomorrow. About six of us were still at work at Midnight tonight, and I know James and I are still wired from it and posting here on the message boards at 2:30.

It's been a weird week, but things look like they are moving to a successful conclusion.

Getting to this point has been a huge grind, going back several months. Once on the other side, we can focus a little more on the fun stuff like launching a Pathfinder fiction line.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Wired. Yes. To put it mildly.

I DID just do some cooldown, though, by watching Jason X. I have now seen ALL the Friday the 13th movies, I'm happy to report, and am thus READY TO GO for the next one. Which is coming in February 2009. On, of course, a Friday the 13th.

I ate too many Reese's Pieces during the movie though.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I take it it's not a coincidence that you are posting this on a Friday the 13th :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

There is no better day to watch Friday the 13th, is it?

Take a breather, make the dash to the finish line... and then relax over the weekend.


James and Erik, you should be sleeping! Stop surfing these boards. ;-)

Back on the topic: I am quite happy to see Elaine on board for contributing to Golarion. I have good memories of reading her FR books.

And now I will be sending telepathic waves to the Powers-that-be at Paizo so they make it their utmost priority to secure Paul Kemp on their writers team!!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Pathfinder Fiction will be on the slate, when this current work load has sailed off to the horizon and everyone at the offices has taken a long breather from the last hectic weeks/months/whatever...

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
While the plans for the standalone Pathfinder fiction line (as opposed to the Pathfinder's Journal, which Elaine is already signed on for) are still nebulous, I'd like to point everyone interested in it to Worlds of Their Own. This anthology has short stories from 18 of the best shared-world authors, but all playing in their own sandboxes, and it's fabulous. Easily my favorite Planet Stories product to date, and a great chance to see what some of these authors can do when all bets are off... it's certainly been educational for me! You can bet that for future Pathfinder fiction projects, we'll be contacting some of our favorite folks from there (and in fact already have - thanks, Elaine!).
Can you tell me what Elaine's story in that one is?

The story's title is "Lorelei." It's set in Germany, long before the coming of the Romans. The story was originally written for TROLL magazine, which ceased publication before the story was published, and under the title "The River War" was briefly available online at The Dragon's Vault, a short-lived ezine. So even though it's a reprint, I think it's safe to say that not many people have read it. :)

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:


I have a short story in that anthology--a rather odd tale

I have started reading Cloaked in Shadow, and if it's indeed an odd tale, it should feel right at home in that anthology: Elvish plastic surgeons, brain-eating elves who aspire to be scarred, Australian dingo-elf changelings, cloning supercorporations.... I can sense a strong presense of absinthe in the writers' veins ;-)

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

By the way: When can we expect the next Changeling Detective Novel? Is it tomorrow? If not, it's too long to wait! :)

Alas, it seems highly unlikely that there will BE another Changeling novel. It's a long, sad, and lamentably UNsordid tale. But I'm working on a new series, something a bit more urban fantasy, albeit veering a bit closer to the Jim Butcher outsider-hero-with-humor school of UF than the Laurell K. Hamilton tough-gals-who-frequently-fornicate subgenre.


Elaine Cunningham wrote:
the Laurell K. Hamilton tough-gals-who-frequently-fornicate subgenre.

Is it me, or is the bookstore seeing a steadily increasing stock of these? A variation seems to be appearing in the teen girls' section too, and the resultant need for space is consuming what used to be computer book territory.

Dark Archive

Hello Elaine :D

Contributor

Trey wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
the Laurell K. Hamilton tough-gals-who-frequently-fornicate subgenre.
Is it me, or is the bookstore seeing a steadily increasing stock of these? A variation seems to be appearing in the teen girls' section too, and the resultant need for space is consuming what used to be computer book territory.

Nope, it's not just you. This is a thriving subgenre, and yes, there are a LOT of YA novels, which dial down the fornication a few notches.

Contributor

Radavel wrote:
Hello Elaine :D

Hi, Radavel.


Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Trey wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
the Laurell K. Hamilton tough-gals-who-frequently-fornicate subgenre.
Is it me, or is the bookstore seeing a steadily increasing stock of these? A variation seems to be appearing in the teen girls' section too, and the resultant need for space is consuming what used to be computer book territory.
Nope, it's not just you. This is a thriving subgenre, and yes, there are a LOT of YA novels, which dial down the fornication a few notches.

Thanks for confirming this. It just seemed like in B&N a huge percentage of the books shelved face-out in those sections have a cover image starting just below the nose and ending just below the knee. It's been hard to get empirical about the measurement, though, because after the third one we pass or so, my girlfriend starts swearing. :-)


Elaine Cunningham wrote:

Alas, it seems highly unlikely that there will BE another Changeling novel. It's a long, sad, and lamentably UNsordid tale.

That's a real shame, there's so many questions unanswered.

Liberty's Edge

Trey wrote:
Is it me, or is the bookstore seeing a steadily increasing stock of these? A variation seems to be appearing in the teen girls' section too, and the resultant need for space is consuming what used to be computer book territory.

I think Penny Arcade says it best: Literature.

Liberty's Edge

lol definitively Tyco has its own way of saying things...

and hope to read some Pathfinder Fiction, from Elain's pen or anyone else :D

talking about that.. can we have fiction on Merisiel and Seelah? and no not expecting anything around the lines of strong heroines fornicating a lot.


This place never ceases to amaze me as web sites go.....a thread goes up and then soon the people who the thread is about show up to the tilt, and not just fanboy related fluff but real points and everything...If this was around 25 yrs ago...you all don't know how lucky you are!

sorry threadjack over

yes, Golarion fiction mmm mmm good soon

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Robert Little wrote:
Trey wrote:
Is it me, or is the bookstore seeing a steadily increasing stock of these? A variation seems to be appearing in the teen girls' section too, and the resultant need for space is consuming what used to be computer book territory.

I think Penny Arcade says it best: Literature.

*nods*


Has anyone given any thought to Golarion-based collections of short fiction? Perhaps short stories could be written based on the various iconics, or even themed by location (i.e. "Tales from Korvosa"). That way several authors could be featured and Paizo could solicit the voices they (or possibly the fans) would most like to hear without having to commit to a full novel.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

An anthology would be sweet.. but we're still 8-12 months away from any possibilities... even then the stories have to get written. :)

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Can't wait to read the story Elaine.

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