Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Realmslore
 Chamber of Sages
 Questions for Richard Lee Byers
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 67

Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2012 :  00:27:45  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Just reading the sample chapter had me very excited.

My order arrives not later than this Sunday.

Every beginning has an end.
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2012 :  14:59:53  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My new column is up at Airlock Alpha. It's a look at the love lives of superheroes.

http://airlockalpha.com/node/8958/astrojive-power-couples.html
Go to Top of Page

Elsenrail
Seeker

Poland
72 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2012 :  22:51:50  Show Profile Send Elsenrail a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So far I'm really enjoying the novel. :)

Richard, when does the next book in the series come out? I found no information about release dates of book V and VI in your recent novel (I consider books IV-VI a new trilogy of sorts)
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 18 Feb 2012 :  04:49:06  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you're enjoying it.

The next one will be out the first half of next year, but I'm not sure of the month.
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2012 :  18:30:21  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Diehard GameFAN's review of The Masked Witches is up.

http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/02/20/book-review-the-masked-witches-brotherhood-of-the-griffon-book-iv-dungeons-dragons/
Go to Top of Page

Elsenrail
Seeker

Poland
72 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2012 :  08:54:50  Show Profile Send Elsenrail a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've finished the novel and it was a fine read. :)

I recall that your books, at least in not that distant past, were being released sooner than an average FR novel, with approximately 9 months release breaks. Has something changed in this matter? First half of 2013 is a long way to go.
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2012 :  14:20:48  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked the book!

I have not received any sort of formal notice that henceforth, WotC would rather bring my books out at longer intervals. So it may just be that's the way it's working out this one time. Publishers have a lot of issues to juggle when they decide on a schedule for new releases.
Go to Top of Page

RyanATX
Acolyte

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2012 :  19:51:03  Show Profile Send RyanATX a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just finished The Masked Witches the other day. Awesome novel! Great continuation of the series. I loved the Jet/Aoth banter! I can't wait for the next one. (hoping for more Khouryn:)
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 24 Feb 2012 :  04:31:42  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you enjoyed it, RyanATX!
Go to Top of Page

Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2012 :  04:24:37  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Now on Chapter 6 of The Masked Witches. Loving it so far!

Every beginning has an end.
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2012 :  15:50:33  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Good to hear!
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2012 :  14:41:28  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks to my good friend Wade, I belatedly found out that an article to which I contributed my thoughts on writing successful series characters has gone live. Check it out here:

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/bookwyrms/20120202
Go to Top of Page

Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2012 :  01:18:14  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Thanks for sharing, Richard. Liked it. To the question, well, I have a lot. And Aoth is one of them.

Every beginning has an end.
Go to Top of Page

Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2012 :  00:14:09  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Richard, I just finished The Masked Witches. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Here is my Spoiler-Free Review.

Question:
Given the last word of the novel, is the setting for Book 5 Thay?.

Every beginning has an end.
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2012 :  02:53:49  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Not entirely.
Go to Top of Page

Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2012 :  03:13:10  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

So some parts happen there...Good to know.

Every beginning has an end.
Go to Top of Page

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2012 :  21:16:17  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Greetings, Scribe Byers.

I have a few questions concerning your short story from Realms of the Elves, "Traitors".

Where in Faerun was the realm ruled by the gold dragons?

The technology and economy of the kingdom was astonishingly similar to modern Faerun. Even technology with few or no applications for dragons* was sophisticated and widely available to the 'lesser mortals'.

In your mind, what was the explanation for why the elven rebels and their descendants moved on to create their own advanced civilisations, but for ca 20,000 years, humans continued to exist solely as hunter-gatherers in Faerun?**

In Earth history, the barrier to the establishment of advanced societies has primarily been the availability of domesticatable plant and animals species. Wild grain species and wild horses are barely worth the effort of sowing or taming them, but a few millenia of selective breeding can create species of grain that yields far more food per hour of work than hunting and gathering.

Given that such crops and such animals had obviously been created by the dragon-ruled realms, why were these plants and animals not adopted by other humans, either survivors of the fallen realms, their descendants or simply new bands of hunter-gatherers who got there a few decades or centuries later?

Until I read your story, I had thought that the selective breeding necessary for intensive grain agriculture and specialised breeds of horses did not take place until ca 10,000 years from Faerun's modern era. Given the pattern such innovations had in our history of spreading fast and causing the majority of hunter-gatherers to change their ways, I could not see how it would work otherwise.

Intensive acriculture means that some people would build cities and civilisations and horses mean that some people would raid and attack settled neighbours, sweeping over a lot of area, introducing horses to most everyone. These are not changes that would remain obscure for long, given that they are they causes of everything that other races notice and dread about humanity.

When writing the story, did you think about the likely consequences of any domesticable animals and plants remaining after the dragon-ruled civilisations fell?

*E.g. massive warhorses.
**Even when they did start societies at the beginning of that time, such as the Imaskari, there is little or no evidence that they made use of dragonic society remains, with Imaskar and Netheril both relying on Creator Race remnants instead.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2012 :  22:46:52  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Icelander.

You have me at a bit of a disadvantage here. I wrote the story in 2005, and honestly, much of the thinking and planning that went into it has gone completely out of my head. That happens to us old guys. For example, I don't remember where I placed the kingdom that was the setting. It didn't really matter where it was in terms of telling this particular story, and as I recall, no one could even direct me to a map of Faerūn during that point in its history, which made the whole thing problematic anyway.

I will appeal to authority and say that hey, Wizards published it. In theory, that means someone there reviewed it and didn't think it did hideous damage to the continuity of the setting.

As far as the technology and economy of ancient Faerūn being similar to modern Faerūn, that's often true when we get stories of the ancient times of fantasy worlds. They just don't seem to follow the same developmental rules as our own world, and maybe that's reasonable on its own terms when natural law itself is manifestly very different. Perhaps it's even different enough to make arguments about how agriculture and animal husbandry evolved on our world irrelevant. After all, consider all the cataclysmic and supernatural events that figure in the history of the Realms.

If you want to rationalize the fact that humans reverted to a primitive state, you can always assume that most humans already were in a primitive state. The ones the dragons lifted up were an atypical group, possibly wiped out in the great wars to come, in any case, too few to determine the future course of their entire species.

I have to say, it's interesting being on the opposite side of a discussion like this. I remember a number of times when I've talked about what might reasonably happen in Faerūn with real-world history as my touchstone only to have fans essentially tell me my arguments are bogus because in a high-magic setting, all things are possible.

Anyway, bottom line, I get the feeling you think the story sucked, so sorry you didn't care for it. Fortunately, even if you don't like my stuff, there are plenty of other novels about the Realms. If you're not reading them already, check out Erin Evans, Paul Kemp, and Erik Scott de Bie.
Go to Top of Page

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2012 :  23:50:14  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I did not mean to imply that I necessarily disliked the story. I merely despaired at the implications for my attempts to figure of the history of the setting.

I recognise that expecting history or the evolution of technology to follow the same path in an alternate world with magic and active powers as it did in our humble world would be erraneous. What I do believe, however, is that any kind of speculative fiction, whether fantasy or science-fiction, must be bound by its own logic. If and when things differ from the real world, it does so in ways dictated by its own rules.

As such, I find that 'It's fantasy, anything can happen' is not a viable argument for or against a given alternate historical pattern. On the other hand, 'Because this world has magic which does a and b, it is reasonable to expect that c and d would not occur as they did in our world and that x and z are, in fact, a plausible outcome given the initial conditions' is perfectly valid.

The implicit assumption behind a lot of fiction, necessarily so to make it easy for the audience to identify with characters or for players to portray them, is that people remain people regardless of the world. Their cultures might be different, they might know magic, but they'll still behave recognisably as people.

As such, I find that if societies in real life were profoundly influenced by the presence or absence of certain natural conditions with economic implications, it is reasonable to expect the same to apply in fantasy, unless there is some supernatural explanation for why not.

The justification I mentally developed for why the horse breeds domesticated by the realm in question didn't spread to other humans was that dragons who had newly lost their human servants who used to feed them tended to attack the easiest large prey nearby and that horses trained not to fear dragons were so easy to hunt that they effectively died out very soon after such realms fell.

As for the grains, they were a bit more problematic. Examples would survive for long enough so that the fall was over and it is hard to see why dragons would bother to destroy every seed of something that had previously been to their advantage and which was not as attractive as food as large herbivores. On the other hand, there was a group of actors who would have had a reason to destroy grains which enabled intensive acriculture and thus made dragon realms stronger.

As a preliminary to their King-Killer Star ritual, the elven rebels could have released a magical blight which targeted the cereal grains which fed the mostly-human armies of the dragon kings and enabled them to cut down ever more forests. Elves survived at that point and still do on silviculture, the art and science of harvesting food from tended forests. The blight would not have touched their food supply, but would have struck directly at the power of the dragon realms. Herds of livestock for feeding the wyrms would require grain to feed, horses for human cavalry required grain and the humans which filled their cities and served in their armies could not gather in such large groups without the high yield crops.

I can see elven rebels who would consider the Rage a viable military option leaping at the chance to strike at the economic foundations of enemy realms and the drake-led humans that invaded their lands, cutting their trees.

Does that seem plausible? Fit with your view of events, in story and out of it?

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2012 :  00:05:05  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree with you that fantasy worlds should have their own internal logic, and your hypotheses seem reasonable. Like I said, though, I haven't reread this story since I wrote it seven years ago, and I've written millions of words of fiction since, so it's not utterly, absolutely impossible that I've forgotten something that would make one of your ideas problematic.
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2012 :  17:19:58  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"Howard and Burroughs: Box Office Poison?" is my new column at Airlock Alpha:

http://airlockalpha.com/node/9010/astrojive-howard-and-burroughs-box-office-poison.html
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2012 :  23:00:55  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I was a source for this article on zombie-apocalypse insurance:

http://www.insurancequotes.com/zombie_insurance/
Go to Top of Page

Entromancer
Senior Scribe

USA
388 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2012 :  22:46:55  Show Profile Send Entromancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Byers, I can't speak for the accuracy of the latest Conan movie, but I think the extent of a book's film counterpart plays a role in how well it performs. Audiences likely want a well-rounded story that explains things as neatly as possible. I am a very big Stephen King fan, and I don't care for the film version of IT. My dislike comes from the dumbing down of the characters. Henry Bowers in particular. The book gave us a slice of his homelife that helped the reader understand *why* he was a bully. Plus the scope of the book could be considered epic.

Many critiques of the film are also addressed in the book.

"...the will is everything. The will to act."--Ra's Al Ghul

"Suffering builds character."--Talia Al Ghul
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2012 :  01:42:26  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The Conan movie is in a somewhat different category that the film version of IT because it's not based on any one particular Howard story. It's a new story starring Howard's signature character and set in his world. But as I mentioned in my column, I think there's information about the Hyborian world that we get in the stories that would have enhanced the film.
Go to Top of Page

Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1772 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2012 :  01:53:24  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'll have a story in the forthcoming anthology WHEN THE VILLAIN COMES HOME. A number of other FR writers are in there, too. More info here:

http://www.gabrielle-edits.com/2012/04/05/heroes-and-villains-announcements/
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 67 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2017 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000