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Friday, March 4, 2011

Guest post - Raymond E Feist - Approaching the End

Approaching the End

The lovely folks at A&R asked me to reflect a bit on bringing this all together after thirty two years of work, this Midkemian opus, what I've come to call the Riftwar Cycle.  To do so, I have to go back a little to the beginning.

Midekmia is a gaming environment, a world developed by many friends at university to which I contributed a bit. I'll skip over pages of narration about how the world developed save to make one observation: it was created by a bunch of graduate student science majors who rarely were inclined to take "because I said so" as a reason for the way things happened.  As a result, Midkemia as a game and world was a "system," an oddly successful virtual world that had a lot of quirky rules and odd conventions.  As we played, stories were spun about why things were the way they were.  Many events in the game resulted from "back in the time of the Riftwar, when the greater magic came to Midkemia . . ."

When I decided to take a hand at writing fantasy, it seemed logical to me to do it in Midkemia, given it spared me a lot of world-building.  But when you jump into an objective, albeit virtual, world, you inherit the conventions and rules.   So, I don't write about the era in which we gamed, but rather the "back in the days" stuff, the virtual "past" of the place.  Hence, when asked, I tell people I'm writing historical novels about a place that doesn't exist.

When I wrote Magician I had no idea if anyone would buy it, let alone dream it would still be in print thirty years later and eventually have twenty nine sequels.  I set out to tell the story of the first Riftwar, how the greater magic came to Midkemia.  But as fate was kind and people wanted to read more, I continued on, knowing there were five Riftwars in total, the Riftwar, the Serpent War, the Dark War, the Demon War, and the Chaos War.  It wasn't until I finished the Serpent War I realized that I was going to have to keep at it to the end.

Now I'm almost there. It's been an amazing experience and one I never anticipated.  The readers have been wonderful, welcoming, and enthusiastic about the entire narrative. When the last book is closed, I hope they'll still look back as fondly as I do on the entire process.

It most likely won't be the last of Midkemia, and certainly won't be the last book I write. I'm already entertaining ideas for more fantasy in different settings, as well as some thing I might take a hand in back on familiar territory, and I'm sure some people might be interesting in seeing what Midkemia's like after I get done with it in the current series.  Whatever I choose to do, I hope the readers are as enthused about it as I am.

Raymond E. Feist
San Diego, CA March, 2011
 Raymond E. Feist (full name Raymond Elias Feist), is a Southern Californian by birth and a San Diegan by choice. He was educated at the University of California, San Diego, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts with Honors in 1977. Hobbies include collecting movies on DVD, fine wine, books on the history of Professional Football, and the works of American Illustrators.
For more information here is Raymonds website.

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