Voyager UK |

Magician's End: The End of an Era

Magician's End

It is, quite literally, the end of an era. Raymond E. Feist’s thrilling epic fantasy opener – MAGICIAN – introduced to us the engaging character of Pug, who starts life as an orphaned kitchen-boy only to be apprenticed to a magician, captured as a slave and taken as a prisoner through a rift between worlds, ending up as a fully-fledged magician himself.

That was 31 years and 29 bestselling books ago: even before I started work as a publisher. I was already well aware of the phenomenon that MAGICIAN had been before I joined HarperCollins in 1991. Coming from a small independent publisher (George Allen & Unwin) I wasn’t used to sales in the hundreds of thousands (except, of course for the Master himself, JRR Tolkien). Working on the sf and fantasy list at HarperCollins was quite daunting: for alongside Ray Feist there also sat Stephen Donaldson, David Eddings, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke, all titans of the genre.

I have to admit to being quite scared at the prospect of meeting Ray for the first time, at the WorldCon in San Francisco in 1993. Everyone had told me tales about this leviathan of an author. He was a global megastar, selling millions of copies worldwide. He was used to a certain level of pampering from his publishers; he liked a good steak and was a connoisseur of fine red wine, my bosses told me, packing me off to meet him. Nervously, I asked the convention hotel to recommend a good steakhouse. They conferred: not easy apparently, since we were in the business district and all the restaurants were shut for the Labour Day weekend. They gave me a contact number and I booked a table, confident all would go swimmingly. I met Ray at the restaurant. Well, I say restaurant. More of a burger joint, actually. It did have tables… but that was about the height of its sophistication. It was, shall we say, no River House. I asked for a wine list. They laughed in my face. The food was terrible. I wanted to die. But Ray was a total gentleman throughout the entire excruciating experience, determined to put me at my ease, and from that day to this we have gone from strength to strength as author and publisher. And we’ve more than made up for that lapse in San Francisco with some mighty fine meals and wine in the intervening years.

But now we really have something huge to celebrate when Ray visits the UK this month. For MAGICIAN’S END – the 30th book in the Riftwar Cycle – marks the epic conclusion to this phenomenal series. And a truly worthy final volume it is, too.

When he delivered the huge manuscript last year I stayed up till 1am to finish reading it, with tears running down my face. Through the past three decades I have watched the ebb and flow of gods and dark elves, of kings and queens, knights and squires; spies and swordsmen, dragons and the Dread. War, love, magic, heroism, treachery and rifts between worlds: it’s made for a gloriously epic combination all these years.

MAGICIAN’S END brings together all the characters fantasy fans have loved all their adult lives, and which new readers are discovering with a sense of awe and delight every day, and delivers a truly cataclysmic, yet inspiring, ending for them. As a reader and a fan, I feel bereft: but as a publisher…. What a marvellous event it is going to be for us all, publishing this extraordinary final volume. I do hope you will turn out and help us to make the occasion a really special time and help us to celebrate in style with our brilliant and charming author.

Jane Johnson, HarperVoyager UK Publishing Director

Magician’s End is published on 6th May 2013 in the UK. Pre-order it now in hardback or in eBook.

Voyager UK |

Read an extract of Magician

War is coming from another world.

Read an extract of the first book in the Riftwar Cycle and discover the most epic series in fantasy today.

Download the Extended Extract of Magician

At Crydee, a frontier outpost in the tranquil Kingdom of the Isles, an orphan boy, Pug, is apprenticed to a master Magician – and the destinies of two worlds are changed forever.

Suddenly the peace of the Kingdom is destroyed as mysterious alien invaders swarm the land. Pug is swept up into the conflict but for him and his warrior friend, Tomas, an odyssey into the unknown has only just begun.

Tomas will inherit a legacy of savage power from an ancient civilization. Pug’s destiny will lead him through a rift in the fabric of space and time to the mastery of the unimaginable powers of a strange new magic.

And so the Riftwar begins.

Buy Magician

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Voyager Australia |

Raymond E. Feist and George R.R. Martin coming to Supanova Australia this year!

Well, it’s official folks! 2013 is shaping up to be Voyager Australia’s biggest event year EVER. Not only is Raymond E. Feist’s generation-spanning saga of Pug the Magician coming full cycle this year, but he will be touring Australia in June, including 2 big Supanovas in Sydney and Perth! But wait, there’s more! Everyone’s favourite Greek fisherman’s cap wearing author of A Song of Ice and Fire, and probably the biggest fantasy author in the world right now, George R.R. Martin will be coming to Supanova in November as well!

Here’s Supanova’s official statement yesterday: “And in another coup for fans of literature, our triple play of authors is complete with our June star just outing himself today as well. We have Tad Williams in April, George R.R. Martin in November, and now it gives us the pleasure of allowing him to out himself, the imperious chronicler of one of the world’s favourite fantasy-lands, The Magician’s, Raymond E. Feist! In an additional supa-bonus, not only can Supanova fans catch him at our expos in Sydney and Perth, but fans in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne will also have their chance to see him (details to be confirmed). Its going to be epic!”

AND Raymond E Feist’s post on his Facebook page:

See more Early tour info: OK, this is what I know this weekend.  I’ll be passing along more info when I get it. Don’t ask if I am coming to your city because I don’t know.  Don’t ask if there’s a chance, because I don’t know. In March, I will be in Brussels Belgium at the Fantasy Festival called Trolls et Légendes on the 29th through the 31st.  I will be in Paris on the 1st of April, but I do not know …if we’re doing public appearances of media only. In the US I will be at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego on the 17th of May.  Other US cities will be Houston, TX: Murder by the Book on the 21st, and University Bookstore at UW in Seattle on the 23rd.  We may be adding two more cities.  Information as followed.  I will also be attending the San Diego Comic in July, specific day and time TBA. I will be in the UK/Ireland (?) beginning May 4th and leaving May 12th.  Cities, venues, and times to be announced.  London, obviously, Manchester and Birmingham (likely) others could be anywhere. Lastly, I will be doing two Supernova Expos in Australia, Sydney and Perth, as well as other cities in Australia and New Zealand.   I’ll be in New Zealand on the 19th and 20th of June.  I’ll be at Sydney Supernova on the 22nd and 23rd, then to Brisbane on the 24th, Melbourne on the 25 or 26th, Adelaide on the 28 (TBC), then on to Perth for Supernova on the 29 and 30th. That’s what I have so far. When I get more information I’ll post it.”

Did we say we were excited??

Voyager UK |

The special editions are coming…

On 28 March 2013, these beauties will join the gorgeous Hobbit clothbound edition on our shelves.  Click through to see each of the jackets in more detail…

Apart from The Hobbit, which is out now, the other seven will be hitting shops in the UK on 28th March.

What do you think?

Voyager US |

Raymond E. Feist’s new novel, A CROWN IMPERILED, on sale today!

Thirty years ago, Raymond E, Feist wrote his first novel, Magician—a story about an orphan boy named Pug who travels to a place known as the Kingdom of the Isles to study wizardry from the Master Magician Kulgan—that set him on a long bestselling track. Now after 28 books (authored and co-authored) we are in the midst of the final Riftwar, an epic series of battles between Good and Evil that have ravaged the land of Midkemia for generations.

Pug—now the greatest magician of all time—faces an evil so grave that entire armies of demons are terrified by it, and in order to save Midkemia and preserve the honor of the legions of heroes who have died defending the land, Pug must risk more than he ever imagined…

Start reading A CROWN IMPERILED now: Prologue


Voyager UK, Voyager US |

Raymond E. Feist – Author Q&A

To celebrate the release of A Crown Imperilled, Raymond E. Feist talks about his writing experiences and fantasy as a genre.

What is it that draws you to the Fantasy genre?

It’s as close as I can get to the old “Boys Adventure” genre, or real historical novels, my first two loves as a kid.

In essence, both Fantasy and Sci-Fi tend to be escapist in that they manage to draw their readers completely into a totally different world.

Why do you think a lot of fantasy novels use the Medievalist form?

Western/Northern European is our common foundation culture in the UK and US. It’s changing, and we’re now hearing other voices with other roots, but for the most part, it’s come to be what we as readers of the genre expect. Asian and other settings are now becoming more commonplace, and my world of Kelewan was designed specifically to be non-European, but in the end, for heroic fantasy, the Medievalist European trope is preferred. Once you get out of the heroic, though, you tend to see a great deal more diversity.

Have you ever considered delving into the world of Sci-Fi?

Yes, to the terror of my publisher who would much prefer if I stuck with fantasy. I have two notions, an alternate history/time travel one, and a galaxy spanning old style high adventure idea. Maybe some day.

What authors do you look up to in your genre?

It’s tough to say without stepping on toes, so I avoid naming names of contemporaries. Let it suffice that there are a lot of very talented men and women out there right now, doing solid work for their loyal fans. We did recently suffer the loss of two really gifted storytellers in Jim Rigney (Robert Jordan) and Phillip Jose Farmer, one cut down far too young and one at the end of a long and glorious career. Both had well deserved fame and followings.

How do you create likeable heroes?

You find a common human trait the reader can at least understand, if not identify with; even my “anti-heroes” had to have that quality, else the reader just doesn’t care what happens to him or her.

What led up to your first book being published? How did you get your first big break?

I did it as a bit of a lark at first, writing. Then when friends were more than enthusiastic, more than the polite “how quaint,” kinds of comments, but really “you have to get this published,” I started bearing down. My first break was my friends; for a while I was out of work and they pitched in so I could finish the book – they put their money where their mouths were; you don’t get more concrete support than that. My second big break was in landing Harold Matson as my agent; he was a giant in the industry. He got it to Adrian Zackheim at Doubleday who loved the concept and helped me finish it as a novel.

What advice would you give unpublished Fantasy authors?

You have to keep writing. Young authors especially are impatient. They expect to do it all the first bash out, and it rarely works like that. Mostly it’s because writing is the most common of the arts as far as familiarity with tools; if you’ve passed your upper forms in Literature, you’re supposed to be able to write. Well, you can, a shopping list, a report to your boss, a letter to your mum, but if you want to write a book, that’s a different thing. You may play the piano, so you practise, but if you want to play Chopin at Carnegie Hall, you practise.