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Blood Steppes
- News regarding The Wilding -
csfriedman

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What's going on with The Wilding (aka ICBII)? This page contains all that I know about it. There are some spoilers in the Hints section, so if you haven't read the book, you may want to avoid that area.

What's Available

Recent News Interviews/Quotes Cover Concepts from Michael Whelan Final Cover Art for The Wilding
Recent News

  1. The Wilding is ON SALE NOW! Buy from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

  2. It takes place long after the events of the original in the society created in the aftermath of the events at the end of the ICB.

  3. The fates of Anzha and Zatar may be hinted at, but no more.

  4. C.S. Friedman on why In Conquest Born gets a sequel and not The Coldfire Trilogy.

    "Truth is, I only write what I would like to read, and I hate to read things where I know what is going to happen. There would be no mystery to a GT prequel, merely a chance to spend more time with the character. I know many readers like that kind of thing, but I really don't, and I feel that any writing project which didn't hold my interest probably would not turn out very well written :-)

    Novels should be a voyage of discovery into uncharted waters, IMHO. Once the map has been provided, I would rather turn to other projects. But you can always talk to me again in 15 years.

Interview with Paul Goat Allen
Available from Barnes and Noble

Paul Goat Allen: Celia, it's been almost two decades since the release of In Conquest Born. What was the motivation behind returning to this universe?

C. S. Friedman: Mostly a few key people making big puppy-dog eyes at me…for 18 years!

PGA: One characteristic about your novels that I particularly enjoy is the sheer density of thematic subject matter -- it's like brain food. What were some of the major themes that you wanted to explore in The Wilding?

CSF: As with In Conquest Born, the main theme is exploring consequences: What would we become as human beings if psychic power were made available? What would modern society be like if we gained technology before we cast off all our "barbaric" trappings? What would we become if we had the science to have children born any way we wanted them to be, including appearance? The ideas explored here are far from the only answers, but they show us how different our own world might be if certain things we now take for granted were to change. Beyond that, there is a theme that permeates all my work: Our world may change, but human beings do not. While I was working on In Conquest Born, someone I was telling about it regaled me with his own beliefs about how, if we were to gain telepathic ability, all war would end, because how do you keep secrets and hurt people when everyone knows everyone else's thoughts? I responded that in all ages, human nature has been essentially the same, and if psychic power were to develop, I had utter faith men would figure out ways to keep secrets, wage wars, and hurt one another -- as well as all the good stuff. That is really what all my books are about, the core of human nature and how it adapts to various challenges, both good and bad. I also like to think that each of my books enables the reader to experience something that does not exist in our universe. In In Conquest Born and The Wilding, I have attempted to create a vision of psychic ability that is compatible with what we understand of the human mind, and to give the reader a sense what it would be like to actually have such powers, as well as how they might be abused.

PGA: If given the choice to have psychic abilities like some of the characters in The Wilding, would you accept or decline, and why?

CSF: Sure, especially if I were the first one to be offered it. No need for cell phones!

PGA: How cool is it to have arguably the best artist in the genre, Michael Whelan, painting your book covers? And what are your feelings about The Wilding cover art?

CSF: It is the coolest thing since sliced bread, for sure. I hold my breath every time they ask him. Michael is a brilliant artist, and seeing what vision he came up with is like rediscovering my work. I think The Wilding is one of his best works. But I'm biased.

PGA: Any chance of another Azean/Braxin novel?

CSF: Absolutely not. Of course, I said that 18 years ago, so who knows?

Insights/Quotes

  1. JUL2000 - "I revel in exploring the parts of us that descend from less civilized life forms, and still drive us in ways we do not like to talk about."

  2. JUL2000 - "Most of the action will not take place on Braxi and the Braxana are not key to very much. So the same forum [for exploring language] does not exist"

  3. JUL2000 - "The novel will be placed moderately in the future, after the protagonists of ICB are dead and gone, but early on in the changes wrought by the social upheaval at the end of the book. In addition to plots and characters of its own, of course half the fun will be bits and pieces of hints as to what happened after ICB, but no, there will be no detailed summary of anything. Think of it as a new voyage of discovery, in which some of the setting will be new, some familiar, and much of it will focus on aspects of the universe that were beneath the surface of ICB, that no one saw.

    There is one very important plot element to both books of course, and I'd have to look up the exact name I gave it, but the theory was this: humankind being scattered about the universe at one point, all planets got a running start on modern evolution at about the same time. The nature of the planets they were living on determined how quickly each group of humans achieved the technology to make it into space and contact their own kind. This is mentioned in the final section of ICB.

    So the theory is that the longer things go, the more planets will be showing up with space-tech of their own. The time is long past whent the Braxins or Azeans explored the reaches of space and found planet after planet bogged down in barbarism and low technology. Anzha's last move of revenge is to try to screw with that schedule, as you may recall. Well, centuries later, we're that much farther along. Both empires will be running into more and more cultures that are established among the stars before anyone reaches them. New empires will be in their birth pangs, without those two nations influencing them.

    Since ICB was really about the changes in society at this vastly important turning point, ICBII will follow in that vein.

    Sex and violence too, of course"



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