Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

The Canticle (by Ken Scholes) Thread: Psalms of Isaak #2

[ Edited ]

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD!!!

PREPARE YOURSELVES FOR THE SECOND INSTALLMENT IN THE FANTASY SERIES

THAT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE THE WORLD!!!

KEN SCHOLE'S CANTICLE!!!

BOOK TWO OF THE PSALMS OF ISAAK!!!

AND DON'T FORGET!!!

KEN SCHOLES WILL BE HERE FROM OCTOBER 12 - OCTOBER 26TH!!!

 

 

 

Seriously. I L-O-V-E this series. As much as I loved Lamentation, I loved Canticle even more. The seeds of themes planted in Lamentation begin to grow in Canticle – and trust me, nothing transpires as you thought it would! Revelations and bombshells around every corner....
I'm not going to talk in specifics yet but I will share with you the glowing PW review – although those that don't want to read ANYTHING aboutwhat happens in canticle should skip this review....
The sequel to Scholes's stellar debut, 2008's Lamentation, ingeniously fuses epic fantasy and postapocalyptic science fiction. Magicked assassins kill numerous leaders from across the Named Lands and send the region into economic and political turmoil. Amid the chaos, Jin Li Tam gives birth to General Rudolfo's son, sickly Jakob. As Rudolfo sets out in search of a cure, young Marsh Queen Winters ascends the throne of her people only to realize her past has been an elaborate lie; former Androfrancine Pope Petronus risks his life to bring some semblance of peace to the realm; and Nebios ben Hebda uncovers bombshell revelations regarding the Order's “metal men” and the history of the Old World. Abounding in prophecy, myth and mystery, this grand-scale saga is a towering storytelling tour de force.

 

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Inspired Scribe
carmen22
Posts: 988
Registered: ‎01-12-2009
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

I can't wait for this book! Or the discussion with Ken!! Woot! Woot! I will be back online by then for sure! I have been moving and have not had internet...:smileysad:  It should be up and running by today, I hope!

_______________________
"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

 


carmen22 wrote:

I can't wait for this book! Or the discussion with Ken!! Woot! Woot! I will be back online by then for sure! I have been moving and have not had internet...:smileysad:  It should be up and running by today, I hope!


 

 

Well, thank God you're back! I thought that we lost you!!! Hope the move was not that stressful. (I hate moving!)

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Bibliophile
Melhay
Posts: 2,062
Registered: ‎12-11-2008
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

I will most definitely be here with bells on. :smileywink:  I don't think anything could keep me away for this one!

_______________________
"There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us." From Nyphron Rising, By Michael J. Sullivan

My Blog Spot: http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/
Inspired Scribe
carmen22
Posts: 988
Registered: ‎01-12-2009
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes


paulgoatallen wrote:

 


carmen22 wrote:

I can't wait for this book! Or the discussion with Ken!! Woot! Woot! I will be back online by then for sure! I have been moving and have not had internet...:smileysad:  It should be up and running by today, I hope!


 

 

Well, thank God you're back! I thought that we lost you!!! Hope the move was not that stressful. (I hate moving!)

 

Paul


 

No, you couldn't lose me that easy! LOL! Ah, I hate moving as well! Packing and unpackingis just so time consuming!!!! I'm not even finished unpacking yet!!!! LOL!

 

It's good to be back!

_______________________
"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
Author
kenscholes
Posts: 136
Registered: ‎10-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

Good Morning Everyone!  It's nice to be back among you.  I had a great time here earlier in the year with our LAMENTATION discussions and I'm excited to return with CANTICLE.

 

I've had some changes in my life since the last time.  Well, two BIG changes:  Elizabeth Kathleen and Rachel Ann made their appearance on July 28.   So I went from crazy-busy to crazier-busier.  Lots of diapers and formula flying around West Scholes Manor.  And the girls have recently learned to smile.

 

I've also finished ANTIPHON and am revising it now.  By November, I'll be writing REQUIEM.

 

Anyway, here I am!  CANTICLE is out tomorrow.  Meanwhile, if you haven't read it yet, there is a story that ties in to CANTICLE over at  http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=story&id=13879.  It gives some interesting backstory to the Psalms of Isaak.

 

You may not find me here quite as much as the last time.  It's not from lack of interest -- just lack of time.  But I'll do my best to answer all questions.  Big thank you to Paul for his support of the series and for hosting me here at B&N.

 

For those of you in WA, OR or CA, I'll be touring those areas with Kate Elliott.  Find details on the event section of my website.

 

Okay, back to revisions and coffee with me before the babies wake up again....

Bibliophile
Melhay
Posts: 2,062
Registered: ‎12-11-2008
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

Welcome Ken!

 

Glad to hear all is well there at West Scholes Manor.  I loved the first smiles and laughs, those bright eyes.  Just an amazing thing.

 

I plan on pulling out all my notes and stories from the first round we had here with Lamentation.  I want to review my questions and where everyone is at to have a fresh memory to get into Canticle tomorrow.  I plan on going to the store after work to pick up the book and start reading.  I am very excited to get back to the lives of all the characters.

 

Look forward to discussing this book.  Thanks for taking the time with us Ken!

_______________________
"There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us." From Nyphron Rising, By Michael J. Sullivan

My Blog Spot: http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

 


kenscholes wrote:

Good Morning Everyone!  It's nice to be back among you.  I had a great time here earlier in the year with our LAMENTATION discussions and I'm excited to return with CANTICLE.

 

I've had some changes in my life since the last time.  Well, two BIG changes:  Elizabeth Kathleen and Rachel Ann made their appearance on July 28.   So I went from crazy-busy to crazier-busier.  Lots of diapers and formula flying around West Scholes Manor.  And the girls have recently learned to smile.

 

I've also finished ANTIPHON and am revising it now.  By November, I'll be writing REQUIEM.

 

Anyway, here I am!  CANTICLE is out tomorrow.  Meanwhile, if you haven't read it yet, there is a story that ties in to CANTICLE over at  http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=story&id=13879.  It gives some interesting backstory to the Psalms of Isaak.

 

You may not find me here quite as much as the last time.  It's not from lack of interest -- just lack of time.  But I'll do my best to answer all questions.  Big thank you to Paul for his support of the series and for hosting me here at B&N.

 

For those of you in WA, OR or CA, I'll be touring those areas with Kate Elliott.  Find details on the event section of my website.

 

Okay, back to revisions and coffee with me before the babies wake up again....


 

 

Ken:

Congrats, again, on the new family members – my wife gave birth to our second daughter in May. Isn't it amazing how all of your free time goes out the window once a baby – or in your case, two! – arrive?!?

 

And a huge "THANK YOU!" for stopping by again. I think I speak for everyone here when I say that your Psalms of Isaak novels are the best thing to happen to SF/fantasy in a looooong time and having the opportunity to discuss the intricacies of the series with you is an honor.

 

Okay, since some readers may still be devouring Canticle, I'll start with some "non-spoiler" questions....

 

Be back in a sec!

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

1. The plotlines in your saga are, for me, like seeds on the wind – or, as I described in Lamentation, the ever-expanding ripples from a pebble thrown into a pond. And by that I mean when I was reading Canticle, I was blown away by the mind-boggling scope and direction that these storylines took. I mean, wow – Rudulfo's desperate quest, Nebios ben Hebda's amazing adventure, Winters, Petronus, and Vlad Li Tam's travels – Wow! Wow! Wow! Character development, pacing, and thematic depth aside, penning a novel – a series – like this with so much going on must've taken a Herculean effort in patience and perseverance. can you eleborate a little bit about the "process" of writing a storyline of this magnitude? Do you have graphs, charts, timelines, etc.?

 

2. Again, I thought of Walter M. Miller Jr.'s apocalyptic classic A Canticle for Leibowitz while reading Canticle.  Have you had a chance to read it yet?

 

3. I know a few people who vehemently disagree with me that your Psalms of Isaak saga is SF (I called it a "fusion of epic fantasy and post-apocalyptic science fiction" in the PW review.) If forced to do so, how would you classify your series?

 

Okay, that's a good start.... more later!    :smileyhappy:

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Bibliophile
Melhay
Posts: 2,062
Registered: ‎12-11-2008
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

Holy Talitos Batman,

 

I was just over going through all our posts from Lamentation.  We had a lot of questions and ideas.  I am remembering everything but I am taking Lamentation to work with me so I can read my notes and flags in the book.  I also want to reread the beginning and the end of the book.  There was so much information in this book everywhere.  I would love to read the whole series straight through.  This will most definitely be a series I will revisit in the future many times over.  I don't think this story can get old at all with all the underlining and intertwining mysteries.

 

I am keeping my fingers crossed that a bookstore near me will have Canticle tomorrow so I can start tomorrow night.

_______________________
"There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us." From Nyphron Rising, By Michael J. Sullivan

My Blog Spot: http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/
Author
kenscholes
Posts: 136
Registered: ‎10-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

Hi Paul, Melhay, et al.

 

Nice to be back!  And it is a mutual honor.  I'm moved at how much you folks love my work.  You're the target audience.

 

As to the questions....

 

Oddly enough, I don't labor much with charts, graphs, etc.  I really just think about my characters and what they are afraid of, what they hope for and what it is inside that they're grappling with and how that plays with the external conflicts they face.  I wrote CANTICLE with an outline but truth-be-told, I never once referred to the outline and haven't opened that file since I created it and wrote down my notes.

 

It seems my plotlines all unfold organically as I'm writing though I do pause to think along the way for a day here or there.  My characters drive the story for me.  I have a sense of the Big Picture but the details of each book sort themselves out as I"m writing.  The one thing that IS structured is how much space each character gets within the book and the rotation of three characters per chapter (though in CANTICLE I believe I have one chapter with FOUR POVs in it instead of three.)

 

Alas, no Herculean Effort other than sitting down to do the work in the midst of Pandemonium and Madness.

 

One day, I may get more meticulous in my plotting just to see what happens when I do.  Just like one day, I'll hope to write a more traditional epic fantasy.

 

As to 2 -- I read Miller's book in high school and loved it.  I've had some comparisons drawn though I seem to recall that his book had actual Catholic monks whereas PoI's Androfrancines are a wholly secular order established to keep people operating in the "light" of Reason and protect humanity from itself.  I hope to re-read his book one day but it'll be a while before I get to it.  It's on my shelf awaiting that day.

 

And for 3....  I think the best answer is that all of the POV characters in PoI believe they are in an epic fantasy though the evidence to those of us outside may be contrary to that.  Still, I'm told it feels like epic fantasy.  And I suspect that some of that may come from my desire to write something that had the feel of an "otherworldly" biblical epic to it.  With mythology and history all serving as a backdrop.   One of my earliest lessons as a writer (taught to me by Patrick Swenson, editor of Talebones and Fairwood Press) is to stay true to the POV of your characters.  And btw, thank you for your description -- I think epic fantasy fused with post-apocalyptic SF is a good description.  And your PW review (I didn't realize it was you) made me giddy with joy, Paul. 

 

Okay, off to pack the itty-bitties up for our trip to the Dalles for our book release party.  Much to do!  Much to do!  Back tomorrow!

Inspired Scribe
carmen22
Posts: 988
Registered: ‎01-12-2009
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

I am currently waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail! I'm so excited about it, too! YAY!!!.... Thanks for being here Ken and Congrats on your little ones :smileyhappy:

_______________________
"Bright colors, Vasher thought. I'll have to get used to those again. In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers. This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and - of course - color." Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
Distinguished Bibliophile
pen21
Posts: 3,653
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

I tried the new "Pick Me Up" where you reserve it at BN.com and then pick it up in 60 minutes at your local store.

They had longer than 60 minutes, but it was waiting for me at the register. Nice!

They also sent an email within 60 minutes saying it was put aside for me.

So I can sit down and start reading Canticle.

pen21

 


 

 

Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

 


pen21 wrote:

I tried the new "Pick Me Up" where you reserve it at BN.com and then pick it up in 60 minutes at your local store.

They had longer than 60 minutes, but it was waiting for me at the register. Nice!

They also sent an email within 60 minutes saying it was put aside for me.

So I can sit down and start reading Canticle.

pen21

 


Enjoy the experience, Pen – it was amazing!!!
Paul

 

 


 

 

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

Ken:

So many more questions for you...I understand what you say about the pov of the characters being fantasy while other elements – The Churning Wastes, the Old World, sunstones, etc. –  may point to SF or apocalyptic fiction but my question is this: will the ancient history or backstory of the Old World eventually be revealed or will it remain cloaked in mystery? Because, I gotta tell you, I'm dying to read about how things got to this point and as long as I know something – anything – will be revealed in the next three books, I can rest easier.....

 

Paul

 

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Inspired Bibliophile
Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

I will get a copy of the book from the library either tomorrow or Thursday and am so looking forward to reading it.  I wish that I could afford to buy it but not possible right now.  So I will enjoy the libraries copy and at least it didn't take them four months to get it this time.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
Author
kenscholes
Posts: 136
Registered: ‎10-17-2008

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

Heh.  Some will be revealed.  Some will wait. 

 

We will have a better idea of it all at the end, certainly, but I'll also tell more of how things came to be the way they are through other series, which will hopefully make people Very Happy.  You can get a taste of how this world USED to be in "A Weeping Czar...."  Of course, that was a world rebuilt after the First Cataclysm (which led eventually to the banishment and extinction of the Younger Gods.)  At some point, I'd like to finish that tale about Frederico and Amal and the Falling Moon.  And I also hope to tell the story of P'Andro Whym and the downfall of the Wizard Kings...along with Xhum Y'Zir's wrath that brought down the world.   All books I hope to write as this first series gets me established in the field.

 

 

Bibliophile
Melhay
Posts: 2,062
Registered: ‎12-11-2008
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes


kenscholes wrote:

Heh.  Some will be revealed.  Some will wait. 

 

We will have a better idea of it all at the end, certainly, but I'll also tell more of how things came to be the way they are through other series, which will hopefully make people Very Happy.  You can get a taste of how this world USED to be in "A Weeping Czar...."  Of course, that was a world rebuilt after the First Cataclysm (which led eventually to the banishment and extinction of the Younger Gods.)  At some point, I'd like to finish that tale about Frederico and Amal and the Falling Moon.  And I also hope to tell the story of P'Andro Whym and the downfall of the Wizard Kings...along with Xhum Y'Zir's wrath that brought down the world.   All books I hope to write as this first series gets me established in the field.

 

 


 

I would love to read all the books in these areas you have listed.  I think there is a lot of story and history here.  I have been very curious in all these areas, looking for any clue to more story here along with the current story that is going.  This would be a great history story session on these.

_______________________
"There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us." From Nyphron Rising, By Michael J. Sullivan

My Blog Spot: http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

 


kenscholes wrote:

Heh.  Some will be revealed.  Some will wait. 

 

We will have a better idea of it all at the end, certainly, but I'll also tell more of how things came to be the way they are through other series, which will hopefully make people Very Happy.

 

 


 

 

"Other series?!?" (Screaming out in joy....) That's just about the best thing I've heard in months, Ken! Glad to hear it!

 

I feel weird about asking questions about specifics in the book – it seems like the majority of regs are still reading it but I'm going to ask a question any way:

 

The title, Canticle, I'm guessing is a reference to the song Neb hears in the Wastes – A Canticle for the Fallen Moon, written before the Age of the Wizard Kings. How did you come upon the title, and in your mind, how is the title significant to this part of the saga?    :smileyhappy:

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Author
kenscholes
Posts: 136
Registered: ‎10-17-2008

Re: OCTOBER FEATURE #1: Canticle by Ken Scholes

Hi Paul,

 

Yep, you got the reference.  And though it isn't stated, it is the song Amal Y'Zir taught Frederico in "A Weeping Czar Beholds the Fallen Moon" and it is mistakenly credited to him through the blurring of history as he's the first to introduce it to this world.  I don't know yet if he gave it the title or if the title was laid upon the song posthumously, but "A Canticle for the Fallen Moon (in D Minor)" (or is it E Minor?) is the song Neb hears. 

 

With the titles, I wanted all of them to come from types of sacred music.  And CANTICLE and ANTIPHON are closely related as an antiphon is a response to a canticle.

 

Some have mistakenly assumed that the title was a tribute to Miller.  It actually ties more into the Simon and Garfunkel "Canticle" that plays in the background of Scarborough Fair, under the surface, and only really heard if you listen carefully.