AncalagonTheBlack

K.J. Parker (a.k.a.Tom Holt) - Part II

167 posts in this topic

So that's the Orbit project: http://www.staffersbookreview.com/2014/05/kj-parker-a-glimpse-behind-the-curtain.html

the hiatus came about because I’m embarking on a new project (for Orbit) which is several orders of magnitude more ambitious (and scary and nerve-wracking) than anything I’ve attempted before, and I had to have more than one go at the first part of it before it was fit to see daylight

And now:

It’s a sequence of novels—I’m writing it in novel-length chunks of around 150,000 words—and at the same time a pearl necklace of consecutive novellas

How many of these "chunks", because if the whole thing is 8 parts then I doubt it's 150k each. That would be definitely "epic" sized.

1 million words is roughly equal to 2500 pages...

Or it might mean that the 150k are split across 8 parts, and so that it goes on?

Edited by Gormenghast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or it might mean that the 150k are split across 8 parts, and so that it goes on?

I suspect that's what it means. There are approximate print lengths for the first three parts of The Two of Swords on Amazon's product pages, and they're 87, 51, and 75 pages. Some of the recent publicity mentioned the ending not having been fully written, which seems unlikely if the last part is only six months away.

The theory on Parker being Kim Holt is discussed here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's likely a 300k thing, split in two. And then split in four each.

So each of the eight is roughly 35k.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think so. Unless Orbit is using very close and tiny print for these estimates, 35K apiece would translate to higher page counts than that. 150K is probably the total for all eight parts of The Two of Swords, with the next chunk possibly having a different title.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not too convincing.

A 150k book is roughly 400 pages, or slightly less.

So when all 8 parts are published you have, like, a book of 375 pages with "many viewpoints". That's not enough space for a story where you really have a number of POVs.

300k would look more reasonable to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is still the page counts. 87+51+75=213, and 3/8 of 300,000 is 112,500. Which would equal a ridiculous 530 words per "page." More, actually, since some of those "pages" are probably mostly empty front and back matter.



As I said, I don't think the eight announced parts are the whole of this project. (They may just be what's close enough to release to be open to pre-orders.) It sounds like there's a viewpoint shift with each part, after all, and eight is hardly a lot of viewpoints by epic fantasy standards. Plus the "pearl necklace" metaphor: eight pearls is a pretty cheap necklace.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, then it doesn't convince me as a storytelling medium.

Reading something like 47 pages a month for an ongoing story isn't going to be so "satisfying".

Could you imagine reading something like ASoIaF that way?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But the entire point is to avoid cutting back and forth, which is why Parker talks about novellas. It sounds like each chunk is meant to be a somewhat self contained story that shows a war from a different perspective.



I just started reading my first Parker novel, the Company, the other day. So far it is...different.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first three parts are out. Based on the number of Kindle locations, part one is about 30,000 words, part two is about 15,000, and part three is about 25,000. But as Lord of Rhinos suggests, the parts are distinct sections of the story rather than arbitrary slices.



I've just started part two. So far I like it a lot.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's what I was expecting despite not having paid much attention to the identity guessing prior to yesterday. The first-person narration in the historical novels as Thomas Holt is just so much like the first-person in Parker's short fiction. Honestly, the surprising thing to me style-wise is that Tom Holt and Thomas Holt are the same writer, if you see what I mean.



Anyway, I've now finished the second part of The Two of Swords, and I'm already hooked. The POV shifts are used to great effect in balancing revelations with new mysteries. The structure suggests at least nine installments, by the way, and probably a lot more: twenty-odd, perhaps.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KJP is male!!!!! :o

I doubt that highly.

Ya, i'm with you on that.

hah! both of you were wrong! :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that's just...meh.

I feel like a DC Villian who just found out Bruce Wayne is batman.

"He is? Oh yeah that makes sense I guess"

I know some people are going to be pissed about the gender thing though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know some people are going to be pissed about the gender thing though.

How so?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This enhances Holts standing as a writer of note (not that he wasn't well regarded before of course). What are peoples feelings on him as a writer now that there's all this extra body to his, errm, body of work?


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no idea who Tom Holt is, so kind of "whatever" reaction from me.



Why were so many people convinced Parker must be a woman, BTW? Surely not because of the books and stories themselves, since from what I've read 98% of the important characters are male.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no idea who Tom Holt is, so kind of "whatever" reaction from me.

Why were so many people convinced Parker must be a woman, BTW? Surely not because of the books and stories themselves, since from what I've read 98% of the important characters are male.

I never really understood that either. I always thought his books read much more like something that came from a male author.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now