Almost four years ago the original version of The Unremembered was published. I was ecstatic. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work, and, of course, a bit of luck. But all things in life have a number of “sides” to them, don’t they?
Without going into detail, let me just say that not all author/editor matches are made in heaven. As a result, not all authors and their editors share the same vision for a book. Perhaps this is no one’s fault. But it does mean that things change. And these years later, I have a new editor. These years later, there’s a new version of The Unremembered.
So, what’s different, you may then ask. Quiet a lot, actually.
Let’s start with the length of the book. Typically, Author’s Editions are longer. Given the chance to go back to a book, most writers add the stuff they cut the first time around. Stephen King’s Uncut version of The Stand comes to mind. That volume was roughly 300 pages longer. But with the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered, I cut. A lot. I suppose there’s a risk that I ditched things some of my readers liked. It might also be true that gone are things other readers didn’t care for. Regardless, I “killed my darlings,” as they say. I kept the stuff the story needed. The rest–beloved or reviled–is gone. The book is significantly trimmer, faster paced, more focused.
Next, I added things. I believe it was about 15K words, which is still a fraction of what I cut. But given the opportunity to more closely tie books one and two . . . well, who wouldn’t take the chance to do so. There are some new bits I think readers are really going to love, as well as some entirely new chapters, including a music magic scene that I WOULD LOVE to see in a movie!
As I worked through the text, I also brushed up the dialogue, cut exposition where I felt it needed it, warmed up characters as appropriate, removed things cryptic (if being cryptic was appropos of nothing), sharpened motivation, made more clear the “why’s” for doing things, etc., etc. You get the idea.
There are some more cosmetic changes, too. There’s a glossary, for folks who dig such things. I’ve added an exclusive short story, set in the universe of The Vault of Heaven. This story takes as a viewpoint character a creature from inside the Bourne–a creature who becomes a main character in book two, Trial of Intentions. In fact, Tor also put the first few chapters of Trial of Intentions in the back of this Author’s Edition of The Unremembered. So, that’s cool. You get a little taste of what book two is like. Plus, I went back and added epigraphs to every chapter in this edition of The Unremembered. I kinda dig epigraphs. Nice little world building tools.
Oh, and to distinguish all these stuffs, Tor has put a little yellow star on the front of the cover, which says: Author’s Definitive Edition. So, if you’re interested in picking up a copy, be sure to look for the gold star.
Now, I want to be clear about something. If you read the original version, you don’t need to read the Author’s Edition to move on to book two, Trial of Intentions. You’ll be just fine. In fact, because it’s been four years, I wrote Trial of Intentions as an entry point to the series. So, if you haven’t read The Unremembered, or just want to dive in with book two, that’ll work. I get you up to speed. That said, if you decide to start at the beginning, or if you want to re-read book one in preparation for book two, I recommend you read the Author’s Edition. It’s a stronger book. That simple. Plus, there’s all the things I added to knit the books more closely together. Plus, goodies.
There’ve been a few reviews, so far, too. (Thank you to the folks who emailed these to me.) About the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered, here’s what a few have said:
The original version of the book had quotes and other nice things said about it by the Library Journal (starred review), Terry Brooks, Kevin J. Anderson, Piers Anthony, Ed Greenwood, Anne Perry, and Brandon Sanderson. Gee, wonder what they’d think of the Author’s Edition. Heh.
Speaking of the Author’s Edition, a few nice quotes from the following folks:
- “Intricately crafted with its own distinct melody, The Unremembered is a groundbreaking work of epic fantasy.” –Bookwormblues.net
- “Sometimes you just need a big, fat fantasy, and Peter Orullian’s remastered edition of The Unremembered delivers everything you’re looking for: a fascinating world, tense action, charismatic characters, and a magic system the like of which you’ve never imagined.”—Aidan Moher, A Dribble of Ink, Hugo Award Winner
- “The Unremembered captures the unique essence and mystery of music, and weaves it into every line of a compelling and exciting world, while telling a character-driven story that resonates through the ages … a work of art on par with the masters of the genre, Jordan, Rothfuss, Tolkien, and more.” –Elitistbookreviews.com, nominated for 2013 & 2014 Hugo Award for best review site
- “Engaging characters, complex magic, and expertly written—a whole new kind of epic fantasy!” –Suvudu.com
The Author’s Definitive Edition of The Unremembered is in bookstores today. If you have the hankerin’, run down to your local B&N, or whatever, and pick up a copy. Or, if you like ordering online, you can get it at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com (these are direct links to the book on those websites), and other places online.
Remember, it’s got to have the gold star on the front. It’ll probably say Author’s Edition, or somesuch, too. It’s being released as a trade paperback, so I’m guessing it’ll run like $13–be sure it’s roughly that price, or you’re buying the old version of the book. There are ebooks versions, too, of course, though I hear Amazon has had some trouble getting their Kindle version of the Author’s Edition up–so you may have to wait a few days on that. And Tor is putting out the audiobook of The Author’s Edition on April 14, 2015–pretty sure that’s on Audible.
Effectively, Tor is relaunching my series, The Vault of Heaven. That starts today with the Author’s Edition of The Unremembered. And it continues next month, on May 26th, with Trial of Intentions. So, you know, you won’t have to wait too long between books.
Now, is this Author’s Edition of The Unremembered going to be ginormous and sell 100 million copies. One can only hope. What is true is that this is much closer to what I’d wanted to do the first time out. I’m grateful to Tor, and to my new editor, for giving me the chance to do it.
I hope you dig.
Your Rock Lord,