My favorite genre of books is fantasy. The first novel I ever read in this genre was Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks, during the weeks I had chickenpox at age 14. I was instantly beyond hooked. Brooks will always hold a special place in my heart because of this.
I'm sure quite a few of you have read the Shannara series. There is a part, if you will remember, in The Sword of Shannara, where Allanon gives the history of the world to Flick and Shea Ohmsford. In this "history", Brooks described a world that was actually a very distant future from where we are now. In the wake of a nuclear war (or somesuch), mankind was almost destroyed. Some humans dug deep underground to remain safe from radiation. Over a long period of time, these people grew short and stocky, evolving into dwarves. People that stayed above ground almost died out completely. Those closest to "ground zero" and thusly most effected by radiation (and such) eventually evolved into trolls, gnomes, whathaveyou. The only "exempt" race was the race of elves, who had been around longer than man, but remained hidden. I always found this description by Brooks to be entirely beyond fascinating. (In all my reads, the only other brilliance that I've found that has interested me as much was the description as to what happens in the far distant future by Weis/Hickman in The Death Gate books, which went somewhat down this same road.)
Anyhoot. I walked into Barnes & Noble today and immediately noticed a new Shannara book sitting on the table (apparently released just yesterday), the second in the Genesis of Shannara series. Where have I been?!? I read the description and... well, it seems - and I may be wrong, as I haven't read any of the Word and the Void books, but it SEEMS like Brooks is writing the whole apocalyptic series, which were the Word and the Void books. The Genesis of Shannara books will be tying the two together, thusly making it one gigantic fantastico Shannara timeline of yumminess!
I... can't really remember when the last time I was so excited about the premise of a book and that I CANNOT WAIT for him to write that third Genesis of Shannara novel (not titled as of yet, but to be released at the end of 2008, after which, he will write a "final" Landover book, another series that I keep meaning to check out, but have never gotten around to.) In fact, in searching my memory, the only times I can remember jumping up and down in excitement for a book release was when I was 14 or so, after finally reading the initial Shannara trilogy and discovering that OMG THERE'S ANOTHER SERIES COMING OUT!!!1!11#@!!. My dad asked what I wanted for Christmas, and I told him The Scions of Shannara and Testament's Souls of Black tape. (ahem.) For any of you familiar with either original covers, I was quite certain after receiving them that my father was convinced I was a Satanist. The only other time that I fuhreaked out in anticipation for books to be released was during my first read through of The Death Gate Cycle. I think I first read through them shortly after book four was released, meaning I had to wait for an EXTREMELY long time for the remaining three books to be written. I had enough patience to wait for Book 5 to be released into paperback, but I think I splurged with my Wendy's pay ($4.25 an hour, boy howdee) in order to get the two remaining books in hardcover. (The wait between Book 6 and Book 7 was absolutely torturous, as Something Happened at the end of six that was beyond frustrating to have to wait a year or so.)
I want to say that I bought one of the Word/Void books. In looking at a discography, I think it may have been the middle one. I can't locate it atm, so I'll ask my brother when he wakes. At any rate, I'm going to make myself finish reading through Lackey's Valdemar series (I just finished Oathbreakers and will start Oathbound tonight), which will take me QUITE awhile. (That woman loves to write.) Maybe then I will make myself read through Feist's Tomas/Pug books, as I haven't read those since I was a teen, and maybe THEN Brooks will finally have released that final Genesis book.
Ooh, and he will be having a graphic novel released early next year, I believe, which will star Jair Ohmsford and take place a couple of years after Wishsong.
Oh, and has anyone else seen the graphic novels for the Dragonlance trilogy? I stumbled across the one for Dragons of Winter Twilight, but never saw it again.