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Raymond E Feist, An Appreciation by Peter Schneider 1990

Raymond E Feist, An Appreciation by Peter Schneider 1990

World Fantasy Convention Program

Four pounds of bound manuscript crashing down on your desk makes a hell of a noise. I looked up to see Adrian Zackheim, senior editor at Doubleday, grinning at me as he said "Here's Ray Feist's book. Read it soon - he'll be calling you."

I looked at the script before me. Almost 1200 pages of heavily copy-edited prose that had been described in the catalogue as "In the tradition of J. R. R. Tolkien." As the newly appointed publicist on the book I knew I was going to have to read it cover to cover - and the thought of reading one more "in the tradition of Tolkien" book did not thrill me. Then the phone rang - a welcome excuse to put off for a few minutes the task that lay ahead. Over the three thousand miles of telephone line came an impossibly friendly voice - "Hey, Pete. This is Ray Feist. Thought I'd just touch base. Did you get a chance to read Magician yet?"

That was the first of probably several thousand phone calls between Ray and myself in the past eight years- a period in which seven of his books have been published: Magician, Silverthorn, and A Darkness at Sethanon, known collectively as The Riftwar Saga; Prince of the Blood, a return to the world of the Riftwar; Faerie Tale, a modern-day dark Fantasy; and, with Janny Wurts, Daughter of the Empire and Servant of the Empire, the continuing story of Mara, Lady of the Acoma.

Ray Feist the writer is a continually amazing animal-it is his incredibly strong sense of story that carried me and countless other readers through the pages of his work. Things happen when Feist is behind the wheel, and it's a trip fuelled by action, imagination, and a welcome sense of humor.

Ray Feist the man is just as unique. In a world where egos flare and relationships wither under the assault of business, Ray stands out as a true friend. His concern for people and his incredible openness and honesty is a rare commodity today (especially when you consider the fact that he once sold used cars).

Copyright Peter Schneider. Reproduced here by permission. This reproduction Copyright J Bunting 1999

Article originally published in the World Fantasy Convention Program of 1990


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