Three rousing cheers, champagne and fireworks … okay, cheese and crackers, not fireworks. Might frighten the neighbours. My author copies of Blackdog have arrived.There’s nothing quite like that first moment of opening a box and viewing those shiny copies of the New Book, and this new book was particularly grand. You’d think, having done this nineteen times, by the twentieth one might be a bit blasé about it, but it’s not like that at all. This was as exciting as viewing a shiny stack of Torrie and the Dragons way back when, except, in some ways, even more thrilling because Blackdog is such a gloriously fat book. Not, perhaps, quite an Empress of Blandings of a book; I think the silver medal in the fat books class at the Shropshire Agricultural Show would be bound to go to Erikson, but still, at 547 pages Blackdog is respectably hefty in the hand. And Raymond Swanland’s cover is something I’d love to hang on my wall. I also had a great editor at Pyr in Lou Anders, a pleasure to work with, and that adds to the general air of jubilation — the book is everything I wanted it to be. It’s available now in the US, a bit ahead of its originally-scheduled release date, and should be shipping soon up here north of the border.