I've been meaning to post this for some time, but have been too riddled with grief and confusion to put it down in words. After a few months of healing, I've finally gotten it out.
It was a slow death. One that's finally here and, while sad, somewhat a welcome relief. After years of a persistent illness, I regret to inform you that R. A. "Bob" Salvatore is no longer my favorite author. I weep with sadness at our departing, but know that we will both continue on in our lives and do great things.
I was introduced to Bob back in the mid 1980s. As a young boy, my aunt would take me to the bookstore in Williamsburg to buy me books or comics. On that particular day I chose a G. I. Joe comic. As I was reading it that night, again, I noticed I was continually entranced by the ad on the back cover. There was something haunting and compelling about it. Something that made me want to buy the book.
So I did. And with introductions to Drizzt, Wulfgar, Regis, Bruenor, and Catti-brie, my relationship with Bob grew. Other introductions were made over the years from Gary Leger to Elbryan and from Luthien to Nom Anor. All great people to meet, read about, and ride next to on their adventures.
But every adventure must come to an end, every McGuffin must be found. And to that end, when the story The Ancient began, I realized that our relationship had died. There was no longer a spark there. Bob's words no longer held any magic.
Over the years I've followed Bob across the country, through his life and mine. I cut my "fantasy" and "sci-fi" teeth on his books. I started following message boards back in the mid 1990s in the first incarnation of his website. I met great fans along the way and made great friends. I followed Bob to book signings. Traded emails. Even shared a drink once.
But each friendship evolves over time.
And to that end Bob, I'm sorry to say you have officially been replaced as my favorite author. Who has replaced you? Who now holds the coveted spot in my heart and in my mind? I don't know.
My favoritism is now adrift. I may have grown up reading Hardy Boy books, but I'm now looking for the new kid on the block. Man or woman, young or old, established or rookie. Nothing matters but my favoritism. There are some front runners with Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie, Anton Strout, and others.
But who will finally arrive at the much desired spot of the trump-all author? Who will spur me on to read more of their work? Who can manage to turn my life so upside down I'm willing to spend more money just to get it spinning faster? Is it you Pat? Joe? Karen? Anton? Who can measure up in the end?
And that is where I will leave my faithful, yet small, group of readers. Salvatore is dead to me. His work doesn't measure up. I'll continue to follow his stories but only from afar. I can only hope someone will live up to the challenge.