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Interviews: KOD Signing Report - Allen Bryan

Summary:

Entries

20

Date

Oct 13th, 2005

Type

Paraphrased

Location

Cambridge, MA

TourCon

Knife of Dreams Book Tour

Bookstore

Harvard Coop

Reporter

Allen Bryan

Links

rasfwrj

  • 1

    Allen Bryan

    BOSTON BOOK SIGNING REPORT

    RJ's looking good! More gray in the hair, but much trimmer; he's lost weight.

  • 2

    Question

    One question was about his health.

    Robert Jordan

    He says he lifts 3 times/week, swims (less often than before), and walks. At his latest physical they had to give him an injection to speed his heart, and his blood pressure still didn't break 120/80 (double-checked). He's in fantastic shape.

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  • 3

    Allen Bryan

    Introducer gave a five-minute laudatory speech, empathizing with the long suffering of the fans and making reference to Hemingway's character and the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia as other famous Robert Jordans.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ himself thanked him ("the check is in the mail") and stated that the name was generated so that he could have different names in different genres. All the names were generated from his initials; his real name is reserved for contemporary fiction, originally for a novel on Vietnam that he will now never write. (Everything that needed to be said about Vietnam has now been said many times, he said.)

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  • 4

    Robert Jordan

    He gave the standard remedial pronunciation guide, and was exasperated that people didn't use the glossary pronuncations. Look back there people, there's stuff not in the main storyline!

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  • 5

    Robert Jordan

    Book Twelve will end the main sequence if he has to personally go to New York and beat the publishers at Tor, even if it runs two thousand pages and they have to invent a new way to bind the books (shudder). There will be two more prequels a la New Spring, and there mightóvery big MIGHTóbe another trilogy in the same universe. Have to chew on it a year or two, he says.

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  • 6

    Robert Jordan

    If he doesn't find a way to write it into the plot in Book Twelve, RJ is contemplating announcing Asmodean's killer at the time of the publishing of the paperback of Book Twelve. He wants to let us stew a little longer, though.

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  • 7

    Robert Jordan

    Blah blah Infinity-of-Heaven-cakes. Infinity of Heaven's culture will be even more stratified than Seanchan's, but as close as we will get to seeing Seanchan culture. However, one thing about Seanchan: you really can be born a peasant or slave in Seanchan and rise through skill and luck to become an assistant and confidante of the Empress herself. That's a point in its favor; it's fluid.

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  • 8

    Allen Bryan

    I got the first question: The Gasp Moment. I won't reveal the Gasp Moment (thank you, said RJ), but why write it in? There doesn't seem to be a plot reason, so it must be a literary reason. You said on your blog it was painful to write, so why??

    Robert Jordan

    Because Hell on Earth is about to break loose! Haven't you people got that in your heads yet? The Shadow is winning, it's the fifteenth round, our boy is on the ropes and the Shadow feels great and has tremendous punching power! Three minutes to go and there's only one chance. The Gasp Moment is their reaction to this.

    Allen Bryan

    My internal reaction: wow. nasty.

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  • 9

    Allen Bryan

    Other questions, not necessarily in order.
  • 10

    Allen Bryan

    Is the Asha'man bond involuntarily linking?

    Robert Jordan

    No.

    Allen Bryan

    (Waste of a good question; that's in the FAQ.)

    Footnote

    This actually appears to be one of the things the FAQ was incorrect on. The first edition glossary entry for linking in A Crown of Swords suggests that RJ had the Black Ajah method of forced linking in mind. The glossary reference was removed in later editions, however, and the practice was not mentioned again until Knife of Dreams.

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  • 11

    Question

    Does the rate of slowing depend on your strength in the Power?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, basically; you age at 1/X your normal rate, with X being dependent up to a point on Power strength. The Power acts as a natural rejuvenator on you; even at the point of death you won't look or feel worse than a normal 65-year-old.

    Allen Bryan

    (RJ had to hem and haw a good bit to avoid revealing that slowing != the Ageless Look—there were several spoiler people in the audience, including one who was working on Book Six at the moment.)

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  • 12

    Question

    Another couple of Asmodean questions:

    Robert Jordan

    "I'm not going to give you a chapter to find." However, he emphasized OPPORTUNITY as the key to knowing Asmodean's killer, even over motive (which got a mention).

    Allen Bryan

    Graendel and Lanfear theorists, you may start grinding your axes.

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  • 13

    Question

    Mesaana: Do we have enough clues to know her identity?

    Robert Jordan

    I think so, but I'm not absolutely sure. Her Third Age role has been at least mentioned.

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  • 14

    Robert Jordan

    RJ was amazed that few women were asking questions after the first woman asked her question (about the seventh speaker), specifically asked for women to ask (none did at that moment, but two more did later) and later specifically favored women asking questions over men. Interesting there—he ascribed the behavior to being at Harvard.

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  • 15

    Question

    The Seanchan Empire is so detailed. Did you enjoy writing some cultures more than others?

    Robert Jordan

    No, I enjoyed them all. But it's really about people; people can be interesting even in a boring culture.

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  • 16

    Allen Bryan

    I got a few more questions in as he signed my book.
  • 17

    Allen Bryan

    Dyelin is like Cincinnatus of Rome. True or false?

    Robert Jordan

    True, pretty much, except Dyelin was never really offered power; she had it for a little while as Elayne's not-quite-authorized regent, but otherwise wasn't really called upon to save Andor the way Cincinnatus was called upon to save Rome. Otherwise, yes.

    Allen Bryan

    (Be'lal, whoever you are, I win a cookie.)

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  • 18

    Allen Bryan

    Demandred does not use a Third Age persona. True or false?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

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  • 19

    Allen Bryan

    The Thirteenth Depository has never been revealed by a non-channeler librarian for three thousand years. How is this possible?

    Robert Jordan

    Because there are no non-channeler libarians; the librarians of the Thirteenth Depository are all Aes Sedai.

    Allen Bryan

    "Brown Ajah?" I asked.

    Robert Jordan

    He hesitated a moment. "Yes."

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  • 20

    Allen Bryan

    I couldn't ask any more—he was already signing the next book—so I said good night (Thank you!) and left.

    However, one more question formed in my mind as I walked home, along with a nonloony theory. (Hint to anyone going to a later signing!)

    Behold my new Purple Ajah Theory:

    The Purple Ajah, or Second Foundation Ajah, is real but not so cohesive as that. It is simply that the Purple Ajah consists of the librarians of the Thirteenth Depository.

    It all fits, doesn't it? As the librarians, they have more detailed knowledge of the world than anyone else in the entire world, including the rest of the White Tower. By 13th Depository Tower Law, they cannot reveal the existence of the 13th Depository; but nothing stops them from acting on information IN it. So if Verin had been a 13th Depository librarian, she would know things that almost no one else would know—and use that knowledge.

    Granted, most of the contents of the 13th Depository consist of the secret political history of Third Age Randland; but who knows? Secret techniques and prophecies could very well be in there as well.

    Well, there you have it folks: RJ Does Boston.