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Home | Interview Database

Interviews: Compuserve Chat

Summary:

Entries

33

Date

Oct 19th, 1994

Type

Verbatim

TourCon

Lord of Chaos Book Tour

Reporter

Aaron Bergman

Links

rasfwrj

  • 1

    Introduction

    Edited Transcript of the Moderated Conference held on Wednesday, October 19th, 1994 in the CompuServe Convention Center (sponsored by Tor Books and by the Science Fiction/Fantasy Literature Forum) with Robert Jordan, author of Lord of Chaos and other books in the "Wheel of Time" series.

    WizOp Wilma Meier

    Good evening ladies and gentlemen! CompuServe's Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Forum is pleased to welcome Mr. Robert Jordan as our guest this evening in our moderated conference. If you wish to ask a question we have a question queue set up and ready. Please key in "/question" (sans the quote marks) if you wish to ask Mr. Jordan a question. Good evening Mr. Jordan!
  • 2

    Ben & Chris

    Is stones based on GO, the Asian game of skill? It is more complex than chess...so it is appropriate if so. And what stones are used (type of stone)?

    Robert Jordan

    Stones is based on Go, and the actual stones used can vary.

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  • 3

    Gordon B

    Mr. Jordan, are you still planning only seven books in the series, and will the next book be released on the traditional date of mid-October?

    Robert Jordan

    It's been a long time since I was planning only seven books in the series. There will be several more books, and the next one will be published when I can finish it.

    Tags

  • 4

    Sharon Perdue

    Is there any specific reason why there isn't a name given to the continent in which Rand and Co. inhabit?

    Robert Jordan

    Simply because people don't generally give names to their homes that way—it's other places they give names to.

    Tags

  • 5

    Degan Outridge

    Thanks for many hours of enjoyment. There were so many new stories/threads in Lord of Chaos did you always intend to go in these directions or did it take on a life of its own?

    Robert Jordan

    For the major threads, I'm going exactly where I intended to go—and for most of the minor threads, I'm going fairly much where I intended to go. With some minor threads, it seemed, as I went along, that there was a better way than I had first thought.

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  • 6

    Tom Knudsen

    Much of your work reminds me of J.R.R. Tolkien and David Eddings in scope and character development. My question is, who are YOUR favorite authors and why?

    Robert Jordan

    Mark Twain, followed by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, because they're good.

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  • 7

    Mykael

    Are any of your characters based on anyone you know?

    Robert Jordan

    All of the women are based on my wife.

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  • 8

    Kevin

    How did the Ajahs originate?

    Robert Jordan

    Simply because I needed an organization for the power structure, and it seemed to me that a collective organization was something women were more likely to come up with, rather than something strictly hierarchical.

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  • 9

    Steve W

    Are your books based on any Biblical themes/characters?

    Robert Jordan

    Not directly. Influenced by. And not wholly—there are other influences as well.

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  • 10

    Grey

    What is/was Garen's Wall? Will it play a role?

    Robert Jordan

    Garen's Wall is a split between tectonic plates. It is a great cliff that stretches across hundreds of miles. As to whether it plays a part, read and find out! Maybe it do and maybe it don't.

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  • 11

    Sat

    My question has three parts: First off, the scope of your work outstrips many of today's other authors, and has spoiled me! 1. Do you recommend any other authors? And who? 2. Are you planning any tours in Canada? 3. When is Lord of Chaos available in Canada?

    Robert Jordan

    1. Ray Feist, Janny Wurts, C. S. Friedman, Robert Holdstock, Tad Williams, Barry Hughart. The problem is that there are a lot of people I like, and these are just the first names that come to mind. 2. I'll be in Toronto at the end of October and beginning of November. 3. By the end of the month.

    Tags

  • 12

    Gordon B

    My question has a few parts: When Perrin left the Two Rivers did he tell people who he was going to see? Did Rand's father come? Does he know about Rand being the Dragon Reborn?

    Robert Jordan

    1. Read and find out. 2. No, Rand's father did not come. 3. Read and find out!

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  • 13

    Sharon Perdue

    Did Egwene as Amyrlin happen to be watching people's dreams while Rand was shielded?

    Robert Jordan

    I'm not quite sure I understand the question. Again?

    Sharon Perdue

    Since Rand was shielded and couldn't form any wards on his dreams could Egwene have spied out that he was in trouble while in Tel'aran'rhiod?

    Robert Jordan

    Ah. Yes, she could have. The problem is, when you've learned that something is impossible, you have a tendency to stop trying it. She just didn't try to spy during the period in question.

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  • 14

    Ben & Chris

    This obviously requires huge amounts of plotting and info outlining. Did you have any pertinent WOT info lost during Hurricane Hugo? (And did your house suffer at all?)

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, my house suffered during Hurricane Hugo, and no, I didn't have any significant information loss.

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  • 15

    Degan Outridge

    Your societies seem to all place women in a very influential role. Any particular reason why you created so many matriarchies? Also, do you already have a solution for Rand's love triangle?

    Robert Jordan

    1. 3000 years ago, the world was destroyed by men: specifically men, and for all of that time, every society has been afraid of any man who can channel. The result has to be greater power and influence for women. 2. Yes.

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  • 16

    Joe Rosenman

    Greetings! From Rand's Rhuidean vision: If the Sharom is the Dark One's prison, why would it be floating in on place above a city and not in some transcendent plain? Why didn't Rand see it there?

    Robert Jordan

    But it isn't. The Sharom and the Collam Daan are a university/research center. Or were.

    Joe Rosenman

    Also, did Mierin intend to create the Bore?

    Robert Jordan

    In part, yes. Not alone.

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  • 17

    nick stuchbery

    Is Rand's world an atheistic world, based on only human "powers"?—there seems to be a "devil" but nothing on the flip side.

    Robert Jordan

    What would you say the Creator is? The Light?

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  • 18

    Richard Sowash

    How do you keep up with all of the plotlines, prophecies, etc.?

    Robert Jordan

    With difficulty.

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  • 19

    Richard Sowash

    Do you use story boards, flow charts, etc. or just the FAQs?

    Robert Jordan

    No, I don't use story boards, etc. I just do outlines in the sense of synopses of what I intend to write.

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  • 20

    Sat

    Is the Hawkwing era and or the Seanchan based on any actual historical era and do you plan on including some more historical data about the Age of Legends and maybe a separate series?

    Robert Jordan

    The first part of your question: no. It's based on several combined. The second part: Only insofar as it affects the story in the "here and now." In a separate series: no.

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  • 21

    Sharon Perdue

    Why weren't Compulsion and Illusion mentioned in the previous books before Lord of Chaos and is there any specific character in the series that you have taken a liking to?

    Robert Jordan

    Compulsion and Illusion: They weren't mentioned primarily because it wasn't necessary. Actually Compulsion has been mentioned a number of times, and I think Illusion has been mentioned in passing at least once or twice. It just wasn't necessary to deal with them in depth. The answer to the rest of the question: All of them. (Sorry.) I like all of them. Whoever I'm writing—that's the one I like.

    Footnote

    Moiraine actually used Illusion a couple of times in The Eye of the World; it just wasn't named as such.

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  • 22

    Andrew S

    Did you think the series would become this popular?

    Robert Jordan

    No. I hoped, but I never thought.

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  • 23

    Andrew S

    Did you think you were going to write only the first book without sequels? If your wife is all the female characters are you all the male ones?

    Robert Jordan

    No, I knew from the start that I was writing something that would be multiple books. I just never knew how many, exactly. The last question: Probably, God help me. Never thought of it that way, though.

    Footnote

    In the Starlog interview, RJ seems to have indicated that it was originally intended to be one book.

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  • 24

    Lou Person

    Hello all and Mr. Jordan. I am a big WOT fan and I am amazed by some of the themes, i.e. struggle between men and women. Mr. Jordan truly sheds some light on differences between men and women. There also seem to be some allusions to Native Americans, weaves of fire, air, etc. The politicking and warring of the Game of Houses and battle scenes are told with the clarity of someone who has military experience. Can you briefly state what from your background makes WOT so realistic?

    Robert Jordan

    Forty-odd years of life. "Briefly?" It's what it boils down to.

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  • 25

    Kevin

    Are Min's visions absolute foretellings or probabilities?

    Robert Jordan

    Her visions are absolute foretellings. The problem is, she doesn't always know what it means. The only changes from that are two visions she's had which indicated the possibility of the future forking, an "either/or." And that's the only time she's ever had anything like that.

    Footnote

    These two visions are: 1) A viewing of Gawyn: [TSR 47: Gawyn kneeling at Egwene's feet with his head bowed, and Gawyn breaking Egwene's neck, first one then the other, as if either could be the future....The things she saw were very rarely as clear in meaning as those two, and she had never before seen that fluttering back and forth, as though not even the viewing could tell which would be the true future. Worse, she had a feeling near to certainty that it was what she had done this day that had turned Gawyn toward those two possibilities.], and 2) A viewing of Rand, about Perrin: [LOC 46: "Twice he's going to have to be there, or you..." She peered into her goblet so he could not see her face. "If he's not, something bad will happen to you." Her voice sounded small and frightened. "Very bad."]

    EWOT: Prophecies

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  • 26

    Ben & Chris

    There is a big influence (already mentioned) from wide ranging source materials. This is a great deal of fun, tracking down all of the various sources whilst reading. Is there a reason that the Arthur and other Avalon legends are referred to so much. Gawyn, Morgase, et al.?

    Robert Jordan

    They really aren't referred to any more than many other legends and myths, but they're simply more recognizable to most Americans.

    Footnote

    RJ was probably hinting that the Americans are generally the least 'cultured' and the least likely to recognize the foreign legends he drew from, Norse and Slavic mythology (very prominent), etc. The Arthur legends are probably better-known elsewhere (i.e. Britain, France).

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  • 27

    Gordon B

    Mr. Jordan. Just curious, do you know how many words you've typed into this series (some authors have it in the epilogue)?

    Robert Jordan

    My answer is not closer than plus-or-minus 100,000 words or so. Give or take a million.

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  • 28

    Pug

    Firstly, I'd like to thank you for my mother's autographed The Fires of Heaven, 10/150 and also, what inspires your deft writing?

    Robert Jordan

    Everything!

    PUG

    Specifically?

    Robert Jordan

    Everything specifically!

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  • 29

    Degan Outridge

    We have been speculating regarding Demandred's current doings and his possible location/appearance. Care to comment?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, no.

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  • 30

    Degan Outridge

    Will we be getting more glimpses into the Dark One's prison as we go?

    Robert Jordan

    The prison: maybe.

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  • 31

    Ami

    Hi Mr. Jordan and everyone. I was wondering about Artur Hawkwing. I notice parallels to the King Arthur legends in particular... But what other stories inspired this?

    Robert Jordan

    Too many to go into—truly too many.

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  • 32

    SysOp Barbara

    Folks, I'm afraid I'll have to bring this conference to a close. I would like to thank Robert Jordan for being our guest tonight! And I'd like to thank you all for coming!

    Robert Jordan

    Thanks to everyone for coming. We have to go!
  • 33

    WizOp Wilma Meier

    Night Mr. Jordan! And thank you Patrick for your assistance!

    Patrick Nielsen Hayden

    Natalie Farsi, Tor's publicist, says thank you all. I say thank you all. RJ and Harriet are two tired folks. But this was fun. And we're off. Have a good time!

    Footnote

    RJ didn't have internet access at the time, so he most likely joined the chat at the Tor office with Harriet.

    Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden

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