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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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I don't think the a'dam can. However, if the Aes Sedai believes that the person is a Darkfriend, they can channel against them.
So conditioning their mind right, can do it. (The oaths have a provision for Darkfriends, though some editions left this out.)
I think those who know our different writing styles will be able to pick out the differences.
It depends on how closely one watches the prose.
Ha. Well, honestly, I don't want to answer too many questions about things like this.
For some of them, it would require me to deviate from the work I need to do by reading deeply in the notes.
For others, I think RJ himself would have stayed quiet, so I stay quiet myself.
Meaning a class about the WoT? I think that has happened already.
By the way, as many have noted, it appears that RJ, myself, and Wheel of Time were involved in a Jeopardy! clue yesterday.
Tor dot com put up another of my Wheel of Time musings, this one on The Shadow Rising.
Hey, Do you know where I can get a Towers of Midnight dust jacket? I ordered the book used and it didn't come with one. :(
I can probably mail you one if you drop me an email. I've got a few extra.
Sitting in Starbucks & a guy here is reading The Great Hunt for the very first time. Pretty cool after all these years...
All right. Kelsier and Moiraine are facing each other in the Suvudu cage match next round. Guess I should do a write up.
I think I'll just flip a coin to decide who wins, then write something that makes it seem logical.
Though this is (for a Suvudu Cage Match) actually quite even, I'm going to have to play it very tongue-in-cheek. Just a warning.
Don't expect an epic battle. I don't have the time to spare to write up something like that in this case.
Okay, that's done. Quick and dirty, I'm afraid, but it's all the time I could spare. Should be up on Suvudu soon, maybe on my website also.
Warning: it not only contains huge spoilers for both series, but a lot of WoT and Mistborn in jokes.
If you disagree with the results of my coin flip, feel free to vote however you wish in the cage match poll. :)
Write up I did for Kelsier and Moiraine will go up Monday, I believe. I'll post a link when it goes live.
You stole my cage match, Brandon! ;)
Ha! You were the one who would tackle this, eh?
Well, if you had something cool you wanted to do, I'll post it on my site if you still want to write it.
In case you haven't seen it, my Moiraine vs Kelsier write up is here.
I liked it, it was a fun read, still voted for Moiraine though :P ^_^
I actually tried to leave it ambiguous at the end. The thing people should be asking themselves is this:
"As the write-up was from Kelseir's viewpoint, can we assume that the whole thing happened as Moiraine wanted it to?"
You need to ask yourself that whenever you end a conversation with an Aes Sedai. :)
I'm sorry. I often miss tweets. I haven't seen any of your others. I would be happy to release the notes if Harriet allows it.
Thank you. It would bring joy to my heart to feel his words on the ending of the greatest story told. No disrespect intended.
I understand. I plan to push Harriet on this more once the last book is out.
@Terez27 Trying to figure out who the gay character was that @BrandSanderson put in Towers of Midnight. Was it Androl?
That is my best guess. I wonder if we scared him away from going through with that...'twas very controversial.
The place wasn't right in Towers of Midnight. Gay character is in A Memory of Light. It's really not a big deal; just a small mention.
I will say, at this point, that it is a character RJ mentioned was gay in the notes, so I noted it in the text.
[Links to following tweet from this conversation.]
I won't say if it's a new character or one I made a decision on, since there weren't notes either way.
I'm guessing that's a product of Twitter being a bad place for trying to say things clearly. The older tweet was confusing anyway.
Wow, that was indeed confusing. I don't even know what I was trying to say.
What I remember typing was "I won't tell you if it's something RJ had in notes or not."
I'll be reading a new section from A Memory of Light at Dragon*Con. My complete schedule is here.
Tor dot com has posted the excerpt from A Memory of Light that I'm reading today.
A little disgusted that you included a throwaway line about Tylin raping Mat. Still buying the book though. Probably twice.
Hard to ignore that it happened, returning to the city as he was.
... you re-awakened the Mat/Tylin sexual assault vs. super funny joke fury. Ahh the indignant fandom. *sighs*
*sighs in agreement*
I feel the same way about all the characters saying "you go Tylin" in A Crown of Swords, too.
It is one of the WoT's most controversial sequences, to be sure.
The three excerpts of A Memory of Light that have been released so far: http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/04/a-memory-of-light-prologue-excerpt http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/07/read-an-excerpt-from-chapter-one-of-a-memory-of-light http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/09/a-memory-of-light-chapter-11-excerpt
The prologue ebook for A Memory of Light, "By Grace and Banners Fallen," is up for preorder on Dragonmount. Other vendors to follow.
After prologue is released on October 2nd, will you be able to say which part of it was all RJ?
Will this be part of the whole book when it comes out, or will it only be sold separately?
Tor and Harriet like to sell the prologue early as a separate ebook. It will be the same one in the final book.
I know that this isn't your idea, but selling the prologue is a brutal cash grab. I'll save my $3 and wait for the book.
I have made it clear both to fans and Tor that I do not like this process. But you are right, I do not get to choose.
No normal book??? Only an ebook??
Tor releases the prologue of each WoT early as a for-sale ebook. It is the same one that will be in the print edition in January.
On September 17, the prologue showed up for sale on Google Books in Canada, including some revealing previews that tempted fans (aside from the Canadians who were able to buy it) to piece together the prologue from Google Book searches. Predictably, chaos ensued.
I blame Canada.
Last time it was some guy in China with an early Towers of Midnight copy. But Canada was the dark horse nobody saw coming. #amolgate
I hope moving up release date is a possibility, elsewise a little black market will emerge very soon...
I should disclose that I was essentially the ringleader of the put-the-prologue-together team, but I wasn't trying to make a threat here. It wasn't even my idea, and if I hadn't organized it, someone else would have; that's just how things go in the WoT world. But I was really referring to the possibility that some of the Canadians would share the whole prologue, or even sell it.
I'm going to pretend like Brandon did this on purpose. #wotgh
Now I just blame Google. What a cluster****.
What's sad about the prologue leak is that Harriet and others in publishing will likely see this as proof ebook releases should be delayed.
Wow. I know I'd be pretty pissed. Wonder how Sanderson feels about it. @BrandSanderson Spoiler thoughts?
Google's stopped the sale now, but some people already have copies and shared spoilers. So Harriet & Co. probably aren't happy.
I'm not fond of spoilers, but I can't see the original comment, so I don't know the specifics of this discussion.
This sort of thing happens. I don't really mind, personally. Harriet is probably upset, however.
If you're the type who wants the $2.99 A Memory of Light prologue ebook, it will be available September 19th instead of October 2nd.
Is that correct? The ebook will be available tomorrow instead of October 2nd? Pre-order or not?
I believe so.
Was the RJ part of the prologue the Bayrd scene?
No, actually. It was the Isam part, though I filled in a hole in the middle of the scene.
Looking forward to it. But do you know when it'll be available in Europe?
I don't know, I'm afraid. That is up to the UK publisher, and I don't think ebooks are as big a concern to them as they are here.
Where can European people get it from? Dragonmount won't sell it to me. Do I have to go for a torrent?
The problem is that Tor doesn't have rights to sell it in Europe. It's a frustrating system, but Orion UK has the European rights.
The system made more sense back before ebooks; a European company needed assurance US publishers wouldn't flood their markets.
I will check Orion UK once at work. Thanks for the tip!
Warning: they might have been planning to release it in October. This whole "Release it two weeks early" thing surprised us.
It's because of leaked copies in Canada. (Also, it's Orbit in UK—not Orion. I get them mixed up.)
What is your opinion on the North American exclusivity of the A Memory Of Light prologue?
It's because Tor doesn't have rights to sell anywhere else; Orbit UK has those rights. If you want the book, ask them.
I wish Orbit had it out too, and I'm seeing what I can do. But it is their call.
Tor has a post indicating that the A Memory of Light prologue ebook is now for sale in select countries outside the U.S.
Note that this doesn't include countries where Orbit UK has rights to the books. To buy it there, you'll need to ask them to release it.
Who do we contact to ask them to release it? Is there an email address we can write to?
They have a form on their website. That might work.
Where can Australian fans get a copy of the WOT release?
Orbit UK owns the rights. They'd have to either release it or authorize Dragonmount. You can email them through their website.
Is the prologue going to come out in audio or do I need to pick it up the written down on magic pixel paper version?
No audio I'm aware of. (Until the full book is out, of course.)
Oh, just saw that there was one. Never mind.
Any idea as to when will Weller @WellerBookWorks starts taking autograph orders for A Memory of Light?
By grace and banners fallen. Was that your line or RJ's? Exquisitely eloquent if I say so myself.
How bad is this? I honestly can't remember. It's one of my favorite lines, but I don't know if it was in the notes or not.
Will it be possible to order A Memory of Light signed, like the previous two books?
Yes, it should be.
Jason of Dragonmount writes the world's first review of A Memory of Light in the form of a touching letter to Robert Jordan.
It's not likely. We feel that RJ's legacy is better protected by doing fewer books.
Would Harriet publishing RJs notes regarding the prequels and outriggers in the encyclopedia she's going to write?
It's possible. You could always ask her if she will. I'll have very little to do with the process.
I've been getting questions about "Unfettered," an anthology next year with a Wheel of Time story in it. Blog post next week, but...
The "story" is actually a deleted sequence from A Memory of Light we cut for pacing reasons. We donated it to Shawn to help pay his medical bills.
As I said, I will blog this soon. It is from the viewpoint of someone you know, but not one of the main characters.
Could you let us know where the "story" would have gone in the book once its released so we can read it in order?
A deleted sequence from A Memory of Light called "River of Souls" will appear in the anthology Unfettered (early 2013). http://youtu.be/UtHQbOMiD-k
The A Memory of Light tour will have a gap in the middle since baby #3 is due in January. Dates and locations will be announced soon. Sit tight.
I can confirm now that the midnight release event for A Memory of Light will be held in Provo at the BYU Bookstore.
It's unfortunate, but natural. I've grown popular enough that some people say my wot books are better than RJ's, which isn't true.
The hardcore fans then feel the need to point out the flaws in my efforts, and many things they say are true.
I do wish some were not as vicious as they are, however.
So, apparently @BrandSanderson has chosen to believe that the criticism levelled at him is just a jealous reaction.
A response by hardcore fans loyal to Jordan to the suggestion that @BrandSanderson's work on the Wheel is better than RJ.
In @BrandSanderson's defence, he does offer that the hardcore fans use some truth in their jealous rage.
So I suppose at least @BrandSanderson offers efficacy to our criticism, if not legitimacy.
I'm curious as to where you gain your insights into the criticism? After all you could not even bring yourself to read a...
...critique wrapped in kiddy gloves that you yourself requested. Are you sure this isn't some sort of self-rationalisation?
After all, a small select group blowing minor (but admittedly real) flaws out of proportion in a misguided attempt...
... at loyalty to Jordan is a much easier thing to swallow than the idea that the criticism might have truth...
... in both the specifics and in the degree of its existence.
Anyway, I'm done raging at you now. Wow. That was weird. Must have seen someone suggest you were better than Jordan.
Luckers, I worry sometimes about how strongly you react to things like this. I didn't call the criticisms minor or misguided.
I agreed they are true. I am flawed. I cannot yet write well as you want me to. I'm sorry you find that personally offensive.
I do not think that is the only reason people criticize me. Twitter makes it hard to explain things in depth.
I have seen it being a factor—explicitly, by the poster's own words—in criticism. I find that noble. I didn't want to offend.
Will we see more of the serious, dark Mat that we left in Knife of Dreams? That is, the one Tuon refers to as...
... "a lion on the high plains" and who leaves wounded enemy combatants to suffer and die (Knife of Dreams ch. 27)? Thanks for your time.
I've tried. I do worry that sometimes I'm too lighthearted with Mat, and need to remember his dangerous side too.
I have attempted to walk this balance in A Memory of Light.
That sounds like a question for Maria, I'm afraid. I don't have the notes handy to look into the discrepancy.
Email is probably best, or grabbing her at JordanCon. (Or sending the question with someone you know who is attending.)
Actually, the easiest way is probably to drop me an email through my website and let me forward it on to her.
Tor put up a video where Harriet, Jason, Tom, and I talk about A Memory of Light.
Jason Denzel was interviewed on the Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing podcast. It talks a lot about A Memory of Light.
Irene Gallo at Tor dot com posted a picture of the first (unbound) printed copy of A Memory of Light.
Irene Gallo at Tor dot com has a picture-filled post on the printing & binding of A Memory of Light. Very cool.
Ha. Okay, Teaser: "River of Souls" was a direct result of me trying to do be better at something RJ did well & I did poorly.
Problem is, I overdid it, and the story veered far too "Brandon-ish" as a result, which was why we cut it.
Fortunately, by having done "River of Souls", the added depth behind-the-scenes helped fix the very issue I was worried about.
This conversation is actually from 2013, but after soliciting opinions on whether or not I should include it in the database at all, I decided to stick it at the very bottom of the 2012 page so that it's less likely anyone will be 'subjected to it' (as one fan put it) by surprise. There are not really any distinctive search terms in the conversation, and I haven't tagged it. I think it's worth documenting just because Brandon was pushed to say some things here that he might not have otherwise said, but be warned, many fans found it 'painful' to read.
Was feeling damn Zen about A Memory of Light... then I read @BrandSanderson interviews. Seriously, what idiot wrapped him in swaddling? @PeterAhlstrom
So, @BrandSanderson gave up on trying to read Jordan's notes after two months, instead relying on Maria and Alan. Sadly, this shows.
Comparatively he has been working on the Wheel for 60 months. Maybe a larger stint than 1.2% of his time might have been effective.
Gotta ask what you mean? I'm confused what you are referring to.
It's just the vast divergence between Brandon's perception of his work and the actual.
To be frank I am entirely cognizant of the difficulties @BrandSanderson faced. Working in a world not his own, with Harriet the final word.
That being said, so long as @BrandSanderson presumes to think he aced it, we have problems, and Mat is nothing but the tip of the iceberg.
Which brings us back to this—who wrapped @BrandSanderson in swaddling, and played with his toes? Who led him to believe he did well?
Aced it is overstating. He knows many things didn't turn out perfectly. Nevertheless the conversations people are having...
...about the book right now are the right conversations and that says a lot.
He still knows large portions of the book won't work for some readers. Zen is a better reaction than expected.
Yet I've never seen him express this. It's always you, if that. His comments are all about how content he is with his work.
And, for that matter, what are the 'right' conversations?
It's not that he disagrees, its that he appears oblivious, hence my question about who is wrapping him in swaddling.
IMO Brandon likes to put the best face on things—he knows the caveats are there but doesn't need to accompany every statement...
...with the caveats. It also depends on the attitude of the person he's talking with. If he were talking to you he'd be more...
...likely to talk about the other issues. This is all in my opinion.
...so how bout he talk to me? Directly? About this specifically.
Damn you. Honest to Verin, I want nothing more right now than to join you in the grin.
But the fact is the book is out, and I'll not be placated.
Brandon is asserting how he hasn't broken the fourth wall despite that being the largest complaint against him.
He thinks he's perfected Mat, despite the fact that at best the Betas carved the winks to the reader from the book.
To me breaking the fourth wall means the characters talk directly to the reader or talk about how they're fictional characters.
And in my view that never happens in the books.
Things that "take you out of the book" are a valid criticism but that's different from breaking the fourth wall.
Semantics really. I think the proper term is fanservice. ;)
I can accept that term. :D
Fact is, we're at the end of things, and Brandon has to answer for himself. And the more he talks, the more that is so.
And @PeterAhlstrom the most significant point about all this is that he seems oblivious of the criticism.
Give a look at the others @ing me sometime. Not everyone feels as you do. I certainly don't.
Dude, I am very aware of those who support you, you've done good work—great work, even.
But you hide behind them.
And you always have. You can always find those who support you, just as you can always find those who disagree.
It's how you respond that matters, and you have disdained those who disagree and raised up those who agree. Hence our problem.
Disdained? Where have I ever disdained you or anyone else? I have always accepted and tried to understand my critics.
I've listened. As I've told you, just because I decide I don't agree with your complaints doesn't mean I am ignoring you.
You are correct. Disdained is not the right word, but nor have you accepted or tried to understand your critics.
And you not agreeing is fine. I've told you that!
What's the point of tweeting me now? It is done. The book's out. I know your complaints. I don't agree. That is where we end.
This is the fundamental element of our disagreement. For you this was just a job.
You picked up something precious, because it was shiny, and played with it like it was a toy.
Now you think to throw it aside, and expect us to let it go, but here's the thing—battered and broken, it's still precious.
When have I EVER called this "Just a job?" I dare you to find where I refer to the WoT, as anything other than precious.
I picked up something that love, and I treated it with love. You continue to insist I am lying about this. Why?
Because, to be frank, all that I have seen of this has been cavalier. And I mean at every point.
I've seen that you enjoyed the Wheel. I saw when that stopped. I saw you withdraw, and I saw no change to the work product.
And I was content. But when I see you comment about how you didn't break the fourth wall when that is the single most...
...common complaint currently (and to be clear I am completely inactive on the boards at the moment)...
...and things like how you mastered Mat...this has nothing to do with me.
As for where we end... I've followed the Wheel since I was 12. Where precisely do you think I'll simply stop?
The "stop" referred to tweeting me. I expect you to continue to be involved.
But what is the point of continuing to tweet me with the same complaints after I have said "I understand but disagree?"
And finally, as for referring to those who enjoyed the book, you ASKED me who said I did well. I answered your question.
Fair enough. Though I do still question which particular group led you to the sweeping statements of success you've made.
You can find people and reviews who say I did a poor job. I can find reviews and people who say I did a great job.
Yes, this is true. Neither mean much.
We will spin round and around on this topic, going nowhere. But at the end of the day...
I KNOW I did a good job. Not perfect, but very good. I know it as an artist. To me, that's secondary only to Harriet's opinion.
And she feels it turned out very well. She is the one I agreed to do this for, her and RJ. That's why I can say what I do.
Okay, firstly, I've seen you an Peter cast aspersions on Harriet's judgement. So what the fuck are you doing here? Hiding?
I mean, serious aspersions. You've cited her to me as the basis of many faults.
Now you cite her as proof you've done well. Fuck that, man.
If criticisms mean an artist can't be proud of their work, then nobody would be allowed. You say I don't love the WOT.
You're wrong. You don't know my heart or my passion. And I'm very, very happy with what I have done. As a fan and as an artist.
This is why I say there is no further point. I accept what you say. Hopefully, I can use it to be better in the future.
But I am tired of opening Twitter and finding you tweeting me, yet again, to make the same complaints.
They aren't coming in a vacuum. You speak on the Wheel and it will draw its reaction. This won't go away.
Please. Let's shake hands and part. You will continue to criticize, as is your right.
But from here, it has no relevance upon changing my approach to the WoT, for it is done. So let us end.
Irrespective you have to handle the fall out. You can acknowledge its radioactive or think it rain—doesn't stop it falling.
Final note—it's not about changing anything. I was never trying to 'save the Wheel'. It's worse, it's judgement.
...and it won't go away. It won't acknowledge that you're done and be done in turn. It will in fact do nothing but grow. Sorry.
This is where I make the 'I will wait for you on Toman Head' joke, but I dislike being Shazam!!
Seriously though, you seem aggrieved that I don't simply let you walk. Are you out there talking about the Wheel every day?
Yes, James. I just don't want to talk to you about it any longer.
Today you have sworn at me, called me a child, implied I lie frequently, and told me I don't love something I do dearly.
You moved from criticism to harassment long ago, but I have tried to continue to find common ground.
Even here, I want to respond to your allegations about me and Harriet—which are wrong—but you speak in such a harsh way.
I want to be done not because I don't like responding to criticism, but because I find interaction with you to be caustic.
And if I were to say that being caustic has been the only thing to draw a response from you?
...the only thing to draw a half way honest response, and even then not truly a response?
And so we end with you calling me a liar again. This is why, James.
Not a liar. You live in your own world. And when you speak, our truths clash.
Or I suppose you could reverse that. Irrespective, I'm not calling you a liar.
You don't get answers or responses because you don't ask questions. You make accusations.
I never set out to be caustic, and when I was I didn't say it to draw a response... but you hide.
The reason for silence is because it should be the artist's way. Listen to criticism. Do not defend against it.
And yet you aren't silent.
Let the work stand on its own. Nothing is accomplished by being defensive. I am very proud of what I have done. Goodbye.
And as all things fall, my one regret is that you do not know how highly I regard you. Sweetness is bitter, and that is all that may be done.