Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.
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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Got to ask two questions at signing part:
Who killed Alric?
One of the Aes Sedai's Warders did, not a sister.
Long enough for what?
Long enough to be ALMOST dead.
(Emphasis mine) I was pretty sure this was where Mat died and lived again, but I guess that's out of the question now.
This book is long—huge, actually. I'm curious to know if it's the longest of Mr. Jordan's books by wordcount. (Does anyone have a list of the wordcounts of all the books?) However, it didn't feel long to me, since we have so many characters to watch and follow. I've heard some people complain about the number of characters in the WoT books, but this is what makes the series work so well, in my opinion. You can justify a 400,000 word novel if you're letting us follow so many different viewpoints and storylines.
The best part of this book for me, hands down, were the scenes where Rand gets to experience the history of the Aiel and the Traveling People. This actually illustrates what I was trying to say in the previous paragraph, but didn't quite get around to. These books work because no matter whose viewpoint you are in, Mr. Jordan is able to make them feel alive and real, and is able to make their motivations rational. (If, sometimes, evil.) These scenes in the past are a great example. We've never met these people, and yet they were as interesting to read for me as the main characters.
I think this is the jump readers need to make to really enjoy this series. They can't get so attached to Rand, Mat, Egwene, and Perrin that they aren't willing to experience the powerful characterizations of other people in the world. Those who can't make this jump tend to complain about the series loosing focus. Those who do make the jump get a story with more complexity and depth than you find in some of the other fantasy series, which stick to the more traditional plot structures and characterizations.
My second favorite parts of this book come with Perrin and Faile. Faile is often cited as one of people's least favorite characters, but again, I think this comes from not understanding what is going on. She's annoying at the beginning—she really is. She's childish and petulant. That's great: it means she has room to grow. And I think she does. This book starts off with her and Perrin having, in my opinion, a very immature relationship. By the end they've grown together and both have matured. Perrin by learning to be a leader, Faile by learning to work with him rather than just trying to hard to get him to let her be in charge. I think that's an important lesson that a young noblewoman like her needed to learn.
Question for those in the know: is the written content in the WoT ARCs or galley copies any different from the retail version? Any changed lines or new/missing parts?
I own a few ARCs of other books, and they don't seem any different from the retail version (as far as I can tell), but reviewers were asked to make sure any quoted text matched with the final version.
For the various versions that I have of this series, the results are all over the place; here are few examples:
A lot of the pre-publication versions I have such as The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn, The Fires of Heaven, Winter's Heart and Knife of Dreams have no obvious noticeable differences from the retail versions (although I haven't read through each in great detail so as to not damage them).
The galley for The Shadow Rising has a prologue of approximately 1.5 pages that was integrated into the first chapter of the finished book.
The advance version (2-book set) for Lord of Chaos has line edits, handwritten notes including some chapter titles written in and notes of what icon is to be used for certain chapters.
For The Path of Daggers, the book I have is labeled as an advance uncorrected bound manuscript that includes tons of changes: many, many line edits, actual chapter revision numbers, and in one spot, a chapter was moved to a different sequence in the book, and that's just what I noticed scanning through it quickly a few years ago.
My intention always has been, if/whenever I get the time to do a detailed review of each book, but that maybe just a pipe dream as I own a small business that consumes my life.
I started discussing some of this with Bob Kluttz of Encyclopaedia-Wot a few years ago in order to try get some info posted on-line, but I don't have the time to do the work nor the space or skills to post the info.
Hope this helps a little.
Kafmerchant@323—I admit your posts were glazing my eyes over as I'm not much of a collector, being broke all the time and whatnot. But that is an amazing bit of info about The Shadow Rising. I've always found the approach to be rather odd in comparison to the rest of the series. Not only is there no prologue, but the wind hangs around for quite a bit, and what he did at the beginning of Chapter 9 is pretty unique too. I'm going to put this whole conversation in the interview database, just for that tidbit. If you'd like to post reviews of each book one day, I would put them all in there. It's designed to be a database of all non-canon canon, so to speak, which is of course usually in the form of interviews, hence the name. But there are exceptions.
There are so many small but interesting things in my WoT collection that I'd really like to share with anyone who is interested (including books of course, but also have promo literature, and marketing materials such as posters, bookmarks, WoT "postcards" etc . The risk is that I'm seen as just showing off when my intent is far from it.
An example of promo literature is from a letter dated 15 Aug 1990 included with the Great Hunt galley, from Eleanor Lang (Tor publicist) that states that The Eye of the World "...was the first volume in The Wheel of Time, a six part series to be published by Tor Books." The print run for The Great Hunt is stated as 200,000 copies in this letter.
Just to clarify that the The Shadow Rising prologue in the advance uncorrected proof was called, "Seeds of Shadow" and started approximately halfway down the page and ended on the next page with just a single paragraph on that second page. The next (first) chapter was simply called "Seeds".
While searching for something tonight I've found some items that may be of interest to you—I assume you have copies of the audio of the Budapest interviews? Do you have the 2003 Toronto audio file? Also found a word file with a list of interviews starting with Starlog in 1991, followed by letters by Carolyn Fusinato and ending with blog posts/interviews somewhere in 2006 with lots in between (the word file is 2M in size)? I may also have a couple of old floppies, somewhere, with various old interviews and other miscellaneous files from the mid-late 90s although not sure if I can find anything that can read it...or if my memory of what may actually be on them is correct.
I'll keep the offer to post additional content in mind for the future.
I also found what I was looking for—a list, in excel, of chapter revision numbers and titles from the Path of Daggers manuscript—do you want this? And if so, where should I send it (gmail account)?