Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Memory of Light

This one might need some context, so I'll write a quick paragraph as an intro to the subject.

Robert Jordan is one of my favourite authors. He passed away in 2007. His death came a surprise to me because, even though he'd been battling cardiac amyloidosis for more than a year, I thought he was getting better, based on the updates he was sending his fans. I guess I was mistaken.

A few months after his death, his widow, Harriet McDougal, signed another author to finish Mr Jordan's epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. Mr Jordan was working on the last book when he died. (It's called A Memory of Light, hence the title of the post.) I had all kinds of doubts about another author finishing the work, but Harriet knew what she was doing when she chose Brandon Sanderson. I picked up a few of his books, and he's a terrific writer. (Note: I wrote to Mr Sanderson, and I bought the first edition of Mistborn directly from him. He sent it to me, signed and everything. There was a very nice note inside. I hope to return the favour if the book I wrote ends up getting published.)

Anyway, he had quite the task ahead of him, but I had faith that someday I'd get my hands on the final WoT book.

That's the backstory. Here's the story:

I found out yesterday that AMoL was going to be split into more than one book; three, in fact. Even worse, they'd be released in one-year intervals. My first thought was that TOR (the publisher) was gouging the fans. My second thought was to see what Brandon Sanderson had to say. It turns out he had quite a bit to say. (By the way, if you have any interest in writing, or for an accurate description of how publishing can sometimes work, read that article. It's long, but well worth it.)

The split makes more sense now. It makes complete sense, and the two conclusions I came to are these:

1) I am excited about this series again. It's been almost four years since the last book. I need to get back to Rand & Co.

2) We WoT fans are lucky to have Brandon Sanderson working on this story. He's pretty much working himself to the bone, which goes above and beyond his contract. He's basically doing 4x more work than he signed on for. I hope he gets some family time somewhere in there. I'd rather wait a little longer for the books than have him suffer some kind of breakdown. I think other WoT fans would agree. After all, we've already lost one WoT author.

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