Monday, March 30, 2009

A Memory of Light - Volume 1 (of 3): The Gathering Storm

So, the big Wheel of Time news that has been anticipated (and somewhat scooped) is now official. A Memory of Light will be divided into 3 volumes - each roughly 250,000 words - and published over a 2-year period beginning with the release of A Memory of Light Volume 1: The Gathering Storm on November 3rd, 2009. You can read the entire press release here and there is an interesting interview with Harriet McDougal (Robert Jordan's widow, heir and primary editor of A Memory of Light) at Dragonmount.

My reaction: as a huge Wheel of Time fan (in terms of fandom it brought me to where I am now), I am excited to hear news and excited to get the first installment later this fall. But I'm unhappy that it has to be split into 3 volumes - that is simply too long. One of the biggest issues with Wheel of Time has always been the length and feeling that it needs some strong editing to cut out the fat. 3 volumes tells me that this will continue to be an issue. On the other hand, as a fan this means there will be even more Wheel of Time - more time with characters and a world that I love and have spent a lot of time with over the past 15 years. I suppose that means I'm conflicted.

And on my mystical third hand, I am both excited for and disappointed with how this will effect Brandon Sanderson. I've come to enjoy his writing a lot and I can't wait to see what he does with the Wheel of Time. But this is taking up even more of his time and taking away from his own fiction that I wish he were writing. I also fear that his career will become defined by his involvement in Wheel of Time rather than standing on its own (as it should).

So, what are your thoughts?

EDIT: Brandon Sanderson gives us the breakdown from his viewpoint (long). It's a very thoughtful and informative post and I think the fans should be happy and feel a bit better about things after reading it. My response: Bravo Brandon. Keep writing, hold the course and I look forward to reading it all.

PS: Of course the most important question of all is in which volume will we find out who killed Asmodean - because nothing else really matters ;)


Anonymous said...

I feel more or less like you do. Splitting the book was inevitable, given the projected length. If it really turns out in the 750k area I don't really see the need to make it three books though, two would have been enough, and I certainly feel so much time between these instalments is a shame. Hell, I'd rather have waited another year and have Sanderson finish the thing first, that three instalments, with one of them soonish. I understand Tor needs to make a profit but damn, a little more respect for Jordan's fans would have been nice. It's not like there is any chance this book won't end up on the bestsellers lists.

As for Mr. Sanderson, I am beginning to suspect he got more than he bargained for in this project. It will be interesting to see what he decides to take on next.

Salt-Man Z said...

"And on my mystical third hand..."

I think you mean The Gripping Hand. :)

Neth said...


I think Brandon's comments go a long way towards making me fell better about it. They also make me like him even more.

-salt man

oh dear

Tia Nevitt said...

I thought it was too long at six books, and after reading number 6, I decided to wait until the series is complete. So I have a while longer to wait.

Now, I'm thinking about waiting until they come out with an abridged version!

Anonymous said...

I for one am extremely happy about the splitting of "A Memory of Light" into three books. "The fat", as it is often called, that is present in the Wheel of Time series, is in fact a crucial element in the books, as it helps shed light and understanding on the various subplots and minor characters that give the book its ever enjoyable "meatiness." I am extremely anxious for the final installments of the series!


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