Monday, December 10, 2007

The Wheel of Time Still Turns...

Back in September, when I got my job offer, my joy was quickly tempered just a few hours later by the announcment that Robert Jordan passed away after a long battle with amyloidosis. After writing 11 Wheel of Time novels, the 12th and final book Memory of Light (seriously, he promised it would be the final conclusion) was in danger, and some thought just might never be completed.

Today, we have offical word that Brandon Sanderson will complete the Wheel of Time series. Yeah, like most of you, I'm always worried that when someone gets ahold of someone else's world, they'll trample all over it, but Harriet (RJ's Widow) hand picked this guy, and he sounds like he's going to try to be as faithful as he can to RJ's vision, without directly copying his style, which would be awkward. He has a stack of notes, and hours of audio recordings RJ made shortly before his death, so no important details will be lost to the grave. (In spite of constant reassurance that RJ was beating back his illness, I think the family knew in the last few months that he wouldn't make it past the end of the year.)

Everyone else already said this, but I wouldn't want to be in his position right now. On the other hand, this works out GREAT for Robert Jordan's legacy. If Jordan had lived to write Memory of Light and see it published, no doubt legions of Fanboys would cry out how this was the worst ending EVAR and was a major disappointment, as happens with every major series that finally gets a conclusion. This way, no matter how it ends, any problems will be blamed on the New Guy, leaving Jordan blameless for the perceived mockery that Sanderson left in his wake.

If I were Jordan, I'd TOTALLY take advantage of that. Have one last jab at so-called fans that critisized his books since number 6 (although the 10th one really did suck; The Crossroads of Boredom or Spinning my Wheels-of-Time would have been more appropriate titles). I'd plant some bogus notes, near the bottom of one the stacks of paper left in my office. I can see Mr. Sanderson brushing aside the other stacks of paper in Jordan's office and pulling the desk lamp close to finally get a glimpse of the grand finale to the Dragon Reborn's conflict with the Dark One...

...and with a final merciless stroke, the Dark One drives his saidar wrought sword into Rand's side, into the very spot Padin Fain made his dark cut with the dagger cursed by the evil of Shadar Logoth. As Rand crumbles to the rocky summit of Dragonmount, his flesh, his bone, even his very soul disintgrates into blackness, the most horrible voice the world has known rings one last time in his ears: "I win again, Lews Therin!"


Moiraine woke up with a sharp gasp, her silken sheets stained with sweat. "Light!" she thought, "I must limit my sweets before I turn in for bed." She looked to the person sized indentation in the bed next to her own sweat marked spot. "Up early, as usual. He always said that after spending years on the road he can never stay asleep more than five minutes after sunrise."

Still haunted by her horrid dreams, she lightly steped into the washroom for a quick scrub. Someone had already gotten there, she could see the outline of a man behind the curtain using the new rain-bath device that the engineers had installed specially for House Damodred. The steam from the heated rain fogged the glass mirror that hung from the wall. She pulled back the curtain, and looked upon the smiling figure of her husband. "Thom, I had the most peculiur dream!" Thom reach for the towel hanging beside Moiraine. "I can see that. You look as though you had just met a band of Trollocks! Why don't we have some tea sent up here and you tell me all about it?" "That sounds just lovely," Moiraine said, as she threw her arms around him.

...and with the last words read, Sanderson would crush the paper in his hand and lets forth a scream that reaches to the heavens: "JORDAN! WHAT ALBATROSS HAVE YOU DRAPED AROUND MY NECK, YOU MONSTER?!?"

From heaven, Jordan would then shout back, "Hey, at least I didn't leave you notes for the two other prequels I had planned! Lews Therin finds a young Ishamael enslaved in the Far East and helps him win his freedom by coaching him in a Pod Race!"

It can ALWAYS be worse. Never forget that.

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