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New Wheel of Time Book — Chapter One Online, Released Oct 27

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the here's-to-sanderson's-health dept.

Books 269

Tor Books has made the first chapter of the latest Wheel of Time book available to readers for free via their website. This is the first book to have work from Robert Jordan's replacement, Brandon Sanderson, since Jordan died in September of 2007. The Gathering Storm is complete and will be released on October 27th of this year. In addition, the prologue to this book will be available in e-book format on October 17th for $2.99. The whole of the Wheel of Time series will also be released as e-books with several of the books receiving new cover art as well.
Update: 09/07 23:42 GMT by KD : Reader Daniel Benamy points out that the correct release date for the prologue e-book is September 17.

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Oooo ya (0, Flamebait)

moogied (1175879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344137)

Whoring out a dead author's lifelong work for some extra cash.. gotta love it.

Re:Oooo ya (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344159)

It might even make sense, but Jordan was just about the shittiest successful author I ever read.

Re:Oooo ya (4, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344209)

I read the first 3 or 4 books thinking "This just has to start getting cool soon. It's got too much cool potential not to".

Silly me.

I think the only reason the later volumes even sold was because people didn't want to admit to themselves that they'd been persuaded to waste the time and money on the earlier ones.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344283)

Thanks for posting that, because I couldn't read the guy's stuff even though I'm a big fantasy, sword & sorcery 'n scifi fan. I'd rather reread ancient stuff like Zelazny, Moorecock or even, tier down stuff like 'The Black Company'. I tried a couple of times and just couldn't bear up under his prose.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344325)

And I like the descriptions I've heard of Elric of Melniboné, etc. But I tried reading a few of Moorcock's books and stopped because I just hated his writing style.

Different people have different tastes.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

Guido von Guido (548827) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344865)

I've really enjoyed some of Moorcock's books, but just could not get through many of the others. For instance, I liked "The Warhound and the World's Pain," but I just could not get through the sequel.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344437)

Moorecock? On a scale of 1 to 10, he rates a negative 5. He's quite possibly the only author I've ever thrown out rather than giving to the local library, because noone should be subjected to that schlock. Jordan had major issues with his later books, but he's Shakespeare compared to Moorecock. And Black Company isn't much better- it rates a 2.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344561)

Yabut, Moorecock wrote at a time when there were few outlets for the pulp fiction, fantasy guys like him had to pump out to survive. I always liked Stormbringer more than Elric who was just a weak, albino freak kept alive by magic potions and favours owed his family line by various spirits and gods. Much of Moorecock's stuff was cut 'n paste, but, again, those guys had to pump stuff out like junkies bleeding out in back alleys.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344577)

Thanks for posting that, because I couldn't read the guy's stuff even though I'm a big fantasy, sword & sorcery 'n scifi fan. I'd rather reread ancient stuff like Zelazny, Moorecock or even, tier down stuff like 'The Black Company'. I tried a couple of times and just couldn't bear up under his prose.

I'm with you - and the parent, and the GP. I tried the first book years back and put it down unfinished. Still, it pains me to see even a bad author's work unceremoniously passed along to some hack who can't do original work. I feel the same way about Herbert, whom I never much liked, and Adams, whom I did. I fully expect to see Discworld books after Pratchett leaves us and the thought makes me cringe.

(Offtopic, but for the record, Zelazny is one a my favorite authors, and I'm forced to admit to never reading Moorecock.)

Re:Oooo ya (2, Interesting)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344657)

If you'd actually read the series you'd know that it is nothing like Dune, those books had a clear ending, wheel of time basically left the whole series one or two books away from the climax. The people that have read the 13 books would really like to see some kind of finish line even if it isn't Jordan's.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344869)

>I fully expect to see Discworld books after Pratchett leaves us

I've been reading Prachett since day one, and, maybe you're right, but, I think, Mr. Pratchett might take steps to see that doesn't happen. It's nigh on impossible to get a true read on a writer by h/is/er works but Pratchett strikes me as a man of deep integrity. I've this recurrent, waking "nightmare" of writers like Pratchett having their work extended and raped by product placement ads.

The Culti Multi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344285)

When the white man lays down his traditions and embraces those of a foreign group, that's multiculturalism. When the white man expects anyone else to reciprocate by doing the same and adopting his traditions and culture, that's racism. Of course those same groups have no problem adopting the science and technology of the white man, making them sort of like those hypocrite Christians who want to pick and choose which parts of the Bible they believe. This is why liberals are a bunch of self-contradictory neurotic morons and should never be in charge of anything.

Re:The Culti Multi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344323)

When the troll posts nobody listens. Go away troll!

Re:Oooo ya (2)

Mojo01010011 (1337759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344401)

I went up to book 10 before I quit. After 5-6 it was going downhill, but I thought Winter's Heart put it back on the right track. Crossroads of Twilight was such drivel I quit halfway through it. I don't know why he did this, but Robert Jordan's female characters were complete and utter b*tches and FAILED in life constantly. I just couldn't understand he couldn't write in more rational female characters .... Reading anything about any of the female characters enraged and frustrated me.

Re:Oooo ya (2, Funny)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344427)

I just couldn't understand he couldn't write in more rational female characters

Realism?

Just kidding. Mostly.

Re:Oooo ya (3, Funny)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344973)

Melvin [Jack Nicholson] from As Good As It Gets

Woman: "How do you write women so well?"
Melvin: "I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability."

Re:Oooo ya (4, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344815)

My experience was similar, but somewhat different. I actually really enjoyed the first three or four books, but after that it just started to drag. He'd introduce new character after new character and then spend hundreds of pages trying (and usually failing) to make me give a damn about them. Then, from that point on, you'd have yet another interruption to the main story line to deal with before you ever got back to it.

I quit somewhere around book six. It just got to be too much. The fact that there has since been *five* more books and they're still not done, with these last three still on the ledger, convinces me I was right to do that. In fact, the fact that Sanderson couldn't even wrap up all these damn sub-characters' plots in one book is telling enough that Jordan never stopped that nonsense and got to the point.

Still, I dragged myself through at least one book or so before I just couldn't take it anymore, and you're right about the reason: When books weigh in at 700-1000 pages and you're already 4-5 deep, there's a powerful incentive to keep plodding along to the end.

On a semi-related note, Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy I found to be very good. They picked a good author to continue the work, and if not for all this Wheel of Time stuff I probably wouldn't have found him. So I guess some good came of it at least.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344947)

Then, from that point on, you'd have yet another interruption to the main story line to deal with before you ever got back to it.

See, I enjoyed that, it made the world feel "real". Everyone has their own motives and goals and some believe Tarmin Giadon(Spelling?) is coming and some don't. But all of their actions have affect on the world and getting it ready for the final battle.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

phoomp (1098855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344921)

Same here. Got through the first few books, and stopped once I realized that it was going to take at least 15 years before I'd ever see an ending.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344229)

Amen, brother. I think the problem is that he was telling an interesting story, but in an utterly inept way. He's the George Lucas of fantasy novels, but with braid-tugging-skirt-smoothing-castrating-bitch "women" instead of Jar-Jar.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344261)

I just found the prose horribly ugly. The basic fantasy world was so derivative of Tolkien that I just wanted to barf, but if it had at least been well written, maybe I could have got past that, but it was trash. I'm a bit of a fantasy fan, particularly Tolkien and Moorcock, and Jordan was the toilet paper of fantasy fiction.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344379)

I just found the prose horribly ugly. The basic fantasy world was so derivative of Tolkien that I just wanted to barf, but if it had at least been well written, maybe I could have got past that, but it was trash. I'm a bit of a fantasy fan, particularly Tolkien and Moorcock, and Jordan was the toilet paper of fantasy fiction.

Personally I liked the series. My worst objection to it is that while I was about 4 books into it, this thought kept occurring to me: "as a plot device, just how many times is he going to have main characters get captured while travelling?" It felt like anytime anyone was on the road to any village or any city, their capture and subsequent rescue was going to occupy the next several chapters. That got old. I never did finish the Wheel of Time series but otherwise I enjoyed the books I have read.

It's not unlike a similar feeling I had when reading King's Dark Tower series (which I truly enjoyed - it's an amazing work). I got a little tired of hearing about New York City, as I greatly preferred to hear about strange new worlds, not concrete jungles. That could be because I don't live in a large city and wouldn't want to, as I personally find them to be nerve-wracking and suffocating. They're the kind of place I wouldn't mind briefly visiting but living there is extremely unappealing to me. The hustle and bustle never inspired me the way the outdoors always does, so I may have a bias that kept me from fully appreciating this part of the series.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344463)

I also loved The Dark Tower, and coincidentally I'm currently re-reading it after several years (still at The Gunslinger). I don't like large cities either, and have never lived in one, but I think King's portrayal of New York from the eyes of someone completely foreign and removed from (almost everything in) our world and everything we think of as "normal" is interesting and engaging, if not as cool as the Wastelands and the tale of Roland's past :)

As for Wheel of Time, I can understand where the parent is coming from. I have read the first 11 books and they're generally too long and boring and full of highly repetitive and unimaginative plot devices. I'll also add that nearly all of the gigantic cast of characters are extremely annoying and shallow and I have difficulty identifying with them, which doesn't exactly make a re-read *these* books appealing. I don't think I'll buy the new books now that Jordan passed away. I'm tired of seing this saga extended over and over while he was alive, and I definitely don't need to fall back into the same trap now that we don't even have the original author with us.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344391)

The basic fantasy world was so derivative of Tolkien

Nah, it was derivative of Dune.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344333)

Not saying that Jordan is shitty, but quality is not a prerequisite for post-mortem whoring.

Ever read V.C. Andrews?

Re:Oooo ya (1)

Xaemyl (88001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345027)

I dunno. It's a tossup between him and Ann Rice for the shittiest successful author award.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344171)

That's really not the case here, he isn't Brian Herbert.

Sanderson's working entirely from very comprehensive notes, and entire portions of the book had already been written by Robert Jordan and just need to be glued together.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344257)

The problem with "notes" is that they might be contradictory, or fragmentary. Perfect examples of each would be Christopher Tolkien, and Brian Herbert respectively.

I think I've learned my lesson now - Regardless of how attached, disappointed, or involved I am I'll never buy or read any work which was created by somebody else after the author's death. They're always a disappointment, even if they shouldn't be.

(For example the upcoming "Douglas Adams" novel.)

Re:Oooo ya (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344281)

Except that unlike Brian Herbert, the only actual story that Christopher Tolkien wrote was the chapter in the Silmarillion was The Fall of Doriath, because his father had only in fact written one version of that story, but in the earliest phase of the mythology, and it was entirely incompatible with the later variants. The entire History of Middle Earth series is JRRT's own writings, with Christopher Tolkien's essays and notes trying to clarify and relate various versions of his father's ever changing and rarely completed versions of the Silmarillion. CJRT apparently regretted his interference, though, after having read the History of Middle Earth series, the only alternative to rewriting the chapter was not to have released a published version of the Silmarillion.

I wish Brian Herbert would have just released the notes that his father had written about the Dune backstory and the sequel to the final Dune books. Instead he released just awfully-written trash (Brian Herbert ain't no Frank Herbert).

Re:Oooo ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344711)

I personally don't find Frank's work to be all that great. He describes a wonderful universe with plenty of opertunity for interesting SF storytelling, but instead writes religio-fantasy set in an SF universe, with overly intricate plots. (The latter two books of the core trilogy in particular have plots with wheels in wheels in wheels, devised by various groups that have no idea how the others will act, yet set in motion complicated plans that require the others to act exactly as they do in order to work. That could even be explained away with the use of prescience, except that the entities that planned these absurd plots were not the prescient ones!).

On the other hand, Brian Herberts work uses the SF universe to tell SF, in a way I can enjoy.

For what it is worth, I am one of those apparently rare people who like SF, but detest fantasy.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

WitheringtonSmythe (1444157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344823)

The father's wordlbuilding was inspired and pretty much un paralleled whereas the son's sf is derivative and uninteresting. If you want inspiration in sci-fi try Greg Egan.

Re:Oooo ya (4, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344177)

Not really...
Robert Jordan pretty much up and died in the middle of finishing his last book In Memory of Light. Leaving his family, publisher, and fans pretty much hanging. The recently got Brandon Sanderson to finish up the work; a very good author btw (see Elantris and the Mistborn series) who pretty much churned out part 1 of 3 in a year off of Jordan's notes. He was originally contracted to do 1 book but found it impossible due to how many threads were left open. I for one, am happy to see a good author finishing up this series in the original author's spirit (and with his family's blessing). So, as a fan I have to say fuck you for trolling.

Re:Oooo ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344235)

agreed. To all the people bagging on Jordan. Move along, you don't like his stuff don't read it.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344491)

How can people who never read it know that they don't like it?

It distresses me that fanboys like you are probably here on slashdot waving the flag of freedom of speech in almost every one of the several articles we get every week that deal with censorship, but whenever the subject of your fanboyism comes up you suddenly want to shut up everyone who disagrees with you ;)

Re:Oooo ya (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344397)

Maybe you will like this book and will buy it.
But considering that the prologue is going to cost $2.99, the new book better be something like "Terminator 2" if it has to make the entire series popular.

Re:Oooo ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345019)

"I for one, am happy to see a good author finishing up this series in the original author's spirit (and with his family's blessing). So, as a fan I have to say fuck you for trolling."

Jordan said that he was going to finish the series with one final book. Sanderson is releasing 3; milking the series is in Jordan's "spirit", yup.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345101)

Jordan said that he was going to finish the series with one final book.

Sure. He said that - but I also recall that he added the caveat, "even if it means it's 2,000 pages +"

Re:Oooo ya (1)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345653)

Jordan said that he was going to finish the series with one final book. Sanderson is releasing 3; milking the series is in Jordan's "spirit", yup.

Yes - because Jordan was probably sure that based on his condition, he wouldn't live to finish more than one book.

If you want to make the argument that he should have compressed books 7-10 into one or two books - I won't argue with that. I find it hard to believe though, that anyone who has actually read the whole series could believe the series could be concluded without it feeling incredibly rushed in just one more book (following where the plot was at after Knife of Dreams).

Re:Oooo ya (3, Interesting)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344197)

What makes you think that? According to the article, the new author was selected by Robert Jordan's widow.

I think it is one of the most difficult jobs in the world to finish a bestseller series. You can almost never do it right. You are always "not the original author" and therefore second best or worse. I certainly hope that Mr Jordan left enough notes for the series to be finished in a consistent state. I think it takes a lot of courage to take up this task.

Oh. And I am grateful that I will know how the story further develops!

Re:Oooo ya (4, Interesting)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344495)

I just look on the bright side - at least the new author will actually finish the series

You can say a lot about Jordan, both good and bad (my wife likes the series, I wouldn't have read it if it wasn't in the house already), but the man did not know how to finish a story. I suspect he would have died with the series unfinished, whether he died now or 50 years from now.

Re:Oooo ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344613)

Earlier on he said he'd finish around the 13th or 14th book so I'd say he'd have finished around now either way.

But yeah. He really seems to ramble on quite a lot in his books instead of focusing on the development of the story. Quite a bit of the stuff he goes into is stuff that would be great in supplementary materials but bulks up the main books to an unusual amount.

That and he had a habit of using the same phrasing. Again and again and again.

Still fine with his books. I've read worse. I've read better as well, but I've also read far far worse.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344199)

I believe it has more to do with finishing the series than with extra cash... There are already 11 books in the series. Jordan said there would be one more (but there are actually going to be 3 more, not surprising with the amount of plot that needs to be wrapped up). I don't know of anyone that's read the series and liked it that would rather they left it undone, especially considering that Jordan left complete notes for the final part of the series, meaning that while the prose might not be entirely his, the plot is. (Yeah, yeah, nothing new under the sun, you can all shove it.)

Re:Oooo ya (3, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344223)

That's one take on it. The other is to give the faithful readers of the series a much needed conclusion to a story. When Wheel was introduced, it was touted as book 1 of a 9 part series. The first few books were fantastic. Then Jordan decided to stretch out the series so as not to kill his money maker. Book 13 came and went with no conclusion to the story in sight, and Jordan seemed to be milking descriptions of everything in his world for all they were worth in order to extend the series. Unfortunately, he then became ill and died. It's a tragedy for his family. But it's also a loss to millions of fans of his who are left with a story they have invested a lot of time and money in, with no conclusion or closure. I, as a reader, would welcome a competent author, going by Jordan's writing and notes, completing the series.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344911)

Well, yes. I discovered the Wheel of Time just before high school, and hoped that the series would be over when I got to high school. No luck.

I got to high school, I finished high school, I went to college, to grad school, got my first job (and subsequent jobs), met the woman of my dreams, started grad school the second time around - and in all this while, the man still hadn't finished the series.

And then he died. While I do feel bad for his family, I certainly wasn't pleased as a reader. I had spent countless hours reading the series, and years (17, to be exact) awaiting the conclusion of his books.

Now while I am unsure of the quality of Sanderson's writing, I do not imagine that it would be much worse than Jordan's spin - what Jordan had in the past 11 books could have been compressed in about 4. In either case, I'm just waiting for someone to finish the ending and be done with it.

Re:Oooo ya (0, Troll)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345103)

. When Wheel was introduced, it was touted as book 1 of a 9 part series. The first few books were fantastic. Then Jordan decided to stretch out the series so as not to kill his money maker. Book 13 came and went with no conclusion to the story in sight, and Jordan seemed to be milking descriptions of everything in his world for all they were worth in order to extend the series.

I'm sure if you go back and look closely, you could probably determine the exact chapter he was writing when he found out that from that point on, he was going to be paid by the word.

Re:Oooo ya (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344385)

Why have I not heard of him? Maybe I'll go torrent a couple of his books, and see if he can even write. The fact that some marketing agency is promoting this book is no indication that the author is even literate.

Re:Oooo ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344443)

But he was chosen by a widow! What more could you possibly need? (and seriously, at least one poster [slashdot.org] has proclaimed the widow choosing like it's indicative of... something helpful. WTF?)

Re:Oooo ya (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345575)

Remember, Jordan's widow was not only married to him, but was also his editor [wikipedia.org] , so that lends a bit more weight to her choice to have Sanderson finish the series.

This is not whoredom, this is blessed relief (3, Insightful)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344393)

This is not whoredom, this is blessed relief. I gave up on the series when I realized that the book I'd just read took 700 pages to get through... 45 minutes of real time? Or maybe it was a day, it's all lost in haze.

But anyone who's stuck to the series through however godawful books there are /needs/ an ending. They deserve an ending. I can't fault Tor here at all, they've done what they could.

I also don't envy Brandon Sanderson, having to slog through all of Jordan's books and notes and trying to make sense of it all and knowing it's probably a thankless job and the fans are going to hate you anyhow. The irony here is that Sanderson may be able to pull off something that Jordan himself would never have been able to pull off - actually ending the thing. You could see the Wheel of Time books as Zeno's Paradox in action. If with each book you only go half as far because you're cramming in twice as much detail, you will never reach the end. And I'm not sure Jordan ever would have been able to.

2 books or one book? (1)

Jonathan Walther (676089) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344153)

What I want to know is, are they going to release it as two volumes like they threatened, or will they keep Robert Jordan's word that it will stay in one volume even if it has to run more than 1200 pages long?

Re:2 books or one book? (2, Informative)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344181)

Sanderson's said it's going to be three volumes, because Tor didn't want to print it in one large volume, and there was already an agreement to publish by the end of this year, and he hadn't finished it all anyway.

Neither. try 3... (3, Interesting)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344185)

3 volumes, and it would have been around 1200 pages. Apparently binding such large books is hard/expensive

T

Re:Neither. try 3... (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344693)

Not really. Quite a few of the books in the series approached that number.

Of course, one of Jordan's greatest faults was his inability to break his stories down into manageable chunks. If Sanderson's able to do this, while preserving the spirit of the originals, I'd definitely approve of it.

Damn. Now I have to pick up where I left off with the series, and probably re-read the first bits given just how %*##&ing complex it is.

Re:Neither. try 3... (1)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344833)

Meh. The page numbers in my post are off. That is what I get for going from memory. I remember a post either from the editor, or the publisher saying something to the effect that 'we can't bind books that big' - refering to the size the book would have been if they hadn't split it.

T

Re:Neither. try 3... (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344993)

I believe Brandon Sanderson's blog said it was going to be in the range of 750,000 - 800,000 words. The publishers wanted the book to be about 250,000 words. To continue, Brandon Sanderson stated that his contract is to write a book of at least 250,000 words. So, he could have gotten away with 1 book instead of writing three. So, seeing as he is not being paid for any extra words past 250,000 we can believe that he is not dragging it out for the money.

Re:Neither. try 3... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345157)

If you think Sanderson is not getting a full share of the royalties, you're deluding yourself.

Re:Neither. try 3... (1)

phoomp (1098855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344953)

I only ever read 4 of the books in the series, and found them to be WAY too large. The first book split in half down the spine before I finished it. And, I was grateful because it was easier to read. Books 2-3 I split on my own before I even started reading them.

There isn't enough bandwidth in the world (5, Funny)

xC0000005 (715810) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344169)

to download this book if they followed Jordan's writing style. The first chapter alone will contain so many electrons the internet itself will become unbalanced. Seriously, I swear he was paid by the pound for how much his books weighed. Long, flowery descriptions of clothing, scenery, hell, the crust on the underside of a chamber pot in the thirteenth bathroom of the summer home of the ice king's third cousin's dog. The series ought to come with a Wheel-barrow of time to avoid slipping a disc. Still, as long as there are trees left to kill and money to be earned the series will "be continued."

Re:There isn't enough bandwidth in the world (5, Funny)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344187)

It compresses remarkably well, though.

Re:There isn't enough bandwidth in the world (1)

xC0000005 (715810) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344251)

Yeah, you wouldn't think there would be that many instances of
"The diaphenous mist hung deep upon the mountain side from which there thundered forth the voice of ten thousand angry locust gods whose pus had once made the rivers of the southern continent run yellow, when the da'cam did first venture forth from the underground cavern from which all which is evil once did rise, and a wind like the wind from Elon's third midwive's flatulent second husband wracked the pines"

But you would be wrong.

Re:There isn't enough bandwidth in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344269)

Witty (and at times, perfectly spot-on) remarks aside, there are those of us who really like his writing style.

Ok, once in a while, especially in the later books it was "omgf, wtf is this shit", but when he nailed it, it was brilliant.

Re:There isn't enough bandwidth in the world (1)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344565)

Some of the middle-later books were awful.

Of course, if Jordan hadn't had his good prose, we would never have read the damn series in first place. The people making jokes are those who read the first books, loved them, and then went all the way to book 11 (12 if you include New Spring) and felt betrayed. Some of those descriptive moments were really too much, and you shouldn't need hundreds of pages to narrate a single (and often unimportant!) event. Besides, it was supposed to be a 7 or 9 book series originally?

Spoiler Alert (5, Funny)

zapakh (1256518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344201)

Snape kills Dumbledore!

No wait, that's not right...

Re:Spoiler Alert (5, Funny)

secolactico (519805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344417)

Loial kills Rand al'Thor. But only after Rand flips out and kills Elayne Avhienda and Min in a rather grisly way.

Fearing reprisals, the Ogier declare war on the White Tower and lose. The entire Ogier race goes extinct.

A pack of wolves mistake Perrin's continued brooding for an illness and give him a mercy killing.

Nynaeve breaks her neck in a freak braid-pulling incident.

Mat wakes up and finds Bobby Ewing in his shower and realizes it was all a dream.

Re:Spoiler Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344755)

Nynaeve breaks her neck in a freak braid-pulling incident.

ROTFFL

Re:Spoiler Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345273)

Bah. That can't be right. You didn't have any of the female chars fold their arms under their bosoms!

Re:Spoiler Alert (3, Funny)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344751)

No, Bela killed Asmodean.

Re:Spoiler Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345011)

Lies! It was Narg!

I like this approach (1)

indivisible (1530619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344237)

Selling the prologue for $3? I guess the next step will be selling only the consonants of the first ten chapters for 15$.

Re:I like this approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344313)

Selling the prologue for $3? I guess the next step will be selling only the consonants of the first ten chapters for 15$.

It's not as bad as it sounds, the prologue is 1,200 pages.

Re:I like this approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344355)

It's not as bad as it sounds, the prologue is 1,200 pages.

But nothing happens until the last three pages. And the rest of the time you spend thinking "Which one is Aliendha? Was that one of the Aes Sedai... or the queen of uh... one of those countries... oh, no, it's a man... maybe it was uh...."

Not quite. (1)

xC0000005 (715810) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344387)

The book itself is probably free to anyone who can read the prologue and live. You would think that a large number of people could do this - coma victims, people who have suffered brain death and live on ventilators. Then again I expect we'll see reports of "Coma victim awakens during middle of wheel of time reading, asks to be taken off life support if the reading doesn't stop."

chapter text (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344315)

well, I was GOING to post the chapter text, but /. says "Filter error: Please use fewer 'junk' characters.

FUCK YOU SLASHCODE.

Stop after the Dragon Reborn (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344439)

I recommend reading the first three. When Rand kills Ba'alzamon, stop. Just stop. Rand thinks Ba'alzamon was the Dark One, so should you. Whatever you do, don't read the next chapter, or you will have to go through ten increasingly poor books just to reach the end of the plot.

Re:Stop after the Dragon Reborn (1)

daver_au (213961) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344511)

I wish I had stopped there. I read up until book 7 or maybe 9. The one where absolutely nothing happens and Rand has less than one chapter in the entire book.

BRANDON SANDERSON! (3, Interesting)

greenskyx (609089) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344481)

The author of the new Wheel of Time Book rules. He is a fairly new author, but has some awesome books. They are some of the best epic fantasy books I've ever read. I highly suggest you read Elantris (http://www.brandonsanderson.com/book/Elantris) or Mistborn (http://www.brandonsanderson.com/book/Mistborn).

Re:BRANDON SANDERSON! (3, Interesting)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345623)

I concur with the parent. I recently purchased and read through all four of his most popular novels: Elantris and the Mistborn Trilogy. Sanderson's default writing style is actually shorter and less descriptive... but then for first books you don't always get the luxury of killing an entire forest to describe a bedroom.

That said I have read the annotations for most of his books, Brandon's blog posts regarding his writing (cruise to his website and read up if your remotely interested) and the entire WoT series again. I have decided that with the amount of information Jordan left behind (plot) a writer of Sanderson's talent can pull it off. Sanderson has a much shorter paragraph length on average and his stories had great potential plot wise, he just chose to keep the stories shorter, though he has the vision of the grand epic. The real challenge will be nailing the details and tying up all of the plot threads on a coherent manner. The writing style, I think, Sanderson probably fell into after a few months of writing. Since Sanderson has already managed reasonably complex plots and seems to be keeping it all together (based on his blog posts) I hold high hopes for the completion of this series.

This is a series I started reading in early high school and have treasured to this day. Some books are better than others, but this series is THE epic fantasy story of the last 20 years. It is more of a brute force presence in the fantasy fiction world than something someone did decades ago like Tolkien. Jordan has defined an entire decade of writers and readers that have had to come to terms with his stories when they contemplate the fantasy epic. When an author sits down and thinks of a plot and story for a fantasy epic it is, in my opinion, Tolkien and Jordan that you struggle with: how do you do something different? How do you spin threads of a story of epic length while making the same old good triumphs of evil (epicly!) enjoyable? There are a lot of other great writers in the epic fantasy space and I don't mean to reduce it to the two most well known.... but they are where they are for a reason.

Anyhow... my rambling is done. I highly recommend Elantris and or the Mistborn trilogy. Though I suspect that most of us that have been eagerly waiting have already begun studying up on the man to finish up Jordan's legacy.

huh (1)

mataamad (1381529) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344569)

And I had been planning on doing some study this morning... DAMMIT

News: Robert Jordan gets away with it (3, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344597)

Rainforest destruction legend Robert Jordan has successfully evaded paying off the advance on what was originally a four-page satire of ridiculous fantasy cliches, The Wheel of Time.

The epic originated as a piece of semi-amusing cubemail circulating on a private mailing list for writers bored with their day jobs. "But I just kept adding and adding to it," Jordan confessed years later. "Then someone snuck it into an Eye Of Argon reading session. And the idio-- I mean, tasteful and discerning consumers of science fiction and fantasy loved it! They couldn't get enough of it! Certainly more than I could be bothered with, anyway. If only I could find the Caribbean island Elvis, Jimi, Janis and Kurt are hiding out on ..."

The process of writing was reflected in the work. "You get long, stringy drips of various elements. All recycled. Then you weave them together. We thought of using a wiki, but people kept putting Pokemons in. 'My Pokemans, let me show you them.' Idjits."

Plaudits came in from fellow fantasy writers around the globe. "I always found plot and characterisation overrated," said master fantasist J.R.R. Tolkein. "They only get in the way of exploring a really interesting constructed language. The more demanding sort of reader can be so very tiresome at times."

"Bugger," said David Eddings, frantically casting his eyes about for fresh sources.

"Who are you, and where did you get this number?" said Neil Gaiman.

Readers will be over the moon to learn that Kevin J. Anderson has contracted to finish the series in a suitable manner. "I figure there's another twenty, thirty books needed to finish it properly. Lotta unanswered questions, yeah. I should have 'em done by next week."

Woolheaded shepherds the world over fold their arms beneath their breasts, tug at their braids, smooth their skirts and bow their heads today, and remember Jordan's wise words:

"Plagiarism^WResearch is lighter than a feather; advances already received, heavier than a mountain."

Illustration: Robert Jordan silenced at last. [today.com]

Why all the dissin'? (2, Informative)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344625)

A quick survey of the comments so far paints an overwhelmingly negative picture for the series...
I just wanted to point out, as a life long fan of this series, that there IS a reason every book the series has appeared on the New York Times best-seller list, and most of them have been #1 when they first come out. [dragonmount.com]

Re:Why all the dissin'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344659)

as a life long fan of this series

No kidding, I think there's every chance this series will still be unfinished when I die.

Re:Why all the dissin'? (1)

n0dna (939092) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344859)

Well, those people could respond too.

Like almost all the others posting here, I tried, I really did. I made it through the first 6 before I stopped.

Hell I even continued to buy them until the prequel came out just in case he ever finished them, but at some point nearly everyone I know who has tried to read them noticed that "nothing was happening", it looked like "nothing was ever going to happen", and when long-dead characters keep reappearing that meant "nothing had actually happened."

Re:Why all the dissin'? (5, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344955)

Why? You really don't know? Okay...

Because the first three books were damn good. The problem was, what should have been by all rights a 5-6 book series has turned into, what...12? The remaining books sort of meandered around, filling in niggling details and sub-plots that every other author on the planet saves until the second series set in the same locale. Jordan, however, crammed it in the middle. He admitted he had only outlined it to about 5 or 6 books.

Hell, I'm sure there are four WHOLE BOOKS of material in there that can be summed up as repetitions of "the men and women in this series can't communicate with each other worth a damn, and have egos the size of elephants".

Jordan was verbose. He made Tolstoy look parsimonious. A word used a couple times in WoT novels, by the way. The man probably bought thesauruses by the case.

The remaining books hit the best seller list by fans hoping he would finish the damn story before he died. And yes, that was the joke going around YEARS before he was sick, much less actually dead.

When I finally read Knife of Dreams my first thought was "Damn! He really is picking up the pace. I wonder what got into him?" I later learned it was cardiac amyloidosis [wikipedia.org] is what got into him. A year and a half later he was dead. My first thoughts being "Wow. He DIDN'T finish the story before dying. Who'd a thunk it?" followed by "There are gonna be a lot of people online who now feel like assholes for jokes from years past!"

Thus, the commentary here Slashdot. There was a lot of sentiment expressed that Jordan was milking the series for all it was worth. The George Lucas of epic fantasy novels, if you will. I'm not convinced he wasn't, which is why I didn't get Knife of Dreams right away. I waited for the reviews before I decided it probably wasn't yet another string-em-along filler book.

That being said, I'll probably buy the final three novels in ebook form and acquire the others -- which I currently have in hardback -- as ebooks.

Re:Why all the dissin'? (2)

complete loony (663508) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345325)

Tell me about it. For those who haven't bothered to read to the end of the series yet, there's a world changing event that harnesses so much magical energy that every magic user on the planet can sense it. It starts at the end of one book, and finishes at the start of the book *after* the next book. The book in the middle reads like "where were you when Kennedy was shot", tracing through the lives of every major character in excruciating detail during the couple of hours or so that this event occurred.

Re:Why all the dissin'? (1)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345603)

What I'm saying is that a lot of people actually appreciate his style, and enjoy hearing a story being told at the story-teller's pace. Quite the opposite of the David Gemell fantasy-lite genre, Jordan took the time to create an entire universe and populate it entirely with three-dimensional characters and landscapes. Some people like this. If it's too much for your own attention span to take, then move along and let the rest of us (and yes, there are enough of us to put every book on the NYT best seller's list) enjoy it. You don't all have to express your frustrations every time the guy's name is mentioned.

Re:Why all the dissin'? (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345441)

Yep, there is a reason. For the latter books, it has more to do with popularity (similar to Windows) than any decent writing. Check out the reviews for the thenth book "Crossroads of Twilight" link [amazon.com] . People absolutely loathed the book. Many wished to give zero star ratings, but couldn't since one star is the lowest Amazon allows. The eleventh book got something like 3.0-3.5 stars if memory serves, but like the other response says, I'm almost positive it's because Jordan was feeling rushed. Which by our standards means he was moving at a normal pace again.

Re:Why all the dissin'? (1)

Stormie (708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345609)

When it comes to "Wheel of Time", you can divide the audience into two groups: people who don't like the series, and people who used to like the series but don't any more. That second group, however, has a large subgroup of people who don't like the series anymore, but who feel they have invested so much of their life reading it that they need to grind through in the hope of reaching a conclusion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost_dilemma [wikipedia.org] may be instructive.

a really simple way to deal with the series... (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344631)

is to realize it's a perfect textbook example why shortening a series can make it better, but seldom will lenghtening it will bring any good.

Re:a really simple way to deal with the series... (2, Insightful)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344725)

I don't know what the problem is. Something happens almost every 200 pages.

Re:a really simple way to deal with the series... (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344803)

at 800 pages a book... that's quite a metric...

I wonder how it translates to LOCs...

Re:a really simple way to deal with the series... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29345391)

I have to mention an exception to your point, though. I was kind of a fan of Wheel of Time in the beginning, and I quickly grew bored of it but I kept buying the books anyway for whatever reason. But I was never excited after about the third book for basically the reasons everyone else has already described.

At some point I picked up George R R Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series, and it rocked my socks. The language and writing style were better. By far. I mean, not even close. Never does a single chapter go by where you think, "Ugh.. one down, 42 to go." Something always happens. Often something very unexpected, and you're left wondering what the hell is going on or how he's going to make this work. But he always does. I never get the impression that he's trying to fill pages. If anything, I feel like he's working hard to cram as much actual plot into a book as is possible.

Anyway, getting back to your point.. this series is turning out to be longer than Martin originally anticipated. A Feast for Crows ended up having to be split because it was getting too big, and some decisions were made about how he was going to tell the story (basically he ended up telling one side of the plot--the Westeros side of it--while the next book "A Dance of Dragons" tells the other side of it--the Daenerys side). But it was still written extremely well.

I'm constantly disappointed at how long it takes for Martin to release a book, but each time he does I'm relieved because they always turn out to be amazing. I have not been disappointed yet.

Sadly, I was disappointed many times in a row when I read a new Jordan book. I guess I'm either stupid for not learning to stop buying his books, or I just have too much time on my hands in between Martin books.

I guess that's why these went off Webscriptions (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344745)

Just checked Baen.com and all the Tor books sold through Webscriptions seem to be listed as "not currently available". Guess Tor wants to cut out the middleman.

My braid (4, Funny)

thefringthing (1502177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344885)

I'm tugging it.

Jordan could have finished (2, Funny)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344969)

I don't understand, if you skip all the text referring to someone "smoothing out her split riding skirt" you could have probably saved a couple of volumes.

Re:Jordan could have finished (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345147)

That and his predilection for chubby chasing. What percentage of the female population were "plumply pretty" again, remind me?

And I wish I could have been a coke dealer, with all that sniffing...

Spoiler: OMG, more Braid pulling (1)

Jonathan Walther (676089) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345611)

Just read the first chapter. I can't believe it. The new author is a chip off the old block. He managed to include a braid-tugging scene. Other than that, I think he did a good job. Hopefully he picks up the pace; the pacing of the first chapter was a lot like RJ, perhaps a tiny bit faster and cleaner.

WoT Religion? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345671)

The wheel of time is one of those series that I think could of ended up like a religion. Eventually someone starts a religion around the wheel of time proclaiming that Robert Jordan (their literary messiah) will return to earth to finish the series. Thankfully another author is going to freaking finish it so we are spared another terrible religion on this planet. Unless of course someone declares this new author the devil and the subsequent books false. Then we may have a buncha of people waiting for the return of Jordan to write the end.

Sanderson (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29345689)

A few months, maybe a year ago we were discussing Jordan and Sanderson, I mentioned that even if Jordan can't finish a series, he sure can finish a book! The guy writes epic endings, someone here mentioned that Sanderson is just as good, and being on the third book of the Mistborn series, I would definitely agree. I have full confidence that he can finish the series well.

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