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New Wheel of Time Author Chosen

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the better-late-than-never dept.

Books 327

kdean06 writes "Brandon Sanderson has been chosen by Tor Books to finish the best-selling Wheel of Time fantasy series by the late Robert Jordan. Harriet, Jordan's widow, chose him after reading his Mistborn series. An interview is also available via Dragonmount.com."

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Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645499)

Or will he actually manage to do something Jordan never managed - an ending? I gave up at volume 7 , I just couldn't take any more tedious filler prose that you could tell the author was using to pad just so he could produce as many volumes (and make as much $$$$) as possible. Even Tolstoy eventually knew when it was time to wrap it up and no one could accuse him of having had writers block.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

thornomad (1095985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645565)

I don't think I even made it through the fifth book -- and I loved them at the beginning. But there is something about a series of books that make them intriguing ... namely: that there will be an ending. When the chance of actually having one disappeared I stopped reading.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

daninspokane (1198749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645605)

Ditto here. Great books, amazing writing... but after 5 it's like "dude come on.. really... I'd like some closure on this"

Excellent books regardless, I just don't have the attention span for them.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Funny)

bostonkarl (795447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646803)

No kidding. Loved it at first. But it got repetative. So and so tugs on her braid. Yet again. Yawn.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1, Informative)

Feyr (449684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645621)

i never found WoT to be tedious, slow at some points but not tedious.

it's a shame that you find them so because the last two books are truly epic.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Insightful)

A Jew (1176261) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645757)

I went through the whole series, and mostly they went fast. and I didn't skip anything. most books in the series I read at least 2 or 3 times. and the series does come to an end: book 12. in any case, book 11 is when despite all the action, the preparations for the last battle are completed.

I just really hope this author sticks exactly to what Robert Jordan had planned. it's bad enough I'll have to cope with a different style of writing, the annoying power plays, and the weird morals. I really don't want to also deal with a world view that is inconsistent with rest of the series. I don't want it adopted to a different interpretation. I just want Robert Jordan.

May he rest in peace.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Interesting)

Gaki (1062898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645905)

And the "epic" is precisely why I stopped reading at book 4. Up to that point, you had the very good story of a bunch of small-town kids caught up in something bigger than they were. It was gritty and it was real. When Rand defeats a swordmaster with a blue heron blade in book four, then takes out one of the lesser deities in the same book, I instantly thought ... gee, kinda tough to go UP from there, isn't it? He's only 20 or so. I'm a fan of low fantasy, so the minute it spiraled up into "killing Gods" territory, which is what I call it, I instantly lost interest.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Insightful)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646617)

Despite the fact that I'm still doggedly sticking it out with the books (I need closure after all these years, dammit), I really have to agree that the power escalation has gotten out of hand. Or, rather, the power de-escalation of the foes.

In the early books, even a few Trollocs or single Myrrdraal was an issue. By the middle books, they were being beaten up by farmwives with kitchen implements. By the late books, hundreds of them aren't really a big deal. A shame really, as when you lose respect for the foes, the series loses a lot of depth.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1, Flamebait)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645797)

I read the first one, then found out how many more he had written within a short period of time and quickly deduced the rest must be pointless drivel. Your comment validates my decision to stop after #1.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646027)

Read 2 and 3 and pretend like the ending to 3 is the ending, and you won't miss much.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646659)

You missed out then. My personal favorite has been book 2, which had a nice "adventure" quality to it. I must admit, I have only read until book 5 so I can't compare with the later volumes. I really liked the character of Hurin in book 2, and wish they would have kept him around (again, not sure if he comes back into the story after book 5).

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Informative)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645901)

There was allways an end. If you read the books carefully enough, then you know what the end is. It was foreshadowed in the early pages of the first book, and reiterated in the 2nd volume several times. the fun is not in reading the ending, but in the twists, turns, and unexpected events that spin us towards the enevitable, that which is destined to repeat as the wheel turns and spins age anew.

Granted, having started reading the series with the release of the 4th book, the end has been a long time coming. 2-4 year between volumes is a loooonnnng time. I'm held in this same pattern by George Martin (Song of Ice and Fire saga), Neil Stepheson (he just announced a second trilogy to his current works), Tad Williams (otherland took forever to be completed, and each volume of his current fantasy series is eagerly awaited), i even went through this with Isaac Asimof and his 13 book saga of the Foundation (not including 2 others he went back in and added later!).

I fill the gaps with Mercades Lackey, Robin Hobb, Bob Salvatore, and a dozen others not to mention all these other fantasies I end up reading just to keep up with what's in the theatres. (notice i did not mention the potter books however).

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646157)

I hate to go off topic, but what is this new trilogy by Neal Stephenson you refer to? I can't seem to find any information about it at all.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646261)

It's a continuation of his Baroque cycle (forthcoming). The copy of the 3rd book I have lists the titles of the next 3 books in the saga. I do not know what the release data will e (sorry), just as I eagerly await work of Tad William's and George Martins next announcements (2 authors I desperately hope do not join Rober Jordan in leaving this existance with unfinished works... both are aging more rapidly than they are aproaching the end of their legacies.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645577)

As a reader of Sanderson's other novels, I can say that endings are his specialty. His fans refer to the endings of his books as the "Brandon Avalanche" because once he starts to build it up, it just snowballs to reach a level of excitement that leaves you blown away.

I can't think of a better author to finish this series.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646179)

I could almost say the same thing about Robert Jordan and his books, so I am pretty pleased with Sanderson being appointed if you can say that about him.

Maybe not everyone agrees with me, and I've only read the first six books of the series, but even if the story is relatively dull throughout the novel, the last 10% is usually pretty awesome. Jordan usually just has Rand sitting on his hands for 500 some odd pages and then suddenly turns him into a monster for the last 100. I made it through the sixth book because my coworker promised me it had an explosive ending, and it did (haha, explosive was an accidental pun there, seriously).

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

Shrubbman (3807) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645591)

Jordan had finished the outline for the 12th, and reportedly final, book before he passed away. I stopped reading at around book 9 myself, but might get around to goingthrough those last few books if this new author does indeed give us an end.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

martinag (985168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645615)

There are eleven books already of an expected twelve, so I'd say there's a fair chance it'll happen.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645681)

I couldn't get past the first half of the first book. Jordan's writing was so amateurish, it reminded me more of a lot of the fanfiction out there. I found it dull and poorly written.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

TheGeneration (228855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646039)

Jordan really is a terrible writer. I read the reviews for the books before I got them. I read the first three and thought "uhm, nothings happened since the first half of the first book! This is awful writing!"

I can't believe anybody gets past the third book to be honest. That book was the last nail in that coffin. The characters split up in the beginning of the book, have their individual adventures and then NOTHING HAPPENS, nothing changes, the characters do not grow, absolutely nothing. It was like the lamest disconnected mid season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Insightful)

Penguin's Advocate (126803) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646391)

"I couldn't get past the first half of the first book. Jordan's writing was so amateurish, it reminded me more of a lot of the fanfiction out there. I found it dull and poorly written."

Perhaps you meant that a lot of the fan fiction out there reminds you of Jordan's writing? That's probably because a lot of fan fiction writers got their inspiration from him.

I'll concede that the writing itself was not the greatest, but the story is excellent. I'm sorry that you "couldn't" get past the writing and enjoy the story.

It's really sad that even when reading a fantasy series, people are so obsessed with getting to the point that they can't tolerate a single word not expressly intended for plot advancement. There's a reason old people are always telling young people to slow down.

Details Are an Artistic Choice, My Friend (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645719)

Right, I think you should really step back and consider what you are saying.

Every author has a right to express situations to the point they see fit. If you want to pull a Hemingway and tell things how they are, go ahead. "The night was dark." But I'm going to paraphrase something I remember from the intro to Stephen King's unabridged version of The Stand:

You can tell the story of Hansel & Gretel in about three sentences. Hansel & Gretel got lost in the forest. They happened upon a house wtih an old witch who offered them candy. She really wanted to eat them and they figured it out and dumped her in the oven.

Ok, so that was quick, but you know, it also is interesting to mention that they weren't so much as 'lost' as their bitch of a mother threw them in the woods because she loved their father but not them. Or that they left breadcrumbs certain they could find their way back. And also they kind of faced with a bit of a moral dilemma when they were faced with killing the witch. Oh, and when I talk about the forest, if I put some details into it to make it a little darker and scarier, it works better. Before you know it, I'm painting a novel. Yes, it's going to be long. Oh but all these things make the plot long and loopy and without everything being answered! Yes, it's going to have an overload of details but that's how I want to tell it. If you don't like, either don't read it or buy the Cliff's notes and get back to me on it.

Jordan went to the Citadel. He spares no expense on details. He also is an expert at explaining battles. If you don't like it that he answers questions with more questions, don't read it. I'm sorry but you went through book seven and I implore to keep going, some of the later ones get much better. It's the same thing that drew me to the X-Files & even some newer books, I'm sorry that it discourages you but that's what I love about Jordan. Not your average run of the mill fantasy series!

Re:Details Are an Artistic Choice, My Friend (3, Informative)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645807)

I like details as much as anyone , but there comes a point where you just want the trivia kicked into touch for a while and the story to move on.

Re:Details Are an Artistic Choice, My Friend (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645931)

If you don't like it that he answers questions with more questions, don't read it.
If someone doesn't like a book or series of books for whatever reason then they're allowed to say so. Just like if you don't like someone's comment then you can say so. Either of you can "just not read it" but we're trying to have a discussion here so, you know, discussing is part of that. Okay?

I'm sorry but you went through book seven and I implore to keep going
What the...? You just said if he didn't like Jordan's writing then not to read it. Now you're imploring him to keep reading more of them! Are you going to ask for a vow of silence when he's finished the next one too?

Re:Details Are an Artistic Choice, My Friend (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646011)

There is a difference between prose that sets the setting, and prose that's just filler. I gave up reading fantasy novels long ago, because most of them had several paragraphs of describing the same. damn. characters. and. settings. Wild barbarian. Old, white-bearded wizard. Scary orcs. Etc. Etc. Etc. I've blown through more than one 700 page fantasy book in one sitting because exposition and description was about 90% of the text. Forget subtle character development or scene setting, things were delivered in neat paragraphs. Some longer than a page.

Master story-tellers know which elements of their story help their audience understand the point of the story. Hacks simply describe things. Details may be an artistic choice, but they definitely drive what I think of the artist. Sometimes, less is indeed more.

Re:Details Are an Artistic Choice, My Friend (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646577)

You should read some Robin Hobb. Fantasy for sure, but none of the cliches you'd expect. Very good stuff :)

Re:Details Are an Artistic Choice, My Friend (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646753)

You should read Sanderson's other stuff (Elantris or Mistborn). He tends to use sparse descriptions in favor of characterization and plot. It's great.

Re:Details Are an Artistic Choice, My Friend (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646123)

Details are clearly an artistic choice. Sometimes, though, they are a bad artistic choice.

Its often said that in short stories, more than novels, its important to relate only details that matter (whether its to the mood or to the plot, or its best that if the detail serves the former purpose it also serves the latter) and ruthlessly eliminate the fluff.

I think that that is, perhaps somewhat paradoxically, just as true in works much longer than a typical novel as it is in works much shorter than one. While in the shorter forms you lack the space for both fat and meat, in the longer forms you are more likely to exhaust the readers tolerance for fat, but the effect is the same. A 2 million word megastory, I think, really needs to be nearly as lean, overall, as a 1,000 word piece of flash fiction; you've got some room to be more verbose in the first couple novel-length chunks of the bigger work, but beyond that you really need to buckle down if you want to avoid drowning the reader in a tide of minutiae that overwhelms the story itself.

Re:Details Are an Artistic Choice, My Friend (5, Funny)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646585)

Hansel and Gretel, outlined in the style of Robert Jordan:

Book 1: Hansel and Gretel live happily with their mother and father. Their mother falls ill and dies. The family mourns her loss. The father starts courting another woman in the village, to the dismay of Hansel and Gretel. At the end of the book, she wins over the hearts and minds of the two children and marries her father. They live happily ever after.

Book 2: Oh, wait, they don't live happily after all. The stepmother turns out to be hateful and cruel. Ultimately, Hansel and Gretel resolve to run away from home. Gretel expresses fears about the wicked witch who is rumored to live in the Forest, but Hansel insists nothing could be worse than living at home with their stepmother. After much bickering, they depart.

Book 3: Hansel and Gretel cross the boundary between Village and Forest. Gretel reprises her misgivings about the dangers of the forest. Hansel reiterates his arguments in favor of running away. After much bickering, they agree to continue, using bread crumbs to mark their trail. They get lost. Gretel blames Hansel. Hansel stubbornly refuses to admit his mistake.

Book 4: Hansel and Gretel wander through the woods, lost and disoriented. Gretel continues to complain about the foolishness of running away from home. Hansel continues to insist it's the right thing to do. Gretel continues to berate him about the bread crumbs fiasco. Hansel persists in his mule-headed self-righteousness. They meet a Wise Owl, who warns them about the Wicked Witch of the Forest.

Book 5: Hansel and Gretel wander through the woods, lost and disoriented. Gretel continues to complain about the foolishness of running away from home. Hansel continues to insist it's the right thing to do. Gretel continues to berate him about the bread crumbs fiasco. Hansel persists in his mule-headed self-righteousness. They meet a Cunning Fox, who encourages them to visit the Wise Woman of the Forest.

Book 6: Hansel and Gretel wander through the woods, lost and disoriented. Gretel continues to complain about the foolishness of running away from home. Hansel continues to insist it's the right thing to do. Gretel continues to berate him about the bread crumbs fiasco. Hansel persists in his mule-headed self-righteousness. They meet a Cryptic Raven, who warns them about the Wicked Witch of the Forest.

Book 7: Hansel and Gretel wander through the woods, lost and disoriented. Gretel continues to complain about the foolishness of running away from home. Hansel continues to insist it's the right thing to do. Gretel continues to berate him about the bread crumbs fiasco. Hansel persists in his mule-headed self-righteousness. They meet a Devious Serpent, who encourages them to visit the Wise Woman of the Forest. ... and that's about the point where the Faithful Reader finally realizes that this hack has stretched a simple fairy tale into seven giant novels in which nothing actually happens.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (4, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645777)

Jordan had no personal interest in monetary fortunes. His story was alive within him, and as all things that grow in nature, this story grew above and beyond his dreams and took its own course. George R R Martin is experiencing a similar pain with his series, as did Terry Goodkind. The stories and worlds simply become so vast, that in order to move one's characters to the end of the story, it takes more volumes than one expects.

After book 3 Jordan expected the series to be complete at 6 books. after book 5, he thought he was closer to the end than the beginning. He was on a good pace to do that until he experienced a major death in his family while writing book 8. That book got away from him, and in order to complete his works and tie off all of the ends of his story, we needed books 9 and 10 to put things back on track.

Jordan rarely used "filler prose" as you claim. His descriptions were allways vivid and captivating, and all of his writing for his more than 20 main characters was exceptional.

Maybe you're looking at it wrong. This is not a simple story about a few characters on a quest, AKA J R R Tolkein style. this is 3rd generation hard fantasy. This is a collection of stories about seperate individuals following seperate paths each intertwined in common fates inside of an expansive world. This is really no different than the Dragon Lance series, other than in this case, each individual story has the power to move others. If this is more than you can follow, (not to say too complex, but simply the sheer volume of information and time required to invest in it) or if the collection is simply longer than your attention span, then I can reccomend many other great authors to you, and I will caution you to avoid Tad Williams, Neil Stepheson, George Martin and many other emerging fantasy gods of writing who are also on paths to publishing stories that cross 7-10 1000 page novels.

I mean no disrespect, but maybe it's just not your style.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (5, Funny)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645879)

Jordan rarely used "filler prose" as you claim.

Female character sniffed. "Wooly-headed men," she thought.

Male character sighed. "If only other male character were here," he thought. "He understands women."

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646201)

So you don't classify this a character development?

Sure, one may be tempted to state that such phrases were repeated regularly in the series, but c'mon, all this means is that each book could have been 30-50 pages shorter... also, it's a long series, authors must remind us of how their characters think from time to time or we begin to forget who they are and substitute our own thoughts for theirs. personally I appreciate this detail and I wish more authors used similar techniques.

We're not talking about parragraphs and pages of useless descriptions (though many were lenghty, its much of that poetic verse that makes the story worth reading, and I considder little of it useless or wasteful), and we're not talking about complete tangents from story that have no impacts on the characters or the story... besides, ether he used such prose or not would have made no impact on how many books he published. What it would have made an impact on is how many pages each book was published, saving the publisher money. In fact, considdering that, I counter that jordan was in fact not milking his publisher and the public for money, but in fact, he was milking them OF such money, as each hardcover, regardless of cost to produce, is sold for the same retail price...

Some authors do produce books in volume simply for money. Some of those authors are worth reading, others not so much. I gave up on Goodkind for this reason after his 4th book. Each additional story was not moving the characters forward, or expanding the world, it only prolonged the saga for profit. I'd argue that the original runelords series was quite good, but continuing that series with another (at least) trilogy is not worth my reading time (though if the second saga could stand on its own without first having to read the 4 books previous to it, it might be) the Dune Saga also has this weakness. If you truly love the world, you've got over 15 books of it to read now, but the original book alone stands on it's own. the first 3 sequals add to it, but reading beyond is unnecessary.

but of course, this is your opinion. I enjoy books with depth, complexity, and longevity. I avoid books and series that are simple or episodic. If it can be made into a 3 hour or less movie, it's not worth my time. Each book should take at least half of a full season of TV to conclude and a saga should take years of watching. LoTR produced 12 hours of feature movie, and from only a few hundred pages (about the total length of a single book from Jordan). Each potter book, some of which are 800+ pages) only translate into 2 hour movies. I read the first 5 books of the potter series in about 3 days time. Each book of Jordan's, Martin's, William's, or Stepheson's enthrawled me for more than a week. Anyuthing less can't hold my interest, is too predictable, or is simply episodic and I have no addiction to the series. Not everyone feels the same way, and i hold no ill will towards them. The only readers I wish stripped from the face of Terra are those who read romance novels...

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646309)

So you don't classify this a character development?


The first time it happens with a given set of characters, it may be character development.

The remaining dozen or so per volume, not so much.

also, it's a long series, authors must remind us of how their characters think from time to time or we begin to forget who they are and substitute our own thoughts for theirs.


Certainly true to an extent, which is one thing that makes writing a huge work in an expansive world without losing focus and drowning the reader in minutiae difficult.

But that the task the author has set for themselves is difficult doesn't excuse poor execution.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646477)

So you don't classify this a character development?

The first time each separate character thought that, perhaps. When I noticed that separate characters did and thought the same things, I appreciated the irony. When it happened multiple times per book in multiple books, I decided that it was as much characterization as the catchphrases of Steve Urkel [wikipedia.org] , and that I had better things to do with my time than to read another several hundred pages while wondering When are they going to get to the fireworks factory? [snpp.com] .

I used to read WoT... (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646697)

I gave up for similar reasons. There are entire pages in each book that seem to be cribbed from previous books. It's annoying. It's an insult to the reader.

The universe created was a very good fantasy universe. The delivery (actual writing) stunk.

WoT would make a good movie/video game though.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Funny)

deadweight (681827) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646459)

What about the "giant world-wide S&M sorority thing" going on. All the women were always threatening to spank, hit, whack, or otherwise "discipline" each other pretty much non-stop. BTW, when I first read the first book of the series I stuck it in my flight bag for a long trip and avgas back then was about $1.50/gallon. THAT was a long time ago!

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646503)

I'm 99% positive that was an in-joke in the series, given that each of the three male "leads" uses that particular expression multiple times.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (5, Insightful)

Apparition-X (617975) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646193)

Well, I am going to toss this out there even though it may be a little inflammatory: Jordan was stylistically awful. Beyond belief really. The writing devolved over the course of the series from adequate to extremely painful. Your claims:

- "rarely used filler prose". If you read books 5-9, you will find that increasingly, that is all they were. Phrases were repeated a painfully large number of times. Characters expressed the same emotions and reactions to various situations over and over and over again.

- "his writing for more than 20 main charcters was exceptional" Well, there was little if any character growth for the majority of characters since book 4. If anything, it is shockingly repetitive in that the character's changed in no significant way for so long. And female characters in particular tended to the caricaturish in their unidimensionality.

No matter what excuse you care to use, it is obvious that a much firmer editorial hand was required. The number of people that simply stopped reading (based on comments here, on Amazon, and other forums) is very large. It just went on. Not only were questions not answered, and plot details not resolved, but new, seemingly irrelevant questions were raised, and new plot threads started. You may want to defend the work as "3rd generation hard fantasy" but it reads a lot more like Edward Gibbon than anything that is remotely interesting or compelling as a work of fiction.

Finally, I would not that Jordan's work has nothing redeeming from a literary point of view either--there are no compelling themes explored in interesting or insightful ways; no compelling use of metaphor or allegory; no deep (or even shallow) discovery of human nature and growth through conflict; nothing tragic about the conflicts; nothing at all. So without plot and character, there is simply nothing at all of interest.

And for reference, I have worked through Martin's books without losing interest. And Erikson's (who has more happen in a chapter than WoT had in whole books) even though he is up to 7000+ pages. Glen Cooks. Gene Wolfe. Etc. But that doesn't mean that I am uncritical or read uncritically. Jordan lost the plot and jumped the shark a long time ago, and those problems are compounded by dreadful style, awful characterization, and the total absence of compelling plot developments. (I am also pretty critical of Goodkind for similar reasons--the prose is simply awful, as is the characterization.)

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (2, Insightful)

mgoheen (244365) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645897)

Holy crap...you wrote my comment...except that I made it through nine (or maybe it was only six?) of these endless bastards. I kept buying the next one thinking, "Ok, something has actually GOT to happen THIS time." But no, NOTHING EVER ACTUALLY HAPPENS...EVER!

This series should be call "The Endless Waste of Time".

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645941)

I'm actually surprised there would be a demand for this. I mean, with Harry Potter, are kids really branching off to the Wheel of Time books again? I know they were popular with kids back when I was in grade school (did adults actually read them?) but, like the David Eddings books, it seems like they came and went with the 80s and 90s.

Re:Does that mean another 10 tedious volumes? (5, Interesting)

accessdeniednsp (536678) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645947)

Well the real problem was that around the ending of Book 4, Tor came to Jordan and asked him to extend the series and stretch it out. I am most certain this is documented somewhere and came directly from RJ himself.

Of course, RJ started out writing just one book, then during the process came up with more story and wanted a trilogy. If you read carefully, you can actually see how Book 3 really is a good ending to the saga, and it's evident how Book 4 does start on a new thread entirely. It's a very different series starting at Book 4 (similar to how Book 2 started).

But this is about when Tor came in and asked for more. So, he drew up some extended storyline of course for books 4-6 or so. Book 4 was stunning. just great!. Books 5-7 were *definitely* filler with mild forward-moving story. But then he got his act back together with Book 8 and THAT's when he did another 'reboot' of sorts and started putting story elements back together. The second half of Book 8, the whole of Book 9, and the interesting storytelling of Book 10 are all very tightly woven and they work very well.

Book 11 certainly was the house-cleaning book (heh, some "decisive action" taking place rather early made me smile) and sets the stage very smoothly for Book 12.

So yes, I agree it got slow and lazy in the middle. If we could have those books plus first half of Book 8 condensed and re-written to a 200 page novel, that'd be great :)

Anyway, I just wanted to toss that bit of insight up. I hope it helps 'cope' in some way with the whole thing. Once I found out about it, I felt better about it.

Seeya!

Just One (2, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646349)

Jordan was already planning to make this book the final one.

Actually, the last 2 books really picked up steam as he started moving toward the conclusion.

Books 6 through 9, however, were pretty tedious.

People Who Read Fantasy Books (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645505)

People who read fantasy books are the biggest nerds on the planet.

They make computer nerds look like professional football stars by compariston.

Re:People Who Read Fantasy Books (1)

Selfbain (624722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645623)

Yes, trolling slashdot is a much more productive way to use your time.

Re:People Who Read Fantasy Books (1)

mordenkhai (1167617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645661)

Well, obviously in the AC's opinion, learning to spell "comparison" is a waste of time rivaled only by reading.

Re:People Who Read Fantasy Books (1)

A Jew (1176261) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646079)

It's not about the setting, it's about the story, the ideas, and the characters. the odd settings just allow for complete freedom from history, geography, and everything else known to man. of course, they still don't give the author freedom from his own mind.

And to think... (3, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645555)

...that about seven years ago, friends of mine and I joked about abducting Jordan and holding him until he finished the series...

Re:And to think... (1)

BoChen456 (1099463) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645785)

About 7 years ago, my friend and I joked about how horrible it would be if Jordan died before he finished writing the series. :*(

Wait, What? (5, Funny)

roadkill_cr (1155149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645571)

"Finish" his novels? Wouldn't it be more to Jordan's liking if Brandon Sanderson just kept writing book after book on the Wheel of Time until he dies, too?

Re:Wait, What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21646755)

No. I think Hubbard has the franchise on that.

Well... (4, Funny)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645595)

He's not the author. But he is *an* author.

Re:Well... (1)

accessdeniednsp (536678) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645733)

hahah! mod parent up! well said :)

Whew! That was close... (4, Funny)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645609)

I heard an ancient prophecy that said that when the Wheel of Time of was ended, so too was Time.

I'm sure that was poppycock... heh heh... right?

Re:Whew! That was close... (2, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645635)

I heard an ancient prophecy that said that when the Wheel of Time of was ended, so too was Time.
That's somewhat in error. That happens when Duke Nukem: Forever is released...

Re:Whew! That was close... (1)

Shinmizu (725298) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646383)

That's somewhat in error. That happens when Duke Nukem: Forever is released...
That, too, is in error. Duke Nukem: Forever was released at the beginning of time. This universe? It is simply the computer on which Duke Nukem: Forever is running. Duke Nukem: Forever is the question to the answer calculated by a previous universe, and, when finally this universe comes to an end, those beyond shall know in entirety the question.

Much too cerebral (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646615)

That, too, is in error. Duke Nukem: Forever was released at the beginning of time. This universe? It is simply the computer on which Duke Nukem: Forever is running. Duke Nukem: Forever is the question to the answer calculated by a previous universe, and, when finally this universe comes to an end, those beyond shall know in entirety the question.
I think that if Duke was here right now, he wouldn't understand what you'd said and would beat the crap out of you instead.

Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, (5, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645665)

Head over to http://www.georgerrmartin.com/ [georgerrmartin.com]
You know what to do.

Re:Your next mission, should you choose to accept (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645721)

Now there is a fantastic writer. His Ice and Fire series is very good.

Re:Your next mission, should you choose to accept (0, Troll)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646625)

George Martin - "Hmmm, what can I do to distinguish myself from all the other J. R. R. Tolkien wannabee authors out there? I know, I'll go by the name George R. R. Martin."

What a douche.

Re:Your next mission, should you choose to accept (1)

OpMindFck (204177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645861)

Thats exactly what I did when I saw this news.
At least with Ice + Fire, I have a sense the story is actually heading somewhere.
Now, If he could just finish Dance...

Re:Your next mission, should you choose to accept (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645951)

actually heading somewhere
Albeit not a bookshelf near you.

Re:Your next mission, should you choose to accept (2)

Salamander (33735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646203)

Head over to http://www.georgerrmartin.com/ [georgerrmartin.com]
. . . if you want to repeat the experience of having the author die before he finishes his darn series. Don't get me wrong, I thought the first couple of SoIaF books were among the best fantasy I'd read, but then it became apparent that he was going to keep adding more characters and locations and organizations and plotlines than he was shedding . . . just like Jordan and WoT. Robin Hobb's Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies are just as good, and they do reach resolutions. I'm really really hoping that Greg Keyes's Thorn and Bone series doesn't suffer the same kind of rot, because it's just as good too. Simple rule: if you're still discovering new civilizations, secret societies, or kinds of magic in the third book, give up because the author's obviously adrift in a sea of unconnected ideas.

Re:Your next mission, should you choose to accept (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646655)

I agree here. I read the first three books of ice and fire and instantly they became my favorite books of all time. I even got non fantasy readers to check them out and enjoy them. Finally, FINALLY book 4 came out (a few year wait for me :( ) and, wow, it was a huge bore. I was pretty upset with it. He set up book 3 to advance a few years, and pick up. But then mid write he decides that he has to tell all this other stuff. Fie. All of it irrelevant. It's like in this book he took everything I liked from the other 3 and threw it off to the sidelines.

In any event, from reading his website, it seems like the man is a victim of his own success, and that writing the book is becoming a chore for him as we are all nipping at his heels to finish it up. He probably needs to just lock himself in his basement with all his miniatures until it is finished up.

I will also add that I agree with most posters here about jordan. I got half way through book 9 before I threw it down in disgust, and even then I was pushing it. The problem was the endings had fun, interesting events, but the beginning was the same man hating women and uncertain little boys running around with 10 million different characters, switching plots anytime the one I was reading got remotely interesting. I didn't know he had passed away before finishing the series until reading this post either. I hope the new author can clean up everything, even though people have assured me "it gets good" in later books. I keep hearing that, but it is so hard to find the good :)

Reapy

Re:Your next mission, should you choose to accept (1)

captnjameskirk (599714) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646813)

You mean wait for another author to die before finishing his next book? His last book was split in half because he wasn't finished with it 3 years ago, and the second half STILL isn't done.

it makes me sad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645667)

Its like wondering about life, not knowing what you are doing, and talking to all sorts of people, trying to get them to go along with you. Then, you die.

Comments on new author (1)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645685)

Has anyone actually read any of Brandon Sanderson's books?
I too gave up on the Wheel of Time because of Jordan's neverending story, but does this new author have the ability to wrap it up? Does he get more to the point of the plot than Jordan?
Anyone's insight would be appreciated.

Re:Comments on new author (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645775)

I consider myself a Brandon Sanderson super fan. So my opinion might be biased, but I have read his novels.

His books are amazing. For me, they have just the right balance of description, action, philosophy, etc. I'm sure your millage may vary, but he is someone who likes to write books that people enjoy. That is his motive. He doesn't want to show off his prose, convince you of his philosophies, or show you how he's not like everyone else. He just wants to write books that people will enjoy reading. IMO, he is very talented at doing that.

Re:Comments on new author (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645865)

Astroturf #1

Re:Comments on new author (1)

mattmarlowe (694498) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646535)

I've read all 3 of Sanderson's prior books and honestly believe they couldn't have chosen a better author to complete the series.

Regarding the concern about his ability to wrap the story up -- all of Sanderson's prior novels are essentially self contained. The books in his mistborn trilogy build on each other, but have their own major and minor plotlines which are fully resolved by the end (minus whatever single mystery is needed to be built upon in the next novel). Sanderson is about 100% opposite of Jordan in this regard.

I'd be surprised if Sanderson, building on whatever Jordan left, couldn't complete and resolve the entire series in a single final 800 page book if he wanted.

I do not think it means what you think it means (2, Funny)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645703)

Harriet Popham Rigney, Jordan's beloved wife and editor, said of her decision to have Sanderson complete the last book in The Wheel of Time series: "I have chosen Brandon Sanderson to complete Robert Jordan's great work, and I am absolutely delighted that he accepted. I will of course be editing this book as I have all of the other books of The Wheel of Time."

Suddenly, the word "Edit" has lost all meaning.

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (0, Redundant)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645739)

Maybe we've discovered the nub of the problem - if jordan had been edited by a proper editor I wouldn't be surprised if he'd been told to cut a boatload of the padding and get to the friggin point, but because its his wife she wouldn't want to upset him and so just made minor amendments and suggestions etc...

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646091)

Sweet mother of god, please tell me it's not that simple!

I've restarted that damn series twice and even skimming to get to where I left off I have never got current.

Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (1)

rmassa (529444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646021)

The most consistently annoying thing about the WoT (I kinda enjoy the superfluous prose, but I'm a fast reader) was the bad editing. I mean bad. Spelling errors, grammatical errors, and typographical too (at least in all the hardbound books). All this time I thought it was just inconsistent QC at Tor, or RJ not allowing editing of his type. Heh, learn something new every day.

Kill some people this time. (4, Insightful)

bigdady92 (635263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645743)

Seriously, kill off a few of the 'main' characters.

That's always been the issue with these books is that Jordan created a handful of characters, then added a few side characters and said "Oh my these are interesting let's flesh them out!" and he did...over 10 f'n books worth of side characters!

G.Martin, Glenn Cooke, Dan Abnett, all are good sci-fi/fantasy writers that can handle multiple characters and wack them off at a whim and leave you feeling that you are sad to see them go but there's a reason they are gone and the story moves on. These hangers on from seachan whichs to aes sedai, to aielmen of the north to whatever in the later books all come and STAY. Noone leaves the main thread, hence why his books are 1k pages long and full of worthless fluff "She fluffs her green jade dress full of sparkling diamonds while pulling on her hair and frowning at "

I was able to carve the book down by 1/3 by simply ignoring most of the side plots and only reading stuff that concerned Rand,Matt,Perin. If it didn't involve them I didn't care, I moved along.

Re:Kill some people this time. (2, Insightful)

Selfbain (624722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645833)

The way GRRM kills off characters unexpectedly is one of his greatest strengths. I find his books much more difficult to predict than most.

Re:Kill some people this time. (2, Interesting)

Kipper the Llama (454021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646219)

Are you kidding? Without spoiling everything, the significant death in book three comes out of thin air because it violates what you know about the characters up to this point and happens far too flawlessly considering the large potential number of problems in pulling it off. (None of which Martin addresses.)

George R.R. Martin is hard to predict because his plots are determined by dice-rolls or attempts to seem "edgy" and "realistic." He is largely exciting and fun, but he does violate story structure for shock-value.

Re:Kill some people this time. (1)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646187)

I was able to carve the book down by 1/3 by simply ignoring most of the side plots and only reading stuff that concerned Rand,Matt,Perin. If it didn't involve them I didn't care, I moved along.

I think you're missing the point here. RJ wasn't just writing about Rand, Mat and Perrin, he was writing about the entire world. Yes, Rand, Mat, and Perrin are the main protagonists in the series, but you can't expect everything to happen to them all the time. By fleshing out the side characters, the history of world, the various countries, etc, he was able to bring the story alive. There was a lot worth reading that didn't happen to those three.

Re:Kill some people this time. (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646543)

Rand, Mat, and Perrin are the main protagonists in the series, but you can't expect everything to happen to them all the time.

Maybe so, but I expected something to happen to them eventually.

Re:Kill some people this time. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646397)

"Oh my these are interesting let's flesh them out!"

And then he *does* kill off the most interesting character in the series, Moiraine, way back in book 5. I really lost interest after that. It was like having Gandalf plunge into the depths with the Balrog and Tolkein never brings him back and never explained what happened.

At least George R.R. Martin (in the Fire & Ice series) knows when to kill off main characters when they become less interesting.

Re:Kill some people this time. (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646567)

Did you even read book 11? Judging from the comments, it seems like I'm the only person on earth who managed to make it through 10 & 11. In book 11, Moiriane's fate is specifically addressed. Hint: she may not be as dead as you think she is, and the people who are going to save her are probably not who you expected.

Yes, but... (3, Funny)

DoctorPepper (92269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645771)

After he finishes reading the current 5 dozen grueling volumes of "The Wheel of Time", he'll run away, screaming and plucking his eyeballs out!

That's why they chose him (2, Informative)

makomk (752139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645843)

He'd already read the series and his sanity was (mostly) still intact...

It's great that they're got someone to finish it (1)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645825)


But long ago as the series dragged on and on, I decided to boycott the whole series until it was finished.
If the new author continues the serie in the same spirit as Jordan was, then it'll be another 5 books at least,
and another 15 years it's done and I start reading it again.

--PM

UUUMMMMMMMM (5, Informative)

axia777 (1060818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645949)

You geniuses realize that Jordan was writing the LAST BOOK RIGHT? There ARE NO MORE after this one. Jordan was going to start writing a shorter series based upon a totally different world and mythos. SO all this guy has to do is finish the book based upon Jordans notes and his widows directions, considering she was helping with the writing in the last days because he was so damn sick.

Parent is correct (1)

Matrim Cauthon (970992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646069)

Jordan was writing the LAST BOOK
This. Jordan said that book 12 was going to be the last one, regardless of how long it turned out to be. I'd mod him up for truth if I had points. On a another note, book 11 was amazing in what it did and what it wrapped up. Plot lines started 6 books previous were finally resolved. The Last Battle is coming, and boy did you feel it. Some of the criticisms about getting lost in the details of WoT, and not much happening, I agree with, but mostly in the middle books. Things started picking up again in 9 or 10.

Read some of Brandon's Work (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645959)

If you go to Brandon Sanderson's website, www.brandonsanderson.com [brandonsanderson.com] you can read sample chapters from each of his novels. He also has a book Warbreaker, that he has released free under the Creative Commons License. It's a full book, that will be published by Tor and sold in 2009, but you can also download it, print it, send it to friends, etc free of charge.

All I can say is... (5, Interesting)

m4cph1sto (1110711) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646003)

If RJ didn't reveal who killed Asmodean somewhere in those volumes of notes and dictations, I might go postal.

Re:All I can say is... (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646323)

That made me incredibly angry. Asmodean was one of my favorite characters, you never quite knew what is true intentions were. I think Jordan killed him off way too quickly and after I finished that book, I went online looking for answers and just found pages and pages of speculation with the only quote from Jordan saying "someone got it right." and that's that.

Re:All I can say is... (3, Informative)

eddy (18759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646637)

He's also reported as saying "it's obvious" who is the killer :-\

Book Twelve. The End (4, Informative)

doas777 (1138627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646033)

Jordan was much/most of the way through the last book, #12 at the time of his passing, and I was told that he had shared the ending (the high points anyway)with several parties in case he didn't make it though. I have to assume that this guy will finish up book 12, and that will be that. I don't envision an unending series as many here claim will be.

This IS the end (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21646075)

This WILL finish the series. I've read the outline, and I am confident that I can do it in a single book. This won't go five more novels. It will end here.

Note that I'm not saying there won't be more Wheel of Time material released. That's not up to me. There were notes for prequels (Mr. Jordan wrote one of a planned three) and some notes on what happened to certain characters after the end of book 12. However, those are all intended as extra information and separate books outside the Wheel of Time main series.

Book 12 will deal with the final battle and give resolution to the story started in EYE OF THE WORLD. It will be one volume if it's within my power to make it so.

--Brandon Sanderson (Who really needs to sign up and get a Slashdot account sometime.)

Re:This IS the end (1)

PolarBearFire (1176791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646509)

This fake and if it's real...OHMYGOD go finish the series so I can read it before I die.

Re:This IS the end (1)

Kazrath (822492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646665)

Why would this be fake? He's a Sci-Fi writer... It's not like they have any interest in Geeky stuff... I mean seriously which sci-fi writer would be interested in computers, space travel, technology, and other related things.

The wheel turns (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646173)

I stopped reading back around book 3/4 when a bad guy came back from the dead.

If they keep reincarnating the author the series will never end.

The wheel turns.

The cash cow hath been bequeathed (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646183)

I read WoT at the insistence of several friends, and it was good in the beginning. The opening chapter of book five marked a subtle change... this is when Jordan realized he had a cash cow on his hands and started shamelessly milking it. I stopped at book 10. Also, describing a dress on every 10th page (or more) got tedious.

In my experience, whenever an author introduces some long lost culture from across the sea bent on conquering the known lands, the series should have ended because the author obviously had nothing more to say.

Re:The cash cow hath been bequeathed (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646423)

In my experience, whenever an author introduces some long lost culture from across the sea bent on conquering the known lands, the series should have ended because the author obviously had nothing more to say.

So you're saying it should have ended with the first book, then? The Seanchan make their appearance in book 2.

heh (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646211)

I'll just wait until the summary (which will be no less than 5 pages) will come out about the series.

Seriously, all you did was read about hair twirling and useless jabber between unimportant characters while you waited until the 2nd to last chapter for the good stuff, then in the final one what was going to happen in the next book.

You could read more story in the friggin' covers of the series than you would get out of reading it in it's entirety sometimes.

so he's almost completed the preface? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21646299)

"Jordan himself worked on the novel almost daily for the last few months of his life"


The last 3 or 4 books, at least, had prefaces so damn long that I was bored before the book even started. I figure that with several months of writing time, he's probably gotten at least halfway through the preface this time.

Is There A Wheel of Time Chapter Summary? (1)

SpottedKuh (855161) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646571)

I'd like to direct an open question to all of you, regarding the Wheel of Time...

My biggest problem when reading (or rather, trying to read) the later books in the series was the huge number of characters. While this may make a sad statement on my reading and concentration abilities, I simply got confused. I couldn't remember what minor noble was up to, when last we met him twenty-three chapters ago, and how other minor noble was plotting against him.

So, my question is: is anyone aware of a "what you know"-style summary for the Wheel of Time series?

What I mean by this is the following. Imagine an interface where I could click on any chapter number for any book in the series. Then, what it would list for me is what we know, to date, about every character in this chapter. In this way, I could actually keep the characters straight, without worrying about spoilers (e.g., if I found a summary that listed what every character did in Book 9, because I was halfway through the book and couldn't remember what some character did in an earlier chapter, this would contain spoilers about the end of Book 9).

I know this would be a huge undertaking, but do any of you know if it has been attempted? With such a resource, I may actually be able to finish what started (i.e., first six-ish books) as a very enjoyable series.

It's not the length, or the endless supplication (2, Interesting)

sewiv (171989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646741)

It's the ridiculously stupid characters that killed my interest in the series. How many times does someone have to do something without the slightest thought to the consequences before they get a sense of responsibility? Don't they realize that they're in the middle of an important battle between good and evil?

Woops, I re-joined this guy's severed powers, and I have no idea if he's the dragon or not.

Woops, I shot that unknown target with balefire.

Woops, I gave away an important secret by babbling stupidly (dozens of times).

Every single one of the main characters, and most of the secondary characters, were total idiots. I spent most of the time wondering if it could get worse, then marveling at how much worse it could get, then wishing they would all die.

Please, finish it, so that it goes away forever.
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