A MEMORY OF LIGHT: The official press release

From Tor Books:

New York, NY: Monday, March 30, 2009

Tor Books is proud to announce the November 3rd, 2009 on-sale date for The Gathering Storm, Book Twelve of The Wheel of Time and the first of three volumes that will make up A Memory of Light, the stunning conclusion to Robert Jordan’s beloved and bestselling fantasy series. A Memory of Light, partially written by Jordan and completed by Brandon Sanderson, will be released over a two-year period.

Robert Jordan, one of the greatest storytellers of the 20th and early 21st centuries, passed away in 2007 after a courageous battle with the rare blood disease amyloidosis. Brandon Sanderson, the New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan’s editor—his wife, Harriet McDougal—to complete the final book.

The Wheel of Time series has sold over 14 million copies in North America and over 30 million copies worldwide with translations into 28 languages. The last four books in the series were all #1 New York Times bestsellers, and for over a decade readers have been eagerly awaiting the conclusion to the epic story.

Harriet McDougal said on the process behind A Memory of Light: “The scope and size of the novel was such that it could not be contained in a single volume. It was a piece of marvellous good fortune that Brandon Sanderson undertook the work. He is a great pleasure to work with, as well as a wonderful writer.”

President and Publisher of Tor Books, Tom Doherty, also expressed his happiness with A Memory of Light, saying: “It is a magnificent closure to a great American epic fantasy whose journey began almost twenty years ago. There is no way Robert Jordan would have squeezed it to a single volume, and somehow it seems fitting that what began as a trilogy will also end as one.”

The first ever JordanCon will take place this April 17th – 19th, 2009 in Alpharetta, GA. Harriet McDougal, Tom Doherty, Brandon Sanderson, and other members of “Team Jordan” will attend as featured guests and speak personally on The Wheel of Time and The Gathering Storm and the stories behind the rich literary legacy of Robert Jordan. JordanCon will also include a special preview of The Gathering Storm.

This year will also see major publications of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time comic books and graphic novels with the launch of The Eye of the World comics in May and the New Spring graphic novel with bonus material in November. The Dabel Brothers will be releasing the comic book series, which will then be collected and published as graphic novels by Tor Books.
Universal Pictures acquired the movie rights to The Wheel of Time in August 2008, and currently plan to adapt
The Eye of the World as the first movie.

There is an interview with Harriet McDougal here, and Brandon Sanderson chimes in on the subject here.

Hmmm, I'm a bit perplexed by all this. . . Namely because I was contacted last week to let me know that I had jumped the gun and was disseminating erronous rumors. It turns out that what was leaked is essentially the truth. Other than the cover art being final and the trade paperback thing, that is. So what the hell???

The binding talk is a load of BS, by the way. It goes without saying that a bigger novel means higher production costs and less profits in the end. But it's been done before and will happen again. One only has to look at titles by authors such as Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, George R. R. Martin, Neal Stephenson, Steven Erikson, Tad Williams, and more to see that novels often exceed 250,000 words. Three volumes of about 250,000 words each could easily have been split into two installments.

Hence, to force loyal fans to fork out their hard-earned money to purchase three books instead of two is flagrantly taking advantage of them. It doesn't matter from what angle you look at it, as fans we are getting screwed.

I've been reading The Wheel of Time since 1991. That's 18 years of my life that I've invested into this series. I own every single volume in hardcover format. For a while, I also had the first six volumes in paperback as "reading copies." I bought Legends in hardcover when it was released, and the same thing goes for New Spring. I ordered The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time as soon as it became available in hardback. I purchased The Conan Chronicles and tracked down every individual Conan book written by Jordan. Heck, I even bought UK paperback editions of The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn, and The Shadow Rising to kill time during those unending train rides while I was traipsing around Europe for more than 3 months in 2004. I've spent countless hours over the years discussing the books on various online venues, taking apart arguments and coming up with new looney theories. That's a monster load of money and man hours devoted to The Wheel of Time.

But I guess that's not enough.

Beyond the fact that I think it's a disgrace to treat fans in such a manner, there is also the issue that Robert Jordan himself claimed that splitting A Memory of Light in two wouldn't work because there was no adequate "breaking point." And now it will be truncated twice. . .

I am thoroughly disgusted by all this. . . Shame on you. WoT fans deserve better than that. . .

55 commentaires:

Morrigan said...

Three volumes? Yeah, I agree, this is complete bollocks. Two volumes was no doubt inevitable, regardless of Jordan's pipe dream: no way to lie up all those loose ends.
But three is a real joke and shows that if you didn't realise it already, well, Tor are money-grubbing asshats.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,
thanks for letting us know. Like you, I am also totally disgusted with Tor. The company has definitely gone down the drain over the last few years: Just check out their quality lacking presentation of the hardback editions of Erikson's 'Malazan' novels, which are being printed on crappy tissue paper. And now we get the final WOT volume split in three parts. What a despicable bunch of money grabbers...

EONsim said...

I'd agree three books is a pain, however I'd rather have it split up like and get a book in 2009, 2010 and 2011.Than get a single 800K tome in 2011.

Reading Sanderson's post the logic makes sense (though I'm not so sure about the bookshops one, if it was 400K they'rd still stock it because they're going to sell a heap or see a lot of orders go to amazon) I just wish it was otherwise.

As for the cost of buying 3 books, meh money isn't that important, compared to the story.

Gher said...

Yeah, I was as mad as you are. But Brandon Sanderson did post a blog entry that explains the thoughts and motives behind the split. It's not the greedy money-making scheme that it appears. I'm actually okay with the 3 book split deal.

Brandon Sanderson's Blog Entry: http://www.brandonsanderson.com/article/56/Splitting-AMOL

Abalieno said...

Applause.

Anonymous said...

What are all of you pissed for, It's a business and at the end of the day it's about making a profit. Don't forget the people who take the time to make the books. What do you want Tor to go out of business just so you can read the end of the book. Get over it people and just be glad they are finishing it with a good co-author.

Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd said...

If it needs to be split 3 ways than so be it. Don't blame it on a binding issue though Tor, you know you're trying to make some extra dough...

And I think the fact that 3 volumes was unexpected and dropped like a bombshell, along with the gay cover art, just made this "gathering storm" of readers pissed off. And fairly so.

As long as the story comes through in the end, that's what matters. It just sucks we have to wait longer and pay more.

Cory said...

I don't get why everyone's so upset by this. Obviously, there are breaking points. Have you ever read WoT, there are like a dozen climaxes in each volume. And this way, we are getting a Wheel of Time book in November. I for one am pumped to get a book, since Knife of Dreams came out like four years ago. And 20 bucks over three years isn't that much money, jesus. support the publishing companies, so that they can keep giving us books.

Michael Natale said...

I think they should at least honor Jordan's wishes on the subject.

Exael said...

please oh please don't let this turn into Dune. Think of the children....

Anonymous said...

Anyone fine with the book being divided into 3 volumes might not be authors in the making. It's a shame, though; Tolkien had this same problem. The Lord of the Rings was one novel and was supposed to be printed in one volume, but his publisher wouldn't print it unless it was divided into three.

It just seems TOR doesn't really respect Mr. Rigney (aka Jordan).

Alexander Field said...

Just finished reading through Brandon Sanderson's explanation on his site, and holy hell, that's a long friggen' post! Anyway, I get what he's saying about dividing this monster into three books...and I have to say, he's quite BOLD to dive into this thing and write a book this long just to try to nail the vision for A Memory of Light. It's a very tall order. My take? Sanderson has guts and having read some of his work to date (Elantris, Mistborn and Warbreaker), I think I'm going to trust that he's to trying to mess with the WOT Series and give him the benefit of the doubt. I think he'll do a great job. But that cover still sucks.

Jebus said...

Well I've read Sanderson's post and it seems pretty reasonable to me. Calling Tor money grabbing bastards is pretty lame - sure they're a business but I suspect they have a little bit more respect for this series than that (despite the continued involvement of Senor Sweet).

Oh and saying you've invested "years" in a series is a little overly dramatic eh? You read some books - bravo!

Droidprogrammer said...

I can't seem to remember my google password :(

Any who, complete money grab on TOR's part. I too own the entire series hardcover, which are expensive if you live in Canada. I can barely stand the wait, but now I am as disappointed as I was when I got to the end of Feast of crows... And I will be buying them softcover.

Dream Girlzzz said...

Yeah, I read Sanderson's post and I agree that it's kind of cop-out. The binding argument, as Pat stated, is a crock of shit.

Tor have published doorstopper fantasy books in the past. One only has to think about Jordan's The Shadow Rising, The Fires of Heaven, Lord of Chaos, and Goodkind's Stone of Tears. Martin's A Storm of Swords and Williams' To Green Angel Tower also come to mind. And don't forget Stephenson's last few books, with Anathem joining their company as another monster book.

Given the word count, it's obvious that Tor could easily publish this as a two-volume affair. The fact that they're going with three is evidence that they want to cash in on Jordan's popularity and milk this series as much as humanly possible. A good business decision, perhaps, but it does say a lot about what you think of your customers when you so blatantly buttfuck them and take advantage of them like this.

As a long time WoT fan, like Pat and many others I feel cheated. I also feel bad because they are going against Jordan's wish. The author generated so much money for Tor Books, the least they could do is honor his last wish...

I'm not saying that Brandon Sanderson is lying. But he's trying to sugarcoat this like there's no tomorrow, and that bout of brown-nosing is a bit hard to swallow.

From his post, I also get the feeling that Sanderson is taking the story places that RJ wasn't necessarily planning to. I want to read Jordan's version of AMoL, not Sanderson's. Otherwise, as much as many of us fear this, the whole thing could turn into another Anderson and Herbert Dune fiasco.

Alexander: Bold, you say??? Sanderson will become a millionaire with this. There's nothing bold about that. No one ever accused Anderson and Herbert of being bold for returning to the Dune universe.

Sadly, the bottom line is that we'll all buy the stupid books, no matter how good or bad they are. Which is why Tor knows they can screw us over a hundred times over and we'll be coming back for more.

That's why is ethically wrong of them to split AMoL three-way...

Texas Reaver said...

Ethically wrong? Yeah, whatever....Oh and yes, Sanderson is very bold. Bold to stick his neck out to have it chopped to bits by the hordes of angry WoT "fans" that have been bitching non-stop for years because of...well...it doesn't matter. They like to bitch more than they like to read....it doesn't matter what Sanderson or Tor or Harriet or anyone else does, these naysayers will throw turds no matter what happens. It doesn't matter how good the books are.

And again, I see bitching because we have a fairly good idea that we should have WoT books under our Christmas trees for three years. Wow....can GRRM say that? No. His blog today goes on about how much time has gotten away from him since his Giants got spanked in the playoffs, and how few typed words are appearing on the page. But there's something else for the "fans" to bitch about.

Hey, you have it all. Bitch about Sanderson for releasing too many books, and Martin for releasing too few........should keep the whiners happy.....

Myself, I'm heading offline to read Mistborn.......

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that so many WOT readers don't see anything wrong with this. I know many of them are teenagers and all that, but still...

Can you imagine the uproar if Bantam Spectra decided to split A Dance with Dragons in two and make us wait an extra year to read the end? Speaking of big books, the Malazan books by Erikson are bigger than huge and yet Bantam Press doesn't seem to have any qualms about publishing them without splitting them into many installment. Looking at it this way makes you realize that Tor is out to milk this for all it's worth. I understand their decision, but it does show that they care little for the people who plunk down the dough to buy their products.

And it's bad form to not honor Robert Jordan's desire to see the series wrap up in as few books as possible.

Justin

Erik said...

I'm going to point out something that comes up a lot when discussing comics that are late (i.e. aren't releasing an issue every month):

A bad book is bad forever.

Twenty years from now, nobody is going to remember that RJ made a comment at a Con that he thought it'd be done in one more book, or that it took a year longer to come out, or that the interblag was broken in half by fans who are far too ready to ascribe horrible motives to people who are obviously doing something creative for the love of fantasy.

Mr. Sanderson is quite obviously working himself to death on this book, and making the best decisions he can, given a very difficult situation.

Adam Whitehead said...

I think Brandon has been as upfront about things as much as possible the whole way through and has spent most of the last year telling us to brace ourselves for news of the split into two volumes. I don't think he even thought it was going to be three until he, Harriet and Tor decided that a few months back and began the revisions, and I definitely get the impression he's not happy about that. One post I read on another forum said you can almost hear him gritting his teeth in annoyance about Tor's decision in that post, and I think they're right.

But the answer is right there in that post as well: Tor wanted a WHEEL OF TIME novel, a book from their biggest-selling, flagship series which will be an immediate bestseller, in this troubled economic year, no matter what. It will shore up their finances and look good next year, and will look even better with news of the same to come in late 2010 and late 2011.

You know what? I'd accept that. Obama's not going to be issuing federal bail-outs for the American SF publishing industry, and even though Tor do not appear to be in trouble, getting some financial reinforcement behind it is fully understandable.

What you DO NOT do is issue some ludicrous cock-and-bull story featuring verifiable untruths:

"SF&F publishing has changed and you can't publish books as big as THE SHADOW RISING in one volume any more."

Right. Except you are still publishing THE SHADOW RISING. Right now. It's still in print. And even if by some arcane contractual process it only applies to new books, you published Steven Erikson's TOLL THE HOUNDS, which is longer than THE SHADOW RISING by 200 pages (in the UK mmpb edition anyway, I assume the US mmpb is the same), last year, and are going to be publishing DUST OF DREAMS, which looks like it's going to be as long, later this year. So, what the fuck?

"Booksellers don't like big thick books on their shelves."

No, booksellers don't like big thick books on their shelves that just sit there and don't budge. They DO like big thick books which are bestsellers and they can shovel out the front door in return for cash. When those two big, thick books are the final books in a series which means they can market the series as a completed entity and generate up to 13 sales from customers who'd previously held fire on the series as it was incomplete, they are even happier.

"If we don't get a book out now people will forget the series exists."

This is quite possibly the single most ludicrous thing I've ever heard a major publisher say about their FLAGSHIP series. If it was ten years, there's an outside chance they might have a point. If it was twenty, this might be a solid concern. But four? Or only one year longer than the previous biggest wait between books anyway? And the if they had gone for the two-volume solution the time added would have only been maybe six months? They're seriously trying to make this an argument? Almost totally unbelievable.

The answer is simple. If they'd gone for the entirely practical two-volume solution they'd have missed the Christmas 2009 market and probably the entire 2009 financial year. By adopting the solution they hit it and generate some extra revenue.

Anonymous said...

I can understand why some are angry, as that was my initial reaction as well, but Tor has to run a business, and it makes much more sense to do it this way from their point of view.

I would rather have one WOT book per year starting in November than have a clunky release in early 2010 followed by a clunky release at an undetermined time.

It does kind of suck, but at least this way there is some predictability to the release dates and we can actually read a new WOT book for the first time in ~5 years.

TeufelHund said...

What's the problem?

WOT fans were screwed the moment Jordan kicked the bucket in the first place. I don't get all this angst over something that isn't even going to be written by the original author.

If GRR Martin died tomorrow there's no way I'd bother with anyone else's vision of his world.

Luke Dailey said...

I could write an essay but:
So long as that ain't the real cover, I can stomach this.

Ellestra said...

If it makes you feel any better each and every volume of Wheel of Time gets split in two for Polish edition. So it's going to be SIX books. And you thought you have it bad.

Such things make me always envy Brits as somehow they managed to publish Night's Dawn as a trilogy.

Anonymous said...

Really? You're angry that you get a bit more story, that you get more Wheel of Time than you initially expected? Matey, the books are all of what in the U.S. at this point in hardcover after price-cuts, bookstore memberships and the like - $20, $25 dollars? How exactly are you getting screwed? How are you getting in any way *hurt*? So you have to wait an extra year to find out exactly how everything ends. You've already waited this long, another year plus isn't all that terrible.

You're getting a bit more Wheel of Time than you expected. That's a bonus, not a minus.

-Ilya

Anonymous said...

You do realize it's the company calling the shots most likely? They want to make more money (who wouldn't) and then they call in the spin-doctors. There are people who get paid a lot to "communicate" news like that to the public to make it look good, including strategies to do damage control on the internet.

Brett said...

Man, seriously, you're getting pissed that we're actually getting the books?

Damn, god forbid you have to shell out $40 bucks extra. I had no idea times were so tough for you. Skip your morning latte for a couple weeks and you can buy both

We're getting books, Brandon doesn't like it, he wanted to put out an 800,000 word novel in one go because Jordan wanted it to be one novel. Did you even bother reading his blog entry on the subject? Or did you just skip and skim through the parts that were inconveniencing you.

Bunch of whiners complaining about nothing. You make me sick.

Adam Whitehead said...

I wish people would actually read Brandon's post.

The book is getting split in three SOLELY because Tor wanted to put a book out this year. If Tor had been willing to wait six months (at the absolute maximum), we'd have had the book, at the same length and the same number of words, in two volumes.

So yeah, the readers are getting screwed. For the sake of 6 months you're shelling out another $25. The problem isn't that the story is too big for two volumes, it's that exactly the same material for two volumes has gotten spread over three, and Tor has verifiably lied about the reason why.

Colinhead said...

Really, I don't much mind that they're splitting the novel. It's annoying that it's three rather than two, but if the content is good then it will be worth it.

I really can't agree with the people who are angry about the cover art. Really? I can't think of a single WoT book on which I like the cover art. I can't really think of a single Tor fantasy novel for which I like the cover art. What exactly has changed here?

Joshua said...

Someone said Sanderson will become a millionaire over this. Read his blog. His contract has already been signed. He signed for one 200,000 word book. So he's actually getting screwed a little. But he has said that telling the story right is more important than the money and I believe him.

I do agree with the Tor bashing. I would have much preferred a 2 volume solution. Adam's breakdown says it all. However, I would like to point out that no one is forcing us to buy the three separate books. Check them out at the library. Or wait for the omnibus. You've waited four years - what's two more?

Neth said...

I posted this in a thread over at wotmania. It addresses the corporate greed complaint, which I find to generally be short-sighted and hypocritical for fans of reading books.


Look, I'm not a big fan of corporate greed either, but you're getting ridiculous here. Sure Tor is in it to make money - they have to make money to stay in business and to pay their authors to write books. They've been promising for almost 2 years now that they will have AMOL out in 2009. They are meeting that promise (in part).

Yes, splitting the book into 3 will probably be good money for them. That clearly wasn't the intent. The intent was to publish this book in its best possible form as soon as it could be. They are going to meet that commitment. And they are going to make money and stay in business.

Tor may not be the best publisher out there (their book quality in the past has been very poor at times), but it's a very prolific SFF publisher. In times when publishers are laying off staff right and left and narrowing their line-up of authors, Tor seems to be doing fairly well without drastic cuts or changes to their operations. This is a good thing for SFF all over and good for fans who want good books to read.

So, if these books sell well, make Tor a whole bunch of money, keeping it in business and giving opportunities to other SFF authors out there - I say this is a great thing. If the Wheel of Time cash cow subsidizes other new authors - I say great. The money they make is supporting SFF books, authors and bookstores - and this is a good thing, not a bad thing.

I'm tired of hearing that it's a bad thing that Tor could make money off this deal, because that is completely inconstent with all of us around here who love reading so much.

Frank J. said...

One has to say that three volumes is a bit overboard, agreed, but at least there is light (no pun intended) at the end of the tunnel. We have a conclusion over the next three years.
I am also waiting on George RR martin with no end in sight, at the rate he is writing it could be another 15 years to the end of that saga, that worries me more.
Soto all WOT fans, of which I'm one at least we have a timeline all laid out.

Anonymous said...

It's simple...If the man who created this world and characters says it will definately be one book to finish off the series, you may expect it to be so...Maybe he was a bit overly optimistic, and it would end up to be more words for just one book, you could in all decency expect it to be at the most two volumes...Three is just ridiculous, it's as simple as that, no matter what stories they spin about it (and I don't care about the extra money, just about promises made and common decency...)
I'm not sure I will buy the hardcover now, We have been screwed over by banks and investors these last months enough to put up with it again from publishers...

Anonymous said...

hey Pat,

posting false cover art and tpb rumors...those are kind of big deals, buddy

Adam Whitehead said...

The cover art and tbp rumours had already been published by other sources (as facts), Pat was merely reporting on them. I think people would rather have THOSE rumours as being true rather than the three-volume, 2011 stuff.

I put up a big blog post which explored why Tor are doing this and, slightly surprising to myself, came up with an interesting explanation: this project is already 100% over Sanderson's original estimated size, and there is no reason to think it might not expand further. If Tor committed to two volumes at 400,000 words each and then Sanderson announced he needed another 100,000 words to finish off the book, both he and Tor would be in serious difficulties trying to make it happen (there are many fantasy books 400,000 words or longer; there's only one I can think of which is 500,000, which is Tad Williams' To Green Angel Tower).

Of course, Tor haven't given us this explanation and their explanations they did give were spurious, so I suspect people will remain cheesed off at them over this.

Anonymous said...

What's the problem?

WOT fans were screwed the moment Jordan kicked the bucket in the first place. I don't get all this angst over something that isn't even going to be written by the original author.

If GRR Martin died tomorrow there's no way I'd bother with anyone else's vision of his world.


That's the point.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

Poor Brandon. He seems to be working his butt off over this.

I don't understand the (general fantasy reader, not just us WoT fans) attitude of "investment" by readers, or that authors are somehow expected to churn books out, that they have a "commitment" to their fans. The fans get what the hell they are given, at the end of the day, and they like it or leave it. There. Spleen vented. Not much of it, admittedly, but there we go.

BTW, for some of the commenters who haven't read Brandon's blog article: It doesn't look like a 750,000 word count overall, it looks more like 900,000, with the first book being "right around 300,000 words"."The final product will easily be over 800k".

~Chris
The Book Swede

Anonymous said...

The nerd rage in this thread is delicious. The wheel weaves as the wheel wills, motherfuckers.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea there were so many people in this world who are experts in the publishing industry, including publishing techniques and profit margins (doesn't Tor make like a billion kajillion dollars per copy sold? That's why Tom Doherty sleeps in a gold-plated bed).

Tia Nevitt said...

I stopped reading after book six. When I stopped, I planned to wait until the series was finished, and then depending on how many books there turned out to be, I'd read the rest of the series.

I guess I'm still waiting! Now that I'm - ahem - older, I tend to like book series that are five books or fewer.

Marc said...

This thread and its comments are what Glen Cook was talking about when he suggested that Fantasy fans should perhaps "not take it all so seriously."

Read Jordan, read Sanderson, and/or read something else. And be relaxed and appreciative of what you are reading, while doing so. It's ok to exhale ;-)

Roland said...

I have to say I really find it ridiculous that people bitch about Tor wishing to catch the Christmas sales. Yes, I'm no expert on economics, but did you happen to notice there's a crisis going on, people? Do I *really need to say this when most of you are either in the States or somewhere near, and I'm halfway around the world? Can you even begin to imagine the difference between a Christmas sale of a WoT book and a spring 2010 release? Yes, there is one. And it's big. And NO ONE is making the Big Money right now, especially publishers, ESPECIALLY publishers of SFF. I don't doubt there's some greed involved, but I sure as hell don't doubt Tor really *needs* to do this either.

So quit being so self-righteously thick and actually THINK for one second, before bitching. I know that way is easier, but it does credit to no one.

Anonymous said...

"Memory of Light: Book One" Sounds like the start of a new series.

Anonymous said...

I think the question you have to ask yourselves is would you rather have three normal length volumes starting this fall, or one triple-length volume (that they would probably charge nearly the same amount for as they did 3 individual books) two years from now. Sanderson's post makes it clear he's writing as fast as he can, so having no splits wouldn't speed things up much. I get the feeling a lot of the rage I read here is really directed at the fact that the series won't be ending as soon as we would like. I for one just want the story to be completed the way it deserves to be. If that's three volumes to be released over two years, so be it. To suggest that we've spent enough money on the series, well, part of me feels your pain, but no one forced you to buy multiple copies of these books. We'll get one third of the answers we seek this November. Let's all just look forward to that.

Adam Whitehead said...

"I have to say I really find it ridiculous that people bitch about Tor wishing to catch the Christmas sales."

No-one has said this. If Tor had said this, then the grumbling would subside. This is clearly the real reason for the split, but Tor tried to make out it was something else and highly unconvincingly at that.

Anonymous said...

You guys could just wiki the release schedule for the past WHEEL OF TIME novels and get a little perspective on how regularly these books have been published during the fall, just in time for the holiday season.

Roland said...

It's a matter of form. They can't just up and say it, because that would show their position is not as stable as any sane business strives to appear. The intelligent person reads between the lines and doesn't make a fuss about this. It's not a lie, it's diplomacy.

Peter Ahlstrom said...

Brandon determined that the best split points were at 300,000 and 600,000 words. If he did two parts that would have made a 600,000-word part one and a 300,000-word part two--just splitting at 450,000 would have been clunky. (Yes, I'm assuming now that the final books will be around 300,000 each--maybe book 2 and 3 will end up a bit less than that but at this point I doubt that's going to happen.)

My first reaction was that people would be upset--and yeah, a lot of people are. But a lot of people got over it after reading Brandon's explanation, and I think most everyone else will get over it after reading the book.

Brandon's been writing like a dog and deserves a couple months off.

Adam Whitehead said...

Actually, Brandon had been writing AMoL with the plan to split the book at the 400,000-word mark, making for one book around the same size as THE SHADOW RISING and a second slightly shorter. There was a natural break-point there between the two halves.

He only needed to split the book in three when Tor suggested it to him a few months back. What I am concerned about is that if he still wants to use the original break-point as the gap between Vols II and III, that means Vols I and II may have to have filler inserted to make them a decent enough size. Indeed, in his blog post he points out that 25,000 words had to be added to Vol I, and more will be needed for Vol II.

That said, I can see Tor's point if their main concern is that with the book doubling in size beyond its original plan, it could continue to expand and if, after initially announcing two volumes, they had to turn round and change it to three, the uproar would be even worse.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, three is good. Who wanted WOT to end!!! This way it gets to keep going longer.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of the series, but haven't read the last two books because I decided long ago that I wouldn't continue reading the series until it was finished. I got tired of having ROBERT JORDAN add fillers to HIS books in order to "milk the cash cow" as everybody is saying. Seems like everyone is forgetting how after book 5 EVERYBODY has been complaining about books with little plot advancement, and LOTS of fillers.

I've never doubted that this would continue with a new author, and that TOR would squeeze this thing as hard as possible to get as much out of it as possible.

So seriously, I don't mind the wait or the number of volumes. I just want the story to be a great story. That's the only thing that really matters to me. I'll gladly pay three or four times more for an EXCELLENT book. This great story deserves a great ending.

Anonymous said...

Ask your self why you like this series. If you have bothered to read the first 11 books, then you obviously can appreciate a well told story with great detail. The first thing I said when I was told there would only be one book to finish the series off, I laughed and said "bullshit". There is no way possible to resolve all of the little plots in one book, unless you "railroad from climax to climax" as Sanderson said. I, for one, don't think I would enjoy reading a 2000 page book. I imagine that would be rather cumbersome. The story is awesome and I'm positive that it is a retarded amount of work, so don't be a pain and let the man make some damn money. Being an author is his job, and he does a good job.

Anonymous said...

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/article/56/Splitting-AMOL

Anonymous said...

Here's a crazy theory: completing the series with 2 books by Sanderson would mean the series total would be 13 books... not a good number. So they bump it up to 14, and get to make more money too -- and get to shut fans up by putting a book in their hands by the end of 2009.

Seriously, would any of you be happier waiting until 2011 or 2012 so you could get the book in 1-2 volumes? Everyone would be bitching about waiting, and bitching about how much those extra-large volumes cost individually. Instead, you will get a book in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and will have the pleasure of reading a novel each year, and will get to bitch about the collective cost of three smaller books. There's no way to satisfy the fans, and there's no way to milk any more money out of the series like Jordan was going to do with follow-up novels about more side-stories in the same world once the series was completed, so yeah, they very well be milking it by splitting the story. Just be glad that they're finishing it at all. One book a year is much faster than Jordan ever wrote, and technically, as Sanderson points out, you will be getting a book in 11/2009, 11/2010, and 11/2011, and the total elapsed time between 11/2009 and 11/2011 is two years. Three books in two years = one book every 8 months. When did Jordan ever churn out literature at that rate?

Anonymous said...

As a fan of the series since the 1991 I have waited on each of the following books with baited breath, I would much rather pay for the story to be completed in full with as much of the detail of Mr. Jordan would have given it than a chopped up Readers Digest version to shut up the fans who want it now. If you don't want to pay for the multiple books, wait till it comes out in paperback or get it from the library. I bought the books as they came out and enjoyed each, I don't want the rich world created by Jordan to be disposed of haphazardly to satisfy the pennypinchers who want it all free and now. I'm happy to know the story will be wrapped up with the detail it deserves and if it comes out in the course of two years, so be it, the stories released by Jordan himself were each two years apart