99. Publishing Stuff

This section contains information on and discussion of matters which relate to publishing and buying the WOT books.

99.1: When is the next book going to be out? --Updated

What will Book 13 & 14 be called?

Book 13 will be TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT. Book 14 will be A MEMORY OF LIGHT.

When will they be published?

Tor is publishing TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT on November 2nd, 2010. According to Brandon Sanderson's blog, he intends to begin work on A MEMORY OF LIGHT in January 2011 and anticipates it's release no later than Spring 2012. This will be the final Wheel of Time novel.

And so, we're entering the "refresh and work on side projects" stage of the writing process. I did this after The Gathering Storm, and I really need it now. I am therefore taking time off between now and January first. I get to write anything I want. It will probably be bizarre and unexpected; things that keep me fresh, things I haven't tried before.

I ask your forbearance. I do believe that as a writer who has begun series, it is my responsibility to see that the other pieces of the story are written in a timely manner. However—and it may seem odd—I need to work on these other things to keep my next Wheel of Time and Stormlight installments good. It's how my process works.

So, that's the first warning. I'm taking a break for three months. The second warning is that I can't promise I'll hit the final deadline on the Wheel of Time series. (The last one was supposed to be out in November 2011.) The problem is this: starting January, it will have been three years since I read the Wheel of Time series start to finish. That's too long. I'm starting to forget things. I won't feel comfortable starting the final book until I've done another re-read, and this is going to slow me down by three or four months. It's an unexpected delay I didn't fit into my original projections of how long it would take me to write the books.

If I miss the deadline (which is more likely than not) it won't be by much. A few months, likely the same amount of time it takes me to do the re-read. But it is what must be done. So, I'd suggest that we set MARCH 2012 as the expected date of A Memory of Light. I suspect there will be some grumbling about this, but I feel I should let you know now, rather than later. It won't be an enormous delay, however. If my previous track record earns me anything, I hope it is the benefit of the doubt when it comes to me promising the release dates of books. I won't leave you hanging too long.

--Brandon Sanderson Oct. 12, 2010

99.2: What is "The Guide"? What is New Spring? What are these "Young Adult" volumes? --Updated

The Guide

The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, more commonly known as "The Guide," is a "companion book" to TWOT which Tor published in November, 1997. It is by Robert Jordan and Teresa Patterson, and is basically a compilation of background and setting material for TWOT. It contains information about "the world's geography, history, and sociology." [Guide: Preface, 9] A lot of the information is stuff which we already know from the series proper. There is also new information about topics like the AOL, the founding of the White Tower, Artur Hawkwing, and the Seanchan. The book contains artwork from the books (icons, maps, and cover art), and some new art (which is generally considered to be less than stellar). John Novak adds, "The Guide's framing device (or conceit) is that it is a history written by someone from within the Wheel of Time. Hence the first pages claiming that documents are copies of copies, etc. As such, some readers do not consider the material canon."

New Spring (A Wheel of Time Prequel Novel)

The title pretty much explains it. New Spring, published in January of 2004, is an expanded version of the 79-page novella which RJ wrote for the Tor anthology Legends, published in early 1998. The Legends version tells the story of how Lan and Moiraine met, and the beginning of Moiraine's search for the Dragon Reborn; the novelized version also features Moiraine and Siuan as Accepted in the Tower, on the day the Aiel War ends and the Dragon is Reborn. IMO, it's pretty good.

Legends itself is a collection of "new stories by the best-known and most accomplished modern creators of fantasy fiction, each one set in the special universe... that made that writer famous." [Legends, Introduction by Robert Silverberg] The other writers featured in the volume are Stephen King (Dark Tower), Terry Pratchett (Discworld), Terry Goodkind (The Sword of Truth), Orson Scott Card (Tales of Alvin Maker), Robert Silverberg (Majipoor), Ursula K. Le Guin (Earthsea), Tad Williams (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn), George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire), Anne McCaffrey (Pern), and Raymond E. Feist (Riftwar).

The Wheel of Time Encyclopedia

At Dragon*Con 2005, Harriet McDougal announced that she had signed a contract with Tor Books to edit together an encyclopedia based on her husband's series. The final manuscript is due to Tor "a year after the publication of the final Wheel of Time novel".  Assuming that A Memory of Light is published in early 2012, the latest we can expect to see this on shelves is 2013.

The YA books

From The Two Rivers and To The Blight

From The Two Rivers and To The Blight are a YA version of TEOTW, split into two volumes and published in January of 2002. The text is essentially unchanged from the original, except for the addition of a prologue chapter (featuring the characters in their younger years, before the start of the series) to FTTR and a new glossary at the end of TTB. Both books are illustrated.

The Hunt Begins: The Great Hunt, Volume 1 and New Threads in the Pattern: The Great Hunt, Volume 2

Same thing, next book (though different publisher, and there does not appear to be any supplemental material added). Published in February of 2004.

The ISBNs of all these books are given in Section 0.04.

99.3: Will there be anymore novels after AMOL? --New

Before his death, Jordan spoke openly of his plans for additional Wheel of Time novels outside of the main story of Rand & Co. These included two more prequel novels and an "outrigger" trilogy set after the Last Battle. Will we ever see these novels?

Probably not. Harriet owns the rights to the characters and the setting now. Her permission would be needed to do anything more with the series. Both Harriet and Brandon have expressed reluctance to continue publishing novels after A Memory of Light.


A lot of people have questions about this, because Robert Jordan had talked about several other books relating to The Wheel Of Time before he passed away – prequel novels, and a trilogy of three books set in the Wheel Of Time world along with several of the characters, but not part of the main continuity, the main story. A lot of people ask about these books, they ask Harriet – Robert Jordan’s widow – but the thing is, we really both feel, Harriet and I, that we don’t want to exploit Robert Jordan’s legacy. To use a metaphor that may be a little obvious, it’s like we’ve been given the One Ring, and we have to let go eventually. The longer we hold on, the harder it will be to let go, and the more we start doing those books, the easier it will be to do reams of stories, and we just don’t want that to happen. I’ve said before that the beauty of a piece of art is in its completion, in many ways. If it’s not allowed to be completed, then the beauty of it won’t be able to stand as a monument to what Robert Jordan achieved. So my instinct right now is to say that no, there won’t be any more. If Harriet decides to do those other five books, and really wants to, then I would probably say yes if she asked me. I love the series, I’m passionate about it, but I’ll leave that up to her, and I certainly wouldn’t do anything beyond those. We’ve spoken about it, and I said that we have to be really careful or we’ll start and keep going and going, and that’s her feeling too.

--Brandon Sanderson SciFi Now Interview

99.4 Where does Brandon get those names he's using?--New

Astute fans who followed Brandon's progress on Twitter noticed that he was using the names of fans as the names of minor characters. How does Brandon know these people? And won't the real world names interrupt the flow of the story?

In late 2008, the service community at TarValon.net held a fundraiser on behalf of Heifer International. Working with Brandon Sanderson and the Jordan estate, the prize for a minimum donation of $20 was to be entered into a drawing for the naming rights to a Wheel of Time character who would have a role in the Last Battle. The winner was Anthony Aziz, who will appear as a Two Rivers man in TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT.

However, Brandon kept the list of donors and whenever he needed inspiration for a new name, he refered to the list and announced it on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. All the names have been "WoTized" to fit the setting, so there's no worries about "Asha'man Bob Smith" or "Tiffany Sedai" ruining the feel of the story.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened in this series. "Charlz Guybon", the captain of Elayne's guard in KNIFE OF DREAMS, was named for the winner of a similiar charitable contest in the UK. Jordan wrote in his blog about it: "I will say that a character in KoD, Charlz Guybon, is named after a man whose wife won an auction for naming rights after I agreed to be part of a fund raiser for an English charity that works with victims of torture. She sent me his description, which I used."  Which sort of explains why he's the awesomest thing that ever awesomed in that book. Jordan wanted to make sure the guy got his money's worth.

In addition to the fans who entered the drawing, several Big Name Fans were included in THE GATHERING STORM. Quillin Tasil, the very informative innkeeper that Cadsuane knows, is a stand in for Bob Klutz. Bob is the owner of Encyclopedia WoT, one of the principal Wheel of Time reference sites. Eleyan al'Landerin, the subject of a statue mentioned as existing near the Watergate in Tar Valon, is the online name of Melissa Craib-Dombrowski, who is the Amyrlin Seat of TarValon.net. 

Brandon Sanderson has mentioned his desire to do another fundraiser and drawing of this type for the final Wheel of Time book with TarValon.net, but there has been no official word on when it might be or who the beneficiary will be.