I just got back from Charleston. I got answers, kinda, to two big questions. 1. RJ wrote the Mat/Tylin scenario as a humorous role-reversal thing. His editor, and wife, thought it was a good discussion of sexual harassment and rape with comic undertones. She liked it because it dealt with very serious issues in a humorous way. She seemed to think it would be a good way to explain to men/boys what this can be like for women/girls, showing the fear, etc. 2. The total number of people in a circle, when you have the maximum number of women for each man, is always divisible by three. RJ thought that there was an error in the LoC glossary and that it had been fixed in ACoS. Some possibilities I thought of are: M W T W T W T 0 13 13 1 26 27 2 37 39 34 36 43 45 3 48 51 42 45 51 54 4 56 60 50 54 56 60 5 61 66 58 63 61 66 6 66 72 66 72 66 72 He gave the following answers to questions from various people. His opinion of newsgroup FAQ's he has read are so-so. First, he gets them from several groups he says. Us and the alt group and ??? He says the FAQ's are about 1/3 correct, 1/3 close but not quite and 1/3 wrong. He feels that some things that are obvious to the casual reader have been overanalysed and led to incorrect conclusions. I don't know if he has read the latest version of our FAQ and if it was better than the above stats. All the women are based in part on his wife. Many women have been amazed that he was not a woman using a male pen name because he writes women so well. He just wrote them as he thought women would be if men had destroyed the world 3000 years ago. Obviously, their roles would be much different than they are in our society. The women are not based on Southern women in general, just his wife. There will be a few more books, some, not a lot, hopefully fewer than seven more. He knows the final scene of the last book, all the major events he wants to have happen and who will live and who will die. When he starts a book, he decides which of these events he wants to try to do and then writes it so they happen. He will tie up all the major plot lines, but will leave a lot of the minor ones unresolved. He finds it too unrealistic for a series to end with all of life's problems solved. Expect the series to end with the major problems solved, but a lot of people will still have tumultuous lives ahead of them. The universe is driven by saidin and saidar working against each other. They will not end up as the Light Power. He may or may not give a Lan POV. The POV is usually determined by the slant he wants to give to the information. Sometimes he plans for one character to have the POV, but has to switch to another. He made the Aiel look Irish because he thought it was kind of funny. He doesn't like the fact that hardened desert warriors are always described as looking a certain way, so he used the opposite description. He intentionally started the series out kind of Tolkienesque, so that readers would feel like they already knew the land somewhat. Then he delibrately deviated from Tolkien so the readers would not know what to expect. He tried to avoid too much Arthurian and Celtic mythologic references early on because they are so well known. He talked a little about his next series, Shipwrecked. It will be in a different universe, and focuses ona group of shipwrecked people (surprise, surprise). They come from a land with many countries, but basically all ruled by one religion that dominates everywhere. The new place has three powerful countries, but temples to hundreds of different gods and goddesses. It's going to talk a lot about culture shock I think. He can be reached either by either email or snailmail through Tor in about the same amount of time. Tor prints out his emails and sends him the hardcopies about every fortnight. They also send his snailmail biweekly. He does respond to them, but he gets backlogged at the end of writing a book. Here is the rough time schedule for book eight. The manuscript should be turned in sometime in fall of 1997. Expect it to go on sale in spring of 1998. He worked 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 20 months, except for a couple days for each Thanksgiving and Christmas and a few single vacation days, to write ACoS. PNH, his wife, and everyone he knows told him he needs to slow down so he doesn't kill himself. Thus, PNH gave him 18 months to do the manuscript. His wife said he is the only author she allows to submit partial manuscripts for editing. She also does Morgan Llewelyn, the Bears and David Drake among others. She said she was starting to reduce the number of authors she edits since she is overloaded. She edited one of RJ's books before they ever dated, so their professional relationship was already established before they married. She feels that mutual respect for the other's work is what keeps the two relationships from interfering with each other. I think that's all that was said of any significance. The rest was personal info that I don't think is important here, and I'm not sure a lot of this was either. BTW, both Mr. and Mrs. RJ are very friendly, outgoing people and were fun to talk with. Am I the only one that thinks he looks like an older Bayle Domon? This could lead to some interesting speculations. From his web site picture, I'd say Novak might be related. RJ seems to actually like the DKS covers. However, he disliked the cover of one of his books that someone brought. (I believe it was the UK version of TGH.) It was mostly light blue and lavender/purple. He disliked the artwork, not just the color scheme. The short reign of Colavaere was not a reference to Jane Grey. RJ has a lot of notes about the series although he doesn't have an outline. He guesstimates he has about twice as many pages of notes as manuscript pages. ACoS only covered a week because a lot of important things needed to happen in a very short time span. The development of the heroes characters is some of the important events he wanted to accomplish. ------------------------ Brian Ritchie email@example.com
Yeah, I know it wasn't heavily advertised - I just found out about it by dumb luck. It seems that when Barnes and Nobles rounds up the usual suspects to advertise to, it doesn't really include more than their newsletter, and the local News & Disturber. RJ read from the same chapter that he did at Balticon - except this time he read the entire chapter, rather than just the part where Mat gets jumped upon by Tylin. He was remarkably patient with the amount of people there, and even remembered me from Balticon. I suspect it has something to do with him signing my books "To Hawk" than anything else. Pam - here's something new for the FAQ. I asked him exactly why the pool of untainted saidin was needed at the Eye of the World. He kindof gave me a RAFO. RJ said that he has an idea of what he wants that to have been for, but he's not sure he's going to use it, so he didn't want to give me infomation and then change his mind later. So all our guesses are correct at the moment! Other than that, it was a remarkably quiet signing. Bob Gibson brought all his books, and was attempting to get his friend Russ, another friend of their's, and me to help him get them signed. I declined, as I had already passed off one of my books to Russ to get signed. Hawk
Rob Watson, Greebs and I went to the Jordan signing yesterday. After badgering him with tons of questions, we got the following information: Randland size: Randland is approximately 4500 miles across. Seanchan is as big as Randland, the Aiel Waste, and Shara all put together (a single empire the size of North and South America). How Verin could determine the Ogier had no mind inside a stedding: We're going to find out something in the next few books about people without souls and characteristcs of them. (he started out saying that we're going to find out something significant about Verin, then stopped). Ogier: Were not genetically engineered. (blew Greebs' looney Longing-taint theory away). Slayer: Can't channel. (blew my looney Moridin theory away). He has certain "gifts" granted to him by the DO, but can't channel either the OP or the TP. Cross Slayer off the list of possible Moridin candidates. (damn, there goes my section of the FAQ :-( Everyone in SL killed each other. (blows away the MS is the souls of the people of SL theory). Mashadar occurred after everyone in SL was dead. Machin Shin eats the souls _and_ memories of the people it catches. He wouldn't answer the question about the nine-horse hitch. (said he'd have to marry me if he told me. I'm kinda disappointed we didn't get a RAFO.) We figure it's his version of "figs and mice". Ishy/Moridin/SH - RAFO. Ageless look and OR - RAFO. (I thought Greebs was going to explode when he didn't answer that one directly.) Bela is the Nae'blis. The next book isn't going to come out until 1998 because RJ is "a sadistic SOB" (his words, not mine). Greebs and I came up with a few more questions to ask at the signing in Victoria on sunday, so he'll be posting some more findings soon. Stuff I found out after the signing - Greebs likes girly drinks. I can't play pool to save my life. ************************************************** Lara Beaton Disclaimers are for wussies.
Well...Sunday afternoon in Victoria saw RJ risking life and wallet speeding past the photo radar on the Pat. Bay Highway. That's right...not even the Creator himself can catch the 10 o'clock ferry from Vancouver. Lara never showed up(she must have overslept). ObTrix: Silly Lara...hibernation is for bears! So all alone (Rob didn't show up either), I stood in the huge line(Way huger than in Vancouver). The line conversation sucked and the wait grew longer as we were told that RJ would be late. Finally at 1:20 I saw a familliar face walk throught the door and head straight for the back room. RJ emerged some minutes later sans hat and stick and took his place at the signing table. Soon ('cause I got there so early) it was my turn to confront the Great L^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Creator and attemp to wrest answers from him: Greebs: Hi...umm...could you sign this one to Greebs? RJ: How do you sp...Do you have a brother in Vancouver? Greebs: Ahh...Umm...no, that was me [tries to explain] RJ: [Look of disgust evident on his face] I see. Greebs: [Thinking he better get to the questions fast] Umm, we were wondering if you had to take someone down into the PoD to make them into a Grey Man, you know, 'cause it seems so similar to mind trapping someone. RJ: Yes...at least that's the way I've always thought of it. It's not easy to remove someone's soul. Greebs: Cool. We [Notice that I'm trying to create the impression that there is more than just me there ...saftey in nubers etc.] were also wondering about the size of the cities...how big is Caemlyn for instance? RJ: [Thinking] Let's see...Well Tar Valon is 500,000 people and cities like Caemlyn and Tear are around 300,000 or so. I've envisioned a seventeenth century society and you've got to remeber that for those times 300,000 would be huge. [I'm noddin and trying to look intelligent] Some Asian cities of that period had populations near one million but nothing in Europe was even close. Greebs: Yeah...What about the linguistic similarity of the Old Tongue and the New Tongue? It seems there is remarkably little drift in the Seanchan dialect. RJ: [Either on purpose or by accident misunderstands my question and gives the standard "Well you must understand that I've translated the New Tongue into English" answer.] At this point the Bolen guy shoos me away. I lurk for a while but peopple are asking spedly questions [should have printed the FAQ]. I did learn that in addition to the Card game and computer game and clothing line there will be a line of museum quality replica weapons. Someone asked excitedly about the SCA and RJ said that these would be real weapons since he didn't like play war [which is understandable]. Then I left. -Greebs
29 October Signing at Perimeter Media Play, Dunwoody, GA. Upcoming News? he will be GoH at the BYU Convention: "Life, Universe & Everything" Tell us about the blight: Blight: you can not enter it from TAR because it is apart from NORMAL UNIVERSE and can not be touched. The Blight is not part of the normal universe. Have any Aes Sedai ever been refused admittance to any Ajah? No. (see below) What do members of the White Ajah actually do on a day-to-day basis? Think. Study philosphy. What are the actual requirements for being raised to the shawl? RAFO Who was the one who is no more? The innkeeper or the guy on the barrel? *an amused look* RAFO Is the innkeeper an ex-Aes Sedai?
RAFO Once and for all end the ageless look thing. Is it obvious that it is tied to the oath rod? RAFO Who killed Asmodean? (Right. Like he'll tell us). Anyway ask if the clues to figure it out are all included up to TFOH. RAFO. All clues are included up to TFOH. Will Gawyn get a brain transplant? *evil look* (laugh) Was Else always Lanfear? No. Else did exist as a separate human but was played by Lanfear after Else was expelled. New dreadlords? Via TP? What are limits of TP? When did we see it used before? Access to the TP is a matter of wanting it and the dark one letting you. NOT black cords. In Prologue to EotW we saw TP to heal insanity. The OP can not be used to heal insanity. TP used at SG will fry you instantly. How dangerous and how ambitious is Faile? Exceedingly dangerous, not particularly ambitious. Perin is due his due as lord of the two rivers. She has been raised as a noble with noblesse oblige. Perrin has been pushed into lording and she doesn't like him ducking out of what she sees as his obligations. She doesn't understand why he doesn't understand this in his blood like she does in hers. Is "Ogier" from to sing Ogier? No. Its to sound like Ogre but not be exactly the same. Name of family in charleston. Ask what the deal is with Nyn being able to hold half the power as ten sisters with a sa'angreal but not being able to handle two pussy little BA by herself. Some people have shielding talents. Ask how it was that Moggy got to SG intstantly...was it the DO using his twisty powers or was it a function of being all a dream. It was a dream. Moggy, by the way, used to be an investments counciler until the FTC got on her case. Ask about the three white black aes sedai in Liandrin's group when there should only be two. Joiya Byir (killed at Tear) Rianna Andormeran Falion Bhoda Complete surprise. Really? Mutter mutter. Have to check that out. And for fun ask whether Ogier can be friends of the dark *strange look* RAFO. Could a 2nd person have "needed" the bowl and found it? Maybe. Didn't think of it. Could they have "needed" the box enclosing the bowl? Probably not. They wouldn't be able to convince themselves to need it. What happens when two people balefire each other simultaneously? *disgusted look* A lot of confusion. Ask about the Blight. If it is not reflected in T'A'R, why does the GLotD have so much power over T'A'R, the Wheel and reincarnation? see above. Also, what was going on in Aelfland when Mat went round and round and round the same location? Were they travelling in time? not travelling in time. the physical laws of nature differ. Mentioning the DO here is bad luck. In Aelfland, it is *REALLY* bad. You can not go to Aelfland in TAR (similar to stedding). How do you get your ideas? I opened the closet one day and found three young women, diaphonously clad who had made themselves at home. They had hung up needle point embroidery and otherwise furnished the closet. I had a discipline stick available and beat them. Now, every day, they hand me a list of ten ideas. Have you been arrested for muse abuse? They refuse to testify. Tell us about those seafolk rituals during the wedding... How old are you? Over the age of consent. You're too young! Are the Aiel already a Remnant? *smile* RAFO. Why doesn't Egwene just "travel" her troops to Tar Valon? She needs the time to be in control. Otherwise she'd just be a puppet to others needs. When Birgitte says she remembers a tale of a female Warder after being bonded to Elayne, does she remember herself? RAFO You might also want to ask him about the sexual preferences of Galina, Bain and Chiad. :-) *chuckle* RAFO. This is similar to Greeb's question, but from a slightly different angle: How much stronger do you have to be to forcibly shield someone else who is already holding the OP? Is it different for men than for women, or for heterosexual shielding? If the answer is only a little stronger, then ask him how come Ny couldn't shield Elayne in aCoS, Chapter 21 (Swovan Night)? Also, how much weaker can you be and still be able to hold a shield on someone, Berowin excepted? He did not use a "real scale" for OP stuff. You just have to be stronger. Mostly handwaving. consider the kin. The woman who is very weak but has a real talent for shielding. "Are shocklances guns, or an energy discharge weapon?" energy discharge weapons. "Do you have a name for book 8 yet, if so what?" [Don't know if this has already been answered] no. "Is channeling ability strictly, or partly geneticaly based?" partially. Worked it a bit with some friends but just left it mostly hanging. "Have we seen Osan'gar anywhere else since his first appearance?" (No doubt a RAFO) RAFO. "Can weaves be inverted in a way that prevents them being detected even while they are being woven, ie so you could draw and weave with Saidin, and noone would detect it, or can the weaves only be hidden after they have been tied off?" no answer. Stupid woman and "how do you get your ideas" question. Is Thom Elayne and Gawyn's real father? no. absolutely no. no question about it. no. no. no. Thom is exactly who he says he is. How many crescent moons are on Mat's funky new ring? you guess. Is Dashiva Osan'gar? RAFO Why doesn't somebody just BF the DO? the quantity necessary would destroy the world. What are those black threads on the male Forsaken? RAFO Can an Accepted be raised to AS and not choose an Ajah? What happens if they are raised ask for acceptance and are refused. This never happens. They are chosen in advance and vetted. What are the requirements for being raised from accepted to AS Ability to channel under extreme stress. How are the Ajah's funded? Too complex to answer. Join funding and contributions from ajahs to full tower. Is Moiraine's E&E network independent of the Blue or does it overlap. How do they report - i.e. does Moraine have someone who collects messages for her? all E&E networks overlap a little, but hers was pretty independent. Do all Darkfriends have the equivalent of the black threads seen in Tel'aran'rhiod attached to Ishy and Asmodean. (I have a theory that Fades may use these threads to travel on, you could ask about that) no. fades: travel where light and darkness meet. (handwaving). What age # was the age of legends. the age before the third age. The breaking of the world brought on the third age. The trolloc and hundred years wars were only punctuations in local history. Info re: Ajahs? In the illustrated guide will be information revealed about how they came about that affects the books not at all. Can you use the TP in the Stedding? ye....er...RAFO. You must be a stone cold fanatic to *want* to use the TP. Moggy is terrified of it. Avoids it. If TP were used on you, would there be negative effects wrt the DO? RAFO. of course, if you die, the answer is obvious. What is Fain? Mordeth + person. Mordeth is a human-made evil. The black wind gets along with Mordeth because of professional courtesy. Fain is anti-forsaken as well as anti-Rand. He has a lot of skills and abilities outside of channelling. He can not channel. Is this the "Another Power"? *laugh* I don't know. If you die, will Piers Anthony finish the series? No. No one will finish the series. The hard disks will be reformatted 4x in successions. RJ said specifically: * no channeling necessary to become dreadlord * TP independent of OP -- Erica
Someone asked Jordan about the 'gars, and mentioned that he'd seen theories that Lanfear was one of the 'gars. I was expecting a RAFO, but RJ gave the guy a disgusted look, and said that "No, Osan'gar and Aran'gar are Aginor and Balthamel." The guy said, "You're confirming this, and not hinting about it?" RJ replied (I'm paraphrasing here), "I'm confirming. After all, it's pretty obvious in the books that it's those two. After all, that's what Aginor thought was so funny; Balthamel, the lecher, was stuck in a female body." Jordan then went on to give the standard disclaimer that a lot of the stuff is already in the books, and reasonably intelligent people should be able to figure a lot of this out. His job, he said, was to make sure you're still guessing about some stuff at the end of the story. It's fairly safe to say that this was RJ's version of thwacking the guy with a clue stick... Also, another note concerning the pre-Bore AoL... RJ had mentioned (in response to another question) that what the characters believe does not make it so (Moir's statements were used as an example), so I asked whether the pre-Bore AoL was the Utopia that the characters believed it to be. His reply is paraphrased below: Compared to their current world, it certainly would be a utopia. However, that doesn't mean that it wasn't perfect. Of course, outbreaks of diseases were kept to a minimum, but it and other disasters of that ilk still occurred. Evil still existed, as well. The Forsaken, for example, weren't exactly a stellar bunch to begin with. Semirhage, for example, was a sadist. (I'll skip his description of what a sadist is.) She went into her profession (the equivalent of a surgeon) because it provided an outlet for her sadism. (He then cited some studies that showed that there were more people with sadist tendencies in the medical profession, and surgeons in particular, to support his point.) Aginor (whom he said after some prompting had several elements of the classic mad scientist type) was a biological scientist who never considered the consequences of his actions. Aginor would say, "I wonder what would happen if I took the ebola virus and altered it to be an airborne virus." He'd go ahead and do just that, all without realizing he'd be creating a potentially unstoppable plague. All Aginor would reply to that was, "Hmm. Interesting." (He then mentioned Aginor's creation of the Trollocs, their defects, "It was strong, big, tough to kill, and......stupid.", and that it was the birth of the first Myrddral that saved the Trollocs from being a complete failure.) Even back in the AoL, regular, ordinary folks could do some pretty nasty things. He then cited a study about a small town of ordinary Germans in WW2 who did some pretty horrific things (I believe he was referring to the book "Hitler's Willing Executioners"). (Another note: Someone brought up the perpetual "Who killed Asmodean??" question, and Jordan paused, thought a second, shook his head, and said, "I'm going to have to say RAFO. All the clues are there, and all it takes is any reasonably intelligent person to....") ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Lawson | "To strive, to seek, to find, and Product Development Engineer - SDRC | not to yield." e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | -Alfred, Lord Tennyson -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reports from Post-ACOS Book Signings by Robert Jordan / HTML formatting by P. Korda / email@example.com