Reports from Robert Jordan's Post-The Path of Daggers Book-Signing Tour

These are reports and comments posted to rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan by fans who attended RJ's book signings for The Path of Daggers. I have edited for spelling, and a little for content: I cut out quotations from posts which were follow-ups to other ones, and in a few cases, I saved excerpts from long posts which only had a short paragraph or two about the signing. Thanks to all the fans who took notes and posted this info.


New York City, 20 October, 1998

Report by Aaron Bergman

Well, the book signing was mobbed.  There were well over 150 seats and 
people were standing.  It was strictly controlled with people going to have 
books signed one row at a time.  This, of course, left little time for 

I was seated next to three random people who happened to have lurked on the 
group.  I also had a copy of the FAQ with me that two people recognized.  
So, perhaps the great lurker hordes do exist.  Anyways, after scaring the 
people around me for a little bit, I went up to the books and decided to 
ask Jordan about Asmodean.  In particular, I asked whether "death" was just 
a pun on "Moridin".  He said "oh, god no" quite disgustedly.  This made me 
feel much better and should hopefully put the issue to rest.  He also said 
that by the end of this book, it should be obvious who killed Asmodean and 
that it is definitely possible to figure it out the instant he dies.

That was all I was able to ask.  A group of us then walked over and chatted 
with Tom Doherty and someone named Linda (?)  at Tor.  PNH wasn't there as 
far as I could tell.

We then went down to the cafe and finally found Bradj bringing the group to 
me, Nathan Lundblad, Burr, Becky Slitt, Dennis Higbee, bradj and two people 
whose name I forget.  Nathan had to leave to get back to Boston and the 
rest of us ate dinner at a Brewpub across the street.  Someone else can 
summarize this, I suppose.

We later left.

That's it. I did say brief.


Report by Ryan R.

This is just a little info from the New York signing on Tuesday.  I haven't 
posted it until now because I wanted to make sure it wasn't in the books.

I asked Jordan when a man with the spark would slow.  He hesitated and 
rubbed his chin, obviously trying to make up the answer on the spot, and 
doing it to be consistent with the books.  The answer is: Women usually 
slow at twenty, sometimes a little earlier, but usually around there.  Men 
wouldn't slow until 25, usually closer to thirty.  He claims that they 
could go past thirty, but that probably depends on how early they start and 
how much they channel.

So, if Taim started at twenty or so, like Rand (actually, that's later than 
Rand), and channeled a reasonable amount, he would probably slow at 
twenty-seven or thereabouts.  After all, Nynaeve started probably at 
sixteen or seventeen, and only channeled on the uncommon occasion that 
someone was dying in her presence of some disease, and slowed at 
twenty-three (that's the age Setalle Anan thought she was, but she's 
twenty-six).  That's seven years or so.

Well, Taim looks thirty-five, according to Rand.  He shouldn't.  Even if he
didn't slow until he was thirty-two, Rand still wouldn't have estimated him
as being as much as fifteen years older than he was.  So, my
conclusion--Taim is Demandred.  Only a Forsaken could look that old, given
the slowing.  Yes, I know it's not solid, irrefutable evidence, but it's
still good evidence.  That's my two cents.

Ryan R.                 ryanr (at)
"He Who Just Missed Coming With the Dawn"

Los Angeles, 22 October, 1998

Report by Pam Basham

A little of this, a little of that.  Some general stuff about the signing, 
self-indulgent personal impressions and Q/A. For those of you just 
interested in facts, RJ's answers are at the bottom.

NOTE: I've only read about half the book, so please use Spoiler Protection 
in any replies.  Only one of my questions pertained particularly to new 
information in _POD_, and it may be a non-issue by the end of the book, so 
sorry if it's already been talked about.

As a member of the "great lurker hordes," per Aaron Bergman's NY Signing 
Report, I'm here to assert our existence.  I kept trying to ferret out 
members of the 'froup by asking pointed questions like, "So...  how *did* 
you find out about this signing?"  and throwing out random bits of 
'froupness such as information about the NY Signing.  But no one one around 
us bit.  I kept looking for Tony Z., Julie Kangas or Hohn Cho (sorry if I 
mangled the spelling), but either my memory's going and I didn't recognize 
them after 2-1/2 years (post-aCOS DFS) or I didn't see them.  The line went 
up the block to the corner, but I'd guess that it was a considerably 
smaller crowd than in NYC.

At any rate, after getting stuck at Sta.  Monica Blvd.  and the 405 Fwy and 
wishing desperately for a gateway we could drive through, we (my husband, 
Kevin, and I) arrived at Flights of Fantasy at 4:30 and there were a couple 
dozen people in line ahead of us.  As it was my first Jordan signing and I 
was too manic to stand still, I ended up in the store spending money.  As I 
signed my life away to the credit company for a copy of _Legends_, RJ 
arrived at the back of the store.  I found it extremely gratifying to find 
out that even store owners get nervous about such things at RJ arriving at 
their back door while they're finishing up a sale.

Back outside, in line, the store personnel announced that RJ would be 
signing only WOT books, and no personalizations, please.  _Legends_, for 
the purposes of the signing, was considered WOT. We were not, however, 
obliged to buy _POD_ there, or to include it as one of the two books 

There seemed to be a number of people there who weren't actual fans, 
serving as ambulatory book holders for friends or family.  So perhaps that 
made RJ a little more tolerant about answering questions from the people 
who *are* reading the books.  But he seemed genuinely interested in talking 
about them, and was very warm and responsive.

Harriet was with him, and I was really pleased to meet her, as well.  She's 
a lovely, elegant lady.  But she sat up suddenly with a startled look 
several times during our chat, and the whole effect was somehow birdlike.  
I couldn't help but think of Verin in her "pay no attention to the little 
brown sister in the corner" mode.

1.)  Re: Cadsuane's pointed reminiscences about the good ol' days in Far 
Madding, I asked, "So can we assume..."  and didn't even get to finish the 
question before he answered...

A: "Cadsuane is from Far Madding."  And followed immediately, with no 
prompting, with "and Verin is from Far Madding."  *Arched eyebrow* (For 
some reason, this last elicited a Startled Moment from Harriet.  I was 
determined not to get a RAFO, so I didn't pursue this any further.  Also I 
was nervous and had more questions.)

2.)  Re: The Dragon and The Dragon Reborn (and Graendal's thoughts about 
Ishy's musings)

Q: "Is this soul born in any other age, or only at the advent and 
(theoretically, of course) the closing of the Third Age, as The 

A: This soul is one of the Heroes, and bound to the Wheel, spun out as the 
Pattern wills.  "It" is born in other ages, but in a non-Dragon 
incarnation, to suit the pattern of that Age.  In the course of this 
answer, he related this to why Hawkwing calls Rand "Lews Therin" at 
Falme--because Hawkwing recognizes this Soul.  This didn't really tell me 
why he specifically calls him "LTT", but apparently they've been hangin' 
together in T'A'R and the etiquette there is to call each other by the name 
of your last incarnation.  (My interpretation.)

3.)  Re:  That Whole Thing About the Horn--Hawkwing v. Moiraine

Q: Hawkwing says they follow the banner and the Dragon.  Moiraine says the 
Heroes will follow whoever winds the horn.  Was Moiraine wrong?

A: *Arch look* Moiraine doesn't know everything.  She was speaking the 
truth as she knows it.  (I took this to imply that Moir was misinformed, 
and the conflict resolved, until he continued.)  However, she *is* correct 
in that whoever sounds the horn "controls the Heroes."  [exact quote] (I 
started to get confused at this point.  Is Moir right or is she wrong?  
What's he trying to tell me?)

Q: "Then what happens if the Dragon and the banner are on opposite sides of 
the conflict from whoever sounds the horn?"

A:  "Then we get a [rift] in the Pattern."  [1]
(This elicited a _pronounced_ Startled Moment from Harriet, which I took
at the time to express the same reaction as me--"A *WHAT*?!?"--but which
Kevin told me later he interpreted to be more along the lines of "I
can't believe you're telling them that!" It could, of course, mean
something entirely different.)

At this point, part of my mind was running wild down paths about the
Dark One and potential entrances into the Pattern, while the rest of it
remained stunned, frozen, in absolute denial:  "A _WHAT_?!?"

I remain steadfastly in denial about this one.  Oh, sure.  He *did* say
it, and if it becomes relevant, he'll work it in, no doubt.  But I
firmly believe he Made This Up.  If the DO was aware of this, it seems
to me that he'd be working a _lot_ harder on making this happen, since
it would seem to represent the equivalent of a serious "crack in the
door to the Pattern."  It's so much less work than using up all your
main players (Chosen) in inefficient, conflicting plots and setting up
Rand for "easily escapable situations involving an overly elaborate and
exotic Death."  [2]

[1]  I'm not certain if this is the exact word he used.  It may have
been "schism" or "breach," but it was definitely a word expressing the
concept of a forced opening/rupture.  Sorry.  It was lost in the
momentary brain freeze.

[2]  Moridin, of course.  He's overly elaborate and exotic even *before*
he puts on his silk coats.

Still stunned, I didn't notice that the hordes behind us were breathing
hard and looking like they might begin a stampede, but RJ then very
politely asked us to move on.

All in all, in complete abandonment of any kind of L.A. Kewl, I was
completely thrilled to meet Jim and Harriet.

Wishing everybody at the rest of the signings lots of fun and frivolity
and an utter absence of RAFO's.

Thanks to everyone for the info from the other two signings.

-Pam Basham
Billboard:  "Welcome to Far Madding--Birthplace of the Purple Ajah."

Palo Alto, 24 October, 1998

Report by Chris Mullins

I asked RJ, at the Palo Alto signing, if Moggy was raped by Shadar Haran in

His reply was, "Yes. Amongst other things."

Chris Mullins                                    cmullins (at)
[W]e have to improve in almost all areas. But it's better than
most customers expected.  - Brad Chase, Microsoft VP of Windows
Marketing, describing Windows NT5

Report by Drew Gillmore

I don't see anyone else doing this, and while it's still fresh in my 
mind...well, here's a report.

Of sorts.

I was drinking most of the time, so my recollection of details may be a 
little fuzzy.  My Wheel of Time was definitely wobbling.

I got to the Bay Area in time for the book signing.  In fact, I got to Bill 
and Hawk's place in time to make Hot Monkey Love with a few people before 
we went to the book signing.  Not that Hot Monkey Love was made, just that 
there would have been time for it if we had so chosen.

Anyway, we got to Future Fantasy at 2:30.  Chris Mullins, Michael Steeves, 
Batya and I all rode with Hawk, and we met up with Noell Milota at the 
bookstore.  Bill wasn't feeling well and stayed at home.  Wuss.  (We missed 
you, Bill) Future Fantasy had a policy in place in which if you had not 
bought the book at their store then you had to wait until everybody that 
*had* bought a book and wished to have it signed went through before you.  
Fortunately, there weren't many people willing to spend full price at some 
rinky dink bookstore and the number of people who were in front of us was 
rather short.

Also there at the bookstore were Eric Fulton and Brian-Something-Or-Other, 
Dave H-Someone and a couple of lurkers.  Others in attendance at that time 
were a lot of people whose names I don't remember as I stood in line with 
Chris discussing some plot points with a lurker.  Actually, that's a lie.  
We spent most of the time in line trying to figure out how we could get 
Jordan to sign a Terry Pratchett book, or a Goodkind.  I can't remember 
which.  Maybe it was both.

We also discussed what questions to ask.  Most were discarded as frivolous, 
or obvious RAFO answers.  I hadn't thought about it too much, but 
fortunately Chris had, and he had a few that he let me borrow.

The first question Chris channeled through me had to do with the female 
mega sa'angreal on Tremalking, and the Seanchan damane there.  We were 
wondering if the female sa'angreal would have the same effect on female 
channellers as the male sa'angreal in Cairhien had on Rand.  Our impression 
of events was that Rand did not willingly channel into the thing, but that 
it just pulled the One Power through him.  Unfortunately, RJ answered the 
question with a "Yes, if they tried to channel through it."  Uh.  Okay.  
Whatever.  My second question was whether or not we would get to see the 
Battle of Tar Valon or if it would happen "off-screen".  He opened his 
mouth, hesitated a second and shot me down with a "Read And Find Out".  

Chris used his moment with the Creator to open himself up to a huge RAFO, 
but *his* question was answered.  Chris asked if Moghedien had been raped 
by Shaidar Haran.  The answer was "Yes, among other things."

I don't remember most of the other questions.  A couple of interesting 
things I do remember, however.  The first is that the reason tPoD seems 
short is that Jordan could not go any farther without writing a *whole* lot 
more.  The stage it seems, is once again set.  Another interesting thing 
was Jordan asking Hawk if she was into leather, and if she was "top, 
bottom, or switch".

Dirty old man, indeed.

Another interesting point that may just be my interpretation of things, is 
that someone asked if Lanfear had been raped as well, right on top of the 
Moghedien question, and he answered right away with a "No".  It could be 
any number of explanations, but it seemed to me that it was a given that 
Cyndane was Lanfear from the context of the conversation.

Like I said, just my interpretation.

Someone else who was paying more attention could fill in here.

The next thing we did was went to the Thai House to drink.  Or at least, 
Darkelf and I drank, with a little bit of sipping done by Eric and Chris.  
However, Darkelf and I got married (Work *that* in, K-J) and consummated 
the marriage with a pitcher of Stout beer (Thanks, oh Dimly Lit Sprite).  I 
taunted Noell with the thought that Cal would beat UCLA until with four 
seconds left in the game, I relented and admitted that, in fact, Cal would 
probably not be coming back.

After that, things *really* get fuzzy.  We went to Amber, an Indian 
Restaurant, and had food, and talked.  Rick Moen, Rajiv, Phetsy, Paul Ward, 
and "Justin" showed up.  Other people showed up, but they were sitting at 
the other table and I don't remember all their names.  (Someone else is 
*really* going to have to help me out here...anyone make a total list?)  
Mansur Ward made a cameo.

I had Chicken Vindaloo, that was supposed to be spicier than it was, 
according to Chris Mullins, but since I was already full of beer I couldn't 
taste much anyway.

Somewhere in there my ex-fiancée showed up(1), and I mentally checked out 
for the evening.  I remember going to Brian's apartment complex for the rec 
room there, more beer, lots of pool, then a jaunt to Bill and Hawks for an 
hour or so.  At that point I had been up for somewhere near forty hours, 
and had drank sufficiently enough in my sleep depraved condition to make 
thinking straight a tricky situation.

I'm not sure how it ended.  Badly, one would assume, but you'll have to get 
that part of the story from someone who A) was there, and B) was *there*, 
if you know what I mean.


Drew Gillmore

1)  Don't ask.  Weird situation.  I'm sure most everyone at the Social
is/will be thoroughly confused(2) to find out that she's my ex.

2)  About what?  Well, that's what you get for not attending.

Report by Justin Howell

I asked why Elayne thought even a Forsaken couldn't break the shield 
Adeleas and Vandene were holding on Ispan, expecting the answer that Elayne 
is clue-impaired.  The correct answer is that holding a shield on someone 
depends not only on relative strength and fatigue, but also on whether the 
shield is held by channellers of the same sex as the victim.  Thus two 
women (A and V on Ispan, or Ispan and Falion on Nynaeve in CoS) can hold 
another woman, but three women just get severed if they try to shield Rand.  
As a curiosity, it is also possible for multiple people to hold a shield 
without linking, but this is less strong and less precise, producing 
basically a layered shield.

Then I asked about Elayne's Rod of Pleasure, and got a RAFO with the 
explicit warning that we might not ever get to the FO part.

The popular "are you sure we should be able to figure out who killed 
Asmodean" question used up my second trip through the line.  Next time 
through I asked about the chronology of Eharon and Shiota, since Bashere 
describes statues from Eharon as being much older than the Shiotan statue 
DKS put on the cover.  We know Deane was born in the village of Salidar in 
Eharon (Glossary from LoC, IIRC), yet part of Bashere's lecture mentioned 
that Shiota also was pre-Hawkwing.  It turns out there is a textual 
inconsistency here.  RJ couldn't remember which comes first (apparently 
historical details aren't as engrossing for him as for me), but one was 
part of the Ten Nations, and the other covered the same area (Illian + 
Altara) between the Trolloc Wars and Hawkwing.  He said the Guide has the 
correct order, though since I don't have the Guide I don't know what that 
order is.  A minor error, really; either that statue was from Eharon and 
Bashere mentioned much older Shiotan statues, or Deane was Shiotan and the 
statues were as written.

As Paul mentioned, RJ mumbled something about Sammael.  My interpretation 
is simply that he meant "right, he's dead, whatever you say", but I can see 
how one might take it more seriously.  I'll believe my favorite male 
character died when I see him come back in a new body sucking up to 
Moridin, at which point I'll go looking for a new favorite male character 
(Mat or Demandred, probably).

I think the only other WoT-related comment I heard was that if RJ dies 
before this is done, we won't find out about this famous last scene since 
the hard drives of his computers will be reformatted six times and every 
scrap of paper in his house having anything to do with tWoT will be burned.  
He seems to feel quite strongly about this...  On a related topic we may 
get an encyclopedia after the series ends, but no endless series publishing 
all of his notes, analogous to Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle 
Earth volumes.

I didn't hear (or hear of) anything else not recorded here or in Drew's
post, though as Drew said,

>Someone else who was paying more attention could fill in here.

Justin Howell
jhhowell (at)

San Jose, 25 October, 1998

Report by Rick Moen

I'm hoping that Hawk will report on the wonderful time The Usual Gang of 
Lunatics had last Saturday in Palo Alto, CA and thereabouts, starting with 
RJ's signing at Future Fantasy bookstore.  So, I'll leave that to her.

There's rather less to report about Sunday's signing at the Barnes and 
Noble barn (er, store) in San Jose: I foolishly hadn't checked for 
scheduling updates, and found out at 2 pm that it'd been shifted to 3:30 -- 
but there were already about 100 people in line, zig-zagging around the 
store's rope barriers from the signing area in Children's Books.  By 3:30, 
there were maybe 600, lined up out the front door and down the block.

As usual, there was a two-book limit, one of which needed to be Path of 
Daggers.  No personal inscriptions this time, just signature, and 
paperbacks were allowed (both in contrast to the Saturday signing).  
Harriet (Jordan's wife & editor, and a very winning person) wandered off to 
other parts of the store.

I'd missed most of Jordan's comments during the signing at Future Fantasy: 
arrived late for early remarks, too long in line for others.  This time, I 
parked myself strategically within earshot, so I could catch everything in 
my PalmPilot.

Guess what?  600 people over a two-hour period, and hardly anyone asked 
Jordan questions!  Arrgh.

He said the book-signing tour will run through November 22nd.  He'll spend 
two days fishing in Canada, and then return home to Charleston for 
Thanksgiving.  (He said he finds being on tour exhausting, and always 
spends the following several days doing nothing at all.)  After 
Thanksgiving, he'll start in on the next volume.

Someone mentioned the Internet-based rumours about him suffering from heart 
attacks / other forms of poor health.  I couldn't tell from his expression 
whether RJ was amused or annoyed: Probably both equally.  He replied that 
he's in good health with a resting heart rate of 71 beats per minute and 
good cholesterol.

He told quite a few people that the series would be requiring a minimum of 
three more volumes, perhaps more -- and pointed out that he'd had to find 
time to work on "New Spring" and the Guide, in addition to The Path of 
Daggers.  He also pointed out that, so far, the books have always been 
published within a month of completion, which he called "instantaneous for 
the publishing world".  He stressed that he _wants_ to reach the end (the 
final scene that he worked out 15 years ago), and would like to be "as 
compact as possible".  (He said "Don't laugh.")

A reader asked when the term "Ajah" came to have the meaning it has in 
Rand's time.  He said that until at least 500 years after the Tower was 
founded, it meant a temporary association for a specific purpose, and was a 
lower-case noun.  Its proper-noun sense arose afterwards, supplanting the 
earlier usage after the Trolloc Wars.

Another reader asked how long he's been married to Harriet.  He said 18 
years -- and that he has to have Harriet remind him, since it seems like 
last month.

Somebody finally summoned the courage to asking him outright, "What 
happened to Mat?"  He replied, "He had a brick wall fall on him!"

Cheers,                    Higgledy-Piggledy / Kibo Ubiquitous, 
Rick Moen                  Greps for his name in the / Happynet spool.
rick (at)   Interdimensional / Cyberspace deity:
                           Didaktyliaios / Dada is cool. -- Lewis Stiller

Seattle, 29 October, 1998

Report by Kevin Bartlett

Hello all,

Last night I went to the Seattle signing at the UW bookstore, and all in 
all it was ...  anticlimactic.  Admission was ticketed, and in order to get 
a ticket, you had to have a receipt from the bookstore for PoD, Legends or 
tWoRJtWoT. There were 350 tickets distributed, but more people showed up, 
and they waited in a first-come, first-served line.  He would only sign two 
hardcover books per ticketholder from the WoT, Legends, or tWoRJtWoT.

Of approximately 400 people, I was the only person who tried to ask him 
plot-related questions, AFAIK. I stood around up near the front until my 
number (157) was almost up, and heard not a single interesting tidbit.  He 
should really consider putting together a Signing FAQ: "Book 9 will be 
published shortly after I finish writing it."  "There will be at least 
three more books in the series, and that's a minimum.  I've known the last 
scene of the last book since I started writing, and the series will keep on 
going until I get there."  He must have gotten really tired of giving those 

I only got to ask two of the five questions I had prepared, and I got one 
RAFO (sigh).  Here they are (my answers are paraphrased, but accurate):

1.  In tDR, when Rand encountered the lady merchant and her soldiers and 
slaughtered the whole bunch, did he have a good reason for doing so?  Were 
they all really Darkfriends?  Was that eleventh man really a grey man, or 
did Rand just count wrong?

He said that it's not supposed to be clear to the reader exactly what is 
going on.  What _is_ supposed to be clear is that there was definitely a 
grey man in the party.  But whether or not Rand knew that before he lopped 
off their heads, we're _not_ supposed to know.  It's supposed to be unclear 
whether Rand is just very observant, or whether he's on the brink of 

2.  When an Aes Sedai turns BA, does she keep her warder?  If so, how is 
that accomplished.

RAFO. Of course, the easiest way is to pick a DF for a warder.  But RAFO.

He either misinterpreted my question with that parenthetical comment, or 
intentionally avoided the point.  I was thinking specifically of Vandene 
here, since it looks like she might have killed Adeleas and Ispan, and I 
have a hard time believing that she has been Black since before she ever 
bonded a warder.  She obviously _has_ been Black for quite a while, since 
it was most likely her that warded the Draghkar who nearly killed Moi in 
tGH. But I have to think she most likely turned black some time during her 
tenure as an AS. So is Jaem a DF too?  We must assume...

After asking those two questions, I had already taken up my time at the 
desk, and most of the next guy's time, so I dropped my other three 
questions (none of which were as good IMO anyway).

After that, I made a sojourn to the UW Chemistry building, since it was hot 
and stuffy in the Bookstore, and I wanted to call my wife.  Besides, RJ 
wasn't exactly dripping with plot-oriented information...  After about 45 
minutes, I came back to the signing, in hopes that RJ would get a little 
more conversational as the crowds dwindled (and because I had missed my bus 
to the Eastside, and it was almost an hour until the next one came).  So I 
missed tickets #160-300 or so, but I doubt I missed much.

By that time, it was becoming clear that the line had gone a little quicker 
than expected, and that the (short) line of first-come, first-served people 
would all be able to have their books signed.  So I got back in line to get 
another two books signed (and wished I had brought my other three unsigned 
books).  There were a few people with a whole mess of books (some as many 
as 15-20), and they all got signed.

As I had hoped, with a shorter line weighing less heavily on RJ, he did 
become a little more conversational.  Very little had to do with the 
series, but I thought it might be of interest, so I tried to remember as 
much as I could.  My recollections are necessarily a little disjointed, so 
forgive me.

First of all, Harriet was not present at the signing.  I made a complete 
fool of myself by asking a female assistant (who was in general being very 
helpful, snapping pictures for starry-eyed fans, and basically making sure 
things went smoothly) if she was Harriet.  She gave me a startled look, and 
said "No, I'm his publicist," at which point I'm certain I was beet red...  
After all, she looked to be in her late twenties or early thirties...  I 
bulled ahead and asked Jordan if his wife was on the tour, and he said that 
unfortunately she had to go home.  I didn't press the point or ask him why 
she had to leave, but I wouldn't count on her presence on the rest of this 

At one point, he began reminiscing about signings from years past when all 
of 15-20 people would show up for a signing, and after they were all done, 
they would sit around and chat.  I'm sure that some of the signings he was 
referring to involved some of our very own Cabal members (TINC).  He said 
he hopes those days never come again, but that he certainly enjoyed the 
signings more back then...

Somehow, the topic wandered over to his Conan novels, and one of the 
booksellers said he had heard that the art department had serious debates 
as to whether the scantily-clad warrior-woman should be flung over Conan's 
shoulder on the cover, or held tightly to his chest.  Jordan (dirty old man 
that he is) quipped that "over the shoulder" was the obvious choice, for 
perfectly mercenary reasons.  He then went on to say that if the cover art 
included some only partially covered buttock, that the book sold markedly 
better.  He also claimed that it made little difference whether it was the 
amazon's skin or Conan's, which got a rise out of the observers.  So I 
asked the obvious question: "Are you going to have a talk with Darrell 
Sweet about this?"  He gave a wry grin and said, "This is a different kind 
of series..."  But he did say that he has gotten several letters asking for 
Rand's butt to appear on the cover...

At one point, someone made some comment about Orson Scott Card (which I 
didn't hear), and Jordan replied with a meaningful "Scott and I disagree on 
_many_ things."  I don't know what brought that on, but evidently the two 
have had some contact, enough to identify gaping differences.  It was hard 
to miss the point of his comment; in fact, IIRC, he said basically the 
exact same thing at least twice, and almost in succession.

As the line was drying up, the crowd apparently consisted mainly of several 
booksellers.  They got talking about first edition printings of the 
hardcovers for tEotW. Jordan said that he has a whole box of them at home, 
and that he should give the bunch of them to his son, so he can finance all 
his children's college educations...  At a later time, he said that he 
heard recently from a used fantasy dealer that an _unsigned_ first printing 
tEotW was sold from his store for $700 dollars.  RJ said he had heard of 
prices around $300, but not that high.  He also said he heard of first 
printing LoC's going at $55, which he seemed to think was absurd, since 
well over 200,000 had been printed.  They also commented that at times, the 
hardcovers have been hard to find, but _not_ because they had been out of 
print, but because "sensible" people _assumed_ they would be out of print.  
He said that his books "break the rules", in that hardcovers aren't 
supposed to stay in print for 8-9 years.  He also said that at one point, a 
computer "glitch" resulted in stores remaindering tSR while there was still 
a high demand for it at the normal price (10,000 sales annually without any 
advertising).  Someone else mentioned that they had been to a bookstore 
recently which had the hardcover aCoS both for sale at the regular price 
_and_ on the remaindering table.  Jordan expressed significant disgust with 
screw-ups of this sort.

Well, that's all I scribbled down on the bus on the way home.  Again, all 
in all it was somewhat of a letdown.  But I did get four of my hardcovers 
signed.  Of course, I quickly looked at the publishing information page of 
my tEotW, but it was a fifth printing.  I have firsts of tDR, tFoH, LoC, 
aCoS, and PoD, but those last four are all pretty easy to get, I'm sure.

If any one is actually still reading, I'm impressed.

klbartle (at)		- Dovie'andi se tovya sagain.

Vancouver, 31 October, 1998

Report by Lara Beaton

I asked at the signing on saturday. The exchange went something like

Me: What happened with Elayne and that warm ter'angreal?
RJ: (laughs) What do you think happened?
Me: We figured it must be some sort of One Power sex toy.
RJ: (laughing harder) I may write something about that in a later
Me: RAFO, right?
RJ: Exactly.

Lara Beaton  (remove SPAMCATCHER to reply)			
The opinions expressed are not those of IAMS.
"Greetings, large black person. Let us not forget to form a team 
up together and go into the country to inflict the pain of our 
karate feets on some ass of the giant lizard person."

Louisville, 14 November, 1999

Report by Matthew Hunter

              November 14th, Path of Dagger Signing, Louisville

There was an early rush of signees (an hour and a half or so), followed by 
about half an hour of questions and answers with little plot-related info, 
but a lot of other interesting tidbits.  Someone asked about the cover art 
and got a surprisingly informative answer.  There are some pretty 
substantial sections for Flavio and the rest of the military buffs, too.

Plot information

I was able to ask a few questions, and listen in to a few others.  We got 
three of the "it should be intuitively obvious to the intelligent reader" 
answers, and one other that told us a bit more...  but not much.  The 
Creator was pretty tight with his plot information this time around, 
according to him, because "certain readers have built up these huge logic 
trees," and "can figure out way too much if I say anything at all."

The first "intuitively obvious" question was from someone else: The old 
standby, "Who killed Asmodean?"  He added that there have been clues in (at 
least some, maybe all of) the books published since then.  I take this 
statement to mean that Graendal is the killer; she's the only one for whom 
the case could be called "intuitively obvious", as it is mostly built up 
through a process of elimination and a few supporting comments.

The second was mine: "Do you consider the identities of Moridin and Cyndane 
to be intuitively obvious?"  He said yes, they should be fairly obvious by 
now, in many more words.  To me, this means Ishy and Lanfear respectively.

The third was someone else again, and I didn't hear the question clearly, 
but I think it was about the weird Power effects.  Assuming I heard 
correctly, this should support the Bowl theory, due to the lack of effects 
in Andor despite the gateway detonation and the timing of the effect first 
showing up.  Of course, he didn't say so explicitly, but that is what would 
seem to be the intuitively obvious explanation.

I chimed in later on to ask if "there was a physical resemblance between 
Cyndane and a certain height-challenged Aes Sedai".  He said "We don't know 
yet."  I think that means yes, which is interesting.  If there hadn't been 
one, he could have said no, and he has written the descriptions of Cyndane 
ambiguously enough to prevent any proof either way.

My last question concerned the glossary -- the bit about "speculation is 
futile."  I asked, "Do you really expect that to stop us?"  He said of 
course not.

Background and Personal Information

After the early rush of signees was over with (there were 162 people with 
tickets, and quite a few without), about 20 people settled in for a bit of 
discussion without the pressure of signers.  Plot-related information was 
sparse, and there were relatively few questions, because the answers were 
long.  There were a few tidbits thrown to the slavering hounds, and a lot 
of exposition.


   * The Aiel were based on bits of the apache, zulu, bedouin, and arab(?)
     cultures. Nothing starting here, but I don't think we've had this one
     answered as a complete list before. It was fired off really fast, so I
     may have missed some...
   * Path of Daggers was finished August 25th, and published in less than 
     60 days.
   * The usual "at least 3 more books" was mentioned several times in an
     increasingly loud voice.
   * Who killed Asmo?
        o It should be "intuitively obvious".
        o There ARE clues in later books. They may not be necessary, but
          they are there. I am not sure if he said "later" or "latest",
        o He does indeed mean "intuitively obvious" in the sense that his
          math teachers would use when describing a proof, as speculated on
          rasfwr-j. "I always hated that."
   * There were some jokes about the sheer mass of the books -- "There will
     be a boxed set when the series is complete... on wheels."
   * The Museum Replica weapons are good. The design work (some of it at
     least) was done by the same person who did the maps, for a somewhat
     unusual price. I don't quite recall their name, and can't decipher my
     handwriting now.
   * "I grew up around strong women; weak men were pickled and salted. The
     women wouldn't waste time raising a weak boy."
   * Evidently, Jordan didn't like being taught cursive, but showed
     otherwise by a teacher at a young age. "A gentleman's handwriting is
     always round and legible, always clear, no matter how drunk, how 
     tired, or how busy he may be. This I require of you." Being "required"
     to do something by that particular teacher was evidently a big deal.
   * Someone asked about multiple books. Jordan said that the rule was that
     you had to go through the line for every two books, and that he would
     "enforce the rules with my bullwhip if necessary"; a bookstore
     employee(?) commented that it was more of a guideline really. General
     laughter and bullwhip comments ensued, culminating with "Just so no 
     one asks, 'Can I fondle your bullwhip?'" from Jordan. (I didn't catch all
     of this. I regretted it. Oh well.)
   * Book timings:
        o 4 years to write Eye of the World; the next 5 took 14-16 months each
        o aCoS took 22-23 months to write.
        o The Guide to the Wheel of Time took 5-6 months; there was a lot 
          of work he had to do on it that he didn't expect to need to do. I
          think he expected a few weeks of work from him directly, with it
          mostly being done by others.
        o New Spring took 2-3 months
        o Strike At Shayol Ghul was written from the perspective of a
          scholar trying to attract funding for a more complete version 
          (ie, grant money) and was his first piece of short fiction.
   * Where did ideas come from?
        o "What if you were tapped on the shoulder and told you had to save
          the world?"
        o What are the sources of myths? "reverse-engineered" legends.
        o The game of "telephone" (he calls it "whisper").
   * Proud of the little things that slip up on you, like Callandor being
     "The Sword in the Stone."
   * Path of Daggers could have been longer, but he had to take out events
     he had intended to include because including them would have required
     another month of Randland time, and that would have made the book
     "twice as fat."
   * Jordan likes his fans, because:
        o We don't ask for autographs in blood (his, or theirs)
        o We have never given him a gift of a dead cat's head on a stake. 
          At least not in public.
   * On Pronunciation:
        o Aes Sedai: "I said eye."
        o Nynaeve: "Nine eve"
        o Faile: "FAI-eel"
        o Tear: not "tire".
   * Lots of minor comments thinly veiled towards the net-jordanites. I got
     the impression he thinks we're a bit obsessive but appreciates it. 
     Some of the more interesting ones:
        o "I like the idea of Bela as a Darkfriend."
        o "There is an alphanumeric code in the copyright page." He expects
           us to decode it shortly. Let's get cracking!
        o "How do you know Mat isn't back as Cyndane?"
        o "Any crazy rumors I can start on the Web are good."
   * Started off thinking there were at least 3-4 books. By the time he got
     to the third, he knew it would be at least 6.

Learning to read

It seems Jordan learned to read by having his father read to him constantly 
(when he was being read to, he wasn't messing around with expensive "toys" 
that broke easily).  They started out with children's books, until Dad 
found out that it didn't matter whether Jordan really understood or not, 
and started reading books that Dad wanted to read instead.  This went on 
for a while, until the night Dad put a book away before it was finished, so 
Jordan grabbed it and struggled through it on his own, figuring out what he 
didn't understand through context.  (The Maltese Falcon was mentioned, but 
I don't recall how, other than as one of the books that he liked.)

When Jordan was 6, he got a library card -- like "the keys to the city".  
The librarians didn't want to let him out of the kids section, so he 
learned tricks.  If you shelved books in the reading room, they would stay 
there, so you could pick them up again later, whether they belonged there 
or not.  And kids could go to the reference section.  "I discovered the 

The library at the time was in a mansion -- the "Miskelle house", I think.  
He spelled it for me (without being asked; by that time there had been more 
than one comment about the lunatic scribbling notes on everything), but my 
notes were rather cramped by that time.

"Reading is like breathing.  If you take it away, first I become antsy, 
then violent."

Other Favored Authors

I missed quite a few of these while I tried to scribble it all down.

   * CS Friedman
   * Hughart 
   * Guy Gavriel Kay
   * Turtledove
   * Most Recommended: Guns, Germs, and Steel

Historical Tidbits and Background Information

When China Ruled the Seas

Evidently, China was a real behemoth in the middle ages, right on the 
track to world domination, until they decided they didn't really want to 
rule the world.  The following is a summary from hastily scribbled notes on 
a subject about which I am relatively ignorant; if I fuck up, it means I 
can't read my notes.


In the time before Columbus...

China has a huge fleet of ships (3000 of them, half-million crew), printing 
presses, generally huge technological advantage over everywhere else.  The 
fleet is commanded by a name that translates as "Three-Jeweled Eunuch" 
(although he was evidently not a eunuch??).  The fleet had superior 
logistics (well, something about logistics right about here) and had 
reached Madasgascar.  They were planning to round the Cape of Good Hope and 
see what they found.


The year they would have reached Europe... and overwhelmed it.

Unfortunately, bad things happened. The current Emperor died and was
succeeded by his son, who was young and had self-confidence problems. The
palace eunuchs (evidently a powerful political force) grew concerned over
the changes caused by outside influences, believing them to be corrupting
Chinese culture. They convinced the Emperor to shut China off from the rest
of the world by burning seafaring boats (including that huge fleet!),
restricting foreigners to certain cities and killing them if they were
caught outside, and killing Chinese who left to see the world and then

It seems the Japanese also did this -- twice, in fact.

This was a very long spiel coming from the nonfiction military history 
books he recommended.  There was a lot more detail than I managed to 
capture, but one thing that stood out in my mind was that he had just told 
us the origins of Shara and the Seanchan.  Or some of them, at least.

Cover Art

Someone asked how he chose the cover artist, and we got a nice long spiel 
with some previously unknown information.  Jordan and his wife went through 
bookstores picking out books based on their (if they liked it) cover art 
and finding out who did the cover.  It came down to two artists, Darrel K 
Sweet and Michael Whelan.  The deciding factor was that Whelan wants the 
manuscript to read for a year before he will deliver a cover, and they just 
couldn't wait that long.

They are apparently considering a later reissue of the entire series with
different covers, perhaps by Whelan, once it is complete.

Some stores simply won't carry fantasy, so all the books have been issued
without cover art to expand the market. This came up in response to aCoS
paperback being artless. Why we haven't seen any of these others without
art, I don't know.

Sweet Criticism and General Commentary

   * Rand is NOT tall enough.
   * The Path of Daggers details are mostly right, at least.
   * Rand has a different face on each cover.
   * DKS has never done the trollocs right: "They are NOT hairy men with
     animal-like helmets."
   * Detail problems with Sweet are due to communication difficulties; 
     there is not much time or opportunity for input.
   * Path of Daggers: "The Elvis cover."
   * A Crown of Swords: "The pugilist cover."
   * Lord of Chaos: "Take my room key, please!"


The signing was held at Hawley-Cooke booksellers (a locally-owned store, 
very nice), and lasted about 2 hours.  The official plan was to head on to 
Cincinatti immediately afterward in preparation for the next day's signing.  
As noted before, Jordan's wife was not present (she had to leave earlier on 
the tour for unspecified reasons).  There was at least one person from Tor 
(a publicist IIRC) and perhaps two, both women.  Jordan travels in a 
stretch limo, with what looked like a chase car, but that could be 

Matthew Hunter (mhunter (at)

Dayton, 15 November, 1998

Report by Michael Martin

From  the RJ signing for PoD at Books & Co., in Dayton, OH, on Sunday, 

My report is not as exhaustive as Matthew Hunter's--I didn't take notes.  
From his report, however, it seems that our two signings were quite 
similar, at least as for as what Jordan said.

I had several questions prepared, and, surprisingly, had all but one 
answered.  Of course, only two of those questions really impact plot and 
stuff, so...

My first question: "Was the Aes Sedai who initiated the Pact of Rhuidean 
from the Age of Legends?"  (From TSR).

Jordan: (Pause)"No." (Pause)"No, she was not from the Age of Legends."

My reason for asking had to do with the Oath Rod theory about agelessness
and such.

Next two questions were essentially the same, just about different 
characters: Had he always known the size and importance of the role of Fain 
and Cadsuane?

Answer:  Yes.

He went on to repeat what he has said before--knowing the end, knowing all 
the major events, yadda yadda.  However, what he did said that was new (at 
least for me) was that the _order_ of events was _not_ set, and that he 
allowed some fluidity for them.  He made a remark about a cousin of his 
(who is an engineer) who came over and saw all the notes and work and asked 
why RJ hadn't created something called "critical flow charts" or some such.  
RJ replied that the nature of the story was too complex for such linear 

He also said the that the idea for the chapter icons was his wife's.  They 
sat down and decided (roughly) what they ought to look like, and hired an 
artist to do them.

I asked if we would see Isam/Luc again.  "RAFO."

RJ was very personable and seemed to genuinely enjoy the interaction with 
the fans.  I was disappointed, however, by how few questions there 
were--most people simply stood there silently while he signed.  I was also 
surprised by how few people seemed to know about the newsgroup, the FAQ, 
and the Compleat Index.

There were a number of people there who were only partway through the 
series (although I guess we _all_ are only partway through the series!)  
and many had not yet read the book.

Like Matthew Hunter (see his post), I was surprised by the candor of RJ's 
remarks regarding Sweet's covers.  At least we know he is just as 
exasperated by them as we are.  If only Michael Whelan and Jordan had been 
able to work a deal out--man.  Talk about poster-worthy and collectible 

OK. I have to work now.  I'll try to respond to any questions or gripes
about the report.

Michael Martin
"I never walk into the light unless I know who turned the switch."
--Dime Store Prophets

Report by Scott Cantor

He also mentioned the fact that Fain is essentially his wild card, a 
character that is outside the structure of the work and can therefore act 
totally unpredictably.

When I reached the signing table, I asked him if he had a better idea now 
how many novels there would be than he might have had previously, knowing 
it was a lame question, but he answered it politely.  He said he knew there 
would be at least three more, and that he generally finds himself with 
twice as much planned for a novel as he can pull off in 700 pages, which 
happened with the new one.  This suggested to me that 5-6 more books would 
not be surprising.

I didn't stay too long, but I had a good time, and just wish he had stopped 
in Columbus as well.

  Scott Cantor               In the beginning the Universe was created.
  cantor.2 (at)      This has made a lot of people very angry and
  Univ Tech Services         been widely regarded as a bad move.
  The Ohio State Univ        - Douglas Adams

Philadelphia, 18/19 November, 1998

Report by Melinda Yin

I was at the signing at King of Prussia last night, and asked a question 
about Randland life that has been bugging me for a while - do Aes Sedai 
ever have children, and why/why not?  I was impressed with Jordan's casual 
reply, as if this were common knowledge - that all Aes Sedai, and for that 
matter, most women have knowledge of a special herb that serves as an 
incredibly efficient contraceptive.  This herb is just general women's 
lore, passed to women by Wisdoms and such.  He followed up with two other 
points : 1)Aes Sedai are personally discouraged from having children 
because they know they will outlive them and 2)its clearly not a popular 
idea because the White Ajah had suggested having children with men who can 
channel in order to undo "culling", but this suggestion was not 
particularly well received.

Oh, and he made some comments about how warder of the BA might sometimes
meet with "accidents" so the BA can remain secret. Alternatively, BA might
intentionally bond darkfriends.

Report by John Hamby

Well I went to the signing.  A nice crowd and rather quiet.  Highlight of 
waiting was the mall cop rousting all the people sitting on the floor 
reading as they waited.  Seems it lowered the tone of the august KoP Mall.  
The 'cop' explained that 'mall shoppers might get the wrong impression'.  
He was a bit baffled when the guy next to me told him that since Gene's had 
a policy that RJ would only be signing books bought from their store, 
everyone in line was a 'shopper'.

Apparently the picture in the back flap went unnoticed.  RJ sat down at the
table and few people even noticed him.	I made the comment that he was there
and people kept looking around to spot him.  RJ seemed rather amused by 

Once again most people seemed reluctant to ask him any questions.  Almost 
everyone in front of me had their book handed to him and said thank you 
after he signed it.  When the first question was asked RJ actually seemed 
to be relieved.  Unfortunately it was impossible to hear what he did say to 
anyone else.

I was able to get a few questions in.  Karl-Johan I got a RAFO about the 
nature of Fain.  However I think I worded the question differently than we 
had originally planned.  Damn if I could find the paper I took notes on 
before I went to the signing.

Gender/soul rebirth he said is best illustrated by Mat and Birgitte. But he
then said that there was more to it than that. Not sure what he meant
exactly. Probably the point.

And the silly trivial 'I-just-want-to-know-without-a-doubt-question' which
almost got me more than I had planned.

I asked him whether Delana Mosalaine had been raised to the Hall as Sitter
before the Tower split or after.  Karl-Johan and Jed probably recall our
analysis of the Halls a month ago.

I probably pronounced the name wrong because he just looked at me.  I 
prompted by saying 'Delana, the Gray Sitter who we know is Black.  Siuan's 
old friend from novicedom.'

RJ started to say something but was trying to find th right words when I
foolishly helped him out by saying 'Delana was raised at Salidar'.  He said
yes and laughed.  I tried then to follow up with asking him if she was an
important aspect of Siuan's pattern in the young Sitters.  RAFO was the

I may go down to my dad's tomorrow to catch him at Bailey's Crossing.
So Karl-Johan what was the third question we decided on?


-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------       Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own    

Washington, D.C., 20 November, 1998

Report by John Nowacki

Regarding today's signing at Olsson's in DC:

Fairly small crowd, as expected.  Very few questions asked (that I 
overheard), though RJ did repeat the "I've known the last scene since .  . 
."  bit at least four or five times.  He also told one fellow who wanted a 
photograph that he didn't mind having his picture taken, but he insisted on 
keeping his clothes on.  Someone in the line said "Damn!"  rather loudly, 
and RJ looked back and said that he hears that a lot.  Well .  . .  .

RJ said that a channeller can hide strength as well as ability to channel, 
but added that 1) few people know how to do it, and 2) the AS don't even 
know these tricks are possible.  Those caveats are rather obvious, I know.  
But I mention this answer because I thought I heard it reported here that 
this question was met with "RAFO" in the past.  I'm sure someone will 
clarify that for me.

One of the regular contributors to the group--I don't recall 
whom--suggested asking whether Moridin came into existence before or after 
the 'gars.  That one earned a quick glance and an RAFO.

Well, that's about it, in a nutshell.

 John Nowacki		jnowacki (at)

Northern Virginia, 21 November, 1998

Report by John Novak

There was a signing at a local Borders very close to my apartment.  Kate, 
myself, and the Dilicks attended.  The signing began at 1:00 PM. We showed 
up separately between 11:00 and 11:30 AM to find ourselves close to the 
front of the line.  Such paranoia was justified, as the line grew very 
swiftly and to great length.

As the time approached, the cafe area was cleared and chairs set up 
auditorium style so that those of us who had been waiting were able to sit 
down and enjoy.  This was cool.  Those of us in the cafe area (and maybe 
others) were also given a complimentary cup of spiced cider-- to bring to 
mind the idea of having a mug mulled wine in front of us.  This was cool.  
There was also an amazing-looking layered sheet cake with a truly 
impressive Wheel of Time design drawn on the top.  I never got the full 
story on where it came from-- if Tor arranged it, or if a fan owned a 
bakery or what.  It was divied up into small pieces and given to the fans 
as we went through line.

Jordan began with a reading, which was fairly short.  He read the first few 
pages from chapter one of tPoD. I think I'm happier narrating them in my 
own internal voice.  He then commenced with about an hour and a half of 
rapid signings.  I asked politely if I could stand off to the side and 
record the answers to any questions that he gave.  He and the Borders staff 
were very gracious.  They seemed to expect it, somehow...  I will make one 
comment about Mr.  Jordan: he seems like a very nice man.  He was obviously 
tired (he commented at one point that he had hit some 27 cities in 32 days) 
but was cheerful, engaging, willing to chat and banter and seemed generally 
pleased to be there.

I did my best not to be completely underfoot, getting out of the way of 
photographs, keeping relatively silent while people were chatting to him 
and asking him questions.  On a personal and weird note, a lot of people 
seemed to recognize me, too.  (Of those, I recognized only Amy and her 
man.)  This is unsettling and weird.  And I am not nearly as approachable 
as I may have seemed to be-- but I would have felt like a heel for 
bitchslapping people who stood behind me trying to talk to me or at me or 
near me as I was busy listening and jotting and dodging out of photographs, 
while Jordan was being so nice about letting me hang out there.

Here's what I learned:

(Bear in mind that while there were stretches while I wasn't writing 
anything, when I WAS writing, I had to write fast.  I hope I didn't 
mistranscribe anything.)

Balefire: I'm right.  (This was my question) What this means is, if someone 
is Balefire, the Dark One can't reincarnate them.  But they CAN be spun 
back out into the wheel as normal.  Balefire is NOT the eternal death of 
the soul.  He also made a comment to the effect that even in the absence of 
balefire, there may be circumstances where the Dark One cannot bring 
someone back.  There was a long line, so I didn't press.

The Bowl: Someone asked him whether, if men had helped the Aes Sedai and 
Windfinders and Kin channel through the Bowl, the One Power would still 
have been screwed up.  His implicit assumption was that the Bowl screwed 
things up.  I expected this to be a sheer RAFO. I was surprised.  He went 
into a relatively detailed explanation to the effect that the Bowl was 
stressed far, far beyond its original design parameters because of the 
advanced knowledge of the Windfinders.  It was affecting a global pattern, 
when it was designed for only a small region.  Men helping would not have 
changed anything, and the effects linger most strongly near Ebou Dar, but 
also along the "spokes" which radiated from that place.  (I should have 
asked if a spoke went out over Tear.)  My comment: Nyah-nyah.

Moiraine lost her list sometime between NS and tEotW. By the opening of the 
story, all she could remember was that there had been a name >from the Two 

On the subject of a story set in the Age of Legends, most probably not.  
The Age of Legends was entirely too boring to write about, up until the 
time it became too interesting.  And at that point, it became too gloomy 
because it was a long, drawn out apocalypse.

He has no particular real world inspiration for the One Power, at least not 
that he knows of.  He admits that he's read a lot of stuff and at times 
forgets a source here and there.

At one point, he looked at me and added (with no prompting or questioning) 
that no, Mat is not Cyndane.  He explained that at another Signing, he had 
a string of ten or so people in a row ask him about Mat, and he got 
frustrated and belted out, "What if Mat is Cyndane?"  He claimed he then 
recanted, but couldn't tell if the guy he told that to believed that he 
was joking.  I admitted that I had heard the story, but it was okay-- we 
got the joke.  He then added that while he likes Chalker's and Varley's 
works, he does not intend to emulate them.  "Not at all like Balthamel 
becoming Aran'gar?"  I quipped.  He retorted to the effect that was one 
character, not a whole host of characters.

He is already thinking about his next work.  He has been thinking about it 
for five or six years now.  It will definitely be a fantasy, definitely not 
Wheel of Time, and will spend a lot of time in a culture that somewhat 
resembles the Seanchan.  Ie, the Shipwreck thing is still going strong.  
Someone standing behind me commented about the Seanchan being a bunch of 
sociopaths, and Jordan returned that the Seanchan system is a reasonable 
response to the conditions they found.  I opined that we could have a 
serious debate in ethics over that point.  I expect that in other 
circumstances we could have rolled up our debating sleeves and gone at it, 
but there were more books to sign and I didn't want to get in anyone's way.

If an Aes Sedai becomes Black Ajah, the Warder would know instantly that 
something was up, but wouldn't know exactly what.  The Black Ajah has three 
choices, then-- hope the Warder is a Darkfriend or amenable to being one, 
hide the affiliation, or arrange for an accident.  Yes, this would be 
painful for the Aes Sedai, but it might become necessary.  The process of 
becoming Black Ajah is evidently quite painful in its own right and thus 
probably involves more than just swearing new Oaths on the Rod.  (I submit 
that this is why he Red Ajah is rife with Black Ajah-- they have an easier 
time actively recruiting >from that pool.  By the same token, I claim that 
the Green Ajah is more pure than the others.)

Asmodean is, and I quote, road-kill.  And he still claims there are many 
indirect clues from tFoH on about who killed him.  He also claims that 
very, very few of the fan letters he gets are correct about it.

Will more heroes be bound to the Horn?  RAFO.

Who or what is the Tamyrlin?  RAFO.

(RAFO sometimes means that he intends to reveal it later.  Sometimes it 
means that an answer is not consequential, but it's logical implications 
ARE consequential.)

He really hopes to get the next volume out faster.

His plans have not significantly altered from the time of conception.  No 
major scenes have been inserted or left out or substantially altered.

Apparently a Dorset House (?)  is currently planning to produce replica of 
jewelry (such as the Aes Sedai rings, Moiraine's forehead jewel) and 
articles of clothing (like the Shawls) for the market.

Does the Snakes and Foxes game played in the Two Rivers have anything to do 
with the 'finn?  RAFO. (My answer: Duh?)

A calendar for next year seems like a very possible thing.  So does the 
encyclopedia concept we've heard about-- he already keeps a running 
compilation of invented terms anyway.

There were a lot of amusing personal remarks as well, which I won't try to 
capture.  He seems to have a half a dozen answers for the question, "Where 
do you get your ideas?"  The one that tickled me was that he sends off to a 
mail order company from Trenton, NewJersey (I think) for some large amount 
of money, at three ideas per page.  I looked askance and remarked that 
Ellison gave the same answer, except his ideas came from a warehouse in 
Peoria (which I'm sure I've read somewhere.  Think it was Ellison.)  He 
shot back, "Yeah, but did you notice that mine are more expensive?"

And at one point, while posing for a picture, he asked if should appear 
pensive?  Or perhaps Byronic?  I shot back, "Byronic, or ironic?"  "I can 
do ironic, too, but it costs more."

And my favorite fan comment: "No questions.  Just, 'Thanks.'" Dunno who 
that was, but if you're reading, I thought that was cool.

So that's that.

Last signing of the tour.

(I left out a bunch of shit we already knew about how many more books, how 
does he title things, who's his favorite character, what's his daily 
schedule, etc.)

Two more tidbits.

There was one piece of information that I _thought_ I heard correctly, but 
didn't want to relate until I was sure it made proper sense.  Thanks to 
Rich Boye for confirming the text of NS (which I don't have) and that the 
following makes sense:

One person asked whether Romanda was the Aes Sedai that Cadsuane referred 
to as being nearly as old as she was.  Jordan answered in the affirmative.  
I was distracted by someone at the time and _thought_ I heard that 
correctly, but wasn't quite sure.  (And I gave the guy who asked the 
question a really weird look, because the answer didn't seem to make 
sense-- why was everyone surprised about Cadsuane's being alive, if Romanda 
was just about as old?  Apparently because Cadsuane is so much more heroic 
than Romanda.)

And another tidbit that I meant to mention, but neglected.  Someone 
actually asked Jordan whether a hermaphrodite would channel Saidin or 
Saidar.  Jordan was...  non-plussed.  "A hermaphrodite?!  I dunno.  I'd 
have to sit down and figure that out."  He shot the guy a funny look as he 
walked away, then remarked to the next group of people in line that he put 
that in the same category as the person who wrote to ask him what Donald 
Duck would channel.

John S. Novak, III		jsn (at)
The Humblest Man on the Net

Report by John Hamby

A few things not mentioned but learned at the signing.

Jordan has not replied to any fan letters in the last year.  I am not sure 
if he said he would be tackling the old letters or whether he would be 
answering any from now on.  He did say he apologized for not being able to 
get to them.  I think he said he was basically involved in writing 
something.  (duh)

There was the usual mention of how many books.  I heard three or so but 
then he said something else which I missed.  It seemed to create a bit of 
buzz but I have no idea what it was.

He said he had no idea what the title of the next book was yet.  Once again 
I I did not hear the rest of what he said.  I think though he said that 
once the title was firmly established he will let us know.  Which is what 
he did with tPoD.

Romanda is the Sister who is mentioned in New Spring as being as old as 
Cadsuane.  (Sorry if that was something many of you already knew to be 
true.  I had a bet going so was rather pleased with that one)

There was something about Black Ajah and the oaths.  I am not sure if this 
was part of the Warder question or not.

Problem is what little I heard was then appended by the questioner's
perception of what Jordan said.  So I may have gotten a few things wrong.

Overall it was the friendliest crowd of fans I have seen yet in four 
signings over the years.  For the most part people wanted to talk and get 
to know one another.

The cake was good and as Mr.  Novak said quite cool.  I got the feeling 
that the powers that be at this Borders either really liked having RJ there 
because they were fans or because he was a #1 bestselling author.  Either 
way they were very appreciative to have him there and have his fans there 
as well.

If this is how they do things on a regular basis I think their author 
series is something not to miss.


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Report by Rachel K. Warren

A lot of people I talked to in line had never read the FAQ, nor the 
newsgroup.  I found that amazing.

Another thing I found amusing was that a woman behind me talked about how 
she lives where RJ originates (Charleston?).  He supposedly takes his 
bicycle around town, waving at people and ringing the bell on his bike.

A bunch of us in line also debated whether Rand was nuts.  Most of the
females said he was nuts [including me] and most of the guys said he
was paranoid with good reason -- "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean
they aren't after me".

Another amusing remark when someone said something to the fact that RJ was 
dragging the books out and that he could easily end the books by Rand 
picking up most of the important main characters (Nyn, Egwene, Mat, etc), 
pick up the big ass sa'angreal, then go to Shayol Ghoul(sp) and beat the 
crap out of the Dark One.  The most amusing part was when the person said 
that the creator (or Rand, can't remember which) would smack Mat and 
Nynaeve in the process for being such annoying characters.  (Before the Nyn 
Defense league tries to hurt me with the tugging braid, I'm just the 
messenger, don't hurt me :-)

I had a lot of fun, especially since it was my first signing for any author.
Next time I'll get there a lot earlier and come prepared with my questions,
so I can give them out to the other people I talk to in line. ;-)

Rachel K. Warren   warrenrk (at)
            "Her modem lights are on but there's no carrier."