Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Reader Mail

Stephen Writes:  "I'm sure you've answered this question before and/or have discussed it on your website (which is awesome by the way), but I couldn't find the answer so I thought Id ask. I was wondering who you would have liked to see complete the Wheel of Time in lieu of Robert Jordan had you not been given the opportunity?

That's a great question, one I'd actually never been asked.  So, here's my response:

Who would I have had write it?  Well, I'm torn.  There are a lot of great authors out there.

I think George R. R. Martin could have done it--he's probably the most skilled epic fantasy writer on the market right now.  But I don't know that his style matches Mr. Jordan's very well.  I'm sure he could adapt, but I think his fans would have been angry if he'd taken the project.  After all, there's a long gap of time between his recent novels.

David Farland is an excellent writer of fantasy.  I think he could have done it.  The same goes for L.E. Modesitt Jr. Other possibilities would be Robin Hobb or Patrick Rothfuss.  (Of course, those are just a list of some of my favorite fantasy authors, so maybe I'm answering the question in the wrong way.) 

In the end, I'd probably have chosen Tad Williams.  I think that he'd have been a great match for the series, and I'm a fan of his work.

I think I'll add this part for the blog post.  It's not the same question, but some have asked similar ones, so I figured I'd get to it here.

Some think that Harriet should have just finished it herself, or perhaps published the notes as-is.  I don't think either of these options would have been good ones.  Harriet is one of the most well-respected editors in the business, but editing is a very different skill from writing.  I think she'll have MORE of an influence on this book (making it feel like it should) by editing it, just as she edited the previous volumes. 

And publishing the notes...well, as an author, I don't know if I can explain exactly how uncomfortable this would make me.  It would be like displaying compromising pictures of a person against their will.  I show my unfinished books to people, but only in controlled circumstances.  To display Robert Jordan's unfinished work like that instead of the final book would, I think, have been very unfulfilling to fans and against the master's own will.

Perhaps once the finished product is out there, Harriet will decide to release the notes in some form.  (Actually, I'm hoping that she will.)   That will be different.  People will already have been able to experience the end of the series, and Mr. Jordan's vision, in a complete way.  Releasing them before--or instead of the book itself--would have been a very wrong move, I think.

4 Comments:

Blogger Sabrina said...

FWIW I think you're the perfect fit to finish up WoT. I'll admit when I first heard the news my first thought was "Brandon who?" but then I picked up the first Mistborn, and then the second, and then Elantris, and I'm hooked. You're a great writer and I like you're style. You're very similar to Robert Jordan, but not the same. I've recently started reading George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series (gotta fill the gap until Mistborn III) and while I do like his books too, his style is VERY different. Too different, I think, to carry over the same tone.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Martin L. Cahn said...

Before hearing of you (I'd actually heard of Mistborn without making the author connection), I, too, would have chosen Tad Williams, not that the others might not have been good choices.

Tad (I barely get away with calling him by first name since I was part of his Shadowmarch community before those books came out) has a sensibility in his novels that remind me very much of Robert Jordan, except, perhaps, on a slightly smaller scale.

I eagerly await your completion of AMoL, but have to admit it would have been very interesting to see what Tad would have done.

BTW, I'm just now getting around to reading the e-book version of Mistborn and so far I like it very, very much.

Continued good luck!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Brandon Sanderson said...

Thanks, Martin. Glad you're liking the book!

Tad would have been an excellent choice. I've never met him, though I wish that I could get that opportunity. His books have always been among my favorite.

2:17 PM  
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