Since Robert Jordan passed away, there have been reports and speculation about what would become of the "other" Wheel of Time novels he had been planning. The topic came to light at A Memory of Light (the final book in the main series).
The topic came up again recently this week when Dominic, from the Keeping the Door][/i] blog.
Obviously there's a lot of speculation going on. So we asked Brandon if he could please summarize and explain where things are. Here's what he said.
There's been a lot of talk going on about other wot books, specifically the Outriggers and the other two Prequel novels. I've talked about this on my blog before, but I've been vague and--I worry--self contradictory. So perhaps it's time to do a definitive/updated post dealing with these topics. This trumps anything else that has been said before.
By way of clarification for those who don't know what we're talking about there, before he passed away, Mr. Jordan spoke with Tor (and even signed contracts) regarding some other books set in the WoT universe. The talk was originally centered on the three prequels Mr. Jordan wanted to write (New Spring, which was published, was the first of these three.) Later, Mr. Jordan shifted the discussion to something called "The Outriggers" which were within WoT continuity, taking place after the end of the series. They were to deal with some certain characters from the main storyline, expanding on their lives. (I'm being vague to save spoiling too much for those who don't want to know. Some few minor details regarding the Outriggers have been released; you can find them without too much trouble.)
So fans have begun asking if these books are going to get written. I think that Harriet and I are on the same page when we say we've got our hands full with the three books of A MEMORY OF LIGHT. Really, this is big enough a project for now, and all of our energies are focused on making certain these last novels are everything they need to be.
That doesn't answer your questions though, does it? Will the other books get written? Here's where we get vague, because I simply can't tell you a yes or a no.
The decision will be Harriet's. She gets to make the call. And since all of her energy is focused on these last three books, I suspect we're not going to know the fate of the Outriggers or the Prequels for some time yet. I'm afraid you'll just have to be patient.
At JordanCon, Tom Doherty (CEO of Tor) mentioned the Outriggers and how excited he is for them. (They would be about his favorite character.) Tom has been very involved in the WoT all through its life, and is a huge fan. Tor doesn't work like a lot of other publishing companies; it has very much a 'small press' feel to it, with Tom being very involved in everything the company does. He isn't just the publisher of the WoT; he was deep personal friends with Mr. Jordan.
Tom wants the Outriggers. That's a big deal, one that I suspect with greatly influence Harriet's decision. But that doesn't mean that it's a given that the books will be written.
Personally, I've taken a slightly different road when talking to Harriet. I don't want to see the Wheel of Time turn into an eternal franchise. I said this last weekend at my signing in Montreal. Part of the value of a great work of art is, in my opinion, the ending. An ending loses power if it isn't allowed to be...well, the END. Beyond that, Robert Jordan was very uncomfortable with people writing in his world. If we were to turn this into "Book of the Month, McWheel of Time" I think it would be dishonoring his memory.
I haven't specifically told Harriet not to do the Outriggers. That isn't my place. When she's asked for my input, I've said "My suggestion is to be very, very careful. I would err on the side of protecting Jim's legacy, and don't know if it would be appropriate to do any more books." However, if she asks me to do them, I will most probably say yes.
Why? Well, a couple of reasons. My soul is not part of the Wheel of Time. This series is NOT mine--it is Harriet's and it is yours. But my soul is in there, and it would be very hard to let someone else write it. Almost as hard as it would be to let go of another series. My reasoning would be the same as my reasoning behind picking up AMOL in the first place. If Mr. Jordan's not here, I want to make certain that someone who respects the series is writing on it.
Yes, I'm hesitant about further books in the WoT. Not because I'm hesitant about the books themselves--I, like a lot of the fans, would LOVE to see these stories Jim promised us. My concern is for Mr. Jordan's legacy. However, that's not my decision. If Harriet feels that doing the Outriggers (or the prequels) is all right, then I will accept her take on it and will move forward. She is the keeper of the legacy of the Wheel of Time. She gets to decide which projects would be exploiting the series, and which would be expanding and growing things that Jim himself wanted done. She will have my complete support in whatever she decides, just as if Mr. Jordan himself were here to decide what he wanted to do with his series.
Notice that the conversation has shifted away from the prequels and toward the Outriggers. Originally, I thought the prequels were more likely, but after talking to Harriet and Tom, I think the Outriggers are the more likely project that would get done. IF one gets done.
I have told Harriet, and I have repeated it on blogs, that I would say no (though it would hurt to do so) if a decision were made to go beyond the Outriggers and the prequels.
But please, understand. There has been very little talk of these things. AMOL is what NEEDS to be done. Everything else would be a completely different conversation. I'm trying to be frank and explore the topic for you, and have gone on perhaps too long on it. I would suggest leaving the bulk of the discussion until after AMOL is out.
If we see any more books, it would be years in the future, and would only be done after a great deal more consideration and thought. I haven't looked at (nor asked for) the notes regarding the Outriggers or the prequels. We're just not there yet. Please, let us do what we're doing here first, then let us get some rest before making us decide about something as emotional (on both sides of the decision) as the Outriggers or prequels.
So what do think? Should there be WoT novels beyond A MEMORY OF LIGHT?
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