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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Kivam

Release Date Announced: Jan. 8, 2013

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I completely understand Sanderson's need to work on other projects as a way to decompress and come back to WoT with a fresh mind. I certainly do not begrudge the time he devoted to his own work during the last years.

 

What I DO begrudge is the lies.

 

Before he died, James Rigney, on tape, which was once available for all to hear, mentioned how wonderfully technology had benefited the publishing industry - how it was a mere two months from the time he turned in the final manuscript of ( I believe ) Knife of Dreams until it was published and on the bookstore shelves.

 

This "it's going to take year to get it right" is a load of fertilizer and it stinks to high heaven.

 

Either Harriet was not doing her job then or she is incapable of doing it any longer if it will truly take her a year to edit A Memory of Light.

 

Sanderson is a highly competent author. It does not take longer to edit the work of a highly competent author than it took him to produce it in the first place. Mother's milk in a cup, he wrote the thing in only 9 months.

Edited by Bob T Dwarf

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I just don't see why people would think that they delayed it two months (and yes he's delaying it two months from when he believed book 14, not books 12-14) just to build hype. The only people reading this book are fans who've read books 1-13 and we've all been hyped for book 14 ever since we believed it'd be one many years earlier. Two extra months isn't going to build any more hype then it's been.

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I'm actually inclined to agree Bob. A normal edit should not take more than two months--but then TofM would have needed a lot more than a normal edit to correct what was wrong--as indeed was shown by the product. To be fully frank, it needed far more revisions from its author before it came anywhere near an editor.

 

And furthermore, if Brandon is not going to put in that effort, than yes, I can see it taking a year for Harriet to do it. These things are not an editors job, nor do they lay in an editors skillset--if they are being thrust upon her, then we need to give her the time to do it.

 

Let's phrase it another way--you're arguing that Harriet should be able to edit the finished product in two months. Agreed. Your saying Brandon produced the finished product in nine months. Not agreed. He produced the first draft. Now he is working on the second draft. This was the point he sent TofM in--after the second draft. Jordan did twelve drafts before showing it to Harriet.

 

If this extension is solely to give Harriet time to work, then it is because Brandon is not doing his job. So, either way, it needs the extra year--either because Brandon has realized he can't produce in two drafts what Jordan did in twelve, or because Harriet has, and is covering for him.

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I'll even give you an example of what I mean between the difference. Take the Dream Battle and the problem of the Dream Rings in TofM. Correctly done, that's an author's problem to fix--oh, it might be noticed by the editor, but to correct it should have involved a re-write of that section in addition to re-writing earlier sections to foreshadow and fit in the issue. If we grant that to an editor to fix, we get what we got--a few lines changed so its not utterly wrong, but nevertheless is a patch-job, and can be seen as such. It takes a few hours. If we give it to the author to fix, it involves entire sets of re-writes, and takes a few weeks.

 

That's the cause for the difference between editor/author revisions. A few hours/a few weeks, extended to the full novel, becomes two months/a year.

 

This is the reason for the extension--not just a scrub edit, but because a whole lot of authorial work needs to be done before that edit. Despite my above post--and all the statements from Brandon about this being at Harriet's request--I like to believe Brandon realised this, and that Harriet is shielding him from the flack. The only other option is that Harriet is being forced to do Brandon's job--but either way, it'll need a year.

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I'm actually inclined to agree Bob. A normal edit should not take more than two months--but then TofM would have needed a lot more than a normal edit to correct what was wrong--as indeed was shown by the product. To be fully frank, it needed far more revisions from its author before it came anywhere near an editor.

 

And furthermore, if Brandon is not going to put in that effort, than yes, I can see it taking a year for Harriet to do it. These things are not an editors job, nor do they lay in an editors skillset--if they are being thrust upon her, then we need to give her the time to do it.

 

Let's phrase it another way--you're arguing that Harriet should be able to edit the finished product in two months. Agreed. Your saying Brandon produced the finished product in nine months. Not agreed. He produced the first draft. Now he is working on the second draft. This was the point he sent TofM in--after the second draft. Jordan did twelve drafts before showing it to Harriet.

 

If this extension is solely to give Harriet time to work, then it is because Brandon is not doing his job. So, either way, it needs the extra year--either because Brandon has realized he can't produce in two drafts what Jordan did in twelve, or because Harriet has, and is covering for him.

 

Luckers. In your honest opinion, do you think Brandon is tired of it all and weary - ready to just be done with all things AMOL/WOT?

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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Before he died, James Rigney, on tape, which was once available for all to hear, mentioned how wonderfully technology had benefited the publishing industry - how it was a mere two months from the time he turned in the final manuscript of ( I believe ) Knife of Dreams until it was published and on the bookstore shelves.

 

Think you may be mixing up books. Per Jenn earlier in the thread they took extra time with KoD and it showed. Also Luckers has a very strong point above. The way Brandon writes, his "rough drafts" are very, very rough and he hasn't even turned in a second yet. Compare that to RJ's process and it is a vastly different situation getting the books out.

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Just curious -- what happened?

 

One of Tor's editors dropped the ball big time and a whole load of manuscripts which were supposed to go into production ended up sitting on their desk for months with nothing going on. Quite a few books were affected. One author - Peter David - got so annoyed he pulled his book, re-bought the rights to its predecessor and self-published both. Some other authors - Ian Tregillis, I believe David Keck as well - are seeing books coming out two years behind schedule. It's been a pretty big problem for Tor.

 

NO. It is NOT. This repeated obfuscation really makes my ears steam.

 

Please be accurate. Originally the final book was to be released in November of 2009, in one volume. The volume was then, predictably, split in half - then, into THREE volumes. In an attempt to assuage outrage we were PROMISED November 09, November 2010 and November 2011. What happened to that promise? How did we get from THERE to January of 2013?

 

These are the questions nobody wants to examine - much less answer. But when there once was a point in time when we were told the ''final book'' would be released in 2009, do not call january 2013 being pushed back a ''paltry couple of months.''

 

I believe I examined and answered them - or at least as much as we can form an answer based on incomplete information - a few posts ago.

 

To reiterate, Tor basically asked Sanderson to produce 1.4 million words worth of fiction (the 1 million words of WoT 12-14 and the 400,000 of WAY OF KINGS) in a ridiculously short period of time. As of now he has actually produced 1.5 million (counting the unexpected ALLOY OF LAW) in less than four years, which is writing at an astronomically fast pace. A third of that material was his own work rather than WoT. If he'd put 100% of that time into WoT in terms of writing time, AMoL would have been out months ago. As it stands, Sanderson did not feel that would produce good WoT books and Tor didn't want to put his solo career on hold for long-term financial benefits. Hence the situation we have now.

 

I wasn't actually harping at you, Wert - sorry if that is how I came across - but, regardless: thanks for breaking it down again.

 

 

 

Fish

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Luckers. In your honest opinion, do you think Brandon is tired of it all and weary - ready to just be done with all things AMOL/WOT?

 

No, I just think Brandon loves the action of the writing, but isn't that great at the particulars--like the revision work, the planning, the cross-checking against timeline issues... so forth. It makes sense--have you ever revised an essay? Going through and making sure each phrase is polished, and fits in the greater whole pales compared to the ability to move on to the next shiny scene, the next big fight, yet this is precisely what the revision process is all about.

 

This is how Brandon writes so much. It's almost like an addiction--the thrill of the new scene. He experiences it, from what I can tell, much like we do in our first read. Exciting, the gratification of the new development... etc. The problem is that he then should be going back through it with a fine tooth comb, and that can be tedious and boring. Why would you want to do that when you can be off to the next adventure?

 

Because the book needs it. I suspect that is what Brandon/Team Jordan realised after TofM... and to be frank, even tGS to quite a far degree.

 

These are not a thing an editor should be doing. At best an editor should detect the issue and direct the author's attention to it, but even with that I feel Brandon himself should have been putting in considerable more work before an editor was involved--again, he was doing two, maybe three drafts where Jordan did twelve--and that it is the need for this work that is creating the delay, not the editing process, which as Bob pointed out so passionately does not take a year.

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Luckers. In your honest opinion, do you think Brandon is tired of it all and weary - ready to just be done with all things AMOL/WOT?

 

No, I just think Brandon loves the action of the writing, but isn't that great at the particulars--like the revision work, the planning, the cross-checking against timeline issues... so forth. It makes sense--have you ever revised an essay? Going through and making sure each phrase is polished, and fits in the greater whole pales compared to the ability to move on to the next shiny scene, the next big fight, yet this is precisely what the revision process is all about.

 

This is how Brandon writes so much. It's almost like an addiction--the thrill of the new scene. He experiences it, from what I can tell, much like we do in our first read. Exciting, the gratification of the new development... etc. The problem is that he then should be going back through it with a fine tooth comb, and that can be tedious and boring. Why would you want to do that when you can be off to the next adventure?

 

Because the book needs it. I suspect that is what Brandon/Team Jordan realised after TofM... and to be frank, even tGS to quite a far degree.

 

These are not a thing an editor should be doing. At best an editor should detect the issue and direct the author's attention to it, but even with that I feel Brandon himself should have been putting in considerable more work before an editor was involved--again, he was doing two, maybe three drafts where Jordan did twelve--and that it is the need for this work that is creating the delay, not the editing process, which as Bob pointed out so passionately does not take a year.

 

See, I'm actually kind of a weirdo, because, when it comes to writing, I am actually a little bit of the opposite from most. I often don't enjoy the initial outporing of the story as much as I enjoy the satisfaction I recieve from going back and rewriting and polishing and tinkering. Rewriting really is the soul of good writing - that has been said many times and it is the epitome of truth. You are very correct that often one is either an (more effective) editor OR wirter, but often not BOTH.

 

I have said many times I thought TGS was excellent. It flowed It was tight. It read ... maturely. I hated a few words Mat used and the faux pa with Tam/Sulin but overall I thought TGS was OUTSTANDING...and, with TOM, I was....SHOCKED, to be very honest. Disjointed, immature, fan-ficish...it was just so odd. I have a feeling that AMOL will be very good. Whether that will be because Harriet is ''taking over'' or because Brandon is ''getting back on form'' to how he was in TGS...who knows? And, considering it is the final volume, it probably is academic at this point. With only one book left, the means to the end are not that important. As long as that end is all it should be.

 

 

Fish

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I don't think it is very constructive to bring up the fact that we assumed we would have the ending within a certain time frame back when it was supposed be one book and Brandon hadn't even begun writing. Nothing could be promised at that time nor can I recall that it was. I am very glad that it got split and that we got _more_ WoT. Another author might not have had the time to finish or would have shortened it and ruined it when realizing that it needed that time and length. And now that it turns out that Book 14 on top of that is significantly longer than expected I am not surprised nor do I feel that I have any reason or justification to be disappointed. 

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Fish, I get (and, to a degree, share) your frustration, and I'm glad that you seem to have contained it. You do have a point, that we were repeatedly promised publication dates that were later retracted (be it for the original AMoL, or the three parts in two years, ToM being scheduled to Nov 10, AMoL being pushed back to 2012 with talk of "maybe spring", then "fall more likely but definitely still 2012", and now Jan 8th). The problem with that was more that we were promised those dates to begin with rather than their ending up not meeting them -- because that's just how life is.

 

My point is a little sideways, but I'm surprised it hasn't been brought up yet. In a word: ebook. I could probably stop here and you all could continue my point for me (I've certainly went on about it in the past frequently enogh), but of course I won't. I realize the press release contained nothing about an ebook, so no one here can add any information. My hope is that you guys might carry the discussion to other places, and someone from Tor might notice and address the issue (though past experience teaches us that Brandon is much more likely to comment with real information on that issue than anyone over there, regardless of how much say he has about it).

 

Why are ebooks important? Because the world doesn't end at the borders of North America, west Europe and Australia. Not everyone has the option of buying the book when it comes out. In this day and age, it's indeed strange that it's even an issue, and yet it is. Some of us have no method of obtaining the book a few months after it's published, short of (costly and slow) international delivery. Ebooks, of course, (mostly-)ignore state-lines, making the process much more enjoyable.

 

Why not publish an electronic version? Well, there are good answers to that question as well, sadly. First and foremost, Mr. Rigney's legacy deserves to be preserved; the last WoT book should win every award its predecessors consistently have, and for some reason electronic versions have upset those considerations in the past. Also, RJ was uneasy about this new and foreign technology :smile:, and one can't fault Harriet for being careful about going against those wishes. Finally, publishing books is a business, and Tor would be remiss not to consider financial implications (many readers might consume the book in the cheapest avenue available to them unless they are forced to wait too long for it, thus costing Tor money).

Of course, these arguments can be countered, to a degree. NYT seem to have adapted their system enough that I'm not sure it should matter any longer; every other book in the series has been out in electronic format for a year now, so the timing is odd to start being queasy about it; and WoT ebooks have consistently been priced at near-hardcover prices (even still, one can get the entire series in paperback for about half what it costs to purchase the ebooks), alleviating financial concerns to some degree.

 

None of that really matters. Harriet and Tor are entitled to their considerations. What kind'a makes me crazy is that we're still playing the same ol' games -- not talking about it for a few months (as if the entire issue just slipped their minds altogether), then making an uncommitted statement, then promising to perhaps not wait quite so long to publish the ebooks as well. Can't we just behave as adults? Tell us where we stand, and let us make our own decisions. Never mind what we've earned, don't we deserve that much just by being people?

 

Now, if there is anyone I havn't insulted in this post, let me know and I can come back.

Oo oh, do kittens. Pretty please?

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All these little extra bits of time for this and for that just makes me think the book is not going to live up to all the hype. It will be such a disappointment. Well I'll expect the worst hope for the best and if its half as good as all the delays seem to say it may be, well here's hoping with my fingers crossed and toes included

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While a touch disappointed, I can totally understand why. This book will underpin the entire series. The final book of the greatest fantasy series ever. they have to get it right,and if that is the at cost of a delay of two monts so be it. Who really cares that much? We'll still read it, no matter what the delay. On the plus side, it allows me to do another read towards the end of the year.

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That is just FAR too long. Brandon is already at 70% for the 2nd draft! They are going to need almost another year? Ridiculous. They should at least release for Christmas.

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Until yesterday, I had been clinging to the hope that it would actually be released around July. LOL!

 

I'm now resigned to the fact that it will take longer than expected. A good nights' sleep has brought me out of la-la land and better able to face reality.

It will be 2013 before we'll get to read how RJ's envisioned his magnum opus's end. Sigh. Luckers made a point that I can see sense in when he basically said Tor is 'padding' the release date in order to release it 'early', so we may see it prior to Christmas still.

 

In the meantime, I'll catch up on authors outside of fantasy. Tom Clancy released two new books in his fiction series while I wasn't paying attention, and their are a few others that I follow and am behind on.

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My motto regarding release dates is: if you can't handle disappointment, stop asking.

 

Release dates get pushed back all the time. And it seems to be a physical law that the more something is anticipated, the more it will be delayed. It's like watching water boil or paint dry.

 

Know why I'm all cool? It's because I didn't even know about the Nov. 2012 date. Now I'm going to sit back, forget about Jan. 2013 and be all chipper when Mar. 2013 comes around...

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Come on you lot. This isn't hype, this is Harriet wanting the last book of her husband's legacy to be as perfect as possible. I for one will gladly wait; the book will be perfect, Harriet will be happy, and we can all enjoy a re-read in the meantime.

 

Total twaddle. No book is ever perfect. The more they try to make it so, the worse it will become.

 

The sad fact is that Harriet just can't bear to let go. Perhaps understandable as a wife, but the editor in her should know better.

 

 

Im sorry, but have you ever read Patric Rothfuss' books? Name of the Wind is brilliant, but the second, Wise Man's Fear, wich he used 4 years to finish and perfect, is a masterpiece. So I completly disagree with you.

 

I am disappointed, of course, because I really, really want to know how everything ends, preferably yesterday, but if it makes the books even better, I am ok with it. Not happy, but Im not gonna bitch and moan like some in this thread do...

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Amazingly, I agree with much ( make that most ) of what Luckers said.

 

However, to remain the contrarian, all we need do is look at the first 5 to 6 books. By FAR the best books of the series ( with the possible exception of 6, which was when Jordan started going off the rails ). All published within FIVE YEARS.

 

There were no twelve rewrites of any of those. There was no fine polishing. There simply wasn't time for any of that. They were written, spelling and continuity checked, and published. And they were GOOD. In fact VERY GOOD. It wasn't until Jordan started all that rewriting and polishing that the work became BAD. VERY, VERY BAD.

.

Any real author will tell you that writing is a disease. They HAVE to write. It isn't optional. They HAVE to put words on paper virtually every day or they go all strange and wonky. Some do it with more facility than others but they all do it. If you break it down, 360,000 words doesn't even come to 1000 words per day. Many of us put that many words into these forums on a regular basis.

 

IOW, 1000 words per day aint no big thang. 1,000 words of whole, complete sentences and paragraphs that make one or more coherent points can be put down in under an hour. Unless Sanderson writes in crayon with a second grader's vocabulary, spelling, and penmanship, his editor is not going to have that much to do.

 

The "It's going to take a year to edit and polish this last book." argument doesn't hold water. Period.

Edited by Bob T Dwarf

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However, to remain the contrarian, all we need do is look at the first 5 to 6 books. By FAR the best books of the series ( with the possible exception of 6, which was when Jordan started going off the rails ). All published within FIVE YEARS.

 

There were no twelve rewrites of any of those. There was no fine polishing. There simply wasn't time for any of that. They were written, spelling and continuity checked, and published. And they were GOOD. In fact VERY GOOD. It wasn't until Jordan started all that rewriting and polishing that the work became BAD. VERY, VERY BAD.

There is not universal agreement that polishing made the later books worse. In fact, I think that is way down on the list over the things that influenced the quality of the books. If anything I think the quality of the writing went up, for what its worth (not much, since its just another anecdote).

 

 

RJ started working on tWoT in 1984. His method of writing (according to BS) was to write at whatever plot/character he felt like, and then piece things together later. When the books started coming out, he likely had material enough for several books, just unpolished and unconnected. That's how he was able to publish the first six in such a crazy short period of time ( 4 years, 10 months). The notorious "slowdown" is exaggerated when it comes to what he actually produced and when.

Edited by Alric

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The "It's going to take a year to edit and polish this last book." argument doesn't hold water. Period.

 

Yeah, it won't take an entire year and seeing how the second "rough draft" hasn't been turned in yet that is a very good thing. Look this decision is not a going to help sales in anyway, it is not some ploy by the publisher. It is obviously something Team Jordan thought was necessary to the point of having to miss what would be the best release date from a sales standpoint.

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When you're an author working on your own book in your own universe, you make the final decision on everything: characters, continuity, how the magic works, geography, etc. When you're working in someone else's universe, you don't. Someone else decides, but you have to write the changes because you're still the writer, and the editor or whoever owns the series is not the writer. That takes a LOT of back-and-forth. It's not a question of just fixing grammar and spelling, not by a long shot. No one expects Brandon to be close to as good as Robert Jordan on the second draft, and asking Brandon to be able to do ten drafts on his own before sending it to Team Jordan would also be an unrealistic expectation of what working in someone else's universe is like.

 

By the way, in August 2010 I personally put in 63 hours of overtime in 8 working days trying to get TOWERS out, and it still had lots of issues. None of us involved, or our families, can handle that again or want that result again.

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Thanks for the input! I can easily imagine that back-and-forth, and I'm very glad to hear that you do it, and that you are making those efforts to get it right.

 

BTW, I'm curious, when aMoL is done, will the team or a specific person still be on the project to the extent that they go back and correct continuity/typing errors in aMoL and earlier books if needed?

 

 

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However, to remain the contrarian, all we need do is look at the first 5 to 6 books. By FAR the best books of the series ( with the possible exception of 6, which was when Jordan started going off the rails ). All published within FIVE YEARS.

 

As others have said, they were published in five years but written in ten. When THE EYE OF THE WORLD was published, THE GREAT HUNT was already completed and Jordan had started THE DRAGON REBORN. He also envisaged the first 3 books or so as one novel, so had those three mapped out in some detail in his mind already.

 

This is quite common. With George R.R. Martin's A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE he also spent years working on the series before the first book came out (though in that case the second novel was only half-finished, not fully finished) and the first three were also supposed to be one book, as over-ambitious as that sounds.

 

There were no twelve rewrites of any of those. There was no fine polishing. There simply wasn't time for any of that. They were written, spelling and continuity checked, and published. And they were GOOD. In fact VERY GOOD. It wasn't until Jordan started all that rewriting and polishing that the work became BAD. VERY, VERY BAD.

 

I've never seen any evidence whatsoever that Jordan's writing/rewriting policy changed. He slowed down after A CROWN OF SWORDS because of a health warning from his doctor that he was pushing himself too hard, going from taking about 14 months to write a novel to about 20-24 depending on the circumstances (and the only books that took longer - PATH OF DAGGERS and KNIFE OF DREAMS - were because he was working on other projects, such as the world book and the novel version of NEW SPRING). AFAIK he still did extensive rewrites at the start of the series. Hell, the conception of THE EYE OF THE WORLD changed quite radically (a fourth Two Rivers boy was removed, originally there was supposed to be an older, war veteran main character rather than a young boy etc).

 

It's also worth noting that 'rewrites' or 'drafts' don't mean total rewrites from scratch (and almost never do). An 'eleventh draft' will often comprise a sweep through the book with a number of reasonably noticeable changes (the addition of several new sections of dialogue, the removal of a problematic passage etc) but still changes that could be undertaken in a few days. The bulk of the legwork will be done in the first 3-4 drafts.

 

IOW, 1000 words per day aint no big thang. 1,000 words of whole, complete sentences and paragraphs that make one or more coherent points can be put down in under an hour. Unless Sanderson writes in crayon with a second grader's vocabulary, spelling, and penmanship, his editor is not going to have that much to do.

 

Writing 1,000 words of quality fiction a day is quite a big thing. Plenty of authors only manage 500-700. That may sound pathetic, but it's the difference between writing a fairly bland blog post and a page of engrossing fiction. Kevin J. Anderson apparently can churn out 5,000 words a day, but his prose is as thin and characterless as toilet paper. Christopher Priest takes a year to write a 250-300 page book (maybe 80,000 words) and it's almost always total genius. Brandon falls somewhere between the two extremes.

 

The "It's going to take a year to edit and polish this last book." argument doesn't hold water. Period.

 

The problem, as Peter points out, is that if it was down to Brandon he'd get the book out a lot quicker (hell, if it was down to Brandon we'd probably see AMoL in June or July this year). However, with this project there's also Harriet, RJ's two assistants and Tom Doherty and other editors at Tor to consider, not to mention there's also the new cover art to sort out, all of which adds up. They probably are overcompensating for the problems on ToM but the desire not to screw this up for the sake of a few weeks (which is all we're talking about, after all) past the date everyone's been assuming for the last year is understandable.

Edited by Werthead

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BTW, I'm curious, when aMoL is done, will the team or a specific person still be on the project to the extent that they go back and correct continuity/typing errors in aMoL and earlier books if needed?

Maria handles that now, and she will continue to. (In fact, just this morning Felix Pax found an error in The Great Hunt—Bryne's name spelled Byrne twice—that wasn't caught before, and Maria will get that changed in the next reprint. Stuff like this happens more often than you might expect.) She (and Alan I assume) will also work with Harriet on the encyclopedia.

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