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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Who Else Could Have Written AMoL?


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As I recall Sanderson was not the only option considered, and I have always felt that it is an interesting game of what if to consider how things could have gone with someone else.

 

One author I have long thought would have been perfect for the role would be Mathew Stover.

 

He is perhaps best known for his Caine fantasy novels and various Star Wars novels, the greatest of which was probably Traitor.

 

Pros:

 

I think he would have been a great fit for AMoL because he is a talented and experienced writer, who like Sanderson at the time was sufficiently small time that it would be a boon to his career, not a distraction.

He had written fantasy novels before, and his experience with Star Wars demonstrated that he was simply excellent when it came to writing in shared fictional universes, following the rules and histories of these complex universes and building upon them. He is very good at writing violent fight scenes and certainly has written grander battle scenes.

His writing tends to be rather dark, but I think that is appropriate for the period of Tarmon Gai'don.

 

Cons:

 

I received the impression from his works that he is basically a libertarian-leaning atheist. Such moral/philosophical differences between him and Jordan could have been problematic, and as I recall one of the reasons BS was chosen was because of such considerations.

 

I also have no idea whether he had read Wheel of Time before.

 


What do you think of Stover, do you think he could have delivered a product as enjoyable as BS did? Do you think it would have worse?

What other people do you think could have tried to fill the Creator's shoes?

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Stephen Donaldson: But I'm posting this because I want to make a more general point. I wouldn't agree to work with someone else's characters, settings, themes, or stories, even if you held a gun to my head. That's what hacks are for. (Don't get me wrong. Being a hack can be a perfectly honorable profession. It simply isn't *my* profession.) Now, if you held a gun to the head of someone I love, I would naturally agree to anything. But I would be lying. Unashamedly. Stalling for time until I could take a whack at you. The very idea of trying to do someone else's work fills me with existential nausea.

 

 

MY Top 5 list:

 

1. nobody

2. nobody

3. nobody

4. nobody

5. nobody

 

Epic fantasy = Jordan. He is the best. He has many faults but he gave us 6+5+1 (wonderful+good/avg) books. Oh, the story is unfinished? Every story is unfinished.

Edited by szilard
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It usually depends on my mood...

 

When I'm feeling sad/ melancholic (I get that quite a lot to be honest after reading AMoL and thinking about WoT);

Noone should have finished the Wheel. WoT is RJ's world. I miss the man... so, so, so much, it makes my chest hurt at times. When he left us, I lost the favourite uncle I never had and never met.

It's one of my greatest regrets; never having shook his hand or send him a letter... just to express how much he meant to me.

I miss him.

If noone would have finished the story, I know I would ache untill my dying breath,...but at least my memory of WoT/ RJ wouldn't have been tainted by the rotten ending we were fed by BS.

 

When I'm my usualy -more/all logical- self;

I think to get the best possible story (that would fit into the RJ's WoT 100%) the best solution would have been to have a collective of hardcore theorists deal with all the plotlines and finish the story-line/ time-line.

A ghostwriter could have written that story with Harriet -and the real fans who made the storyline- as his/her editors.

I would have paid money to help out. Heck, I would have chipped in serious money to have guys/ girls like Dom(a), LightintheNight, Linda, Luckers, Mr Ares (just for knee-capping, mind you), Fish(er King), Suttree, Sidious & Baphomet23 make a frame-work of the story. For RJ's legacy. For the story.

 

When I'm feeling good/ I can take on the world:

I have seriously considered taking a 6 month sabbatical from work to write my own ending of a combined ToM/ AMoL. Sometimes, I still toy with the idea. Who knows.

Edited by Mik
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When I'm feeling sad/ melancholic (I get that quite a lot to be honest after reading AMoL and thinking about WoT);

Noone should have finished the Wheel. WoT is RJ's world. I miss the man... so, so, so much, it makes my chest hurt at times. When he left us, I lost the favourite uncle I never had and never met.

It's one of my greatest regrets; never having shook his hand or send him a letter... just to express how much he meant to me.

I miss him.

If noone would have finished the story, I know I would ache untill my dying breath,...but at least my memory of WoT/ RJ wouldn't have been tainted by the rotten ending we were fed by BS.

 

 

I found the series after RJ's death.  That hurts.  I didn't mind BS until AMoL.  That was a mess.  At first, I was just relieved to have an ending, but not now.

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MY Top 5 list:

1. nobody

2. nobody

3. nobody

4. nobody

5. nobody

that would actually be either top 1 or "top 0".  for the list to be a "top 5", there would need to be 5 different entries.

 

in response to the thread title, there could be these possibilities::

-Harriet finishing the series; since she was his editor. Christopher Tolkien I take was his father's editor.

-one or more of the author's relatives finishing the series.  several of JRR Tolkien's children seem to have finished his works well.

-the publishers picking some author based on how similar they were to the author; possibly  after having a writing contest.

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Maybe you are referring to a work I am unfamiliar with but to my knowledge, only Christopher Tolkien had anything to do with the compilation and publishing of his father's writings (there were others who helped, such as Guy Kay, but they weren't related to Tolkien), not any of his other children. The others' involvement as far as I know ranged from merely talking/writing about family life or helping him type what was already written while he was still alive. Tolkien had a massive amount of notes and most of his key stories had written or almost completely written versions which just needed some polish to be able to stand alone or be chained together - I am not sure, but I don't think RJ had anything similiar, particularly since the kind of story he was telling was very different than what Tolkien made.

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Tolkien's daughter compiled Tolkien's Father Christmas Letters.  but yes, Christopher compiled Tolkien's other posthumous works.

 

Robert Jordan probably left less info in his notes than Tolkien, but his family probably knew the most of what he wanted to be in the rest of the series

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Baillie Tolkien (the one who compiled the letters) is Christopher Tolkien's wife, not Tolkien's daughter.

 

I don't really know much about RJ's family, but unless one of them had any penchant for writing and particularly writing fantasy/sci-fi, whom RJ confided in a lot to make up for the lack of completely written scenes, wouldn't have done much good to get a family member to finish the series. 

 

I couldn't think of any one at first who might have finished the books in some satisfactory matter as I do not read much fantasy but I just started reading Dragon Age: Asunder yesterday (as I'm a fan of the games) and David Gaider seems to have a very similiar writing style to RJ. The main difference seems to be his writing is free of  the long descriptions of personal effects and areas that at times hindered RJ's writing. Assuming that he would have wanted to do anything outside of his work in BioWare and game writing, I think he could at least have done no worse than Sanderson besides maybe at the last second we would have seen some gay male characters thrown into the story to balance out all the lesbianism.

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I've read a lot of complaints about Sanderson and the way he finished the series and of course, with hindsight being 20/20, a lot of folks think it could have been done better by THEIR favorite author. 
A lot of the newbies don't realize, or weren't around when all of the decisions were being made, what went into it, what Sanderson actually had to work with, or the process of what it took to get it all put together and finished from the notes, outlines, and memories.  Not to mention the editing and approval process of everything before it was finally released. 

I think we all wish or hoped for a more complete ending, more resolutions to the small story lines, more info or background of this arc or that character, but I'm not sure the results would have differed much when considering everything had to pass Harriet and her staffs inspection and meet with their approval.  Some may say Sanderson could have done Mat's character different, or explained Rand's "impossible pipe" in a better way, but no matter who finished the series, they would have all eventually had to clear it with Harriet. 

I'm glad we got an ending, and not a bad one at that.  Consider the real possibility if Jordan refused to allow anyone to finish it and we were just left hanging after he passed away. 

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Does anyone have an opinion on Mathew Stover?

 

Or have any other writers they would suggest

 

What about Weis & Hickmann? I think they were available at the time. I kind of doubt they could have pulled it off, but they certainly have experience with epic fantasy and would I suspect have welcomed the opportunity.

I don't think Weis has read WoT though which could be an issue, no idea about Hickmann.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The other option was hiring a ghost writer who would have worked more closely with Alan and Maria for continuity, and would have mirrored RJ's writing style.  It would have taken a lot longer especially for the last two books for the writer to consult a military tactitian to have some brilliant battle scenes showing the cleverness of Mat and all the OP tricks used in clever ways by the forces of light rather than the constant grinding away at the Forces of Light by impossibly overwhelming odds of millions of Trollocs, hundreds of thousands of Sharans, enemy channelers, etc.

 

I only know of some old school successes of ghost writers like the writers of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series.  They kept the same tone, same feel for the most part to Frank Dixon and Carolyn Keene.  But those were easier as they were short teen novels compared to RJ's giant-sized novels.  We need to also remember that RJ's projection of the numbers of books exploded beyond the bounds of his two trilogies needed to tell the story.  His detailed descriptions and world building was so precise and grand that AMOL was split into three novels in itself, and I felt the last book could have been split in itself.  There was a LOT cut and left out.  More arcs that what RJ planned to leave open were left open.  Team Jordan felt it was time to end it, BS's own books were taking off and his attention to the series was .  Demandread's antics were many chapters cut that I felt were needed, especially with Fandom playing "Where's Demi's alter ego" for so long.  Still, for the situation, my needle tends to point in positive for BS and his efforts.  When I contemplate the sheer difficulties were the mantle of finishing RJ's works placed on my shoulders, I wouldn't know where to start, much less how to get from point A to the ending RJ spelled out, weaving RJ's limited work into the project and going off contradicting and thin notes. 

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