The first episode of WoTchers—a Wheel of Time reading podcast—was released earlier this month.
The podcast, hosted by three authors, Hank Garner, Josh Hayes, and Jaime Castle, starts on an epic quest to finish The Wheel of Time series. The podcasters come from different points in The Wheel of Time journey, Hank and Jamie read a few of the series, while Josh is completely new. This is bound to make for interesting dialogue as these men progress farther into the series.
First off, the podcasters state right out that this is not a “fanboy love fest.” In fact, Jamie admits that he would not have finished the book if he hadn’t committed to doing this podcast. They have plenty of criticism to start. This first episode is sort of an introduction, a brief overview of the tropes expected, and the unavoidable “just a Lord of the Rings knockoff” banter.
Even so, they have some good points. Reading the series fresh in the year 2018 is a lot different from reading it when it began in 1990. Times have changed. Readers have evolved. It’s difficult to keep the mindset of where the books originated. (This same argument can be used with many older books, and even films; it’s sometimes hard for modern audiences to grasp the culture of the past.) Jaime states that the podcast’s purpose is to look at The Wheel of Time as an example for them to examine their own craft. Viewing the series through this lens would definitely shift the focus. Reading for enjoyment and reading for learning are two separate things, in my opinion.
All in all, this was an enjoyable first podcast and I’m curious how their opinions might change—or stay the same—as they progress farther into the series.
You can learn more about WoTchers at their website.