Our friends at Ta'veren Tees celebrated their eighth birthday earlier this week! That's an amazing eight years of fantastic officially licensed Wheel of Time goodies. They also have some new merchandise to show off! The nameday sale goes on till March 20th, so act fast!
Welcome back to another exciting edition of "Meme Monday." Today we'll look at some of the woes that plague the Dragon Reborn in his relationships. We covered one of the major negative impacts on Rand's girl troubles a few weeks ago. But let's add another log to that fire. And still on the subject of his love interests, Rand has an awful lot to deal with to keep his sigfigs happy. And let's not overlook Rand's not-romantic relationships. He is a ruler, you know. A king. A chief. He makes a lot of important decisions. The memes this week come from Kevin O'Bryan of DMEN Designs. If you have memes you want to share, email me at email@example.com.
I wanted to take a break from our normal memes to talk about a new reader who’s taking the Wheel of Time fandom by storm. Christopher Green started reading The Wheel of Time in January. His father is a huge fan, and Christopher started reading after his father suggested it to him. Around the middle of his read of The Eye of the World, Christopher began to post real time updates about his progress and his reactions on the Facebook public group Screw You All, I Love Wheel of Time. The journey has been amazing so far, and many fans are reliving the joys of a first read through Randland. Some of Christopher’s first posts into The Great Hunt: (Alright..... how in the WORLD..... am I gonna sit down all relaxed to read this book before my wife made super sweet awesome dinner of chili.... to find in the first two chapters before dinner...... The dark one is alive and apparently regaining his physical form with like 100 darkfriends AND this [amyrlin] person the queen of the aes sedai shows up the end of chapter there isn't any messing around I hope that [amyrlin] lady helps him) (This is me trying [to] help rand find a way to avoid the [amyrlin] seat right now lol all the gates are barred and he can’t leave) (Ladies and gentleman... WE HAVE A BLADEMASTER!!! GO RAND GO) (MAN EGWENE IS GOING NUTS KILLING SEANCHAN PEOPLE WITH LIGHTNING!!!!) (LORD INGTAR NOOOOOOOOO WHYYY!!!!!!) Christopher started using the hashtag #firstwalkthroughrandland on all his posts once his followers begged him to. And some have even expressed their anxiety that Christopher hadn’t posted yet that day. And naturally, everyone is waiting with anticipation for Christopher to reach certain scenes. (I can't wait till Christopher gets to the end of Fires of Heaven, and asks the biggest burning question of the series that we all fought and theorized over for years. Who ___ed ___an?) And this past weekend, he finally hit the turning point for Mat. Christopher didn’t care for Mat at first: (I woke up and was thinking.... that I have no idea how mat is important to the story other than comic relief and mischief? He literally got stabbed by a knife and that's it so [far]. I mean rand can channel and is the dragon, Perrin talks to wolf's and the women are aes sedai.) But the scene where Mat challenges Galad and Gawyn to a spar changed his mind. (WHAT THE HELL HE WON AND WHOOPED EM.... I LIKE NEW MAT) Almost everyone has been kind and considerate to Christopher, and they are going out of their way to avoid spoiling major parts later in the books. Christopher is happy that everyone is being nice and getting such joy out of his shared experience. You can read with Christopher on his journey at the Screw You All, I Love Wheel of Time Facebook group!
I've been meaning to highlight this craft for awhile. For last year's JordanCon, I was very excited to finish my sul'dam dress. It turned out beautiful, and I adore the silver lightning bolts. But a sul'dam without a damane isn't complete. So, with long-time Dragonmount member Hallia as a willing participant, I got to work on crafting a damane dress. I started with four yards of a gray poplin folded in half. This gave me 72 inches in height and 60 inches in length. That's a great amount of material and the price for poplin is so reasonable! With simplicity in mind, I wanted to do as little cutting and sewing as possible. I cut the arms and sides with a single cut, then cut the neckline. I added satin binding to the bottom hem and the sleeves. The neckline gave me some trouble. I started an elastic binding, but it bunched too weird, so I switched it for a ruffle. And here we are at JordanCon! Hallia was such a good damane! And this was such a simple project.
Welcome back to another Meme Monday. This week's victim is Lanfear, our favorite crazy ex-girlfriend. She first appears as Selene in The Great Hunt, and seems a sweet, sympathetic noblewoman on the run. However, things escalate quickly. And if that weren’t bad enough…. Odd to think that not much needs to be added to Lanfear’s actual dialogue. At least she serves as a good example of how not to act. The memes this week come from Kevin O'Bryan of DMEN Designs. If you have memes you want to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past week, Dragonmount's second-in-command Jennifer Liang participated in an Ask Me Anything discussion for JordanCon! The questions asked range from favorite con memory: Jenn: When I got the Chodan Kal at opening Ceremonies last year. I was so shocked and touched that y’all did that for us. To "what's your favorite thing to do at JordanCon" (asked by Jimmy, her husband): Jenn: Bother you. She also talked about this year's JordanCon theme: Jenn: This year is “Shai’Con”. We decided to embrace our darker natures this year. So expect an evil twist on the usual things like opening ceremonies and the dance. And the growing trend of wearing tiaras: Jenn: At #JordanCon? In 2013 I was elected Pres of the Southern Fandom Confederation. Jimmy did not believe I’d win & promised to buy me a tiara if I did. I proved him wrong and now I have five. To learn more about Jenn and other JordanCon shenanigans, you can read the whole thread here.
Tor Books has announced it plans to release Warrior of the Altaii, a previously-unpublished fantasy novel by Robert Jordan. The book is currently scheduled for release on October 8, 2019. Publication History Warrior of the Altaii was written before Robert Jordan began The Eye of the World (which was published in 1990). After finishing the manuscript, he received an offer of publication from Donald Wolheim at DAW Books. Jordan responded to the publisher that he was happy to receive such an offer, but wondered if some changes to the contract could be made. The publisher replied by cancelling the offer, saying that unknown authors shouldn't make such demands. Here's Robert Jordan talking about it: Jordan sold the book again in 1979 to Jim Baen, who worked for Tom Doherty at the time at ACE books. The project never got off the ground, in part because Baen was focused on science-fiction at the time, and because Tom Doherty left to found Tor Books. The rights to Warrior of the Altaii ultimately reverted back to Jordan, who decided to rest the project. What's it About? The book's official plot description: Not much else is known about the plot yet, but Wheel of Time fans can likely expect a "proto-WoT" novel filled with thematic foreshadowing that resonates with Jordan's later books. Warrior of the Altaii is expected to be a more modest-sized novel, at least in comparison to Jordan's later books. Why publish it now? Robert Jordan is on record several times saying that he didn't expect to ever publish this novel. It's clear now that Jordan's comment about having the manuscript destroyed was made in jest. Fans should remember that he made similar comments about how he would have his hard drive erased if he ever died before finishing The Wheel of Time series, and that he could never imagine another author writing in his universe, which he destained at the time as "sharecropping." Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan's wife and the editor of The Wheel of Time series, had this to say: Although Robert Jordan has been gone for well over a decade, his legacy, and his stories live on. With this new novel, which was both his first, and his last, he is once again showing us that time, indeed, has no beginnings or endings. Warrior of the Altaii is now available for pre-order. Amazon Barnes & Noble Macmillan info page
This year, JordanCon is trying something new. They put out a call to all JordanCon members, past and present, and asked for donated stories to compile into an anthology. Twenty were selected to be featured in 2019's edition, entitled You Want Stories? The list of authors is a great one, featuring Brandon Sanderson, our own Jason Denzel, as well as well-known authors such as Seanan McGuire, and Charles E Gannon. The others contributors are: Terry Beyer, Foster Bridget Cassidy, David B. Coe, Blue Cole, Gerald L. Coleman, Milton J Davis, P. Andrew Floyd, John G. Hartness, Alexandra Hill, Robert A. Hilliard, Jr, Faith Hunter, David Alan Jones, Tim Lewis, Jana Oliver, Morgan Smith, and Sarah J. Sover. I'm very happy to say that my offering was accepted! (Written under my pen name Foster Bridget Cassidy.) The beautiful cover art is by Dan dos Santos, this year's JordanCon Artist Guest of Honor. The anthology is available for pre-order now through April 8th, 2019. The Con will have a limited supply to sell to those who have not pre-ordered, but there's no guarantee you will receive a copy. The anthology can ONLY be picked up at JordanCon 11 (April 26th-28th, 2019). The book WILL NOT be shipped anywhere. That said, it is possible to have a friend pick up a copy for you. Check out the details on JordanCon's website. The net proceeds of the anthology will go to the Mayo Clinic. Pre-order now to support some indie (and not-so-indie) authors and the Mayo Clinic!
Welcome back to another "Meme Monday." This week, our focus shifts to concepts and ideas within Randland. There are some pretty humorous things that happen in-world. Like, how Bayle Domon is always around to rescue whichever of the main characters is in need. Another globally acceptable idea in Randland is that innkeepers should be plump. And of course, there are the rather unorthodox ways of the Altarans. I wish I could live in Randland. I'm sure many of you wish you could too! The memes this week come from Kevin O'Bryan of DMEN Designs. If you have memes you want to share, email me at email@example.com.
The Way of Shadows is the first installment of the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. Weeks will be the Author Guest of Honor at this year’s JordanCon, taking place April 26-28, 2019. The story follows Azoth, an orphan living on the streets of Cenaria. Azoth's character development is fascinating since he starts as a relatively young child living on the streets in the Warrens, the seedy underside of Cenaria. We watch him go from child to young adult under the tutelage of Durzo Blint. Durzo is not the best of influences, but he is all Azoth has. Azoth's character arc almost seems to be the reverse of Blint's which makes the interaction between the characters interesting. As far as Weeks writing style, he does not spend an extensive amount of time on descriptions of settings or clothing, but it does not take away from the story. Character interaction gives the reader the complete experience of setting and mood. Week's portrayal of female characters fell a little short for me. He seems to stick to many of the tropes women are regulated to in fantasy. That being said, there is one female character that shows promise at the end of the story. Hopefully, this continues into the second installment. My Pros: There are plot twists. I always enjoy it when an author can catch me off guard. Once the action starts, it is quick paced and holds the reader's interest. Azoth is a well-developed character, and it is interesting to see how his character grows and changes as he learns the ways of the world. My Cons: Contains possible triggers for those that have experienced sexual abuse. The beginning of the book that takes place in the Warrens is rather dark, more so, because the characters involved are children. All in all, The Way of Shadows is a good read, provided you are not bothered by the darkness of the beginning chapters. You can find out more about Brent Weeks and his other books at his website.
Here are some more Wheel of Time memes. I can't get enough of them! This week features our third favorite ta'veren: Perrin. When the series starts, I loved Perrin more than Rand and Mat. He's the only one who kept his morals after leaving the Two Rivers. As he grows, he's strong, dependable, unyielding. Well, there is that one factor that keeps many readers from adoring him... Unlike most fans, I'm not put off by Faile's captivity by the Shaido. And I don't dislike Perrin's chapters when he's chasing her. For me, it's another facet of his personality that I love. He is dedicated to her and he'll do anything to get her back. If it had been switched, and Tuon or one of Rand's love interests had been taken, I believe Mat and Rand would have acted the same way. Of course, Mat has a bigger, badder army so he has more resources, and Rand has the Asha'man at his disposal, so both could probably achieve success quicker. But that's not Perrin's fault. Perrin's wolfdreams are a huge part of his draw as a character. His abilities in tel'aran'rhiod are almost more impressive than any of the Wise Ones. And let's not forget Mah'alleinir. This is an iconic scene within the whole series. It's powerful and so full of potential. It sets the stage for things to come after the Last Battle. Say what you will, Perrin is still one of my favorite characters! The memes this week come from Kevin O'Bryan of DMEN Designs. If you have memes you want to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grim Oaks Press has announced a give-away contest where you can win one of 25 advance copies of their upcoming anthology, Unfettered III. Details for entering can be found on Goodreads. Add the book to your shelf to enter the giveaway. Unfortunately, the contest is only open to US and Canada residents. Unfettered III is an anthology of fantasy short stories from some of today's most well-known authors. It includes a deleted 20,000 word sequence (~55 pages in paperback) from A Memory of Light written Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan featuring Perrin in the Ways. The sequence is a lengthy "deleted scene" that isn't considered canon to the story, but still offers us a fascinating and exciting adventure. You can read Brandon's comments about the sequence on his website. The anthology also contains a short story from Dragonmount founder Jason Denzel entitled, "The Stone Golem of Qual'Jom." WoT fans will appreciate Jason's epic narrative about a lonely golem living in a cave who waits across eons for his master to return home. Unfettered III will be available from Amazon and other retailers in March 2019. A limited limited edition will be available from Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle from March 14-17th.