Tor Books chooses author to finish Wheel of Time series

If you thought I was a dork before, man were you off the mark. Here I reveal my true dorkiness: my love of fantasy. It’s not really my fault, but the combination of nature and nurture, including one parent so obsessed with Tolkien that the first real book read to me was The Hobbit, and the other parent having read almost every fantasy book ever written (along with most other books ever written really). It started with Tolkien, grew into Anne McCaffrey as a preteen, and was then followed by the likes of Melanie Rawn, Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Tad Williams and many others.

Robert Jordan has been one of my favorite authors of all time since I was a teenager. His Wheel of Time series covers 12 books, hundreds of characters, an entire world, and nearly 20 years of writing. Jordan lost his battle with amyloidosis in September while writing the 12th and final book. The 11th book was released nearly two years ago, but the 12th book has been slow going, predominantly because he was sick during the entire time period and also because the book is expected to be extremely long (ranges suggest between 1000-2000 pages).

Even though I was devastated by Jordan’s death, part of me (and I’m sure all fans of the series) was nervous as to how the book was going to be finished. Shortly before he died, Jordan told his wife (who is also his editor), his cousin and potentially a few other people exactly how the story ended. And he has apparently kept copious notes over the years outlining the series, including the final book.

Last week, Tor named the successor to the series: Brandon Sanderson. My initial reaction: um, who? I’ve never heard of this author (although I guess I didn’t expect to know the person), but he has apparently written at least five books, including Elantris, which I have also never heard of. Meh. Jordan’s wife Harriet will remain as the primary editor on the book and will hopefully help guide Sanderson in achieving Jordan’s goal. Right now the tentative schedule is to release the book in fall 2009, a mere 3-3/4 years after book 11. Well, I guess that’s better than nothing (and better than Melanie Rawn writing two books of a trilogy and still not having published the third and final book 10 years later!). Not that I’m bitter or anything. Oh wait, yes I am.

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