If I had a 2013 calendar, it would be marked. January 8, 2013. A Memory of Light.
I understand that there are individuals unhappy that the novel is being pushed back from Autumn 2012 to January 2013. That’s right, people are complaining on the internet. This is not one of those posts. This is an expression of happiness and relief that I will be reading A Memory of Light in less than twelve months and that it will be given sufficient time to ensure that the novel is the best that it can possibly be. Isn’t that what should be important*?
January 15, 1990 – January 8, 2013
From start to finish, The Wheel of Time will have taken almost twenty three years to complete. Longer, if you count the time Robert Jordan spent writing The Eye of the World before it was published. But, let’s just go with 23 years based on publication date.
I started reading the series in 1993 when The Fires of Heaven was just being published. I was fourteen years old. I will be two months from my thirty fourth birthday when A Memory of Light is published. Except for the most recent two novels, I have read and re-read each book in the series multiple times, more than that if we’re just talking about the first four. I have shook my fist wondering who really did kill Asmodean and I have joked that Bela is actually the Creator. I have marveled at The Cleansing, and been awestruck in wonder at the scenes of Rand going through the arches at Rhuidean. I’ve dreamed of new trips through the Portal Stones and grew to appreciate Egwene’s handling of her captivity as one of the strongest storylines in the entire series.
There is no pretending that I am at all neutral in how I feel about The Wheel of Time. I am an unabashed fan. Though I may have grumbled at the pacing in some of those middle / late novels, I was still right there on publication day picking up my copy and reading the book a second and third time. Robert Jordan’s passing was heartbreaking and given my love of the series, I was okay if the last novels were never published if the man himself wasn’t around to write them. I was apprehensive about how Brandon would do in finishing the series and relieved when I saw how good of a job Sanderson did.
So the publication date has been bounced a couple of months from an expected October / November publication date? I’ve been invested in this world for twenty years. What’s two more months to get the book right, to nail the ending and ensure that we get the conclusion we’ve hoped for and that Robert Jordan’s series deserves?
I want to be able to turn that last page, exhale, and whisper a thank you to Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Harriet, and everyone involved in making The Wheel of Time happen for those twenty three years. Not just for ending it well, but for that first introduction to Lews Therin and Dragonmount to that last coda to A Memory of Light. For the twenty years of enjoyment those books have given me. But to do that, I think it matters that sufficient time is given to getting that last book right. Two more months? Take four.
*Yes, I know that we can apply this argument to a wide variety of much delayed novels that readers have been anticipating for years. I’m not going there right now. We’ve blown the original expected publication date by maybe four months? (Well, maybe a year and four months when it was announced we weren’t getting a 2011 release of AMOL) Brandon has done one hell of a job pushing out these three novels in a four year span and he’s kept a high level of quality. Brandon and I? We’re totally cool.