Being reported at, well, basically every SF/F web site worth mentioning, Brandon Sanderson, author of Elantris and the soon-to-be-finished Mistborn Trilogy has been selected by Robert Jordan’s wife and editor, Harriet Popham Rigney, to finish Robert Jordan’s magnum opus, The Wheel of Time
Jordan, whose real name was James Oliver Rigney, Jr., passed away during the completion of the final volume of his genre defining, multi-volume series. Since his death, fans have been in the dark about the fate of the final novel and how it would see completion.
The official press release:
Tor Books announced today that novelist Brandon Sanderson has been chosen to finish writing the final novel in Robert Jordanâ€™s bestselling Wheel of Time fantasy series. Jordanâ€”described by some as Tolkienâ€™s heirâ€”died Sept. 16 from a rare blood disease. The new novel, A Memory of Light, will be the 12th and final book in the fantasy series which has sold more than 14 million copies in North America and more than 30 million copies worldwide. The last four books in the series were all #1 New York Times bestsellers.
Harriet Popham Rigney, Jordanâ€™s widow and editor, chose Sanderson to complete A Memory of Lightâ€”which Jordan worked on almost daily for the last few months of his lifeâ€”and will edit it. Rigney said some scenes from the bookwere completed by Jordan before his death, and some exist in draft form. â€œHe left copious notes and hours of audio recordings,â€ she said. He also revealed details about the end of the series to close members of his family.
Sanderson, who acknowledged Jordan as an inspiration to him as a writer, has established a loyal fan base as the author of three fantasy novels: Elantris, Mistborn and The Well of Ascension (Tor), as well as a YA novel, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Scholastic Press). Sanderson said, â€œI’m both extremely excited and daunted by this opportunity. There is only one man who could have done this book the way it deserved to be written, and we lost him in September. However, I promise to do my very best to remain true to Mr. Jordan’s vision and produce the book we have all been waiting to read.â€
A Memory of Light is scheduled for publication in fall 2009.
I had the chance to interview Sanderson (HERE) several months ago and he was easy to work with and clearly had a desire to continuously improve his craft. I’m also halfway through his first novel, Elantris and am enjoying it. I hear his next two novels are an improvement, also, which is always a good sign.
Dragonmount, a Robert Jordan oriented web site, has a terrific interview with Sanderson with regards to the announcement. Sanderson also dropped a nice bit of information on their forums:
Just a quick note to thank you all for your good wishes. I just wanted to let you know that I have now seen the notes, and while I can’t say anything specific without breaking my NDA, I will say that the notes are in far better shape than I had expected. Mr. Jordan’s staff are very skilled, and they have complied an outline for me that goes scene-by-scene. After reading through it, I’m confident we can produce a book that Mr. Jordan would have been pleased with.
Also, I WILL be more detailed in my descriptions for this book. I may need a fleet of people to help me get the clothing descriptions down, but I’ll do it!
It will be an exciting time for Jordan fans over the next couple of months as more news of the progress on the final novel comes to light. I know that this announcement has convinced me to reread the first several novels in the series and be sure to catch up by the time the final novel is released!