The Week in Review

Welcome to the week in review! Every Friday, we comb through the links and images we found and shared this week, and pull the very best for this post. Consider it concentrated genre goodness from all around the web.

  • MIT and Harvard have made a real life lightsaber. I want one. Immediately. I promise not to point it at my eyes first thing.
  • Want to see a bit more of the Formics from Ender’s Game? Check out the new TV spot! Not long until November 1st now…
  • Over at Tor.com, The Cure author Douglas E. Richards has taken a two part look at science fiction’s greatest movie villains, asking whether or not they’re psychopaths. It’s a great, fun read. Check out Part One and Part Two.
  • And finally, the full video of Flight From Shadow, a fan-made short film set in the world of The Wheel of Time, has arrived!

 
The Tor/Forge newsletter went out this week! Check out these fascinating articles from our authors:

 
And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!

New eBook Release: A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon SandersonAbout A Memory of Light: Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, readers have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over forty million copies in over thirty languages.

When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. WithThe Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were # 1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind.

Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass.
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

See upcoming releases.

The Rithmatist Sweepstakes

Rithmatist prize pack

The Rithmatist releases May 14 but we have a chance for you to win one of six advance reading copies now. And that’s not all, winners will also get a Rithmatist goody bag filled with chalk and a Memory of Light backpack! Comment below to enter for a chance to win.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins April 1, 2013 at 9 a.m. ET. and ends April 5, 2013, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

The Week in Review

Welcome to the week in review! Every Friday, we comb through the links and images we found and shared this week, and pull the very best for this post. Consider it concentrated genre goodness from all around the web.

  • Artist Michael Whelan talks about the process he went through creating the cover painting for A Memory of Light.
  • And last, but definitely not least, “Walk the Plank,” the second episode in John Scalzi’s ebook experiment The Human Division, released this week. Follow along with Ron Hogan’s read-along on Tor.com.

And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!

Memory of Light Backpack Sweepstakes

We are offering the chance to win one of five Memory of Light backpacks! Each backpack will include a copy of Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Imager by L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Farlander by Col Buchanan, The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe, Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear, and Shadow and Betrayal by Daniel Abraham.

And you’ll get this A Memory of Light iPhone cover too:

WoT iPhone cover

Comment below to enter for a chance to win.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins January 7, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. ET. and ends January 11, 2013, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Channelling Saidar

Written by Jennifer Liang

Every day at work, I channel saidar. Okay, not literally. But it feels like it. See, my real job is being a special education teacher. I work at a very small private school for kids with behavior disorders. The head of school says I probably have the eight toughest middle school boys in the city of Atlanta. My kids are awesome and smart and funny.

They also curse at me, tear up their work and kick me in the leg if they don’t like the answer they get. To control this class, I have to surrender. If I fight with them, we all lose. I can’t force them to do anything. Instead I guide. I keep my voice and my body language perfectly calm no matter what kind of chaos is brewing around me, or how many times they scream in my face that I’m the meanest lady in the world.

I don’t consciously think about saidar and the Wheel of Time when I’m at work. I’m too busy for that. But I think some part of me knows how to do this because I read the Wheel of Time and because it’s been such a profound influence on me. I’ve joked before that my husband and I have a Seafolk marriage and that he’s really a Seanchan. But it’s no joke that these books have had a profound influence on me. I met my husband on the forums at Dragon*Con. My best friends are JordanCon volunteers and vendors. I always manage to convince one or two students each year to pick up The Eye of the World. These books touch everything about me and who I am. I married a Seanchan blademaster. I convince kids who hate reading that a 400 page book isn’t so scary. I channel saidar for a living.

The Wheel of Time is more than books to me. Its friends, family and the way I look at the world. It’s a wild weekend in Atlanta and stalking Brandon on Twitter. The series is ending, 21 years after I first picked it up. But who I am because I read these books will not change. I will always be forever grateful to Robert Jordan for giving that to me.

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From the Tor/Forge January Wheel of Time newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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More from the January Wheel of Time Tor/Forge newsletter:

The Wheel of Time: Legacy

Tom Doherty, Harriet McDougal, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, and Jason Denzel discuss the legacy of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. The Last Battle begins on January 8th in A Memory of Light.

Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, readers have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over forty million copies in over thirty languages.

When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were # 1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind.

Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass.
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

Rock Soup Productions 2012

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From the Tor/Forge January Wheel of Time newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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More from the January Wheel of Time Tor/Forge newsletter:

Computers Made It Easier

Written by Harriet McDougal

Computers made it easier. Actually, first an electric typewriter made it easier. Robert Jordan was an engineer by training, and he really liked a clean typescript. He had begun by writing by hand on yellow legal pads, and when he switched to a typewriter he called his work “typing” rather than “writing.” This lasted for a while. He said, at one point, “The only difference between my work and that of a typist is that I have to make up what I type.” But of course he loved it.

And then computers entered our lives. I worked on a TRS-80, eventually adding an external drive; he cleverly bought an Apple III – a dog of a machine, which still contains some files we have never been able to access. Now that his papers and that machine are in the Addlestone Library of the College of Charleston, the archivists may be able to pry the information out.

Then there came the days of compatible laptops, so that he could finish a chapter in his machine and give me the disk to read in my machine. I recall one book we finished this way in the Murray Hill Hotel, an easy jump from Tor’s offices in the Flatiron building. When the chapter was ready I would jump in a taxi with my laptop to turn it in to Tor – then gallop back to the hotel for more editing.

We were doing that because the book was late. Weren’t they all? Tom Doherty performed miracles in getting the books produced in no time at all. But what Robert Jordan did under the pressure of deadlines – even if he missed them, the pressure was THERE – seems, as I look back, to be little short of miraculous, too.

He began all his books with the wind blowing. Breath, to instill life into his characters. In the Bible, Job 33:4 says, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” When other writers would talk of their characters taking on life of their own, and controlling the story, he said, “I am an Old Testament creator: My fist is in the middle of my characters’ lives.”

Oh, dear, dear man. And what a creator he was! And, as Scott Card said of The Eye of the World, what a powerful vision of good and evil.

On January 8 you will see the final turning of his powerful vision. It comes to you with his love. And mine.

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From the Tor/Forge January Wheel of Time newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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More from the January Wheel of Time Tor/Forge newsletter:

Reading the Final Scene of the Wheel of Time

Written by Brandon Sanderson

At signings, I’ve often told the story of reading the last scene of The Wheel of Time. This might not be news to some of you. However, it’s one of the questions I get the most. What did it feel like, some five years ago now, to read that last scene of the book as Robert Jordan wrote it?

Soon after I was tapped to help complete the series, I asked Harriet about the last scene of the book. (The one that Robert Jordan had, over the years working on the series, promised fans he knew in detail.) She told me that he had indeed written that scene—and though there were large swaths of unfinished portions of the ending that he hadn’t had time to work on, he’d been determined to get that last scene on the page.

You can imagine my excitement. I flew out to Charleston for the first time in late 2007—before this, I hadn’t read any of the materials, as Harriet preferred that I come get them in person. After a long flight from Salt Lake City to Charleston, Harriet picked me up at the airport and drove me to her house in the city. We got in at nine or ten, I recall, and she had soup warming on the stove. She asked if I’d like some. My reply was, “If it isn’t too much trouble, I’d like to read the ending please…” Holding my enthusiasm was somewhat difficult.

So, I spent the next hours late into the night sitting in a chair beside Robert Jordan’s computer (it had been moved, by coincidence, out of his office and into the sitting room) reading his ending to The Wheel of Time, then poring over the rest of the notes. I remember Harriet passing by once and asking—with a satisfied smile—“It’s good, isn’t it?”

And it is. As a Wheel of Time fan for nearly 20 years at that point, I found myself supremely satisfied. The ending is the right one. Somewhat unexpected, somewhat daring, but also very well done. I knew that whatever else happened—whatever mistakes I made—at least this ending would be there, as Robert Jordan intended. We’ve put it in almost untouched, with just a few edits here and there at Harriet’s direction.

You’re going to love it.

Brandon

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From the Tor/Forge January Wheel of Time newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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More from the January Wheel of Time Tor/Forge newsletter:

Memory of Light Backpack Sweepstakes

We are offering the chance to win one of five Memory of Light backpacks! Each backpack will include a copy of Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, Lamentation by Ken Scholes, Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter, Spellwright by Blake Charlton, and The Legions of Fire by David Drake. Comment below to enter for a chance to win.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins December 10, 2012 at 10 a.m. ET. and ends December 14, 2012, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.