Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Midwinter Wheel Turning

Ever since Neil Gaiman jumped from comic writing to novel writing, other writers associated with Vertigo comics have made the jump. Writers like Mike Carey and the latest writer to make the jump, Matthew Sturges whose debut novel Midwinter I recently reviewed:

Part of what made the novel so enjoyable for me was that we only see a snapshot of the world of Midwinter – just a portion of the Seelie and Unseelie worlds, and their relation to a greater Mutliverse including a reasonable facsimile of our own world. Some of the scenes Sturges laid out and depicted where quite cool, not the least of which involves the afore-mentioned Pontiac Le Mans shuttling through a fantasy-esque landscape. There’s a depth to this world, and it seemingly has connections to many other worlds. One of the most enjoyable scenes, and one I found to have a great deal of mythic resonance which I always enjoy, was the Thule Man. The Thule Man is literally a giant boogeyman come to life and along with characters names like Silverdun and Queen Titiania and places such as the City Emerald and the Uncontested Lands, Sturges added layers of mythic resonance that permeated the novel in a great way.

The Wheel of Time keeps turning, and at least the “fallout” from the recent announcement about the three volume final edition. Not long after the announcement at Tor, Brandon Sanderson put up his take on matters. What he says makes a lot of sense, is well-reasoned and gives a hint at the monumental pressure he must be feeling on many levels.

To borrow and modify a phrase from Jordan himself, “What if the creator tapped you on the shoulder and said ‘Hey, do you want to finish my masterwork?’” He’s got the weight of one of the fandom’s largest and most passionate groups of fans waiting on him. Is it annoying that what was promised as a single volume conclusion has come to be, essentially, a concluding trilogy? Yes, especially because readers will be forking over thrice the amount they thought. On the other hand, Robert Jordan was never really accurate with his book estimations. Where does that leave people? Some angry, some frustrated, and some understanding.

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