According to a press release yesterday* from Tor/Forge Publicity Manager Dot Lin, the details are set for the final, posthumous book in Robert Jordan’s bestselling Wheel Of Time fantasy series. One of the big revelations: that last “book” is being split into three volumes. Wheel Of Time fans shouldn’t be too shocked; Jordan originally started his series as a trilogy, but it swelled to 11 volumes plus a prequel before his 2007 death. In recent years, griping about the series’ bloat and its wheel-spinning, going-nowhere plot became almost as popular as actually buying and reading the books—in spite of all the fan complaints, the last four Wheel Of Time books all hit #1 on the New York Times bestsellers' list.
The last “book” will be called A Memory Of Light; the first “volume” of that book (why can’t we just call them a trilogy and a book, respectively?) is titled The Gathering Storm. With the assistance and blessing of Jordan’s wife and editor, Harriet McDougal, A Memory Of Light is being written by Brandon Sanderson, author of the Mistborn series (The Final Empire, et al.), the Alcatraz Smedry kids’ series, and Elantris. Sanderson’s lengthy blog post on the decision to release the final book as three volumes is interesting, but the key bit comes in the second paragraph: “I'm a fantasy author. We have trouble with the concept of brevity.”
Other notes from the press release: Universal Pictures has purchased the Wheel Of Time film rights, and are looking into adapting the first book in the series, The Eye Of The World, as the film that might launch a WOT movie franchise. Also coming up this year: "major publications of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time comic books and graphic novels with the launch of The Eye Of The World comics in May and the New Spring graphic novel with bonus material in November."
* Which is to say, before April Fool’s Day. No, this entire post isn’t a cruel, cruel joke, at least not as far as we know.