Some of you might wonder about our silence in the last couple of days, so here are a few updates about what we are up to:
- First of all we are hard at work discussing What the Storm Means (which we both enjoyed a lot, by the way) and condensing those discussions into a scene-by-scene read-through of the prologue. We're both very eager to share the results with you and engage in discussion thereafter. The first prologue article should be ready in a few days.
- Linda is also hard at work finishing the indexing of a bunch of still unavailable articles from the Wotmania FAQ section days. This month and the next, our focus will be on the articles we find most pertinent to read (or re read) in preparation for the new book.
- On my side (and with Linda's help), I'm preparing the next The Storm is Coming! maps/articles/who's whos to follow our first ones about Arad Doman and Domani. I'm hoping to get one done for the end of the week. The two more "challenging ones" (lots and lots of research involved for those), concerning Tar Valon and Northern Altara, will come during October.
- Give a bit of a shine to your crystal balls, the "10 predictions for TGS" challenge should be up and running very shortly. We'll announce the winner(s) of the prologue challenge at the same time.
- Last but not least, the "bigger news". As hopefully you've noticed, we both enjoy a lot engaging in discussion with people visiting this blog, and with the new WOT material just released and much more not far away, our interest in discussion is only going to increase. We've opened this Blog first and above all to share with others our passion and enthusiasm for the Wheel of Time series, and interaction with other fans was always an important aspect for us. We find that doing so with Blogger's Comment feature is increasingly confining and limited, and over the last months some of you have written to us about that as well, and suggested options we could explore (thanks to Animeeyez in particular, it's your suggestion we ended up choosing).
For some time now, we've used a private Message Board for the Blog Team's communications. We've decided the best and easiest solution to the Comment feature's limitations would be to open public forums on our "private" site. We've come up with three sections:
- The core of the Message Boards is a section devoted to the Thirteenth Depository itself. You can go there to discuss or comment on articles from the Reference Library and on the Read-through posts. We have added a section for "Ask Zemaille", if you have any nagging question about the series we or the other posters can answer. The "Ten predictions for TGS" challenge is hosted there as well, and you're more than welcome to post your own Theories or discuss each others' in the Theory Corner section (those theories, like the predictions will continue to be featured on the Blog's main page as well). Finally, there's a sub-forum for the map-making projects. There I'll post drafts of upcoming maps for comments/suggestions and occasional requests to Blog readers for help researching the necessary information through the series. There's already a very early draft of a map of Tar Valon there, as well as the quotes I've already gathered to further develop this map. We will begin to add links to forum threads in our blog posts, though feel free to keep using the Comment feature if it's more convenient for you.
- We've added a few Wheel of Time discussion forums. A WoT site wouldn't be complete without those. When The Gathering Storm is released, Linda and I will no doubt do again what we like to do and visit many of the well-known WOT MBs around, from Theoryland to Dragonmount, etc. following the most interesting discussions there and occasionally participate. However, with all the work on the Blog and the too limited time left at our disposal to really engage ourselves anywhere else on a regular basis, the best chance to join us in discussions of the new book and the previous ones will be in the Blog's forums. This is going to start small, and might remain fairly small, but from experience there's something to be said for small communities and more sustained discussions between a few posters. Think of it as a complement to the really big boards around. Everyone from experienced posters on the big boards who drop by for a visit to first time readers are welcome. Don't be shy. We may have long years of experience in WOT communities (mostly Wotmania) but one of our main interest has always been to share our enthusiasm with younger readers and encourage them to get the most out of what Robert Jordan has to offer. Beside, we're far from omniscient and the series is too gigantic for anyone to maintain an encyclopedic knowledge of it. Our own knowledge of the series has been built, is maintained and will continue to be added to, in a large part through interactions with a lot of other WOT fans.
- Finally, we've set up a more relax section for posters to get to know each other and the Blog team, have fun, post about movies or books or anything that may be of interest to other WOT fans. That sub-forum we called The Inn, a nod to the activity/social thread Linda and I introduced at Wotmania in our days as admins there.
So that's our new forums. We welcome all of you who wish to participate as posters and lurkers. Many of the sub-forums are accepting guest/anonymous posting, notably the Blog-centered ones. Some require people to be registered members, either to reply or to start threads. We've try to keep the forum rules to a minimum - they can be found on the MB itself. The rules we are most adamant about are those concerning TGS spoilers. Please read carefully before posting to be sure you're at the right place to post about Tears from Steel or What the Storm Means. The little information about the book posted by Brandon, Harriet or Tor and from Jason Denzel's review are fair game, however any other information about the content of the book beyond the prologue and chapter one isn't allowed and won't be until we open the forums to TGS discussions at large shortly after October 27th. If more authorized non-spoiler reviews surface, we'll add them to this list, but mention of any other review's content is currently forbidden (there's none that are real and not pranks at the moment, to our knowledge). Should a "spoiler crisis" happen (following leaks or unethical behaviour from people who get advanced copies etc.) between now and October 27 we'll implement our alternative solution to protect ourselves and our posters from the spoilers.
Tor Books and Orbit seem committed to maintaining a blanket of secrecy over the book, for which we are grateful, so hopefully none of this will be necessary and everyone will get the chance to discover The Gathering Storm with a fresh eye and all the impact its secrets and surprises are supposed to have.
We're hoping for a relax and convivial ambiance, and we're counting on everyone who join us to help us achieve that goal. The forums will be as lightly moderated as we can manage.
There's now a permanent link to the forums right below the Indexes on the left side, but here's the link.