Monday, April 26, 2010

JordanCon Report

By Linda

First up, I want to thank the JordanCon team for letting me be a panelist. It was an honour.

All the sessions I attended, including the ones at which I was a panelist, had strong audience participation with thoughtful observations and questions.

The JordanCon schedule offered much to choose from, resulting in some unfortunate clashes at times. For instance, Brandon Sanderson’s book signing coincided with the Future of the Franchise session. Which to attend??

At the opening ceremony Theoryland took over by arresting Jason of Dragonmount for crimes against WOT fandom (falsely claiming to have thrown his Magic the Gathering card game against Brandon). Having staged his coup, Matt Hatch got to the business of welcoming us all, and introducing the guests.

On my first panel, which was about Real World Influences with Alan and Maria of Team Jordan and Aubree and Rachel of JordanCon team, I picked up a couple of new sources of names. Much interesting stuff was discussed about the non-European sources used and also about WOT costume. Alan and Maria noted how things RJ had seen would turn up later in the books: for instance, the olive groves of Altara were originally seen on a Mediterranean holiday.

The Loony Theories were impressively loony, believe me. The top 3 contenders were: “Cadsuane is Moiraine”, ”Min is being manipulated by Moridin” and “The Finns are aliens and the Tower of Ghenjei is a spaceship”. The Cadsuane theory was voted looniest despite spirited attempts to tamper with the voting by devotees of the evil Min theory.

All participants at the Minor Characters session were agreed that RJ’s minor characters were not mere backdrops or props but had independent lives of their own and underwent character development. Someone asked for a definition of a minor character and Maria said it was one that was absent for more than one consecutive book. Many minor characters were discussed - from Uno to Teslyn - but of course they were only the tip of the iceberg.

Future Books: The main series and the Encyclopedia will be completed and then Harriet will decide if she wants the prequel novels written - one about Tam’s experiences as a soldier and finding Rand, and one about Moiraine’s hunt for the Dragon Reborn and how she arrived in the nick of time in the Two Rivers - with Tam's adventures just before finding Rand and one with Moraine and Lan just before they arrive in the Two Rivers in the nick of time – or the later novel about Mat and Tuon in Seanchan. If the novels are written, Brandon will be the writer to keep the voice consistent.

The book signing: Brandon signed books he had written, and Harriet books she had edited. Due to having to travel light I didn’t bring any books with me, so I got the complimentary WOT map and JordanCon program signed by both Brandon and Harriet. Terez waited until the end and got her entire collection of the books signed.

Websites: Jason Denzel and Jennifer Liang of Dragonmount, Matt Hatch of Theoryland, Melissa Craib of Tarvalon, Bob Kluttz of EncyWot and myself were panellists. It was astonishing how many long-lasting WOT websites were born in 1998-9. Dragonmount and Theoryland were first, but the others all followed thick and fast. Wotmania too was created in that year, and though it closed last year, this blog was a rebirthing of its FAQ and Wotboard re-through posts. We had our first birthday last month on the Ides of March.

Mat and Perrin: I really enjoyed this session on the two essential supporters of Rand, and was honoured to be on the panel with Maria and Jakob. Rand is number one, but then so was Lews Therin, and look what happened to him. Like a tripod, the three ta'veren will support the world and the battle against the Shadow:

He shall hold a blade of light in his hand and the three shall be as one.

- The Gathering Storm, Reading the Commentary.

All aspects of Mat and Perrin were discussed – strengths, weaknesses and contributions to the plot. Alas, I had to leave this excellent discussion early to catch a plane.

Towers of Midnight: The JordanCon program included a preliminary Towers of Midnight cover by Daryl Sweet of two men watching a third scratch a triangle on a white wall with a brown blade...partially obscured by a black bar containing the words “Cover not final”. The Tower of Ghenjei mission! There were errors on the cover: Mat had a red headband, as though he was a siswai’aman, instead of his trademark hat, there was only one white haired man, instead of two (;)) and the inscribed triangle was pointing in the wrong direction.

I was surprised they chose a spoilerish cover when the identity of third person to rescue Moiraine is not confirmed in any previous book. But it will certainly make fans eager.

Regarding the Towers of Midnight schedule, Brandon Sanderson twittered today:

I am revising a chapter of TofM while I wait for my assistant to bring me papers to grade. Deadline to get the book in has been set: Aug 17.

There is a post on the blog Forums here listing all Q&As that I heard or have discovered.

Costuming: The excellent costuming track ensured there were many costume enthusiasts at the Con. Or maybe it was the other way :). I had a great time exchanging information and discussing costume history and construction with fellow crafty folk. I brought my WOT embroideries with me too and they contain some embroidery materials rarely seen in the US. So I will be emailing a couple of embroiderers with links to sources of materials when I return home. The Society of Creative Anachronism recognised a kindred spirit in me and suggested I join. I’m sure it would be fun, but I do so many activities already!

The costuming culminated in the Homecoming Dance, where there were many terrific outfits, some very original and detailed, notably the Nym, Trolloc and Myrddraal.

I'm so glad I came; I had a blast. Everyone made me feel so welcome. If you are thinking of going to JordanCon next year, I can thoroughly recommend it.


Anthony said...

Reading these reports is fun. I wish JordanCon was a week long, I miss it already!

I was looking to spot you. I wanted to see all the WoT big names, but I didn't... though I was right in front of the woman with 2 milk crates of books at the signing, and chatted a bit with the people around me. That must've been Terez.

:D I hope I can go next year.

Linda said...

That was Terez with her books. I was with her; in fact you must have been just in front of me. Terez has black hair, and mine is brown.

Anthony said...

I do remember :D awesome. Though I don't remember any aussie accent? :/

Terez said...

She was quiet! I thought she was avoiding me the first few times I saw her, but she apparently just had no idea who I was, LOL. And yes, that was me with the crates. I've never been to a signing before, and might not ever get to go to one again, so I brought all of them. Which one were you?

Terez said...

Oh, and also...Linda does not have a backwoods Aussie accent. Harriet thought her accent was British.

Anthony said...

The one who said "holy crap is that your entire collection?". Also I may have mentioned that I'm one of the "appear in AMOL" winners, though I tried not to bring that up every conversation...

A picture may work better lol:

Tamyrlin said...

Linda! It was great to meet you; dinner Thursday evening was fun and I really liked having you at the loony theory panel. Somehow, it made it a little less loony. Think you'll make it next year?

(One note that I didn't clear up during the panel - Theoryland started early to mid 1998 and I think Dragonmount came along a few months later in the September time frame. But certainly 1998 was a significant year for WoT websites.)

Terez said...

ahhhhhhhh, yes I remember you! I think I smiled at you a lot over the course of the weekend, lol. And yes, I try not to bring up the fact that I won the trivia competition in every conversation, but it's hard. If Linda had been there, she probably would have won!

Linda said...

Terez: Maybe, maybe not. :D I needed to rest - jetlag kicked in worst in the afternoons.

Aziz - You mentioned it when you were in line!

Matt - It was great meeting you and Teri. I can't say at this stage if I will get back next year. If I do, I might bring my husband, since both kids will have finished high school.

I enjoyed loony theories a lot - I think the guy whose theory I said was on the right track was disappointed! Maybe I should have thrown up Moridin is Taim, but you had plenty already and I happen to consider it quite reasonable. ;)

Amy said...

I want that Encyclopedia as much as I want to read the end of the series! And the Finns as aliens is the best crazy theory ever!

rimorob said...

The link to Q&As seems to be broken :(

Terez said...

Here it is.

Terez said...

Actually, I just checked, and her link works. It may be that you're not registered at the 13th depository forums. I think you have to be registered and logged in to read the forums. But I also posted everything at Theoryland.

rimorob said...

I'm registered but not yet approved. Maybe that's it.

However, the theoryland link works. Thanks!