Saturday, April 16, 2011
What with 20 hour flights, jetlag and the onrush of events at JordanCon, I’ve had little time to post anything since Monday.
I’m delighted to say that I’ve met up with so many WOT friends from last year, plus some new ones. At dinner on Thursday I sat next to the JordanCon guest of honour David Coe, who is awesome, and also met the ever entertaining Leigh Butler or Tor.Com. Among the many things discussed over dinner was publishing trends in fantasy, especially changes in book length, something of great interest to Brandon Sanderson. I was amazed to learn that David Coe and his family spent a year in my own home town in Australia (which isn’t a major city, so that is quite unexpected). Good news is that Brandon is coming to Australia about May/June next year.
The Con was opened on Friday afternoon by Richard Fife with lots of really fun participation from guest participants and Con goers.
Jason Denzel, Leigh Butler, Amanda Keene (of Tarvalon.net) and I were on the Towers of Midnight review panel straight after. One thing we were asked was whether we liked Towers of Midnight or The Gathering Storm more than the other. Jason loved the close focus on two characters of The Gathering Storm. Leigh liked Towers of Midnight. It’s a tough call though, because neither book is independent of the other. There was lots of audience participation, which was great and many good points were made. All agreed that Perrin’s hammer forging was the best scene. Many thought that Mat’s scene was predictable because it was foreshadowed so much.
The next panel I attended was the Boom Boom panel, where Alan Romanczuk and I talked about historic development of cannon and gunpowder versus how this is being shown in the series. In the Wheel of Time world, it’s the military organisation which is furtherest behind in development. The Whitecloaks are from the medieval era and so is the lack of gunpowder weapons. Other technologies and organisations are further along: there are a few renaissance influences, but most are 17th to early 19th century. The audience had lots of creative ideas for using channellers to protect the gunpowder weapons or to make gateways to assist in their deployment. The appropriate length and thickness of the cannon were also much discussed.
Next there was an interlude for dinner during which we had spectacularly stormy weather, with hail and very heavy downpours. Some people flying to the Con that evening suffered lengthy delays to their flights.
The Looney Theories panel – brought to us by Theoryland and Team Moiraine - matched up to last year’s inaugural version. The two top looney theories were 1) that the Song will be used to kill the Dark One and 2) that Min will conceive babies which will gateway into Aviendha’s womb to join Aviendha’s two already there (2+2...) to fulfil her viewing that Aviendha will have 4 babies at once. Third most popular was that Cenn Buie is the Dark One.