Cincinnati, OH, Post-ACOS Signing - Michael Martin reporting
From: Michael Martin
Most of this has been posted at various times, but I've been encouraged by a number of people to post them collectively, so here they go.
I attended a signing at Jospeh-Beth Booksellers in Cincy, OH, on 10/12/96. The signing was officially for the Fallon series, but I recall only one or two Fallon books. About 35 fans showed.
1. The Creator's "Inability" To Act On His Creation
Having encountered a similar "theology" in Donaldson's Covenant series, I have been quite curious _why_ the Creator can't act on His own world. It didn't seem to make sense, except as a plot device.
RJ answered this question. His thesis was this: A perfect Creator should create a perfect creation. To act, miraculously or no,
on this world, would be tantamount to acknowleding imperfection in Himself. So, when humanity screwed things up, they've been left on their own to "patch" things up. :-)
This sheds a LOT of light on some things in Randland. First, there will not be any final expiation of evil (i.e. Book of Revelation in Christianity). What we have is an infinite cycle ("Wheel") of the struggle of light and darkness. The best to be hoped for is an eternal balance, rather than some final, complete victory (for good). This bothers me on several fronts, not the least that evil can win and good can't.
Also note that this really helps explain Fel's ramblings in LOC. The sealing, bore and all that will just cycle endlessly.
2. The VOICE At Tarwin's Gap (EotW)
Since the Creator cannot or will not act in creation, we can reasonably surmise that it wasn't the Creator's voice Rand heard when chasing Ishy (I had hoped it was). So, then whose was it? The DO's "voice" is written in all caps in LoC, but the voice in EotW is caps _and_ italics. This may just be a change in how RJ wrote the DO's voice, but it may signify a different speaker.
3. The Two *gars
RJ admitted outright that they were Aginor and Balthamel, and that Aginor was the male and Balthamel was the woman. I still feel that Aginor describing himself as "helping" make the Trollocs is not consistent, but hey, I didn't write the books. When I asked him if he was confirming their IDs, RJ said (in a slightly tired tone), "I"ve never _denied_ it." This was rather surprising to me, to say the least.
4. Viet Nam/Rand's "No Kill Woman" Thang
RJ vividly described an experience he had in VN where he killed a female VC. He said he simply spotted a figure holding a weapon and fired on it, then "acquired the next target." He then realized that he had killed a woman--the first (and I believe only) time he's done that. This provides an obvious basis for Rand's "Achilles' heal." (I thought he should have offed both the Tower AS in the beginning of aCoS and Lanfear earlier, but I'm rude like that.)
Sorry about the length, but I've tried to keep this as brief as possible. Comments and ideas are welcome.