c\o Tor Books
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y., 10010
February 1, 1994
Miss Carolyn Fusinato
Editor, The Chronicles
Thank you for your letter. It is good to hear about your newsletter and the activity of my fans.
I think I need to address your question about the stories. you are right about stories set in my world or my landscape or my world's history plagiarizing my creation, and plagiarism is theft; a benign theft in the case of a fan publication, but just the same, an author's sole property rights to his creating lie in his copyright, and to infringe my copyright is to steal from me...Even if I were to set restrictions, any permission or approval from me would set a precedent that I cannot and will not set. You might agree not to use any of my characters, say, but another fan club might not be as correct as you have been regarding asking permission, yet take publication by your newsletter of stories in my world as an okay to do the same. Like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, I might well find stories being published that do include my characters, and published to make a buck. Such would lead to all sorts of legal wrangles.
For that reason, I cannot give you such permission.
As to role playing, that is an entirely different matter. As long as there is no commercial consideration involved, feel free. With regard to sanctioning your club, I'm afraid I can't. I do not intend to sanction any fan club; there are a number of clubs, and I really can't favor one over another. I hope you understand.
Now about how evil the Forsaken are. I'm not really sure you define evil. Part of what I am writing about is just how ordinary evil is. In many ways, without the One Power, the Forsaken would be no more than Darkfriends, though perhaps a bit more than ordinary. True, their callousness toward the pain, suffering, even death of ordinary people, and the way they submerge everything and everyone in their own quest for power--and true immortality--their willingness to deliver the world to the Dark One in that quest, are shared by many who do not have their powers. The point is that they are human; they haven't gotten rid of human emotions, or human weaknesses except for a few physical ones. They are not gods, nor even demi-gods, though they seek to be and think they already are. But believe me, there is nothing they will not do to achieve their goals, no price too high to pay--especially if it is paid by someone else, or millions of someone elses. And Lanfear holding back and doing good for Rand's sake? Ha! She was psychically fixed on possessing a man who never loved her. Even with that, her desire for Rand was as much a desire for power as for him. To be the one to deliver the Dragon Reborn to the service of the Shadow; that would set her above the other Forsaken. And learning that the access ter'angreal for the two huge sa'angreal were still in existence....Sure, she wanted his love--not least because it had been denied her; Lanfear was a woman who claimed a right to anything she wanted--wanted his devotion, but even more than his body, Lanfear wanted power, the power possibly to replace the Dark One, even to replace the Creator. For Rand's sake? Not a chance.
I must say that I'm not surprised that most of your predictions didn't come out. I try to avoid doing what people expect. And I avoid answering questions, at least about what is happening in the books. If I answer some, people can begin to figure out some important things that I mean to hide simply by which I answer and which I don't. Whether you decide to go with publishing or illustration for a career--or both--good luck. Again, thanks for your letter.
With best wishes, I remain,
[in black pen Jordan wrote in script at the bottom, "P.S. Good luck with the club and the newsletter. Please keep me informed as to how things are going. I'd also love to see copies of the newsletter. I must say I am bery impressed with your maturity and your skills. In short, I'm impressed with you. RJ"]
Letter from Robert Jordan / Carolyn Fusinato