Melbourne Book Signing, 27 August 1999 - Mark Erikson reportingEdit

Original signing report:

This is just a brief summary of what went on at the Melbourne Book signing, I'll put a full write up in as the next Erikson Diary on my homepage tomorrow.

First, Novak, there was no need for me to ask if I could stand around and write stuff down, because it was only a small crowd, and I could hear
everything while I was waiting in line. Then, when he'd signed everyone's books, we got to just hang around and ask him questions for about an hour and a half. However, nobody else there was on the usenet, so not much of the actual discussion was plot related.

I asked him about Aginor getting younger at the end of tEotW, and he said 'no, he doesn't get younger, he dies'. So I actually looked up the
reference and read it to him. He said 'oh, that,' and then went on to explain that it is actually the TP, not the saidin from the Eye, that rejuvinates him. He did describe the saidin in the Eye as a 'mother-load', however, I didn't think to ask him what he meant by that until I was in the car going home. I instead asked him whether the TP was the source of the Forsaken's immortality. He said: yes.

I also bounced the theory that was floating around here a while back that the DO is a creation of Ishamael/Moridin, like the Wizard of Oz, just to see what he thought. He then said, 'If I was asked that, I wouldn't even bother saying RAFO, I'd just say no.'

He said he hoped to finish book 9 by May 2000, and that his optimum book length was 600-700 pages hardcover.

Other than that, we just chatted about his life. I asked him about the Vietnam War, and found out that he was a cold blooded killer in his youth, and he smoked a lot of pot. He even said that during that time he had someone trying to kill him, personally, and I got the distinct impression
that it was someone on his own side. He said his nickname was 'The Iceman'.

We talked about touring, I asked him whether his signature ever got wobbly, and he said he had it down to a fine art, and could do 1200 sigs in 90 minutes. He went right of at John Grissham when he found out the first edition of his first book was worth $450,000, and I told him I felt the same way about Sara Douglass. After hearing my criticisms, he decided that he'd have to read them, so he bought the books there and then.

I'm fairly sure he's done this before, but he said Aginor and Balthamel are Aran'gar and Osan'gar, and he also said that Terry Goodkind actually uses WOT as inspiration, instead of going to a historical source. He sounded serious.

Finally, he also recomended several authors, but said that the guy who wrote 'Cryptonomnicon' (?) was _really_ good.

That's pretty much it, I just wanted to write it all out before I forgot half of it in my sleep. If it seems a bit garbled, I'll have a better version on my homepage late tomorrow.

Finally, I think it's save to say that I have the only first edition signed hardcover print of tPoD in Australia. Not a great achievement, but an achievement nonetheless.
-Mark Erikson

Link to signing report:

Clarification about Aginor question:

Initially I asked 'In the end of Eye of the World, when Rand is fighting Aginor, why did Aginor get younger?'

RJ replied 'He didn't, he died there. Do you mean the resurection? He and Balthamel got resurrected in LoC'

I said 'I know that, but....' and couldn't think of anything else. I thought I must have read that part wrong, so while other people were having their books signed, I went through the book and found the line, and read it to him.

RJ said 'Oh that. That's actually the power of the Dark One rejuvinating him.' and went on to basically explain what the True Power is, like I was an idiot.

So then I said 'So is the True Power the source of their immortality?' And he said 'Effectively, yes.'

Link for this clarification:

More comments about signing report added later:

Here's some stuff I forgot that is somewhat important.

He gave some new information on the Shipwreck serries, he now plans to have just one continent, like Pangaea, with a Seanchan-like civilisation on one side and a European on the other. There is trade between the two, but across the sea, not the land, and the trading is never direct, but passes through many hands along the way. Therefore, the people on either side of the continent have no idea what the other is like.

The other _really_ interesting thing he said was that ABC have bought the rights to make a WOT mini-series. It doesn't mean they will, but they've got the guy who wrote 'Merlin' working on a script.

And there is something else that keeps nagging at my memory, but I can't put my finger on it. I'll post again when it comes back to me.

Link for these comments:

And still more comments:

Now I have it, although it's fairly mundane. It's about the WOT game by Legend Entertainment. He said that he asked them to have a female
character, and they were initially against it, but he pressed the issue and they conceded. Then Tomb Raider became big, there were some design changes and suddenly there was sex appeal.

He also asked for a replayable game, and they told him it could not be done.

So he came up with the idea of having a massive library of ter'angreal in the game, and at the start of each game, the computer randomly selects some, and they're the weapons you have to use in the game, allowing for many different strategies, depending on which weapons you have and which you don't.

He also said that Legend have done such a good job on WOT that they've been contracted to do the sequel to Unreal. (I no big fan of Unreal, but I don't think that he means Unreal Tournament)

Link for these comments:

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