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Clear Your Calendar: Sony Producing ‘Wheel of Time’ Fantasy Franchise

Cover detail from The Eye of the World

Editor's Note:

Fans of Robert Jordan will rejoice at the latest on The Wheel of Time franchise. We’re looking at this, the book by Rachel Dolezal, and more.

Here’s how you know the end of the world isn’t really coming anytime soon: Sony is investing in a TV series based on Robert Jordan’s epic The Wheel of Time franchise, which currently spans more than fourteen novels. The team they’ve assembled is impressive — hope they’ve cleared their calendars for at least the next twenty years! In the meantime Harriet McDougal (the wife of the late author) will be serving as consulting producer, so you know Sony is devoted to preserving Jordan’s unique and painstakingly realized vision for their series.

Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who managed to singlehandedly stymie American racial politics by assuming a black identity, has written a book about her experience: In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World. Coverage of this release for The Stranger fell to author and scholar Ijeoma Oluo, who opens her interview with Dolezal with a disclaimer about the tackiness of the rest of the world turning to black women for a reaction to the Dolezal phenomenon (she and her friends have been experiencing this ever since the story first broke). However, she proceeds with the interview all the same, and reports back on their difficult conversation with Dolezal, who now uses the name Nkechi Amare Diallo on her resumes. Oluo’s questions and trenchant observations make this a must-read, even for people who are desperate to starve this particular subject of attention.

Fans are welcome to argue over who’s the best star to play Batgirl, but their cries will fall on deaf ears as far as writer and director Joss Whedon is concerned. “I doubt it will be a name,” he said in an interview this week. “I think this is somewhere where you go and find Batgirl and then you cast her.” While there’s a lot to be said for starting from scratch with a fresh face and name (look at Gal Gadot’s ascension as Wonder Woman), he neglects to point out the main benefits of starring an unknown: They cost almost nothing, and have no clout when it comes to interfering with the director and producer’s vision for the character. Whedon is known as a more generous collaborator than many fellas in the movie business, so hopefully whomever ends up with the role also earns a place at the table, creatively speaking.

Literary fame is a double-edged sword — in fact, that blade might have more edges than you can count. One of them involves the risk of winning the Literary Review’s Bad Sex In Fiction award, an honor that certain writers have embraced and others have taken quite personally (in 2015, Morrissey described the award itself as “a repulsive horror”  bestowed by his “many enemies”). The linked article is a handy recap of various authors’ reactions to winning this prize. Rachel Johnson was honored and “not feeling remotely grumpy” over being singled out due to passages in Shire Hill, and Twenty Something author Iain Hollingshead accepted his prize with the following warning for the judges: “I don’t blame them. Shamefully, it could have been even worse.”