So you guys have probably noticed that it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything to do with the MS&T re-read. I want to explain my reasoning and hopefully some people will let me know what they think.

I haven’t got a lot of feedback on the series as a whole. Apparently Mr. Williams and Mrs. Beale were reading it, which is extremely AWESOME, and I know that should be enough by itself for me to continue working. But I am just getting NO response from it. No one ever posts comments about the series here on the blog – the one person who did seems to have stopped after about 5 entries. I think I have two theories as to why that is the case.

The first theory is something I could fix. Several people have voiced (either here, through email, or on tadwilliams.com forums where I originally started the project) that the entries are just too long. I know I was putting a literal TON of information into each post – I know this because it generally took me anywhere between three and five hours of reading and typing just to get the summaries right, and only then did I start working on commentary. This means that it takes people a very long time to read – possibly more than one or two sittings just to read one blog post – and it takes me an extremely long time to write – and I have a lot of things I want to be writing now. So there’s a really simple answer to this one – I can shorten the posts. More on this in a moment.

The second theory is that, unfortunately, people just simply are not interested, and this is a problem that I cannot fix. I do not have the backing of Tor (since these books were not published by them), where several extremely successful re-reads have happened. Also, this is not a continuing series. That doesn’t explain everything of course, but it does explain some – there’s not a lot of anticipation for a blog series about a series that is done. There’s no urgency, because there’s not anything else coming out soon that people need to think about. Mr. Williams has stated before that he may go back to Osten Ard and write a follow-up series, but that is likely many years away, and MS&T is now a 20+ year-old series whose story is told, and doesn’t need constant re-telling. As much as I love this series (and read it over and over again), I know that plenty of people are not like me, and do not re-read series over and over again just to get more out of them. So all of that rambling just to say, as good a series as this is, as award-winning as it is (and should be), there just doesn’t seem to be a ton of interest in a re-read and analysis of it.

That second theory is a hard one for me – I think MS&T should be the ultimate fantasy series for readers. Once they’re read Tolkien (necessary reading for any new fantasy reader), their next choice should be Williams. After that, go to the silly stuff (Eddings or Feist), or move onto the really hard, LONG stuff (Jordan, Martin, Stevenson, whoever), but LotR and MS&T should be essentials. It’s simple (to me). But with no movies being made, no TV shows, no new books coming out – well, the interest in the general population just isn’t there. And there’s nothing I can do about that. So I’m at a stand-still on that one.

As for the first theory, here’s a simple solution. IF I am to continue the re-read, I will be cutting back to two chapters at a time, and both of those chapters will be much more condensed in summary and quotes (though the commentary will stay the same, and likely will have many of the quotes moved to there). It’s something that has worked well with Leigh and Kate doing the WoT and LotR re-reads over at Tor, and I’m willing to give it a try. But I need to know if I should even be working on this.

Like I said, I have a lot of projects I want to do. I’ve just taken on a new job and position in life that is AWESOME and is going to give me time to work on things I want to work on. I’m working on my own novel, I have several other read-through projects I would like to do, and I’m involved now in a local speculative fiction group that is trying to start a magazine and publishing company (this is not my job, it’s voluntary). All of this could be things I work on.

So I need to know what you guys think. Please post comments here and let me know if you really want me to continue this. It’s a fun project, but I’m just not seeing a lot of results from it – and though I shouldn’t be treating it as a means to an end, I would at least like to know that it’s appreciated and fun for someone else as well.

Thanks for your time.
-Brandon

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