5

When I first read Exiles at the Well of Souls, it seemed to be the worst-edited novel I had ever picked up. And indeed the editing is terrible, but I later learned that there was something of a reason why. Apparently, Jack Chalker originally wrote a single-book sequel to his most famous work, Midnight at the Well of Souls, but he and the publisher eventually decided to split it into two volumes: Exiles and Quest for the Well of Souls. What I am wondering is whether there is any information about what the original one-book sequel contained.

In some cases, the changes made for the two-volume work are quite obvious. About a quarter of the way through Exiles at the Well of Souls, the name of the villain's planet changes. I take this to be pretty clear evidence that Chalker added a new, much longer introductory segment at the beginning. As he was doing this, he decided to change the name, but the new version was apparently not incorporated into the remaining text. (There's the slipshod editing.) And at the beginning of Quest, the protagonist Mavra Chang wastes a significant amount of time getting back to the zone where Exiles ended. Presumably, this was another addition, although better integrated into the story; in general, Quest for the Well of Souls seems to be much better edited. (Perhaps the editor was duly chagrined after letting one terrible job make it to the presses.)

So, had Chalker (or anyone else who might know) ever indicated what plot elements, beyond the obvious, were added to extend the length of the story to two books?

| improve this question | | | | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.