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R.I.P. Robert Jordan

The world of high fantasy is poorer today.

James Rigney, better known to fantasy readers as Robert Jordan, has passed away. Although he had been fighting amyloidosis for several years, the news of his death still came as a shock to many, including me. He was so optimistic and determined that you had to think that if anyone could beat the disease, it would be him.

Jim was a good and gracious man, a pleasure to share a platform or a pint with, and his contributions to modern fantasy were many. His huge, ambitious WHEEL OF TIME series helped to redefine the genre, and opened many doors for the writers who followed.

He was also unfailingly generous towards other fantasists, always ready to offer them support and encouragement. My own ICE & FIRE series might never have found its audience without the cover quote that Jim was so kind as to provide, back when A GAME OF THRONES was first published. I will always be grateful to him for that.

The last time I saw Jim was at an Archon in Collinsville, Illinois. It was before his final illness. He was the convention Guest of Honor and I was the Toastmaster, and I introduced him by telling the audience that actually we were the same person. It was a gag that Jim himself had suggested in the Green Room beforehand. While I was doing the intro, and claiming credit for all his books, he slowly entered, walked up silently behind me, and stood looming over me, glowering like Zeus. We got a great laugh.

I had some great dinners with Jim and his wife Harriet there in Collinsville as well. We talked about other writers, editors, publishers, all the stuff that writers always talk about... oh, and a little about our own series as well... and Jim and Harriet invited me to visit them if I ever made it down to Charleston. Sad to say, I never did.

RIP, Jim. You will be much missed.


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Sep. 17th, 2007 04:01 am (UTC)
My own ICE & FIRE series might never have found its audience without the cover quote that Jim was so kind as to provide, back when A GAME OF THRONES was first published.

Well, dang. He's indirectly responsible for even more of my reading enjoyment than I thought.

Peace, Robert Jordan. Peace.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
whoa. I knew he was sick but that's rather a shock.

rest in peace.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC)
I am in shock...
I am a regular reader of this and Robert Jordan's blog. I am shocked and deeply saddened. I suspected something when Mr. Rigney (Robert Jordan) told his "brother/cousin" Wilson how THE WHEEL OF TIME would end this past weekend. I was hoping I was wrong...

So sad.
Sep. 17th, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
Re: I am in shock...
me too. I am hoping that somehow that telling of the story will be finally composed so we can all know the end, but in the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with Harriet and the family.
Re: I am in shock... - caladon - Sep. 17th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC)
A sad day indeed.
I remember reading about his illness earlier this year and thinking I would be 'ready' for news of his death... so not the case.

RIP Mr Jordan.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
So sad.

RIP Mr. Jordan.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
joining the shock...
so sad. But, better than suffering sick I suppose.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:11 am (UTC)
I just read the news on DragonMount and now here....

This news is so very, very sad to hear.

Sep. 17th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
Rest in peace, and thank you for the richness and care you wove into your world, Mr. Jordan.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
I feel badly that I never bothered to read about the man himself, despite how much I loved his books (so here I am, not making the same mistake with you). This is a huge shock and an even bigger loss, especially to those who knew him. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:14 am (UTC)
And I have to confess, George, that it was indeed the praise from him on the cover of the paperback A Game of Thrones that sealed the deal for me, the first time I picked it up in a bookstore.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
Though I hadn't yet delved into the depth of the Wheel of Time series, his reputation preceded him and he will be much and sorely missed.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
I didn't even get to start reading his series yet, and now I'll never get to finish it either...
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
It's my understanding that his son was a very large part of the books that were written so it's possible we might see the series finished.
(no subject) - anowyn - Sep. 17th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercury_glitch - Sep. 17th, 2007 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amyrlin1271 - Sep. 17th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercury_glitch - Sep. 17th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amyrlin1271 - Sep. 17th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC)
I have no words. My condolences to his family and fans.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
Very sad news; I was so looking forward to WoT continuing. :(

Requiescat in Pace, indeed. Fantasy has lost another titan.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
And so soon after Madeleine L'Engle, too. What a shame.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
And Lloyd Alexander earlier this year too.
(no subject) - skjaere - Sep. 17th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
I agree with all stated above by you. Of all contemporary fantasy writers, you and he remained the two I most respected. Speaking as one of the TarValon.Net administrators, we are all incredibly at a loss.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
I never read The Wheel of Time series. However, I always heard that Robert Jordan was a kind, generous man. That's something to treasure, and I'm sure his friends and family did.

I offer you, and his loved ones, my deepest condolences.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 17th, 2007 11:36 am (UTC)
This comment resembles my sentiments as well. I attribute RJ with my love for fantasy and also to opening the door to Ice and Fire as a result of the lag time between his books.

Sep. 17th, 2007 04:38 am (UTC)
I don't even know what to say. :-(
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)

My dad gave me [i]The Eye of the World[/i] for my birthday when it first came out in paperback. I loved that book to death; I still have the same copy, even though the cover's fallen off from age. And I remember Dad getting me [i]The Great Hunt[/i], only it was a lousy copy because the glue holding the spine together was already coming loose before I read the first page. I spent the whole time reading it trying to hold it as gently as possible, which is a tough thing to do when you're reading something that exciting and cool. And man, I remember getting chills at the climax of [i]Lord of Chaos[/i], the deep bone chills you get when the story is into you and you can't see anything else, can barely see the words on the page.

I only heard he was sick a year or two ago. I've lost touch with the Wheel of Time series--kept telling myself I'd get back to it when it was finished--and I'll admit to making a couple of jokes at how long the whole thing was getting. But he was a writer of great courage, and he created a world as rich as any other I've read. This is terrible news. My sincerest condolences to those he left behind.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
I've never read his books, but I know many who loved his works, and if it weren't for his blurb in AGoT, I wouldn't have been enticed to pick it up.

Rest in Peace, Robert Jordan.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
I just wrote about Robert Jordan in my LJ too. The Eye of the World was one of the books that got me into fantasy. I'm really bummed out about the news. :(
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
Although I gave up on the WoT series after book eight, Robert Jordan was still the primary author responsible for getting me hooked on to the fantasy genre back when I was in high school. I will always appreciate him for that. My thoughts are with his friends and family.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:02 am (UTC)
While WoT was never really my cup of tea, it is certainly one of the most important pieces of epic fantasy ever written. This is a very sad day for fantasy readers everywhere. My thoughts go out to his friends and family.

I'll be making an effort to read The Eye of the World once again because of this.

R.I.P. Robert Jordan
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:02 am (UTC)
So sorry to hear this. I loved the Wheel of Time series. I honestly thought he was going to make it, he seemed so positive.
Thank you, Robert, for such a wonderful story. Rest in peace.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC)
Wow. I'm really sorry to hear that. I spent a good chunk of my life in WoT. Those books got me through junior high.
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George R.R. Martin
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