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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.

Comments

( 162 comments )
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cjsmith
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.
metzhead
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
whoa. I knew he was sick but that's rather a shock.

rest in peace.
flugel_horn
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.
celticmom1967
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
jaszon
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.
black_falls
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
So sad.

RIP Mr. Jordan.
xanateria
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
joining the shock...
so sad. But, better than suffering sick I suppose.
dravenreborn
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.

vylotte
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.
janetlin
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.
janetlin
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)
linnai
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.
anowyn
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...
alexvdl
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
sirmatthew
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC)
I have no words. My condolences to his family and fans.
zarggg
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.
skjaere
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
And so soon after Madeleine L'Engle, too. What a shame.
firebyrd
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
clytemnestra215
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.
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( 162 comments )

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