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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 05:12 am (UTC)
Most people know him for the WoT series, but his early Conan novellas were fantastic as well.

He, Patrick O'Brien, and John MacDonald are all due some sort of posthumous reprimand, however.
Sep. 17th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
Agreed he told a great Conan tale! One of the best.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC)
I never had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Jordan in person, but hearing this is a weight in my chest. I have enjoyed his Wheel of Time series, and it is strange to look at the collection on my shelf and realize it will not be growing any larger. More books may be published, his series completed, but it will be with another's hand.

My best to all of his family and friends, and to everyone he's touched. Peace, Mr. Jordan. May you shelter in the palm of the Creator's hand.
Sep. 17th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
perhaps with anothers hand, but with his word. I'm given to understand he left rather extensive notes about the final book, told his family a good set of details on how it comes to end, etc. And he had written at least some of the book thus far. So hopefully it turns out well, rather than some of the other family releases of authors unpublished works after they passed on.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
Please, please take care of your health!
It is sad to hear about Robert Jordan, and this is probably not the right time to say it, but I am just afraid to think that I could have read a similar entry in his journal about you...
Sep. 17th, 2007 12:07 pm (UTC)
Hear hear. I want to see my favorite author live to be a creaky old man in his 90s, or more, relaxing from all the work he's done to write and write and write to please his rabid fans like us!
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
This is incredibly sad news. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Thank you for sharing your fond memories.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC)
I found my way to Ice & Fire through Wheel of Time, but more... indirectly than just reading a quote on the back of the book. Was playing on a Wheel of Time MUD when a few friends I made there insisted I read Game of Thrones.

I stopped reading Wheel of Time, but this news saddens me, as Wheel of Time has influenced many things in my life.

I also echo the requests to stay healthy :).
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, I just dropped by to ask you as respectfully as I can to start taking better care of yourself, George. I know it's entirely selfish of me, but your work is very important to me. RIP, Robert Jordan.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
It's because of him that I read ASoIaF.. well, not him directly. Many of the people at wotmania.com said READ IT.. so I did.

It was amazing.

Thank you for you kind words :(

Sep. 17th, 2007 05:49 am (UTC)
RIP RJ...he created a truly awesome world, he will indeed be missed.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:04 am (UTC)
Very sad. I thought he was actually getting better :(
Sep. 17th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
My understanding of his illness was that it was not something anyone gets better from, alas. Modern medicine may have helped manage it longer than would otherwise have been possible, but there's no cure.
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
Irony and sadness
I find it incredibly ironic that my thirst for Jordan's work awakened only a few days ago. Just a few short hours ago I had read the latest blog on Dragonmount and offered a prayer for his health; I had not read any of his books or any web content concerning him since the last book released in the WoT series, but tonight I spent hours reading the book outlines and character descriptions on WoT encyclopedia.

For my part, I am incredibly sad. His books were a major part of my high school and college years...in fact, they were one of the few bright spots I had during those years (emo kid alert). And of course, I honestly wouldn't have picked up Game of Thrones had RJ not put such a high recommendation right there on the cover. I feel like I've lost a loved uncle that I never got to visit.

His works will stand, though, and I'm certain Harriet will carry the Robert Jordan banner with pride.

Until again, RJ
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
Friends who introduced me to the Wheel of Time many moons ago are the same ones who pointed me -- quite insistently -- to A Song of Ice and Fire. The two series are linked inextricably in my head. I owe a double debt to those friends, to RJ, and to you.
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:15 am (UTC)
RIP.... :'(
Condoleances to all who knew him, I hope he rests in peace.
And for the fans... damn, now we'll never know how the series ends :(
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC)
This is very sad news.

R.I.P Robert Jordan.
You'll always be remembered.
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:33 am (UTC)
Real sad
Wow, Robert Jordan.
I have never read his books but was defiantly getting around to it. I just haven't been ready for "High" Fantasy lately with so much I wanted to catch up on like the Dune series and some Jack Vance etc.
His series came out when I was in High School. At the time I want really wasn't well read like I am now but knew more things were moving into High Fantasy rather then regular fantasy which is more polished like the Dragonlance series. I thought the genre became too much lately and was really glad to read your series GRM which his quote was the best one for. I
dig that quote!

His series was the first major of this type I think, and he even inspired many real world weapons to be created from his books that were UNLIKE any that were out at the time in the 1990s; and maybe even inspired the ancient weapon creation industry as it became more active in the 1990s and popular.

I also remember getting ADS for his Wheel of Time weapons along with MYST and played his Wheel of Time video game which was actually pretty good. His impact was great and highly polished. Something we all needed. Can't wait to read his books next.

Miss you, see you in heaven!

Sep. 17th, 2007 06:46 am (UTC)
Woah, this news chocks me, I didn't know he was sick :/
R.I.P. R. Jordan, you won't be forgotten.


Sep. 17th, 2007 06:49 am (UTC)
This news makes me very sad. I've been a reader of RJ's books for a long time, and for whatever reason I recently felt the desire to reread the entire series for the first time in about 6 years. I just finished about a week ago. Even knowing that he's been ill, this comes as a shock to me. He didn't deserve this disease, and reading some of his blog posts over the last year or so really made me appreciate him as a person as well as a writer.

I too am one of the people who wouldn't have read your books without RJ - both because of his endorsement on the cover, and because of the recommendations of people in the usenet group rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan years ago.
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:00 am (UTC)
R.I.P. Robert
Like so many other posters, Robert Jordan led me to your works. Robert's works, especially the first 6 books, really influenced me and helped me enjoy epic fantasy at a whole new level. He will be sorely missed!
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:15 am (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)
R. I. P., mr. Jordan

from Belarus.
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:36 am (UTC)
A terrible loss, especially for his family and friends.

In a very real sense, Linda and I would probably not be together, and Westeros.org and some of the things that came from it wouldn't exist, if it weren't for Robert Jordan's series.
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:41 am (UTC)
Very sad news. He always came across as a good man from his interviews and he will be missed. Count me as one who may not have picked up A GAME OF THRONES when I did without his recommendation.
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
Indeed a great loss to the genre .

Sad to think he could not complete the WoT , for himself and his fans .

May he rest in peace , free now from illness and pain .
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:59 am (UTC)
Very sad. I had drifted away from the series in recent years, but I do remember the marvellous feeling I had when I first read The Eye Of The World. Amazing to think that was fifteen years ago.
Sep. 17th, 2007 08:09 am (UTC)
I'm devestated. Wheel of Time got me in to Fantasy and I wouldn't have read ASOIAF if it weren't for the people at Dragonmount telling me to.

I'm so saddened by this..
Sep. 17th, 2007 08:22 am (UTC)
A Very Sad Day
I was just on RJs website yesterday and read a post by his brother from last week regarding his health. I am currently reading WoT and cannot imagine such a fantasy mind extinguished. Such an illness is hard to predict. My own brother passed only a few weeks ago at a too young age. I hope Harriet all the best. I hear he did tell the rest of his tale to his brother and wife only a short while ago.

I can picture RJ sitting on a boat next to Tolkien, Hemmingway and my brother, fishing in a big lake talking of how Frodo was way too tall in the movie!

A very sad day, indeed!

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