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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.


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.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)

Still, it's awful that he died, and so young too. :(
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:38 am (UTC)
I hope that's the case, reading other comments above reveals that he did tell how the series would end to a family member. So hopefully the last book can be finished. I hope also hope he had it mostly done, it's my understanding he was on track for a 2008 release. But of course that's all projection.

I just picked up the series, I'd read about his illness and hoped for the best. It's a sad day for Fantasy.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC)
he put everything down in notes and dictation.

His series will finish.. he just won't be the one to finish it.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC)
Yes, I've just now been able to get to his blog and read the various bits of news. Obviously nothing is being said right now, and I hope that the masses can have the common decency to let his loved ones mourn properly. Though I fear some will put aside their, relatively minor, grief quickly and clamor for the final novel.

For my part I'll be content to sit and wait. I've not even begun the series yet though all the printed books are sitting on my bookshelf waiting.

I'll also be talking with the program manager for the B&N I work in to see if there's something we could do. I know it would be a small thing, but may putting up a display with his various books or something to that affect. Though I can't promise anything of course being a small cog in the bigger machine.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC)
i don't know how to make a link here, but go here and see what the wotmania webmaster said about this.



George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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