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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 04:15 pm (UTC)
Just thought I would share...
Robert Jordan has touched many lives. My own included.

Many years ago I started dating a young woman by the name of Rhonda. At the time she was an avid fan of Robert Jordan's wheel of time series. Being a reader myself I picked up the first couple and burned through them. Then quickly all the way up through book eight I think at the time. It was during the discussions of this that I started talking about these books with my at the time gaming group. One of them was in another regular game that was based on the world Wheel of time though slightly modified by the game master.

I eventually got into this game and made some very good and close friends. Aaron, Alec, and Felcia, not to mention Ron who brought me into this world. We all played characters with some special ability. As the game was already in progress and at the time male channelers were quite insane I could not play that. We already had two female channelers in the group, and a male and female wolf brother, and an Warden who had lost his Asedai. I was limited... so I played a roguish character with the ability of Luck. Though as we were minor players our abilities were not to the scale of the main players. So through his works our characters came to be. They are beloved to us all and through the Aaron and Felicia actually were married. Another life touched and bettered by Robert Jordan.

Through this game we travelled to a land with real dragons though few. Where great walled cities existed in the south of the lands on the borders of the grass seas. This is what was on the other side of the Aiel wastes. This is where we discovered the lands of George RR martin. As a part of the same world. John snow and others with the wargs in our world were treated as wolf brothers with the same wolf like glow to there eyes...

So for our little group. The worlds of Yours and Robert Jordan's are inexorably linked.

He will be missed.


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

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