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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 10:12 pm (UTC)
May Aiel, Warders and Aes Sedai weep openly, without shame...
When I first stumbled across The Dragonlance Chronicles and began asking the older and wiser(my sister's stoner friends) about good fantasy the three answers I got were; Tolkein, Peirs Anthony and Robert Jordan. This was say twelve years or more ago and I have read at least a little of each author. Tolkein speaks for itself and I found Peirs Anthony to be very dissapointing but for some reason I never read any Jordan until two months ago when I bought ten of the books at my local flea market/pawn shop. I'm on Fires of Heaven and I'm not a fast reader nor do I have much time for reading. At first the series was only a good way to pass the time until "Dance" but I have known since the third book that I would finish this series before I read another book. I love the peoples and orders of his world and the doomed aspect of his characters. Lordan was a masterful author. I appreciate your respect of him and thank you for sharing your memories with us. Though i knew nothing of Jim Rigney I wish his family peace and rest after this. And you as well George______Garrison

R.I.P. Robert Jordan


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

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