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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

( 158 comments )
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lavinya_sedai
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:49 am (UTC)
RIP RJ...he created a truly awesome world, he will indeed be missed.
myonu
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC)
Amen.
niamhotoole
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:04 am (UTC)
Very sad. I thought he was actually getting better :(
lebannen
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.
ishcairn
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
nynaeve
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.
lannie
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 :(
beejang
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC)
This is very sad news.

R.I.P Robert Jordan.
You'll always be remembered.
navarths_domino
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!

Mark
escarboucle
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.

*waves*

~Syn
dscotton
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.
haplomephistos
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!
zigblins
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:15 am (UTC)
:(
heruer
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)
R. I. P., mr. Jordan

from Belarus.
hippoiathanatoi
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.
werthead
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.
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