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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 02:39 pm (UTC)
Very sad to hear. He will be missed and his stories as well.
Sep. 17th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
I am another who initially started reading your books after reading Jordan's books. I picked up the paperback of A Game of Thrones right after it came out and was admittedly undecided about purchasing it until I saw Jordan's recommendation on the back (which he gave very few of if I recall correctly).

I'll always be appreciative of Jordan's books and equally so of his recommendations. I'm glad I was able to meet him at a book signing for Crossroads of Twilight (a month before I went to a signing for Feast). Seeing at both signings the number of fans there eagerly awaiting a chance to talk to and meet the author (and knowing that the same event is replayed at signings around the country) lets you know how much an author is appreciated.

Rest in Peace Mr. Rigney - your works will live on far longer than any of us here.
Sep. 17th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
I feel you understate your own talent; I was waiting for you to resume serious novel writing since you wandered off after the Armageddon Rag to do Wild Cards (which, yes, I bought), and have been regularly loaning and giving away copies of A Game Of Thrones since it hit paperback. (The hardcover is MINE! MINE YOU HEAR ME! Ahem.)

That said, the field is indeed poorer.

On which thought... do take care of your own health.
Sep. 17th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
I've never read his books, but I meant to start on the series when the final one was finished and published. I feel bad that his last days were spent writing a book when he probably should have been allowed to spend time with his loved ones.

RIP, Robert Jordan.
Sep. 17th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
My prayers are with his loved ones.
Sep. 17th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
He will be missed
"Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain," — The Great Hunt.
Some of the most important lessons on life and duty I learned from Robert Jordan.
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.
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
Agreed, he will be missed. Hopefully his work will live on. I hope that the publisher does the right thing and NOT assign a hack writer to finish the series... You shall be missed Mr. Jordan/Rigney.
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
Say it ain't so George...say it ain't so.

Sep. 17th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
This is a sad day for everyone who knew the man and loved his work.

Personally, I admit, I never read WoT because I'd been told by several people it frizzles into too many plotlines and details - something that has made me abandon series before (Gabaldon and Feist, to name two), and I didn't want to start a series I knew I would give up on.

But after all those positive remarks about the books, I've decided to order that nice box with the first three at Amazon.

Thus, Robert Jordan may have hooked a number of his readers on George Martin, but in my case George started me on Jordan. :)


Sep. 17th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Light will shine the memory of him.
Sep. 17th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
"Wheel of Time" was my first high fantasy series; I picked up Eye of the World back in the 7th grade and the rest was history. The books are an ambitious piece of work to both read and, I imagine, write. An author like him is a rare find, and we'll all mourn his loss.
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
I love reading thru these comments and reading, "Wow, his books got me thru high school/jr. high". Thousands of people have read and thousands more will read, and love, his work. What an excellent tribute.

It's a peculire feeling for a fan like me. I've never met the man, but I sincerly felt I knew him. I did a WoT podcast, and studied the books closely. I had always wanted to meet him. Share my opinions, and thoughts. Hear his stories. Reading the tales of others who enjoyed his books makes the loss even keener.

My thought are with Harriet, Wilson, and all RJ's friends and family.

I remember.
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
i actually picked up A Game of Thrones because of that RJ quote on the cover. he was a great man, and he will truly be missed.
Sep. 17th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I did not here this anywhere else but here. This is horrible.... One thing can be said, He is starting his new beginning in the Wheel of Time.... RIP Robert Jordan... You are a legend!
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