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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 07:34 pm (UTC)
I actually picked up a Game of Thrones specifically because I saw his quote.
Sep. 17th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Very sad news, there have been a lot of great fantasy authors who have passed away in the last year or so, Gemmell, Ford, Alexander and now Jordan, the genre is much the poorer without them.
Sep. 17th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
May the last embrace of the mother welcome you home...
It's a very sad day today, with the passing of Jim Rigney. My thoughts and prayers go with the family. For those interested, I have posted funeral information that I found on the Dragonmount website.

Funeral services for Robert Jordan will be held on Wednesday, September 19th, at 11:00 AM at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
67 Anson St.
Charleston, SC 29401

The funeral is open to the public. There will be a private burial later in the day. The Rigney family kindly asks that in lieu of flowers, donations are made to the Amyloidosis Research group at the Mayo Clinic:

Mayo Clinic of Hematology
Amyloidosis Research
200 First Street SW
Rochester, MN 55095
Mayo Clinic website Direct link to donate is here.


Sep. 17th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
May he rest in peace. :(
Sep. 17th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
A sad day indeed...
The wheel of time turns and ages come and go....
it is so sad. One very bright thread has ended, but the pattern would never have been so bright without it. I have RJ to thank for introducing me to high fantasy. I truly doubt I'd be on this website at all if not for him.

Sep. 17th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
there at the worst time in my life I looked around and found 2 to acompany me. They were Robert and George. Now I have George and memories. RIP dude and thank for the fantasy...I wish a few of the best writers would get toghether and finish it as a tribute to jordan.
Sep. 17th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
Thats really sucks he died, I have many friends that read his works, and liked it. I was always going to hold off and wait till he was done, before I started. I read too many book series that are in progress, and just dont want to add any to that list.

Its a sad thing.
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
Sep. 17th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
I am so sad. Like many who posted here, it was Jordan that got me started on fantasy a few years back. I love reading and used to boast I read everything except sci-fi and fantasy. Then somebody told me to try Robert Jordan and I got hooked. From there on I went to read Game of Thrones, part because of his quote on the cover, and part because a lot of people mentioned you and him in the same line of the great fantasy writers. Without RJ I might never have discovered GRRM or the fantasy genre as a whole.

Since then I've read Wheel of Time many times, and most likely will many more. Robert Jordan was a talented man, and I am forever grateful for his sharing his worlds with people like me.
Sep. 17th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
Robert Jordan
He will be greatly missed!
My heart goes out to his courageous wife Harriet!
Sep. 17th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
We still have not found the Song....
RJ and I had exchanged pleasantries once or twice, and I had always thought that, now that I live here in Augusta, that once he was feeling better, we might sit down for coffee or something in Charleston.

I was stunned when I learned the news. He was an inspiration to many of us, as you said, George, and he will be missed.

It pleases me that you and he were friends, and made the good memories you spoke of when you last parted. My condolences to his loved ones, and you, George.

Josh Gharst
Sep. 17th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
I was also shocked to hear of Mr. Rigney's passing. I feel terribly for his family and all of his friends, including you, Mr. Martin. The genre has definitely lost a very special and important voice. I think I'm going to drag out my WoT audiobooks and go through the entire series again for the next couple of months' worth of driving in memory of Robert Jordan.
Sep. 17th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
The Wheel of Time Turns
I have been a loyal fan of Mr. Rigny, aka Robert Jordan, since his first book in the series came out. I then became a fan of GRRM after seeing the cover quote on the first book of the Ice and Fire book. I grabbed that book and hugged it tightly. If Mr. Jordan recommended this book, well hey! Its gotta be good.

Mr. Jordan had an enormous talent and will be sorely missed by his legion of fans. God bless him and his family in this time of sorrow. He will be greatly missed.
Sep. 18th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
I am shocked as well to hear of Robert Jordan's passing. I'm glad to know that you two were friends though. You're my two favorite authors.

I'm sorry for your loss though. My thoughts are prayers are with you as well as RJ's family.

The genre has definitely lost someone great and he will be sorely missed.
Sep. 18th, 2007 12:06 am (UTC)
A true legend.
"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend."

Robert Jordan was a legend that we should never forget.
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George R.R. Martin
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