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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. 18th, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
The Wheel of Time has been one of my favorite book series since I was a little kid, and perhaps second only to A Song of Ice and Fire in recent years. Thanks for the memories, RJ.
Sep. 18th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
That so sad
It was his cover quote that got me to pick up your book.
Sep. 18th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC)
Such a shock , a great man/author gone. I can't seem to form any words but I was thankful to come here and see such kind words you have spoken about him. I loved his books as much as I love yours and it's so very sad. I truly thought he'd beat it.

thank you for your words to your fans, Rj is smiling down from above on us all
Sep. 18th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
RJ fought hard, I will think of him everytime I hear my sister call me Mary Sedai(which she does frequently but ya'll don't need to know why)May he shelter in the Creators Palm and the last embrace of the mother welcome him home. Godspeed Mr Rigney..

GRRM you better be paying attention to your health. RJ didn't lead me to you, I found you on my own, but you are much too talented to lose too.
Sep. 18th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
It is a sad, sad day.
Sep. 18th, 2007 09:17 am (UTC)
R.I.P Robert Jordan
Sep. 18th, 2007 12:43 pm (UTC)
Wheel of Time has been part of my life for over 10 years. It was the first epic fantasy I've ever gotten into, and it played an incredible role in my enjoyment of reading over the course of my life. I still can't believe this has happened. All I can do is to give my best wishes to Harriet and his family. I know they have a tough road ahead of them, and I give my support.

Rest In Peace R.J. You'll truly be missed.
Sep. 18th, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC)
the one who made me love to read
I never would have found a love for reading had it not been fo RJ's wheel of time series. He has given me one of the greatest joys of my life. I will miss his writting indeed. May he rest in peace.
Sep. 18th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
I'm in shock since I read the news. I had been following the blog on Dragonmount since I heard of his illness, but never really dared to post comments there (a mistake I deeply regret).
He made me laugh, cry and think, he will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

May you rest in God's peace mr. Rigney.
Sep. 18th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Robert Jordan opened my eyes to the world of fantasy, and if not for him I probably would never have heard of GRRM or read his awesome books. I've been reading WOT for 6 years (in between aSoIaF of course) and I hope the series ends the way RJ envisioned it for so many years.
RIP RJ and thank you for your amazing gift.
Sep. 18th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
I like GRRM -
Well I'm not sure I like HIM but I like his books.

Thinking about it I do not think I like him at all.

How can he have the nerve to fly around and watch football before he is finished til A Song Of Ice & Fire? Rude man indeed!! As you may have guessed I'm desperatly waiting for a Danse with Dragons!

I just hope you will finish your books before you get too old or sick... I'm having nightmares about it...

Ahh.. maaaaby a bit cranky today, but I just found out RJ died, and when I read the news, first I was afraid it was george! Don't get me wrong, I love Wheel of time, but not as much as a song of ice and fire... so behind all the bullocs there is actually a complement...

Live long and prosper (and write a bit faster)

Sep. 19th, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)
Re: Worried!
show some respect. shut up.
Sep. 18th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Add me to the list of people who gave A Game of Thrones a chance mostly due to RJ's blurb... at that time the Wheel of Time held me in its spell. As I grew older and my tastes changed it impact on me may have lessened, but it still stands as a masterful achievement in the high fantasy genre. The fact that Robert Jordan won't be given a chance to finish his life's work makes me profoundly sad.
Sep. 18th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
I am very sad and offer my condolences. I have seen him on the shelves since back when I was a young girl and first started reading fantasy fiction. His death is a terrible loss for one of the most inspirational writers in modern fantasy fiction.
Sep. 18th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
Grateful to him and his work.
I was fortunate to meet Robert Jordan at a The Shadow Rising signing many years ago. At that time I commented in a Robert Jordan forum/newsgroup that he appeared ill and tired and that we shouldn't worry about whether or not the series came to a conclusion but enjoy it for what it was/is. This unfortunately started a small storm in the forums which was not my intent. That encounter along with the later news of his truly grave illness prepared me for the inevitable and yet always untimely end.

I've not continued to read the series since the ninth installment, because for me it had lost it's appeal and seemed extremely redundant (tugs braid). However, I still remember the thrill and wonderful enjoyment I felt reading the first book through the seventh. I also enjoyed his Conan work. I think I will revisit the Wheel of Time with fresh eyes and appreciation.

To his family and true friends,

Thank you for sharing him as much as you have.

Sep. 18th, 2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
This deeply saddens me. Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time Series is what opened me into the grand world of fantasy and literature.
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