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September 16, 2007

Robert Jordan (James Oliver Rigney), 1948-2007
Posted by Patrick at 10:42 PM * 200 comments

He was a good guy. He and Mike Ford considered one another “blood brothers,” and he spoke at Mike’s memorial in Minneapolis last fall, even though the effort of simply standing up was obviously a strain. He was a doer of quiet kindnesses, which counts for a very great deal.

Our thoughts are with his wife Harriet McDougal, the rest of the family, and everyone else who loved him.

Comments on Robert Jordan (James Oliver Rigney), 1948-2007:
#1 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 10:57 PM:

Obviously, this thread will not be for discussions of who did or didn't like his works and why.

#2 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:01 PM:

I'd been following his struggle in is blog for a while.

My sympathies to all who kept us updated there, and to Harriet and Wilson (?) who seemed the closest.

The world is a bit dimmer for a bit.

#3 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:03 PM:

Indeed - it's been a poor joke of mine that I'd wait to read his works until I was certain I wouldn't be re-reading them every few years when a new volume was released, in some strange recreation of xeno's paradox. I'm sorry to discover his time ran out before my time came.

#4 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:04 PM:

My condolences to everyone who loved him.

#5 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:12 PM:

Against Entropy

The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days—
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.
The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.

—John M. Ford, 1957-2006

#6 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:14 PM:

The official Robert Jordan blog is hammered, but his cousin Wilson's statement is mirrored here.

#7 ::: JerolJ ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:16 PM:

The man changed publishing world - I truly believe that without him we would be seeing far less fantasy and speculative fiction on the shelves. This is truly a great loss and my sympathies to his friends and family.

#8 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:23 PM:

Jordan was my "rediscovery" of fantasy in my early submarine service years.
I finished his first novel in a matter of a few watch section rotations then placed it up for grabs in the ship's library (which was an unused medical locker that didn't occupy more than a cubic foot).
I watched that novel float from hand to hand during my first deployment --- by the end of the six months the covers were tattered and torn and the pages were coffee stained and dog-eared(most likely from the Chiefs' mess).
Crew members each picked up their own copies of The Eye of the World and the subsequent novels... Robert Jordan served his country (again) by offering a crew of submariners an escape from their own harsh industrial reality and provided a common bond for them in his fantasy writing.
You never know who your writing will reach.

De profundis mare.


#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:34 PM:

JKRichard, I'll never forget getting aggrieved e-mail at the Tor account from a guy whose copy had shed its cover not long after the beginning of a tour, when there was a long list of his shipmates waiting to read it. There wasn't a lot I could do for him, aside from assuring him that we thought poorly of the spine adhesive too.

#10 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:35 PM:

He will be missed.

#11 ::: betsyl ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:37 PM:

oh, hell.

his books were not to my taste, but i met him once or twice and he was a nice man.

#12 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:44 PM:

Aw, no. I'm really sorry to read the news.

#13 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:44 PM:

Ah, no. That is a shame. I'm sorry.

#14 ::: Monica Toth ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:45 PM:

The New York Times is announcing the death of another Robert Jordan, a "leading American bridge player". I can't get through to the Dragonmount website -- too much traffic. Is it possible there's been a misunderstanding?

#15 ::: Mat Herford ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:46 PM:

I always viewed the Wheel of Time books as my Lord of the Rings. When I was just starting high school, I remember losing sleep and waking up early to tear through his books. His books were my gateway into Fantasy.

I've reread the Wheel of Time series every few years after that, every time thinking and taking away something different.

He had quite the affect on my reading tastes and my interests.

I'll miss him.

#16 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:53 PM:

Monica, alas, there is no mistake. Perhaps the NY Times is in error. But Jim Rigney has passed.

#17 ::: Merav ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:54 PM:

I am so sad to hear he's gone. I used to role-play in a Wheel of Time MUD when I was in college. His was a universe anyone could play in, because it was so large and diverse.

I know he was struggling to finish his work, and had hoped to stay on just a little longer and see the culmination of his dream.

My deep condolences to his family and those who loved him. I only knew him in print, but he has still made an impact on me.

#18 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:55 PM:

#14: No misunderstanding. That NYT obituary for the bridge player is from January 2004.

#19 ::: Rich ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:56 PM:

He was my gateway into fantasy reading as well, and his huge rabid internet fanbase (of which I was a huge and active member, back in the day) introduced me to many of my good friends.

Strange to think that I first happened on his books when I was in high school - I will admit I lost interest in his series, over the last :gasp: seventeen years, but barely a day goes by that I don't participate in some forum that is populated by people whom I encountered through our mutual enjoyment of his books (there is a whole expatriate community on livejournal, for example).

I should go to bed now; I am getting more and more depressed as I continue to poke around my old WOT haunts.

#20 ::: Monica Toth ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:58 PM:

Beth@16: Thank you. It must be a very strange coincidence, but these things do happen.

#21 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2007, 11:59 PM:

Teresa @#9 I assure you that I have never sent you an email to your Tor account (yet ;). I can neither confirm nor deny...

Adhesives onboard ships don't last long --- there are too many environmental pollutants and acetates that eat away at spine adhesives. Perfect binds were the absolute worst, best to three-hole punch and place it in a binder.

#22 ::: Ed Greaves ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:00 AM:

Monica @14

Sorry to say, that it is not a mistake. I've managed to get onto the actual site once this evening. As well, I get his blog as an RSS feed. It was quite a shock, because the prior entry, just about a week ago, things sounded so positive.

#23 ::: Joy ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:01 AM:

How very, very sad. His work got me back into fantasy reading when I was about to leave--and "The Eye of the World" was the first book I read while driving (stoplights only!). My condolences to his friends and family.

#24 ::: Monica Toth ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:02 AM:

A friend of mine has just pointed out the date of the NYT article in question: January 14, 2004. I only read the date at the top-left of the webpage, which is, in fact, today's.

How embarrassing. Sorry, everyone.

#25 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:05 AM:

Like Rich, I owe a lot to the Robert Jordan communities that flourished on the Internet, and am still connected with them in many ways. I feel this loss deeply, and my sympathies are with his loved ones.

Thank you, Mr. Rigney, for what you gave us. I wish I could have known you.

#26 ::: marty ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:07 AM:

my condolences to the family. I am sure a rose is posted somewhere.

#27 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:12 AM:

#24: Don't worry about it, Monica; I've done far sillier things, often when I was in that brain-scrambled state of being stunned by news like this.

#28 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:12 AM:

This is the man who stopped me at Mike's wake, thanked me for doing what I was doing, and asked me intelligent, caring questions about what I was teaching. That will always be how I remember him- a man who in his own grief and pain was so kind to others.

He or Harriet asked to see the codpiece paper when it came out. I never got around to it.

#29 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:19 AM:

Robert Jordan got the fact that medieval lit was funny, and often funny in odd and quirky ways. He understood the bizarre but funny aspects of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in a way that surprisingly few people do.

I suspect that that his success enabled Tor to take a risk with authors that might not have had quite as much of a chance if Robert Jordan's books hadn't been so very very popular, making less likely to be wildly popular books still possible to publish.

He will be missed.

#30 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:20 AM:

Very sad. I'm extremely sorry to hear of it. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

#31 ::: Melanie ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:28 AM:

He brought a wonderful new world with real characters to life. I devoured each book and usually only got annoyed that I had to wait for the next one...I was thrilled when I found his blog, and have been reading it ever since. I was completely stunned by the news today - he'd sounded so positive in the last entries. My deepest condolences to Harriet and his family and friends. He will be missed greatly.

#32 ::: Deb Geisler ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:28 AM:

The death of such a kind man, and a well-loved writer, is very much a loss for all of us. My deep condolences to those for whom his passing is a personal grief.

#33 ::: Jamie Bowden ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:38 AM:

I met many a friend out there in the world thanks to rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan. He'll be missed. I read his Conan books in my early teens and TWoT through my 20s and 30s. I guess this shelf of hardcovers will remain incomplete, but neither will I part with them.

#35 ::: Melissa Devnich ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:00 AM:

Like several others here have commented, I met some good friends on usenet thanks to his books. I'll always be grateful to him for that.

#36 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:12 AM:

Lisa (29), his quote on Mike Ford's work did wonders.

#37 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:19 AM:

I met him at Mike Ford's memorial, but I'd known for two decades that he was one of the good ones, because Mike said so. I'm sorry for everyone who knew him well, and I'm sorry I didn't know him better.

#38 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:19 AM:

Oh, and Skwid? I went and told the newsgroup. They already knew, of course -- the world has changed since then -- but I long ago promised them that on this occasion, I'd go there and give them the word.

#39 ::: Hawk ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:33 AM:

My condolences to Harriet, Wilson, and everyone else.

He's had a huge influence on my life over the past 17 years. I met my (now) husband due to interest in his books, and rasfwrj. I've met so many of my close friends due to him.

He will be missed.

#40 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:40 AM:

I remember reading The Eye of the World in halves--the spine had broken clear through (making it much more manageable, really). It was at the house of a family friend, standing out on a shelf of Tom Clancy thrillers. I had run out of books, and The Eye lasted me all the way home. I kept it--them, really, for a long time, side by side on my shelf. I can't remember where they've got to.

#41 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:59 AM:

I too broke the books, especially the last two, after another farm disaster messed up my grip. I bought a 48 color pen set and coded individual character's story lines for rereading. I wanted the last book, and I wanted him to write something just about the Aele (sp, I know, sorry). I'm sorry he's gone, sorry for his friends and family, and sorry for the loss of the story's maker.

#42 ::: Maggie Matthews-Gonzalez ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:10 AM:

Mr. Jordan was my introduction to fantasy when I was thirteen. A few years later I had the chance to meet him at Oxford Books in Atlanta, and I was absolutely petrified. He was extraordinarily kind and funny, and I'm sure that at some point I actually breathed. Now I'm an aspiring fantasy writer, and it's absolutely not an exaggeration to say that his books changed my life. Goodbye, Mr. Jordan, and thank you.

#44 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:29 AM:

He became his admirers.

I am sorry to hear it. What a year.

#45 ::: John Klima ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:55 AM:

My condolences to you and everyone at Tor. This is a huge loss.

#46 ::: Shalanna Collins ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 03:35 AM:

I'm sorry to hear this. It's always depressing to hear that someone so valiant lost the fight. Also . . . "Any man's death diminishes me, for I am part of mankind." Condolences and prayers to his family and close friends.

#47 ::: Diane Duane ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 04:14 AM:

Ah, hell. We didn't know him well, but the time we met in Dublin, he was just a joy to be around.

(sigh) At the moment, seems like the best way to honor his memory is to go work on a book.

#48 ::: Adam Whitehead ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 04:39 AM:

Very sad news. He was a good writer and by all accounts a good person. The Wheel of Time will be remembered as one of THE defining works of late 20th Century fantasy. Condolences to his family and friends.

#49 ::: Sara ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 04:55 AM:

I lived in hope that one i would meet the great soul that drew me out of this world and into his !

Alas no signings in the UK.

Gone but will never be forgotten, rest in peace without pain or sadness, i your reader will allways remember you with a smile !

#50 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 05:26 AM:

Gone but not forgotten.

#51 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 05:56 AM:


I remember picking up the The Eye of the World from my local library not long after it had been published, not knowing much more than that it had the funny squiggle on it that meant it was a sf or fantasy novel and reading the first chapter. From the first sentence I was hooked and I stayed hooked a long time, through the rest of the novel and many of the sequels. It was the first time I've read a fat fantasy series and still the thing I judged other such series by: will it suck me in the way Robert Jordan did?

For much of the nineties I spent many a happy hour reading and rereading these books and while I may have stopped doing so later, the memories remain.

My condoleances to his friends and family.

#52 ::: russell ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 06:03 AM:

Oh crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Didn't even like the books, but I'm devastated. So. Much. Time. Invested.

#53 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 06:35 AM:

My condolences to his friends and family.

#54 ::: Jackie ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 07:05 AM:

He fought a long battle. I'm glad he's finally at peace.

My deepest condolences for his family, friends, and fans.

#55 ::: Karen Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 07:30 AM:

This must be such a blow to the folks at Tor who've had such a wonderful association with him, and naturally his family and close friends. When I was a bookseller I remember my customers and their passion for his work. Now I'm a writer, I hope one day to touch people as he touched people, with his own passion and dedication and craft.

My condolences to you guys, and to all here who are grieving.

#56 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 07:43 AM:

Ah, damn. May his memory be for a blessing.

#57 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:12 AM:

I'm saddened by his passing.

#58 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:28 AM:

"Growing old is a series of goodbyes." (Edgar Pangborn). I'm sorry.

#59 ::: Craig ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:31 AM:

My introduction to the internet at large came through his works as well, and I still keep in touch with quite a few friends I met that way.

I like the URL of the local media story Patrick posted - "Robert Jordan Dies At Age 16,247." If only.

#60 ::: PixelFish ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:47 AM:

The first six books of the Wheel of Time were major influences on my writing during my middle-teen years, and I'm sorry to hear today of his death. When he announced that he had contracted the illness that would eventually kill him, it struck me how prophetic the copy of the dustcovers of his book was. "He has been writing since 1977 and intends to continue until they nail shut his coffin." And so he did.

If you have to go, that's the way to do it. Doing the things you love til the very end.

I still fondly remember the early days of Rand and Mat and Perrin and Egwene and Elayne and Aviendha (my personal fav). My brother and I used to get the books as soon as they were out in hardcover and pass them back and forth and theorise. Rest in peace, Mr. Jordan.

#61 ::: Christopher Turkel ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:48 AM:

I met him at a conference once. My wife thought he was a sexist but I liked him. Principled, smart and witty.

God bless, RJ!

#62 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:58 AM:

Damn. The WOT books sucked me in, too. There's something wonderful about books that paint a complete enough world that you can kind of climb in and get lost in there; there aren't too many writers who produce such a world. Jordan was one.

"The wind was not the end. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the wheel of time. But it was an ending."


#63 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 09:33 AM:

Too damned young. )-: My sympathies to all.

#64 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 09:37 AM:

His books have always picked me up by the toes and dangled me upside down until I finished reading. And that quality exists in them regardless of whether I like them or not.

That's talent, and that's Writing, and his will be sorely missed.

#65 ::: Suzanne M ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 09:47 AM:

Like xeger, I always expected I'd read his books when the series was finished, so I remain unfamiliar with his work. This is sad news, but at least his pain is over.

My condolences to all.

#66 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 09:51 AM:

I met Jim very early in my employment at Tor, when, because of lack of office space in the NY office (we were in something roughly the size of an oversized cloest in those days; I shared a drafting table--not even a desk--with David Hartwell and our then-art director. David came in 2 days, I came in 2 days, and the art director came in on Fridays), I was packed off to Jim and Harriet's place in Charleston to work out of "the back office."

I spent about a month there, with a break to return to NY for Passover, and throughout that time, Harriet and Jim were unfailingly gracious hosts who extended to me many of the privileges of family despite the fact that we had never met before I turned up on their doorstep with my luggage.

Jim was a man of great good humor, significant passions, and unbounded creativity. His humanity was clear in his every action. He was a mensch.

I'll miss him.

My condolences to his family and to all who loved him.

#67 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:00 AM:

Condolences to his family and friends.

#68 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:10 AM:

The Wheel of Time, that ROBERT JORDAN spun,
Has reclaimed its own. His work's not done.
We may yet see him in an Age to be.
Timor mortis conturbat me.

I'd been meaning to re-read the Wheel of Time, and I shall. It always depresses me when I finish a book that really sucks me in - but one that's never done could go anywhere.

Rest in peace.

#69 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:13 AM:

I guess he must have had his off days, because the one time I met him -- at a TusCon a few years before the first WoT book came out -- I came away with such a negative impression that I've never been able to bring myself to read any of his books.

My loss, judging by the remarks of others who knew him better.

#70 ::: abb3w ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:14 AM:

Resquiat in pacem, et lux perpetuae. =|

#71 ::: Steve ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:25 AM:

The wheel turns. Sending good thoughts to those who will miss him most.

#72 ::: J. Kozee ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:26 AM:

I had been awaiting the release of the last book in the Wheel of Time series for some time now and am deeply saddened by this news. The works of Robert Jordan inspired me to write on my own. It would be a great honor for some author to finish this book for him. He will truly be missed in this world. It is a sad day for all. My thoughts and prayers for the family and friends. Godspeed Robert. May you rest in peace.

#73 ::: Michael Walsh ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:28 AM:

Condolences to his family, friends, and readers. Sad news indeed.

#74 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:28 AM:

My mother, who taught me to love reading and introduced me to fantasy and science fiction, adored his books, and from comments here, it's clear he was much loved. My sympathies to his fans, friends and family. Beth, I had totally forgotten the Cavafy poem, and reading it again brought tears... Thank you.

#75 ::: Debbie Notkin ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:37 AM:

Velma @56, I have always appreciated "May his memory be for a blessing." When I think of Jim, however, I think of Mike--and it's because of Mike that I know that Jim didn't wait for his memory to be a blessing, he was a blessing while he was alive.

#76 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:41 AM:

That Pangborn quote upthread is so sadly true! Mike Ford died younger than I am now, Robert Jordan just a touch older, and it was also far too early for Phil Frank of the "Farley" cartoons (at 64, as noted on SFGate a few days ago).

They live in our memories now.

#78 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:02 AM:

Ah, damn.

I know he had his critics, but his books did a great deal to change the way I thought about epic fantasy. Whatever else they were, they weren't derivative; they took the building blocks of generic quest fantasy and spun off them a world that was grand and weird and ambitious, at once familiar and deliriously strange.

I haven't kept up with WOT for a couple of volumes now, mostly because other things caught my interest more, but I never stopped admiring what he was trying to do with it. For the inspiration and delight he gave me, I owe him a great debt, and I'm terribly sorry he didn't make it to see his Great Work completed.

He will be missed, and he will be remembered.

#79 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:03 AM:


Thank you. It's funny, as sad as this has made me (and it's hit me harder than I expected), that gesture, that fulfillment of a promise, is what made my eyes water.

#81 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:29 AM:

My immediate reactions on hearing the news were thinking, "Oh, crap," picturing him and Mike Ford standing together at the Lunacon at that airport hotel more than two decades ago and thinking that now both of them are gone, thinking of Harriet's loss, and thinking of the wider communities of Tor, publishing and writing, the SF community, and the readership. That's one enormous hole....

#82 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:40 AM:

My love and good thoughts to Harriet, to all Jim's family and friends, and to all of you at Tor (particularly to Tom). I know this was a long struggle; I'm so sorry.

#83 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:46 AM:

:( I just finished rereading the first 11 books Thursday, too.

The first thing I did when I got on the internet for the first time was look up info about RJ and tWoT.

#84 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:52 AM:

Because it wanted out:

A mighty writer was the man
Read the thousands in his van

Though I knew him not at all
I am saddened by his fall

Finding tears when ere I blink
So I cannot help but think

With tales unfinished, words unwritten
Reader's hopes by death smitten

How much worse fans and friends will feel
At this sad turning of time's wheel

#85 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:53 AM:

I thought this webcomic and commentary, the day after his death, was in poor taste myself.

My Elves are Different

#86 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:12 PM:

Uh, Paul? Then why link to it here? This is not the place to comment on his work, as Patrick said in the very first post. And yes, linking to a snarky comment by somebody else is commenting on his work.

Condolences to all his family, friends and loved ones.

#87 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:20 PM:

My condolences to all who cared for him, as a writer or as a person.

I didn't know him as either. I can fix the former, but it seems clear my life has been poorer for the latter.

#88 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:26 PM:

As others have said, oh damn. I'd never read his books -- a case of so many books, so little time. But I know that a good number of my friends will be feeling as sandbagged by fate this week as I did this time last year. He was so determined to stay with us, it was easy to believe he could hang a little longer, and a little longer after that... My condolences.

#89 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:36 PM:

My condolences to his family and friends.

Je m'en vais comme on vit, allant porte à porte,
A l'ombre de chacune ouverte;
Ce que le temps avare avorte
Ne nous est jamais vraiment perte:
Les manuscrit inachevés que j'emporte,
Dans maints couloirs abandonés, inertes
Et empilés, voient leurs fins à l'eau forte
Gravées, sur des âmes encores vertes,
De tout âge, de toutes sortes,
Même pleurant mon sommeil. Certes
Je ne suis plus, peu m'importe
Ma vie est en les mots des langues disertes
Des miens, que seul l'amour transporte.

If my use of first person is found disrespectful, please disenvowel knowing I didn't mean to be.

#90 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:36 PM:

How is it that I never remember that life isn't forever, that work will remain undone, stories untold? I hope that I've learned something about fiction from Jordan, good and bad, but I hope I can learn this final lesson: time is short.

#91 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:48 PM:


I recall being in high school and gently teasing my friend for having his nose buried in a different Jordan novel every week. "Jeez, dude, how many of those are there?" And then one day I was leaning in too close to peer at the back-cover plot description on the latest while my friend continued reading, and another friend came by and couldn't resist the opportunity to flick the book in my face. Just stuck his finger in between the pages and flick! The spine rebounded sharply off the bridge of my nose, and I had a lovely bruise the next day.

So, yes, since I haven't actually read Robert Jordan's books, my fondest memory of them is the day one of them gave me a black eye.

Authors' passings always put the urgency on me to write faster. But this particular occasion also puts me in mind of getting back in touch with high school friends. Which seems appropriate. My class is still far too young for us to be regularly watching obituaries for each other, but tomorrow is uncertain for all that. We shouldn't wait for the next 5n-year reunion to say hello.

My condolences to the family; close, extended, and spiritual.

#92 ::: The New York City High School Math Teacher ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:51 PM:

The White Plains Galleria,
Second floor B Dalton,
Six blocks from the 4:00pm bus up Benedict Ave.
Fantasy bricks above the Niven and below
the Anderson.
I didn't buy them.
Then the eternal September,
came the r.a.sf.* flamewars. bled into alt.warlord,
and aol'ers.
And I still didn't buy them.
It's been fourteen years,
I'm not a reader of fantasy.
I haven't bought his books.
It's sad whenever somebody dies.
Baruch dayan emet.

#93 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 12:57 PM:

It is a little astonishing to realize how much of my life right now is the result of the Wheel of Time series.

And, judging by the comments and posts, that is the smallest sliver of his life and his legacy.

Condolences to all those who knew him.

#94 ::: MW ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:10 PM:

I have very vivid memories of receiving the first two books of the Wheel of Time as a Christmas present when I was in Grade 10 or 11. I devoured them in about two days and if my perception of the series has fluctuated over the years during the long wait between books, my memory of the joy I took in falling into those first two books has not.

He had a long vision for that story and I was deeply curious (more so even than with Ms Rowling's series) to see how much of its end would be in its beginning. I am deeply saddened to learn that his illness has overcome him before he could conclude the writing.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the Eye of the World signed during his last visit to my city and am very glad this morning to have it. His wife was with him that day and my thoughts are with her this afternoon.

#95 ::: Mike Hoye ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:11 PM:

They already knew, of course -- the world has changed since then -- but I long ago promised them that on this occasion, I'd go there and give them the word.

One obituary was enough, I think.

#96 ::: Peter Brett ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:22 PM:

Robert Jordan is a hero to me. Sometimes I groused while reading his Wheel of Time series, but other times I wanted to stop writing myself, because what was the point if I could never write on his level? Jordan's books greatly influenced my ideas about what fantasy writing was, and what it could be, and inspired me and my own work tremendously.

It is painful to admit that his death has also fills me with a horrible guilt, because while I am truly saddened at the loss of this great man who was loved by and touched the lives of so many, another more selfish part of me is throwing a tantrum in the back of my mind, raging that it will never know how the Wheel of Time ends. It is rumored that Jordan told the answers to his wife in his last days, and that he agreed that a ghost writer can finish his last book, but it won't be the same.

Rest in Peace, Robert. If I can touch one person the way you touched me, I will be proud.

#97 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:23 PM:

Everytime someone asked me if I'd ever read Jordan, I would answer: I'll wait until he's finished. I hate knowing it's unfinished, but I guess it's time to go get the books. Enough recommendations on this list from people I respect to make it important.
I'm so sorry for those of you who knew him; he sounds like a heck of a good guy.

#98 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:25 PM:

I've enjoyed his work for years, though I never hung out on the fan forums or his blog.

We're gonna miss him.

#99 ::: Karl Kindred ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:32 PM:

His books changed my perception of writing, myth and the way history and backstory work in a larger span.

I didn't know until I read this thread that he had passed; not 20 seconds later Teresa's newsgroup post came up in my reader feed.

I'm a grown man of 31, I think of myself as "manly" and "practical"...and I have just shed tears for a stranger I only met once, and who wouldn't know me from Adam.

I bought a trade paperback copy of "The Eye of the World" out of the shipping box the day it arrived at Waldonbooks, I read every word before I closed my eyes that night.

My participation with the RJ mailing list and the newsgroup are honestly how I came to discover PNH and TNH and eventually find my way to this community; and for that alone I will be forever grateful.

I've read every obituary/memorial/remembrance that's been linked so far, and while all of them are moving and heartfelt, I want to say that Melissa Singer's @#66 was the one that really spoke to me. A good host. I this world and in his world, that's a wonderful way to be remembered.

For me today, the world is another light dimmer.

Condolences to his family, friends and to all my fellow fans.

#100 ::: JohnH ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:51 PM:

17 years of facination, devotion and even frustration. Common sense whispered in the back of my mind that this was something more likely to happen than not in the near future. Yet still it is numbing and dislocating. The window into a treasured, adored and even obsessed over imaginary world has been shut and shuttered for all time. And the real world is a bit less rich and wondrous and bright because of it.

Grief is the price we pay for the privilege of loving, respecting or admiring our fellow man. And today I grieve for the man and for the author. And a small bit for the world he created. A world that still fascinates and resonates in my own imagination. That his last work will be A Memory of Light is somewhat ironic and entirely fitting.

#101 ::: Kathleen ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 01:56 PM:

thanks for this thread. It's nice to read so many comments and rememberances.

#102 ::: shannon ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:09 PM:

He'll be missed, although his work will inspire many writers for years to come.

#103 ::: Shawna ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:14 PM:

Well, hell. I was so convinced he'd win this thing... I'm stumbling around in gloomy funk, and I never had the fortune of meeting the man, just loving his work and following his blog...

And a CNN article...

#104 ::: Chris S. ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:19 PM:

It feels almost as if the foundation of the house I live has just cracked. It may be no comfort now to his family and friends, but he was loved by millions, and will be remembered.

#105 ::: jmmcdermott ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:29 PM:

I think it is a testament to his greatness as a story-teller that many young writers felt the urge to criticize his writing. Give us a couple months or a couple years after that criticism (like Scott Lynch, linked above), and we all felt like boobs for it, because the man could actually write extremely well, and he did actually earn every single one of his millions of fans.

We, younglings, all had to deal with him, though. Part of how we created an identity as fantasy writers was choosing to accept or reject the Wheel of Time in our own visions. This urge, I think, led to more criticism than was actually deserved.

The greatest tribute to the man, I think, is how every person in the fantasy genre had to respond to his books, his stories, his world - more so than any other author since Tolkein. No one could have no opinion.

#106 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:33 PM:

I've read none of his books, but if you can know a man by his enemies, you can surely also know him by his friends. My condolences to his family, his communities, and those friends.

#107 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:33 PM:

Xopher @ 87 speaks for me.

#108 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 02:49 PM:

I was never able to get into the WoT series. This always made me feel a bit sad that I was missing out on something that was clearly giving so much joy to so many people. By all accounts, he seems to've been a good and generous man whose intelligence and humour helped others bring out the best in themselves, and I'm sorry to've missed out on that as well.

#109 ::: MLR ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 03:05 PM:

I read The Eye of the World years ago when I was an assistant librarian. I enjoyed the book, but I remember more the avidness with which the younger readers devoured his series. Any writing that brings that much joy and enthusiasm to young readers is a great thing.

My condolences to his friends and family.

#110 ::: Eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 03:18 PM:

I'm a big fan and im very saddened by the loss, I am however optimistic that something will happen with the great world he has created. He will be greatly missed. Condolences to his family and fellow readers.

#111 ::: Laurie D. T. Mann ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 03:30 PM:

Another sad day for the field. I'm sorry he died so relatively young.

While I wasn't a fan of his writing, he had hugely devoted fans. I've worked in various bookstores, on and off, for years, most recently in 1994 and 2002. I was unfamiliar with his work in '94, but people, particularly teenaged boys, always came looking for his latest books. Even in 2002, when Rowling had captured the interest of so many teens, Jordan's books were still frequently asked after.

#112 ::: Zeynep ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 04:00 PM:

He created a massive edifice. And I have seen so many people come together around the bonfire he lit, connecting to each other, while listening to the story he wove, then spinning off and creating the stories of their own lives.

This has hit me very hard. I wish peace to his friends and family.

Sounds the horn now---many a reader,
Who followed him through tome after tome:
May "The last embrace of the mother,"
As he wrote, we wish, "welcome you home."

#114 ::: JHudson ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 04:11 PM:

It is always a sad day when one of our warriors dies. Mr. Rigney was a true warrior laureat. He has brought countless hours of entertainment to this old sheepdog no matter where our nation has sent me. I have stood in Australia and seen the Aiel Waste, looked out over Arad Doman, and flown my helicopter throught the Malvenide Narrows... You will be missed. The world truly is less of a place this day.

Molon Labe!!! Driver down, God speed...

#115 ::: moe99 ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 04:14 PM:

I've been trading messages with my son in college who was an even greater fan of Robert Jordan's than I was. We will be in mourning for quite some time.

I've read on another site that the conclusion was almost written and that Harriet may bring it to a close and get it published. Fingers crossed that this comes to fruition.

#116 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 04:24 PM:

My condolences. I was thinking of Mr. Jordan/Rigney last week trying to remember a line PNH used in early 90s, describing Robert Jordan and Steven Brust as men that both wore hats and both wrote fantasy, but that was about all they had in common.

His vision for the WOT was complex and epic, and like everyone else, I'm hard pressed to think of more influential modern author in the fantasy genre.

The spouse and I raised a toast in his memory when we read the news last night.

#117 ::: Luke H ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 04:31 PM:

I attended a signing in New York and brought a paperback copy of The Wheel of Time which I had managed to glue back onto the spine of the cover. After waiting in the line for some time it was explained to me by one of the booksellers that the signing was really intended for hardcover books and that, if I wanted a signature I would have to ask the authors permission and then wait at the back of the line. I did just that; when I asked, Mr. Rigney smiled and told me that he was just happy to sign books for people who read them. It was a pleasure to spend a few moments with someone so gracious.

#118 ::: Gwen ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 05:04 PM:

Arrggghhhhhhhhh What about the ending? It was almost there!

#119 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 05:37 PM:

Never met him personally.

But, aside from my enjoyment of his books, I've also met a lor of nice people because of them. And a not inconsiderable portion of my regular web circuit is made up of websites of people I've met because of the WOT series.

Condolences to his friends and family.

#120 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 05:40 PM:

Sad, sad news. I haven't read some of the more recent ones, though my love for the world he created hasn't diminished. I was looking forward to catching up once he was done.

A former colleague used to take the day off work every time a new WoT book came out just to read it. We'd spend hours talking about all the possible outcomes and identities yet to be revealed. I've shared that world with many of my students as well. Those bonds remain.

#121 ::: minz ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 05:41 PM:

I always meant to say something here about Mike Ford's passing as well, but the words weren't there at the time. Not that this bit of doggerel is a significant step up from silent tribute...

Too soon are they gone,
both Mike and Jim,
but their words live on.

Together they were drawn
by language and whim;
too soon are they gone.

They would seize upon
both doggerel and hymn,
but their words live on.

When Mike went beyond
Jim’s future seemed grim,
too soon are they gone.

Each a genre scion,
they wrote with great vim,
but their words live on.

The world grows wan,
the light grows dim;
too soon are they gone.
But their words live on.

#122 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 06:07 PM:

A lovely anecdote from a friend, Leigh Butler (among other things, the WoT FAQ maintainer).

#123 ::: MM ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 06:12 PM:


I loved WoT.

#124 ::: Jim Frenkel ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 06:24 PM:

I remember Harriet McDougal mentioning, long ago--it had to be 1977 or '78, that there was this terrific young writer, a Vietnam veteran. He wrote really good action and adventure, and other stuff--historical. She was very enthusiastic, one of Harriet's many great virtues. And then, probably ten years later, after Tor was born, and Jordan had already written some really terrific new Conan, Tom Doherty took me into his office one day and handed me the first five hundred pages of The Eye of the World and commanded me to read and comment on it.
Tom was enormously excited. This was the first time we had a fantasy novel at Tor that he felt could really make a huge splash. And coming from Tom, who had sold Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in the '60s, that was a heady endorsement.
Reading the manuscript convinced me that Tom was absolutely right, as he pretty much always is. I was avid to see the rest of the manuscript, and he obliged, and though it was quite long, I breezed through it. It was magical in so many ways.
We don't always get the privilege of greatly admiring the authors we publish, but Jim Rigney was, to my mind, always a gentleman, ever a kind, thoughtful person, and I never saw him do anything hurtful to anyone.
Being as talented as he was, and as kind and great-hearted too, he was, as many here have said, a gift to us all. His span of interests was wide, and he brought to everything he wrote a keen intelligence as well as great creative passion.
Knowing that he was struggling with the disease that ultimately felled him was painful for all who knew and loved him. And that meant all who knew him or his works. There will be no replacing him. Such as he don't come along very often, if ever again.
I'm sure everyone who has written to note his passing feels much as I: no words can adequately express the depth of loss.
For Harriet, I can feel only sympathy, and hope that in her mourning she will, despite the pain of his loss that must be overwhelming, feel some relief that his ordeal is over. And for others in his family and among his wide circle of friends and admirers, we can but take some small solace that in his life he gave us the precious gift of his words, which of course will live on.

Jim F.

#125 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 06:45 PM:

Terry McGarry, who, aside from being a fantasy author in her own right, was also Jordan's copyeditor for many books and many years.

#127 ::: P.o.m. ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 06:53 PM:

Found the first
on the shelf
with the violas

the eighth
in an airport bookshop
hasty en-route home
(when the businessman nodded my way,
said, 'Great series!'
flashed his own).

Skipped a class
(not condoned)
for the bookstore on election day
(set history teacher's eyes rolling,
but was not punished for reading in class).

Hard to be sad
for a stranger -
I just hope he was ready
(and that he was right-
that there might be good days to die)

#129 ::: Jason Venter ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 07:14 PM:

I don't have anything profound to add, but I feel compelled to say that Robert Jordan was one of several that inspired me not only to keep writing, but to put my heart and soul into it the way he did. The world can be such a dark and dreary place, and that's especially true on a day when such a brilliant light is snuffed out before its proper time. My condolences to his family, his friends, his associates, his readers and to the world of literature in general.

#130 ::: Rhondi Vilott Salsitz ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 07:32 PM:

It seems the celestial beyond is in need of imagination, for all the greats suddenly heading its way.
I had hoped for an ending to the series but not to its author. Condolences to family, friends and fans.

#131 ::: Brent Copeland ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:09 PM:

I've grown up with this series, and loved every word of it. I don't know if i'll ever want to read again. My heart goes out to all friends and family, and I know the pain you are feeling must be unbearable, since I sit here with tears in my eyes, yet I have never met the man in person.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

#132 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:26 PM:

I never know Jim well, but working with Teresa on the first couple Wheel of Time books was an unforgettable experience that taught me a great deal.

Everywhere I go I meet fans of Jordan's books. Just this last week the fellow who waits on me at Starbucks had one of them.

My condolences to Harriet and his family and friends.

#133 ::: Ron E ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:32 PM:

I wish I had known the man, so that I could say something pertinent here. That not being the case, I shall say nothing except offer my condolences to those who knew him.

#134 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 08:51 PM:

I've read for a long, long time
The turnings of the Wheel of Time
And though each comes to the time
Of his ending, I remember the time
When I first took hand and read.

Requiescat in pacem.

#135 ::: Maggie ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 09:08 PM:

Like Kate, I've been struck by how much of my life is all tangled up with The Wheel of Time. The friends - nay, the *family* - I found on rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan are such an integral part of my life, I couldn't untangle from them if I tried hard. How different (and perhaps less satisfying) my life would have been without Jim Rigney and his work.

The news of his passing has hit me way harder than I had expected it would. A little, but wildly important, piece of my heart was taken away.

#136 ::: Sandy Pratt ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:38 PM:

The Wheel of Time had a weird way of sending ripples of interest out through the world. What those ripples catalyzed was as unique as the story itself. Personally, I think it reflects very highly on his work that what it brought about in the world of fandom was of such high quality.

Not to be too AOL, but when I was a Marine passing the days and weeks and months aboard ship, WoT played a special role in keeping me sane and giving me an identity to hold onto.

I also believe that rasfwrj (mostly a lurker, but I'm in the family tree) probably taught me more about the real world than most other time sinks before or since. Does that sound scary?

In any case, rest in peace.


#137 ::: Geri Sullivan ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:40 PM:

Following Patrick's lead:

Pamela Dean

#138 ::: Addison Mapes ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 10:57 PM:

Good-bye RJ - If you enjoy the afterlife as I have enjoyed the fruit of your earthly toil – peace will be yours

Never the less – the world is less good with out you!

#139 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:01 PM:

Saw this today; while his fiction did not particularly appeal to me, I came to know him as a very kind and generous man. And we sold a lot of his books. He did good in the world; and who can ask for more?

#140 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:01 PM:

Sad news, certainly. He obviously loved to write, and many people loved him to write— but he fought off his illness good and long, and did the best he could to see his opus through.

And Phil Frank is dead? I must go to PacBell Park and offer up a chilidog with Alphonse. Damn.

#141 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2007, 11:21 PM:

Very sad news. My condolences.

#142 ::: San ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 12:57 AM:

Thank you Robert Jordan for sharing your amazing vision and prodigious imagination with us. You inspired me to imagine and write. I would re-read the entire series up to the latest book whenever I was sick or had enough time on my hands. You will be missed. Perhaps you too will come back to us on the wheel of time, a storyteller in a time when you needed again.

To his family and friends, you are in our thoughts.

#143 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 12:59 AM:

I miss him.

Condolences to all who loved him, his work, or both.

#144 ::: Rev. Edgar Stephens ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 02:00 AM:

I too take off every time his books come out. I also reread the series each time. My mother wanted to live until she finished the series- she died in 1996. My daughter trick or treated as an ai sedai-she devoured his books like I did. A top fantasy writer has to finish this series. It won't be as good- but it needs to be done as a tribute to such a monumental work.

#145 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 06:28 AM:

They will come like heroes from far away,
And build worlds of words inside your mind
Filled with numberless beasts, both strange and fey
And True things for the clever and brave to find.
And they will stand like gods before your eyes
Shaping with words your dreams in the night
Whisp’ring secret tales beneath pale skies
Teaching you truths, both of darkness and light.
Then they will go, and things will change. Stories
will flutter to life inside you, unsought
To speak them seems somehow prideful and strange.
Yet they demand release, these vagrant thoughts.
So with pen and paper you set them free to roam
For what you’ve wove is not, in truth, your own.

#147 ::: Rebekah Nichols ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 07:13 AM:

His books inspired me to drift into writing fantasy stories myself. I don't think I would have ever found a genre I like so much without reading his work.

He is an inspiration and will be sadly missed. My condolences to his family and friends.

#148 ::: Jurgen Bolsens ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 07:49 AM:

Robert Jordan made me fall in love with the fantasy genre al over again.He will live on in all his written work and in his fans, friends and familie.

#149 ::: Searles O'Dubhain ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 08:59 AM:

Death comes suddenly but spirit continues. His body has surrendered his spirit to greater spirit where he yet lives in worlds beyond worlds. From time to time as we each read his work and think of him, I hope that his spirit will touch our own so that each of us is inspired to the heights of wonder. a wonder it is that there was a writer known as Robert Jordan. He lives on always as the Wheel continues in each of us and all around us. Spirit will find a way to live in each house of the spirit that is open to its touch. So it is with the great and enormous spirit of Robert Jordan who has filled many a heart with his wonders. There is a home for him within each of us to share with others as he has shared with us. May his colors always accent the winds and lead us into the next adventure of the worlds.

#150 ::: Eleanor ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 09:01 AM:

My neighbour in my first year at university was a fan. He lent me the first four books (of seven at the time) and they were a revelation. I only stopped reading them because, well, I'd just started university; life was exciting, the term was short, and I didn't like the way the books were eating my weekends. And the series wasn't finished. Maybe now it's time to go back to it.

My surname is very close to "Jordan" alphabetically. If I ever get published we'll be side by side on the fantasy shelves, where my tiny output will be dwarfed by his prolificness. Which is a silly reason to feel a connection to someone, but there you go. I'm sorry he's gone.

#151 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 09:26 AM:

Jeff VanderMeer, on the Amazon Bookstore's Blog.


Associated Press.

Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing. (Plus, in the subsequent comment thread, me responding to a fathead who was confidently retailing decade-old nonsense about Jim's health history.)


#153 ::: Michael Merriam ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 10:28 AM:

James will be missed terribly. My condolences to his family and friends.

I'm collecting peoples thoughts about losing him here, if people would like a quick source of as many remembrances as I can find.

#154 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 10:29 AM:

I'm terribly sorry to hear.

I can point to a specific place in a specific one of his books and say, "Right there- he changed the way I think."

My condolences to his family and friends.

#155 ::: Ilya Popov ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 11:55 AM:

Like Miss Nepveu, it really is a little astonishing to realise how much of my life right now is the result of the Wheel of Time series.

My condolences to all those his friends, family and readers.

We're miss you, Mr. Rigney.

#156 ::: Steve Perry ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 02:36 PM:

Jim was my editor on the Conan novels, back when I was writing them. I kept trying to sneak puns and in-jokes past him, and he kept catching them. He'd line through one and then write NO! in the margin ...

Too young. Too soon.

#157 ::: Adele ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 03:52 PM:

I'm a bookseller. It has been terribly difficult to break the news to his readers. He has touched so many lives - I've heard several "If I hadn't found this book..." stories.

It has been difficult for me to accept because his blog had been so positive just the week before.

My condolences to Harriet and Wilson (4th of 3).

#159 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 05:06 PM:

LA Times (late, just went up this afternoon):
'Wheel of Time' author dies at 58
James Rigney, who wrote under the name Robert Jordan, inspired an online community devoted to his fantasy works.


#161 ::: ALBERTA ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 06:02 PM:

My deepest condolences to everyone a part of the Jordan family.
I pray that the lord will protect and keep the dragon safe, and let him write.
I am in shock. I have read the WoT books more times and will reread them again.
Wheel of Time is the best of the best I ever read in my live.
And I read so many books.
My deepest sympathies to his loved ones.
I will miss you RJ in my live so much.
I have hoped that you had have the time for an other 30 years to write
Write in heaven for me please, so when we come to, we can read again jour story `s for ever.

Rest in peace

#162 ::: ALBERTA ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 06:02 PM:

My deepest condolences to everyone a part of the Jordan family.
I pray that the lord will protect and keep the dragon safe, and let him write.
I am in shock. I have read the WoT books more times and will reread them again.
Wheel of Time is the best of the best I ever read in my live.
And I read so many books.
My deepest sympathies to his loved ones.
I will miss you RJ in my live so much.
I have hoped that you had have the time for an other 30 years to write
Write in heaven for me please, so when we come to, we can read again jour story `s for ever.

Rest in peace

#163 ::: Dylan Flynn Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 07:08 PM:

I'm reminded of, but do not entirely endorse, Joel Furr's thoughts upon the death of Roger Zelazny so many years ago.

#164 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 07:34 PM:

That BBC piece is not true:
Jordan's first fantasy book, The Eye of the World, was published in 1990

Shame on them.

#165 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 07:38 PM:

Noted in The Age, Melbourne Australia

His work isn't my cup of tea but I hosted a signing many, many years ago (around the time of volume 5 or 6, I think) where I work. He dealt with the endless repetitions of and variations on "When's the next one coming?" (some of them not as polite as they could be - for some reason a lot of people back then got into WoT thinking it was a trilogy and resented how long it had been "dragged out") with more charm, wit and grace than I would have thought possible. He seemed to be someone who appreciated his fans as much as they appreciated him. If that's how he was toward strangers, I can't imagine what it must be like to have been close and to have lost him. Condolences to all.

#166 ::: Lowell Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 07:54 PM:

I am not a writer but a reader. I am 50 years old. I have read on average, at least one book week my entire life (at least since I learned to read). I have read everyone from Jane Austen to WEB Griffin. I only have this comment to add to this thread:

"Mr. Rigney was the best writer I have ever read".

"Duty is heavy as a mountain, death is light as a feather."
~Matrim Cauthon

Walk in the light for ever James, you have surely left this world a better place than it was when you came into it.

#167 ::: Venomous Kate ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 08:27 PM:

Jordan was one of the good guys, not just in writing but in life. I've loved his series, and consider it sadly ironic that I'd only just ordered the 11th book in the Wheel of Time series last week.

It arrived yesterday, one day after his death.

Somehow, holding it in my hands reminded me that the Wheel did, indeed, turn.

I hope his legend never fades into myth.

#168 ::: Rachel ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 09:03 PM:

Oh no. I'm so sorry to his family and friends. This makes me sick to my core that the world has lost such an amazing person.

#169 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 09:35 PM:

I met RJ several years ago when he stopped by my agency for a luncheon the SF club there held for him. Patrick was nice enough to arrange this. While he was there, he stopped by the National Cryptological Museum, his wife's father had been a Navy codebreaker during World War II. He was a very gracious and charming guest, and I wish I had been able to get to know him better.

I truly enjoy his books, and I hope Harriet will be finishing the final one.

I have gotten involved in WoT fandom, and am a denizen of a couple of roleplaying sites. I serve as senior citizen, big brother, wise counselor and general overage smartass. I also give history lessons in medieval and renaissance warfare, as well as how people lived and worked. Most of the people there are high school and college kids. I have fun. I try to pass along some of life's lessons that I've learned along the way...

#170 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 09:38 PM:

At Mike's memorial service, he said "I said 'I'll be brief' and Mike snorted Bass Ale out his nose."
A lot of writers of mega-series would not have had modesty to make fun of themselves like that.

#171 ::: Jim Satterfield ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2007, 09:39 PM:

After 30+ years of attending conventions there are still some people I haven't gotten to meet that I really wanted to and he was one of them. But people I have met or respect in general are making me realize how much I missed by "only" getting to read his books. Sigh.

#172 ::: Rick Moen ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2007, 01:13 AM:

I will remember most of all his quiet good deeds for others, including as his immensely creditable (and quiet) longtime support for John M. Ford. He was a man of great heart, considerable style, generous and kind. He showed grace and courage, especially after finding out that, like Mike Ford before him, he'd been dealt a cruelly bad hand by the gods of weird health threats.

My sincere best wishes and condolences to Harriet, to Wilson, to Beth Meacham, to Patrick and Teresa, and to everyone else who cared for him.

Rick Moen
(owner/sysadmin of the WoT FAQ site)

#173 ::: Tehanu ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2007, 01:44 AM:

When I started "The Eye of the World" I thought it was the usual post-Tolkien derivative stuff ... and when I finished it I knew it was original and worth following up on. His respect for and interest in women characters is the thing that I've always liked the most, but his writing had many more good points than just that. So sorry to lose him before he could write a dozen more.

#174 ::: Dennis ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2007, 09:20 AM:

I went to four of his booksignings and always found him happy to be there, pleasant to his fans, and incredibly polite.

Like others, my life is richer not only for having read the books, but also for the people I met thanks to Jordan fandom. Rest in peace. You will be missed.

#175 ::: dave brenneman ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2007, 12:59 PM:

I've read and re-read the WoT series.. I remember how thrilled I was when I first discovered it at the library. In fact, that was a major motivator for me to look for his publisher's logo on OTHER books, a milestone in life only equalled by realizing there were often multiple interesting bands on the same record label.

My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

#176 ::: Mat C. ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2007, 06:53 PM:

He lost the battle with Moridin, I see. He will be missed.

(especially since I've been waiting 17 years for the series to conclude)

#177 ::: Bill Buchanan ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2007, 01:25 AM:

I have re-read each of his books several times and had lengthy on-going discussions about them with my wife and children. We loved the characters and the story line and how it continued from book to book. The character development was amazing. Even minor characters seemed to be real people. His descriptions are so vivid that I can picture the scenes and events easily in my mind. I will miss the books he had planned but didn't live to write. He was a wonderful writer.

And I will-read the series again and continue to wait for Book 12. It won't be the same, but I am sure that Tor will see that the Wheel of Time series doesn't die unfinished. It is what Robert Jordan would want. In fact, I hope Book 12 will be another best seller!

My deepest sympathies to his wife, family and friends. May God comfort you in your time of grief.

#178 ::: Fredrik ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2007, 06:02 AM:

Today I wept for a man I have never met and who I never knew. I wept because a storyteller who have kept me awake many nights had passed away.
Robert: You will truly be missed. And I hope that your legacy will be well treated.


#179 ::: Sander ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2007, 07:46 AM:

I was lucky enough to have met the man twice, and above all what struck me was his "awareness". He not only instantly grasped the underlying intent of even the oddest curve-ball trick questions into his world, but he also really _saw_ you, the person asking the question.
I think he also missed his true calling as a stand-up comedian.
I suspect the pain of our loss will sing in our hearts for a long time to come.

Tad Williams.

#180 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2007, 07:29 PM:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Actually, this is an excerpt from the L.A. Times obit someone has already linked to, but with an addendum that adds a local-interest touch:

Only 8 people in 1 million contract the disease [amyloidosis] each year, Mr. Rigney wrote in March 2006 as he addressed his illness in the science-fiction magazine Locus. Three notable Pennsylvanians died of amyloidosis in the past two decades -- Pittsburgh Mayor Richard Caliguiri in 1988, Erie Mayor Louis Tullio in 1990 and former Gov. Robert P. Casey in 2000.

#181 ::: NJE-USAF ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2007, 10:58 PM:

I remember first discovering the WoT series. I actually read the Legends piece first and looked EoTW up. I was instantly hooked. They have helped me relieve stress, relax and step into an amazing world. I deploy to Iraq soon for 6 mos and had planned on taking the whole series and reading again for I'm sure the 5th or 6th time to help me get through whatever I will face there.

He was a true American Hero and authentic Southern Gentleman from start to finish. Prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time.

#183 ::: Christopher Averill ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2007, 05:13 PM:

From my blog...

...I remember the great feeling of loss upon John Ford's passing, and am left feeling... numb... now, as the death of James Rigney almost exactly a year later has left me feeling even greater sorrow. And even that isn't even enough to quantify... this is like the sun to a candle-flame. It is said that "grief is the price we pay for the privilege of loving and caring for someone," and I am again reminded of the truth of this.

James Rigney touched the lives of so many, and I am surprised to find how much of my own development and growth over the last years has been his doing. My own perspectives, touched ever so gently by his words, my creative breadth expanded by necessity so as not to seem pitiful next to Jim's own.

Jim, your legacy is as deep and broad as your writing, and as you were. Never have I known of someone as completely comfortable as you... who by their very existence, fanned so many sparks into wildly passionate flames. I owe more to you than even I will ever know... and I hope you know how much your life, your work, and even your struggle these last years, have inspired hope and courage and love in so many hundreds of thousands of people.

I haven't the words to say what should be said,
but I offer to you, and for Harriet these meager lines,
with the great knowledge that had you read them,
you would have smiled and thanked me no matter
that they lack a skillful or talented craftsman.

Your light will shine ever
brightly in the night sky,
never fading with the
passing of time,
your words will revive us,
your life will inspire us
and your memory will
dry our tears...

Peace, Jim...
and may the last embrace of the Mother welcome you home.

#184 ::: Sparky Zapho ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2007, 06:03 PM:

I am Stunned, just the other day I was at B&N asking when the next WoT would be out. Well, God bless his soul, for bringing joy to so many others. I will always leave space on my shelf for his unfinnished works. My world is somewhat less for his parting.

#185 ::: Sean ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2007, 02:20 PM:

It's the end of an age, from my blog:

Readers who have been here for a while might have known my love for books, but my favorite series was by a guy named Robert Jordan (aka James Oliver Rigney, Jr), he wrote a massive series (7000 plus pages) called the Wheel of Time that entranced millions over the years. A couple of years ago he was diagnosed with amyloidosis, a disease that causes the walls of the heart to thicken. In the bio located in the back of his books, he wrote that he “intends to continue (writing) until they nail shut his coffin.

It looks like that time has come, he was working on the 12th and final novel of the series when he died Sunday at the medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Myself and I’m sure millions of fans around the world were hoping he would survive to finish it. I’ve spent literally months living in the wonderful and complex world that he created and now? It feels like other aspects of my life, something cast off and left undone.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

#186 ::: C.S. Pennington ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2007, 08:29 PM:

I was at work when I found out about this; it was insane, crazy busy, and I was about to have a meltdown. This was the poison icing on an already bad day.
He was a shining light in a world of copycats and formula books. He made my life more fun, and gave me back the gift of great fantasy.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends; may the Mother give them peace.

#187 ::: gfrazer ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2007, 05:00 PM:

I was stationed at the Charleston Air Force Base from 1987 to 1991. I met him once at the Charlestowne Square Mall when he was there for a book signing for The Eye of the World (when it was first released). I listened to him describe the various belief systems and ethos that influenced him during his creation of the story line and the nations and peoples in the the book. I decided to buy the book, and I am so grateful that I did. I read books in the fantasy genre in high school but this series was so different. It has been my favorite from the first chapter of the first book, and will remain so. Our world was a brighter place while he was here, and has dimmed with his passing.

#188 ::: Steven Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2007, 09:54 AM:

I got the first WoT books when i was 14 and i have waited every year of my life *31 now* For the next book...Always checking the book store for the next one with every trip too the mall..Checking every website for word of the next book ..Now
What do i do ?In my eyes the greatest writer i have ever known is gone ...Im Honestly grief stricken and i just found out that he passed dec,23,07

Bye R.J. you were some one i looked upto ..

#189 ::: Joseph ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2008, 02:32 AM:

To the Great Robert Jordan,

Your writing was and still is a great escape from the stress of this world. I did not know you were gone. You will be missed. Thank you for your time.

#190 ::: STAN DAVIS ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2008, 02:28 AM:


#191 ::: STAN DAVIS ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2008, 02:29 AM:


#192 ::: Aile Konutu serhi ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 07:48 PM:

Thats good here ı like what writes.

#193 ::: Bebekler ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2008, 07:49 PM:


#195 ::: Joneill ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2008, 01:30 PM:

I am sadden by this news my hart and thoughts go out to the family and his friends. my wife got me into the “Wheel of Time” and I must have read and heard the audio books a dozen times. Robert had my hart with is 1st book I read and I could not put it down. Robert will be missed my many.

#196 ::: Tom Whitmore sees ranging shots of spam ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 02:48 PM:

You may want to kill anything with "Handyman" and "Sacramento" in its name....

#197 ::: Paul Duncanson sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2011, 07:09 AM:

...and another one.

#198 ::: David Harmon sees more spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2012, 04:46 AM:


#199 ::: Stefan Jones suspects spam ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2012, 02:38 PM:

I'm deeply suspicious of #203.

#200 ::: OtterB sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2013, 08:55 AM:


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