"James Oliver Rigney Jr, author of the long-running fantasy series The Wheel of Time and better known to millions of fans by the pen name Robert Jordan, died on 16 Sept 2007 from cardiac amyloidosis. Jordan announced he had been diagnosed with the disease in March 2006 and vowed to beat the odds, but determination and gumption sometimes just aren't enough in the face of a disease with a median survival time of just over two years. Jordan was in the process of writing the twelfth and final book in the Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light, but the book was not slated for release until 2009 and is still incomplete. While there is hope that the book will still be finished from Jordan's notes, this is devastating news to all of us who have been reading the series since 1990."
Cinema Blend excerpt:
As someone who’s read all eleven books, this hurts. Not just because now we’ll never know how 17 years worth of character development ends, but because Jordan seemed like a genuinely good person who loved what he was doing and loved his fans. Right now my thoughts are with his family and friends, but from now on whenever I look at his spot on my bookshelf it’ll always be to selfishly wonder what might have been.
UK SF Book News
ThrowingThingsBlog has opened a thread.
Claw of the Conciliator has a nice report, including the information that Jordan was an active Episcopalian:
PS: In June, Jordan wrote this at his blog: For Piercy, I am Episcopalian, though rather High Church. I haven’t been up to attending services this last year, but either the rector or one of the deacons comes by to give me communion, so I feel that I’m not missing everything.
Obviously it is a truism that we none of us know how long we have. And while some live a long life and come to its end feeling that they’ve accomplished everything they’ve wished for and are content with how things stand, many more go out with unfinished business or goals left unmet.
Known for its epic sweep, intricate plotting and large cast of complex characters, the series centers on Rand al’Thor, a humble messianic figure who must stave off the forces of evil that threaten to overtake the faraway land in which he lives. Along the way, there are perils and portents, fair maidens, fantastical deeds and the like.
In an essay in The New York Times Book Review in 1996, Edward Rothstein wrote, “Even a reader with literary pretensions can be swept up in Mr. Jordan’s narrative of magic, prophecy and battle.”
The “Wheel of Time” books have often been compared to the work of J. R. R. Tolkien in terms of their ability to exert a magnetic hold on readers.
The Independent (HT: Locus online)