By BRUCE SMITH, Associated Press Writer
Mon Sep 17
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Author Robert Jordan, whose “Wheel of Time” series of fantasy novels sold millions of copies, died Sunday of a rare blood disease. He was 58.
Jordan, whose real name was James Oliver Rigney Jr., was born and lived in this southern city most of his life. He died at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston of complications from primary amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy, his personal assistant, Maria Simons, said Monday. The blood disease caused the walls of Rigney’s heart to thicken.
Robert Jordan (pic from locusmag.com)
I’ve never been a massive fan of Robert Jordan, but this is very sad news indeed. That’s far too young for any one to die. Especially when they were working on the twelfth and final book in a series of bestsellers. There are going to be a lot of people out there thinking about all the time they invested in those stories, desperate for a promised end one day, in a state of confused emotions. On the one hand, they’re going to be very sad that Jordan has died. On the other hand, they’re going to be hating him for going before he finished his work.
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.
All we can do is hope that his notes are clear and someone does take up the challenge. For now, however, it’s enough to know that Jordan did what few fantasists did and burned up the bestseller lists on a regular basis. I never got past book 4 of The Wheel of Time, but I’m obviously the weird one. So many people were deeply touched by his work and he’ll be sadly missed.
In an interview with The Associated Press in 2003, Jordan discussed having a best seller.
[The first time it happens] you go out in the middle of the floor and you do a little dance. Then you go someplace booze is being served and buy a drink for everybody in the house.
You have to have talent to some extent — I certainly hope I have talent — but you have to have luck as well. Once you get that first shot, that will get you noticed for the rest of your books and that will give the rest of your books a better chance.
Encouraging words for all writers there.
Vale, Robert Jordan.