The Wheel Turns

by Venomous Kate

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.

Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series, passed away Sunday. I read the news today. Oh, boy.

I have been a long-time fan of RJ’s blog at DragonMount, having been introduced to his series years ago by De Doc (who remains Strangely Silent of late). I enjoyed the books so much that I even sank money into the somewhat disappointing video game then loved it solely because it brought me one step closer to the fictional word he created.

Jordan had been battling amyloidosis, a progressive metabolic disease which causes protein deposits within organs. Since amyloidosis is incurable, Jordan has known for many years that his death was more imminent than most, and yet he battled against it with all of the ferocity and humanity of his fictional heroes, including some explorations into “experimental” remedies.

To say that the fantasy novel genre has lost one of its heroes is an understatement. The world lost one of its heroes, too. Jordan was more than an author of some damn fun reads: he was one of the good guys, too.

Born James Oliver Rigney, Jr., he did two tours in Vietnam, and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with “V” and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. He later received a degree in physics from The Citadel and worked for the U.S. Navy as a nuclear engineer.

He was also, as I’ve mentioned, the author of some damn fine reads.

Jordan’s family has asked fans not send flowers. Instead, they would like donations sent to help fund further research into finding a cure fore amyloidosis. Donations may be sent to:

James Rigney
Mayo Clinic Department of Hematology–Amyloidosis Research
200 First Street SW
Rochester, MN 55905

And thus the Wheel of Time turns. A legend has come to pass.

15 Responses to “The Wheel Turns”

  1. Too bad. I hope he was able to finish the last book(s) in the series. Though I hated Crossroads, and refused to read the next one until the series was finished. Sigh.

  2. I own every book that man has written, and I’ve been following the Wheel of Time since the very first book. To say I’m a fan is an understatement.

    I’m very, very, deeply bummed. :(

  3. My father-in-law is battling amyloidosis. Thankfully, it’s not in his heart. So far, his kidneys are affected. The chemo has been successful. His protein counts are coming down… but I get really sad any time I hear of someone dying from it, because I know there is no cure. Only ways to manage it.

    I’ve been wanting to start reading the Wheel of Time series. I should get started on that…

  4. I heard about this on one of my news feeds. Very sad. I had read about 3 of the Wheel of Time books a while back, but kinda ran out of time myself when we moved and then never got back to them. Did he finish the series? I know I was near the beginning but I wondered how long he was going to carry it.

  5. Teresa, he published the 11th book last year. He was writing the 12th at the time of his death. I have a feeling Harriet (his wife) will ensure it’s finished by capable hands.

  6. Can’t say, but I’m certainly looking forward to its release.

  7. Robert Jordan did a signing at a locally-owned bookstore in San Diego. I was out to sea at the time, and couldn’t make the signing. My wife, awesome as she is, took my eldest daughter to the store and got my hardcover copies of The Eye of the World and Knife of Dreams autographed by him.

    She (eldest) told me later how nice he was, answering all kinds of questions prior to the signing and stating flat out even then that the 12th book would be the last one no matter what. She said he also had a wonderful sense of humor.

    I wonder how close he was to that final book.

  8. I’m betting if he had it outlined well and had talked to his wife about it – she can work with a writer who understands his style to finish it for him.

    If I can find any time (although it’s looking like that’s wishful thinking for the next little while) maybe I can go back and start at the beginning and read my way through. I did enjoy the first 2 – the third was bogging down for me – but I think I was trying to read them too close together and along with all the moving stress it was too much.

  9. I ran into the same problem, Teresa. I have a habit of buying several books in a series at the same time then reading them back-to-back. The problem with doing that, as I learned with RJ’s books, is that authors of series spend the first part of the sequels re-hashing what happened in the previous book, assuming their readers have forgotten the details in the interval between publication dates.

    Now I switch from one author’s series to another and back again. Makes it much easier and, in the case of the case of the Gene Wolfe series I’m reading, it gives my arms a break.

  10. Not Strangely silent, but beset. *sigh*

    It’s odd, really. I wanted to like his work. I kept digging in, noting just how skilled and worthwhile his art was, but I just couldn’t quite enter his world.

    I’m glad you took joy in his commensurate gifts. I hope his work is completed, for your sake, and the sake of all my other friends who have been avid readers, all these years.

  11. Well…I hope the “capable hands” who will finish the book have a good editor…because I don’t think I could stomach another dog’s breakfast like “Crossroads of Twilight”….or handle 15 new characters introduced in the last back all of a sudden.

  12. er…that should read “the last BOOK…”…I should never post before my first coffee of the day…sigh

  13. I’ve often said that I have yet to encounter an 800+ page book that wouldn’t have been improved by the loss of 200 pages or so.

    Doc, I hear ya. That’s kind of how I feel about Wolfe’s books right now.

  14. Trackbacks