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Fantasy Author Robert Jordan Passes Away

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the doff-our-helms dept.

Books 571

willith writes "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."

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Kevin J Anderson and Brian Herbert (-1, Flamebait)

PeteyG (203921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632515)

lol at everyone who read wheel of time!

tragedy, but maybe Kevin J Anderson and Brian Herbert will rape the Wheel of Time with a final installament.


Re:Kevin J Anderson and Brian Herbert (1)

j235 (734628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632531)

But first they'll put out a plethora of prequels.
We'll see the final WOT in about 10 years.

and another one bits the dust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632917)

Just goes to show you that everything dies. The lesson is to never live.

Those of us here are doing just that.

Re:Kevin J Anderson and Brian Herbert (2, Interesting)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632635)

Bastard. Now I'll never know how it ends.

Well, here's hoping he left enough notes (and by all accounts he would have) for the story to be finished off 'correctly'. I threw in the towel at the end of book 10 after none of the vital plotlines from book 9 were measurably advanced - in retrospect I should have stopped at book 7. Nonetheless, if it IS brought posthumously to some kind of conclusion it'd be nice to know what happens. A lot of wonderful storylines in an excellent fantasy world, if only he could have split it up into about 3-4 parallel series like Feist did with Midkemia.

Re:Kevin J Anderson and Brian Herbert (3, Insightful)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632839)

I've read a few interviews where he said that the ending had basically been written for years, so at least that's something. I hope they find someone to finish it. Despite losing a lot of focus in the middle it really has been a great series and was finally starting to look great again. It deserves an ending even if someone else has to fill in the gaps.

Re:Kevin J Anderson and Brian Herbert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632985)

Yeah, he was dictating much of the story since he was too weak to write. Apparently he told the story in its entirety to his wife and his cousin just before he died. And he had an extensive library from which he used to create the series. It will only be a matter of time before all of this is compiled into the final book. Hopefully he recorded the complete story and all that will be needed is for the writers to put it down on paper. Either way, there are probably no major holes that need to be filled in (as with Dune or the Silmarillion).

a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632519)

While I don't like to be the one to "flog a dead horse". The Wheel of time Series has been in a downward spiral since about book 5. Disjointed, dragging out endless plot lines in a poor attempt to make it to book 12. Personally I hope they don't bother to put book 12 together, I stopped at 9.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (5, Insightful)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632679)

Personally I hope they don't bother to put book 12 together, I stopped at 9.

There are thousands of people who have hung on for 17 years to reach the end of the tale, regardless of how much it had deteriorated in the later books. I have been unhappy with the most recent books myself, but I still wanted to find out what happens nonetheless. I probably speak for the majority of his readers in this. I'm saddened by his passing, and it would be even sadder if the story were never finished. It's almost certainly what he would have wanted.

I hope his notes at least reveal the outcome to whomever picks up the story. (Orson Scott Card, are you available?)

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (5, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632705)

Card? It must really have gotten pretty bad.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (4, Funny)

Drawkcab (550036) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632887)

If Card took the helm, 60% of the final book would involve Olver as the protagonist, and Rand would become a thinly veiled allegory of Joseph Smith.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (4, Funny)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633375)

I agree with you. I just cant decide if that would be better or worse :)

Grammar Fascism (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632855)

whomever picks up the story

Whoever is doing the picking, and is thus the subject and not deserving of the 'm'. If you want to sound fancy try whosoever, but better yet if you don't understand when to use whom, just don't use it at all.

I apologise (sic) in advance, if you belong to a subculture to whom the rules of normative grammar do not apply.

Re:Grammar Fascism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632965)

I apologise (sic) in advance, if you belong to a subculture to whom the rules of normative grammar do not apply.
...to which...

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (1)

olman (127310) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633071)

There are thousands of people who have hung on for 17 years to reach the end of the tale, regardless of how much it had deteriorated in the later books.


That must have been some deteriorating. Having personally given up on part 4 or thereabouts.

AFAIK the series was really supposed to be trilogy, but as soon as the sales figures came in, the man just went on churning. In fact I think he said pretty much the same in early (90s) interview.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (3, Insightful)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633189)

IIRC you are correct about the WOT being a trilogy.

Jordan's passing is all the more disheartening for this. He could have been an epic figure in fantasy lit, but he gave in to the marketing drones.

I absolutely loved the series until the last chapters of book three. His legacy is fucked now. The later books in the WOT series are as unreadable as his work on the Conan series.

Anyhow... RIP Jordan. You wrote more good lit than I ever did, even if the good material was the vast minority of your output.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (5, Interesting)

jinxidoru (743428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633383)

It's so true. He should have done what R.A. Salvatore has done. Rather than taking his trilogy and making it 12 books long, he just wrote another trilogy using the same characters and then another. Then he wrote a prequel trilogy and so on ad infinitum. The end result is a story-line that is nearly as long as WoT, but is manageable because you take it in chunks. Each series of books is fairly self-contained, and tells a story in itself while still leaving enough loose ends on which to base another series of books.

Actually, now, as I am writing, I am reminded of the best at this, Terry Pratchett. You don't even have to read the books in order. He really is a genius at making every book completely self-contained, yet having them still sit in a larger story line. In many of his trilogies I have actually read the second or third before the first, and it made complete sense.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (1)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633157)

I've avoided starting the series, based on the frustration of people I know who've read the books faithfully and have been hanging on for so long.

I think I'll still wait till some semblence of a final book is pulled together and published.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633241)

There are thousands of people who have hung on for 17 years to reach the end of the tale

The curse of buying from a supplier with a single-source. If you're smart enough to buy a plain beige box made of parts from 30 low-bidders, that can run a variety of operating systems, you should be smart enough to buy novels written the same way. That way, if once of the writers dies, any number of other low-bidders can just pick up where he/she left off

Honestly, buying a novel from a series written by a single writer is like buying a Mac. Sure, the writing might be a little better than if it were written as a collaboration, but it's TOTAL VENDOR LOCK-IN!

Never buy a book from a series unless it has at least 3 authors!

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (5, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632709)

"In the spirit of the man, friends and family of the deceased have requested that his eulogy be tedious and poorly written."

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (0, Flamebait)

MutualDisdain (998780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632931)

Yet another self-important SlashDot post in which the writer elevates himself to the position of critic. This time the elitist pretends that despite accomplishing nothing of import within the confines of his own life, that he is qualified to tear down the accomplishments of another.

Here's a news flash for you. Yet another year has passed and you are still not published. Robert Jordan succeeded while you continue to fail.

When publishers start giving million dollar advances to people who troll message boards in search of self-confidence, shoot me a gloating private message. Until then, you might want to consider what it will be like 20 years from now when absolutely nothing will have changed in your life... Yes, you will still be working the same mediocre IT job...

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633111)

"Here's a news flash for you. Yet another year has passed and you are still not published. Robert Jordan succeeded while you continue to fail."

I've never been a big fan of this argument. Yeah yeah, he was successful. However, we wrote his books such that they be enjoyed by the people reading them. If he failed to do that, then yes, people have a right to be critical. Afterall, these books were published to be consumed by the very people you're criticizing, not to impress the writing community with their whoop-de-dooedness.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633143)

If he failed to do that
Aha, but he didn't. I personally, and all my friends who read Wheel of Time, loved it. Including the later books that are being reviled here. I also am reasonably certain that we aren't alone. Just because not everyone liked the whole series, doesn't mean he failed to make his books enjoyable.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (1, Insightful)

MutualDisdain (998780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633203)

Criticizing someone on their death bed before they've had a proper burial is just wrong any way you look at it. If Robert Jordan had been Hitler or Charles Manson, then I could completely understand it.

This was simply a science fiction writer who was successful at what he did. Whether you think that success was warranted or not, you can surely hold your tongue (with your fingers so you can't type) until he's been properly laid to rest.

The OP was yet another elitist who thinks his ego entitles him to cross all the bounds of morality and decency. He thought nothing of the writer's family, his rabid fans, or of the simple protocol entitled to all members of humanity. His only goal was to sew another one-liner rag into his poorly tailored ego, and gain praise for making a shallow joke.

There's nothing wrong with hating Jordan's books, but have some manners with the timing of it, and when you do it, don't act like a pompous ass.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (-1, Flamebait)

robotoverflow (738751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633335)

Don't act like a cynical and presumptuous blowhard who presents his opinions as being morally absolute.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20633221)

Of course you are not a fan of this argument. You have no defense. Admitting that you could never accomplish even a tenth of what Robert Jordan accomplished and then asserting that you have a right to criticize his works rings sort of hollow doesn't it? You just know you could have done them better except you know you could not. The only way that you know how to resolve this contradiction is to just ignore it altogether.

So what about people who can actually write and are published? What are they writing? I'll give you a hint before I set you on your task to google the answer: they held extremely high respect for RJ's works.

So why should I listen to a disgruntled fanboy over published authors? And what do you think those published authors would be saying about your criticism?

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (0, Flamebait)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633361)

He didn't succeed, he merely made money. Considering he's an author, not even a lot of money. The books were crap, this was widely understood. Deal.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632739)

a blessing on readers of Wheel of time
Go fuck yourself. A great fantasy author has died and you mock him. Robert Jordan broke away from the standard cookie cutter fantasy epic outline. Whether the overall quality went down or not he did write some great stories. And that is what he will be remembered for--not some disappointed fanboy who criticizes a great author in the same way a sports jock criticizes Joe Montana for not being as good as he was in his prime.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (5, Insightful)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632803)

I thought that he was finally getting back into form toward the end, especially the second half of #11. I'm sorry to see him go.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632811)

I feel that 8 was the worst. 9 was slightly better, and 10 and 11 where pretty good.

This is really sad. RIP, RJ

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (0, Troll)

MutualDisdain (998780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632867)

Let's analyze a few aspects of your post:

1) It was anonymous.

That means that even though Jordan had the balls to place his pen name on the 11 books in the series, you lack the nuts to do the same for one short post.

2) It critiqued an 11 book series with knowledge obtained from reading them.

That means that despite the writing being, "disjointed," and "dragging" in your opinion, after book 5 you continued to read for 6 more books. That either makes you a moron, or a disingenuous liar.

No person in their right mind would continue reading a series of books that they hated, by an author who's writing style irked them so much.

3) You have disrespected the dead.

I know, in these modern times we live in, the dead are just proper nouns on the screen, and no one gets hurt... right? What happens when the family of the author reads your trite and useless comments at the top of the replies to this story?

Are life and death so trivial to you that you have to wield elitism at the dead? Are you really overcompensating that much? I'll let you figure that one out.

My guess is that you are one of those people who think, "Hey, I could write. I could write if I could just find the time and will to sit down and do it." You probably have a negative comment to say about every movie you see, every tv show that you watch, and every book that you read. You think you have been gifted by some divine ability to discern the plot holes, and flaws in every narratives...

Well guess what.... Its all in your head. Yet another successful author has died, yet another year has passed, and you have accomplished nothing but trolling yet another message board.

Perhaps you need to get over your fear of "doing" and actually try to create something that isn't a critique for once. Why don't you put yourself out there for the masses to chew on for a while, and see if you are the God given gift your ego claims you to be.

In other words, shit or get off the pot. Stop being a worthless critic, and do something that has some value to society. Anyone can be a self important asshole, but are you brave enough to take a few turds in the face for posterity?

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632953)

Y'know, I'm all for respecting the dead, but there is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with criticizing the dead, even with calling an asshole an asshole, or a hack a hack. I didn't really have a problem with the parent's post--it was a little snarky, sure, but nothing that needed a massive wall of text response like you gave it.

Since you seemingly can't handle someone knocking an author you like, I shudder to think how you'll react to this--which is a direct criticism of YOU.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (1)

MutualDisdain (998780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633045)

I have only read 3 books written by Robert Jordan. I don't think my response was a wall of text so much as a large ASC-II mirror. Despite missing the fact that the OP stated that he stopped after book 9, I think I painted a fairly accurate portrait of his ego, and lack of will towards living a life that actually contains significant events.

It is one thing to criticize a writer, it is quite another thing to do it on their death bed before they've even had a proper funeral. A fair critique also doesn't sum up someone's entire career as the few books he may have misfired on. It contains the good and the bad.

I have a real problem with elitism, and elitists in general. (this is where you dissect my post and find a way to make the empty pot calling the kettle black argument)

I strongly dislike people who are pompous, rude, and arrogant in their assessment of the world around them. I don't mind negative opinions, so much as people who elevate themselves while they condescend upon others.

I am tired of the notion that being a "nerd" automatically entitles someone to be a dick. I'm sure all of these assholes are ten times smarter than myself, but humility warrants greater respect than pissing contests with the dead.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (5, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633205)

Did you just say that the writer dying is a blessing? How fucking offensive, especially to those of us who were as close to him in the end [dragonmount.com] as we possibly could be as fans. I hope the death of no-one you care about is called a fucking blessing.

Re:a blessing on readers of Wheel of time (5, Insightful)

Skreems (598317) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633267)

Welcome to the internet, where nothing is sacred. Try not to let it bother you.

Death took him. (4, Funny)

JeanPaulBob (585149) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632523)

And I'm pretty sure it wasn't Moridin.

Re:Death took him. (1)

joeshabazz (617894) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632587)

I had joked about this for a long time, but honestly I never thought it would happen. He really seemed like he was getting better. I'm your average desensitized media whore but I find I am actually sad about this.

Re:Death took him. (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632597)

Hmm... wonder if it's time to retire this name? I based it off RJ's character.

I've been reading RJ's books since I was in the 6th grade. At times they almost feel like they were a "real" part of my teenage development. Many of my friends were into RJ's books as well and they were a group experience in some ways. We talked about what would happen (heh, what still hasn't happened!), sometimes we roleplayed in Randland, and we quizzed each other on RJ trivia.

I had the honor of meeting RJ at a book signing once, and he came across as an honorable, down to earth, and funny person.

He will be missed, and I wish the best for his family and friends.

What really happened (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632527)

God finally finished Book 11, said "Are you fucking kidding me?", and whipped out the Smite Stick.

Re:What really happened (0)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633117)

I know you're probably trying to lighten the mood a little, but a man died here. Have a little respect, he is the reason a lot of people have gotten into fantasy. Myself included, I was all scifi until I started to read his work and granted some of the books have been kinda rough but it was still a pretty good story and a rich world. By all reports he was a decent man so the least you could have done is at the end of your poor taste glib humor you could have at least said a kind word or two.

Peace to you and yours Jim, we'll miss you.

heh (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632545)

I remember reading a Stephen King interview just after I had read The Gunslinger and he said that he didn't know if he would ever finish the Dark Tower series. I didn't touch any of them until after the last was published. I have avoided Jordan's series for the same reason - and it seems appropriate that I find out at slashdot that while King lived to finish his, Jordan didn't make it.

Stopped Reading Them Myself (1)

yintercept (517362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633237)

I admit, I stopped reading Jordan's series myself until I had some indication that he was going to actually finish it. When he chose the title "Wheel of Time," I was really hoping that he would do something along the lines of Ursula K. le Guin's trilogy of trilogies.

Speaking of finishing things. I am really happy that JL Rowlings finished her series. She was making so much cash, that there must have been pressure to push the book beyond the originally planned 7 volumes.

Sad,but commercial success can ruin a product.

A real pity (4, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632553)

Not that it is a big surprise. Personally I expected this message for about a year now.

It would have been nice for him to be able to finish the series. True, a certain amount of foot-dragging in the middle of the series got him into this fix, but still I think somebody undertaking such a large venture, and mostly sucessfully, should have the satisfaction of seeing it finished.

It will be interesting to see how this is going to be finished. The material should be there, but writning style is a major part of these books and not too easily emulated. There are layers within layers.

Re:A real pity (5, Insightful)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632947)

Agreed, however I would at least like to see the answer to a few questions that were supposed to be resolved. Closure (and not closure someone else made up - what he actually intended from notes) is better than no closure even if it is obvious where the new author picks up. If he was on schedule then he I would think that he should have had a good deal of it done (a 2009 release date is fairly soon, it's not like one typically writes a 1000+ page book and go through editing/printing in a year), though I have no idea if he was anywhere close to on schedule.

If it is just another author filling in the gaps and answering - me I'll read it at least for the parts that he wrote. However the other stuff I'll just pick my own conclusion and assume it is as much cannon as what is in the book. This is why I tend to not read large multi-volume stories until they are done, I have read some where they just end right in the middle.

It feels kinda crass to feel that sorta thing about some guys death, but if he is like any other artist I would bet he is happy that many people are disappointed that they didn't get to see the end of his works. Especially given the scope and amount of time he put into the series.

Re:A real pity (1)

draxbear (735156) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633165)

Doh, I'm just starting #11 after a long break from the series. Given the amount of story arcs is something akin to the weaves in world-gating I really hope those notes are detailed!

I agree the plot did seem to grind to a halt around #8 and #9 but he did start working through the huge to-do list in #10 (hopefully also in #11).

Despite the various failings in the speed of the books, I am delighted with the fantasy world he created and the impress depth and detail he gave it.

He will be sorely missed.

Book 12 (-1, Flamebait)

keesh (202812) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632555)

Book twelve will be exactly the same as the other eleven books. If you've read one you've read them all. He should have stopped at seven as initially planned, but no, he had to carry on trying to milk the dead cow -- no doubt he was going to announce that he'd changed his mind and was going to make the series fifteen books long...

and completely boring news ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632561)

for those of us who don't know who he is and couldn't give a flying f*ck about a third-rate writer from a country famous for its complete lack of literary skill...

Re:and completely boring news ... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633131)

"for those of us who don't know who he is and couldn't give a flying f*ck about a third-rate writer from a country famous for its complete lack of literary skill..."

So.. what.. did you emigrate or something?

age (2, Informative)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632567)

The article appears to be slashdotted. According to wikipedia, he would have turned 59 next month.

Re:age (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633153)

Heh, actually, the link was slow as molasses long before this article went up, I suspect slashdot only gave it a last little push. Never underestimate the power of legions of readers.

*sad* (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632571)

I've only had a chance to meet the man on two occasions, but that was enough to make me know that (regardless what you personally think of his writing), the world has lost another Great One here. :( Farewell, Robert Jordan. You will be missed.

Risk of never completing your thoughts... (2, Insightful)

Watersharer (209011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632575)

First, let my condolences go out to his family.

The books started with such promise, action and just the right hint of risque possibilities. But by the 6th book it had taken on this horrific endless Days of Our Lives persona that you just knew would not end well. By the 9th book I was so sick of waiting for something, anything to happen that I was just about unplugged. My wife bought me the 10th book, and I did something I almost never do...I flipped to the end to see if he finally wrapped it up.

I put the book on a shelf and never read it.

Maybe wikipedia will post the ending someday, and I will chance across it.

Re:Risk of never completing your thoughts... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632657)

My wife bought me the 10th book [...] I put the book on a shelf and never read it.
I bought it as reading material for a 5 hour plane flight. I got through about 20 pages. Shoulda taken the hint from that... :P

Re:Risk of never completing your thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20633005)

That was about the time his wife decided she was going to be an "editor." She is a huge daytime TV fan and Soap Opera fan. Coincidence?

Site has been slashdotted... (5, Informative)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632577)

His site, dragonmount.com is already slow to load...

The Google cache is old.

Rather than overwhelm the dragonmount.com servers with slashdotters (let other fans have a chance to see it), here's the full text from the blog post. I hope that I'm not overstepping by reprinting it here.

Sometimes even when you've fought your best....
Sunday, September 16th, 2007

It is with great sadness that I tell you that the Dragon is gone. RJ left us today at 2:45 PM. He fought a valiant fight against this most horrid disease. In the end, he left peacefully and in no pain. In the years he had fought this, he taught me much about living and about facing death. He never waivered in his faith, nor questioned our God's timing. I could not possibly be more proud of anyone. I am eternally grateful for the time that I had with him on this earth and look forward to our reunion, though as I told him this afternoon, not yet. I love you bubba.

Our beloved Harriet was at his side through the entire fight and to the end. The last words from his mouth were to tell her that he loved her.

Thank each and everyone of you for your prayers and support through this ordeal. He knew you were there. Harriet reminded him today that she was very proud of the many lives he had touched through his work. We've all felt the love that you've been sending my brother/cousin. Please keep it coming as our Harriet could use the support.

Jason will be posting funeral arrangements.

My sincerest thanks.

Peace and Light be with each of you,

4th of 3

To Catalyst: Never, never loose faith. RJ did not. Harriet hasn't. I haven't. Going through what we have, our faith is only strengthened. Besides, if God didn't exist, we would have never had Jim. We did. God does. Remember my Brother/Cousin, my friend, think of him fondly and glorify God's name.

Editor's Note:
The entire staff of Dragonmount.com would like to extend its most deepest sympathies to Robert Jordan's family. He touched all of our lives in some way and we wish him the rest and peace he deserves. We will be posting information in the near future about where you can send condolences. Please check the News Section for these updates.

Re:Site has been slashdotted... (4, Insightful)

rrhal (88665) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632701)

Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain - The Great Hunt

To the trolls... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632585)

The guy died.. please, show a little respect for the dead.

One of the best (1)

TrailerTrash (91309) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632603)

The WOT was one of the best series ever, for most of its run. Though I have to admit, I did give up on it a few books back, when I realized it took nearly the whole next book for me to get back up to speed on the myriad subplots, and that the series was progressing more and more slowly each book.

Calls of WOT being "milked" have been rampant. Many of the same criticisms have been leveled at the Sword of Truth series, which also seems to be slowing infinitely, in a sci-fi version of the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise - given the amount of plot distance required to complete the overarching story arc, each book executes no more than half of that distance, requiring an infinite number of books to complete the series.

A moment, please, while we all tug on our braids in silence for a gifted author.

Re:One of the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632693)

The WOT was one of the best series ever

I doubt I've disagreed more strongly with any statement in these pages, and that's really saying something. Jordan flatly cant touch:
Hell, I've some serious reservations saying Brooks/Eddings/Donaldson/Martin can stand up to those three, but they each sure still beat the pants off of something that became dull before Al invented the internet.

Re:One of the best (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632881)

I haven't read Earthsea, but George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire beats the crap out of Narnia. I'd say it's as close to Tolkien as anyone has ever gotten. Possibly better, if I were one to compare things to LOTR, which I'm not.

Re:One of the best (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633193)

I tried to read A game of Thrones, but I never finished it. I seem to have repressed those memories, since now all I can remember is something about medieval politics, a guy standing on a wall and some really weird stuff about a girl, her brother(I think) and a dragon egg. I'll take the Silmarillion instead, thanks.

Re:One of the best (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633235)

Earthsea is good. I think it's meant for kids but it is still good. Then she wrote a few other books in the Earthsea world, these are not as good but they are wonderfully sad.

Song of Ice and Fire is also good and I also found it better than Narnia but I don't think one can compare it to Earthsea as they are completely different things. Come to think of it perhaps we should compare it Narnia either...

  I'm not comfortable at all saying things like "Tolkien > Martin > Le Guin> Jordan > C.S. Lewis" or "The worlds of Earthsea > Middle Earth > Song of Ice and Fire > Wheel of Time > Narnia". I don't know why I don't like that sort of thing... perhaps because it's suggestive that it's only possible to read one series when in fact it's possible to read all of them.

I am disappointed that Robert Jordan has died and I'm conflicted about the Wheel of Time... I gave up on it in the face of multiple frustrations and of the multiple thousands of books I own I can only say that about of handful of books. I'm sure I'll finish these series on some rainy day... so I hope who ever completes it does it justice.

Re:One of the best (1, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633273)

Haven't read Brooks or Martin, but as a bit of nostalgia the last four series I read were the first and second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Belgariad and the Mallorean, and Eddings definitely isn't anywhere near Tolkien, who although I personally can't fucking stand his writing style was at least a great author. Eddings... good God, if I read "oh ${ONE_DIMENSIONAL_CHARACTER}, you're a treasure!" one more God damn time I'm going at my eyes with large grit sandpaper. Maybe you're like me, and read it for the first time at 14 or so--I loved it then; looking back, I've apparently grown out of being fucking retarded. Now, you may say I haven't because I stuck with it through two whole series, but I'm going to call it 50% stubbornness, 45% incredulity, and 10% ... retardation. God what a horrible writer. Zakath's entire personality changes with no inner turmoil whatsoever, Eriond is all but forgotten for the majority of the Mallorean even though he's possibly the most important character, Sadi carries around an infinite supply of a drug for any situation but mostly throws "the brown acid" powder in dogs faces ... gah, I could go on for hours. I've rambled, but you need to re-evaluate your estimation there. The Elenium and whatever the other one was called was basically the same thing if I'm remembering correctly.

As for Donaldson, yeah, he's an excellent author, but halfway through his first series I spontaneously coughed up an entire thesaurus and by the end I was pouring milk over bowls of Paxil for breakfast. The second series I think was just a transcription of the hallucinations of a high fever...

No sir, as much as The Wheel of Time rambled in books 7-10.5, and as much as he allowed his taste in women to affect the characters he wrote (he could write good female characters, just didn't seem to want to), Mr. Rigney was a fantasy author of a caliber that hasn't been seen since Tolkien and won't be seen again for a long, long time. R.I.P.

Re:One of the best (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633119)

Many of the same criticisms have been leveled at the Sword of Truth series, which also seems to be slowing infinitely, in a sci-fi version of the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise

Yeah, the middle books of the Sword of Truth series dragged on a bit, but the pace has picked up since then. The editing got tighter. You can tell that the plot is coming to an end.

Great (0)

joe_cot (1011355) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632605)

So this means I'll get to wake up my girlfriend like this tomorrow:
"Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news: Remember how you were worried the 'Wheel of Time' series would never end? Well, you don't need to worry about that problem anymore ...."

Re:Great (1)

bombastinator (812664) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632869)

I'm not surprised your girlfriend thought this. I remember taking a look at the guys photo on the jacket of like book 3, which was obviously horribly out of date, and thinking "he's never going to finish the series". Someone will finish it as a fanfic of course. It might help out for closure. Perhaps they will release his outline notes which will make it easier.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20633367)

So this means I'll get to wake up my girlfriend like this tomorrow:
"Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news: Remember how you were worried the 'Wheel of Time' series would never end? Well, you don't need to worry about that problem anymore ...."
If you wake your girlfriend up like this I have got some good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you will now have a lot more space in your bed...

Too Bad (2, Insightful)

ucaledek (887701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632613)

I got into Wheel of Time fairly young--maybe just after the third book came out--and kept with it despite the punishing slowness of the books after, say, Lord of Chaos. But it really was something different, I think. It was epic, not a standard journey to slay the bad guy after this first couple of books, like so much of fantasy after Tolkien it seems. And though slow and a little tedious at times, it never pissed me off like the last couple of books of Dark Tower, which it seems is the standard metric for WoT.

Book 12 (1)

fatboyslack (634391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632645)

Well, hope they bring out Book 12 quickly in some form, finished by someone with talent used to working other peoples universes (Michael A Stackpole?)

I say quickly, because the longer it is left the greater the expectation on the 'finishing' author, and the greater the perceived quality of Jordan's original proposals.

I do wonder if once he found out about the illness it caused him to change some of his attitudes regarding what he would do to his characters in Book 12.

Honestly I would be amazed if he could have brought it all together considering the meandering somewhat maddening pace of the previous 11 books.

A great author and an interesting situation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632721)

I never got past the 7th in the series, college and life wound up killing off my reading time. However, I do remember failing in love with Jordan's writing style in the first books that I read of his, which were the Conan the Barbarian titles he wrote. I find it interesting that now, another writer might be able to pick up that mantle, and move forward with it. I just hope that whomever does so has the same appreciations that RJ did, such as war history and military tactics. Always seemed to me to flavor the works. At any rate, he was talented, and was one of the authors that opened up my mind as a youth, and also thereby ruined my eyesight as well.

Rest in peace.

At least... (1)

anomalousman (316636) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632743)

I'm sorry to hear this terrible news.

He have not quite managed to finish the series, but we can take heart that he at least he had time to write a sodding prequel while we were waiting.

Turns out the Wheel of Time really doesn't have an ending after all.

George RR Martin (1)

germansausage (682057) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632761)

I hope George RR Martin is paying close attention.

I love his "Song of Ice and Fire" (The Dwarf, in the toilet, with the crossbow, heh.) There was some talk when his last book came out in 2 parts that he was starting to show signs of "Jordan's Syndrome" Maybe this will help him focus. (and get the damn thing written).

First David Gemmell, now Robert Jordan (3, Interesting)

noah.richards (1157783) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632817)

It seems like yesterday that David Gemmell passed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Gemmell [wikipedia.org] ), although it has been a year at this point.

And now Robert Jordan passes. Say what you will about the quality of the later installments of the Wheel of Time, but the first five or six books (at least) are some of the most enjoyable and well-written fantasy I've read. Growing up, he was one of the authors who introduced me to fantasy, along with David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, Anne McCaffrey, and Tad Williams. I'm grateful to them all.

(Perhaps) an appropriate Gemmell quote:

"Not one of the creatures of blood can escape death. We all face it, and succumb to it. It follows us like a dark shadow. Yet, if we live in terror of it, then we do not live at all. Yes we are born alone, and yes we will die alone. But in between, we live. We know joy." --David Gemmell, Sword in the Storm

Re:First David Gemmell, now Robert Jordan (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633339)

You need to take the words "five or" out of that post. Book 6 was without a doubt one of the best fantasy books ever written, even if you say only because of Dumai's Wells. The end--"Kneel, or you will be knelt."--still gives me goosebumps just remembering it.

Why Does It Matter? (1)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632845)

Not that James Rigney died, I'm sure his family will miss him, but that someone else will finish the last book. Ohh and you **can't** doubt that it will be released, it's worth too much money to the publisher.

I mean I too have the feeling that somehow it doesn't 'count' if you hear someone else's end to the story but why? Sure you might say they didn't have the original vision but why should it matter? Maybe their vision of the ending is better. It's not like there aren't plenty of authors who give an unsatisfying ending where you (an amatuer) are sure you could have done better so why shouldn't you believe the expert responsible for finishing it up won't be just as good as whoever wrote them originally?

Luckily I think in this situation enough info was communicated to make this a non-issue. Though I've never gotten past book 9 or so.

a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632939)

This is a real shame. It sounds to me like he was beating the disease, but the damage to his heart was too far along and that's what killed him. Hopefully the publicity will help others who are similarly inflicted.

I'll buy the final book when it comes out. Not because I think it will be a great conclusion to the series, but just so I can have some closure.

Autodelete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20632969)

I seem to recall reading somewhere that Jordan had a particular vision for how he wanted the series to turn out (although many of the comments on this post suggest otherwise) and that he felt so strongly about not having someone else take his notes and direct his work in the event of him passing away that he had a set up in place to delete his notes should he die (whether this was some crude setup that could easily be defeated by booting from a device other than his computer's hard drive and then mounting the drive or something a little more complex I have no idea) - at the time this is one of the main reasons I didn't start reading the series. Did anyone else hear this rumor?

Damn! (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 6 years ago | (#20632973)

I gave up after book 7, and vowed to read the rest of the series once I knew it had an end. Now, I may never read the rest... this is really quite sad.

I can't even remember (1)

wadiwood (601205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633003)

how far I got. I think I liked the first four books, got annoyed with the fifth and when he kept spawning more and more plot lines instead of resolving some, any, please throw a mere cracker of a resolved plot line to your readers... I quit reading in disgust.

I quit reading David Eddings when he had a fight with his publishers half way through a series and now I don't like to start a series until I have all of them.

I was very happy with Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Though I feel I need to read a few history books to put it in context. And I really like the way Lois McMaster Bujold wrote the Vorkorsigan series. Each book stands as a complete story on it's own. She resolves almost all of her plot lines before spawning off dozens of new ones.

It's a really facile way to write. Hmm, lets make a quest. Ok what obstacle can we put in our questor's way? Write about obstacle - how can we make overcoming the obstacle harder, include travel companions, split them up, give them their own quests and multiple obstacles, obstacles to the obstacles.... etc etc and you never have to finish - every plotline can be infinitely subdivided... and ultimately - you just piss off your reader...

Re:Damn! (1)

buserror (115301) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633171)

Same here, I gave up in disgust at book 6 or something. I think I bought book 9 or so to try to see if anything had changed and gave up in disgust. /me readjusts his shawl and stomps off.

Rest in Peace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20633089)

My condolences to Robert Jordan's family and loved ones.

While Robert Jordan's recent books have not been as engaging as his earlier works, Robert Jordan was and is one of my favourite authors. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series opened me up to epic fantasy and more importantly is largely responsibility for my and probably many others love of books and reading.

Robert, Rest in Peace your books will always have a place on my bookshelf.

The series WILL go on (4, Informative)

YutakaFrog (1074731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633127)

Here's what Wilson (Jordan's brother/cousin, whatever that means...) posted in the blog on September 9th.

Epilog: Yes he is continuing to work through all of this medical calamity. MOL is going into the word processor and onto audio tapes almost daily. Not every day mind you, because the medical fight takes first priority. But, he told you he'd finish and he will. Fact is that it has been finished in his head for years. During a recent family sit around, he became the Gleeman and told the bones of it ALL to Harriet and me. You read that right, I did say ALL. Don't ask, ain't telling. Two and a half hours of story telling by the Creator himself went by in the twinkling of an eye. Truly magical. All I can say is WOW! Best stuff he's ever done. MOL is going to knock your socks off! That's a promise.
I'm saddened to hear of Jordan's death. Yes, there were parts (took me about 8 months to get through them this last time...) that were a little slow, but it was fantasy on a scale of epic proportions, and I thought he did a masterful job of it. Better than I could have done, at least.

As for the story, the author may change, but book twelve will come out, and have exactly the content that he originally intended. If the storytelling style changes a little bit, it may be a refreshing end to a fantastic saga.

I called this SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20633151)

READ THIS BOOK, they said. IT'S A GREAT SERIES, they said.


and I was motherfucking right


so sick and tired of the pathetic faggots telling me how great these stupid books were. where is your god now, assholes? even robert heinlein tied his universe together before he died. yeah, they'll publish the last 2,000 pages of his drivel. good luck decipherin' that disasterpiece

Re:I called this SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO (1)

MutualDisdain (998780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633279)

I bet your real life is just like your online life. You get really angry that everyone isn't bowing down and serving your will, and then some little kid barfs up his ice cream cone and you have to barf it up.

If everyone online thinks you're a pathetic narcissist, then what does everyone in real life say that views your mediocre attempts at being a man?

Once again (1, Funny)

goldcd (587052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633155)

we see the inherent disadvantage of 'close-sourced' authorship.
People relying on Robert's output have now been left high and dry, without any guaranteed access to the source-notes.
If only people had followed the clearly superior 'open-authorship' model - i.e. a few thousand people simultaneously planning, writing, editing model - then this could all have been avoided.
When will we learn not to rely on this out-dated system of 'author' and 'reader'??

Respect please (1)

larske (518751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633163)

I am really sad to hear this. I have read and enjoyed a number of the WOT books and even though there is much to criticize about dragging out the plot too long with meaningless subplots and inconsequences in the story I really do not care for all replies that disrespect him and his work with empty puns or even plain harshness.

Yes, he is dead and is not hurt by these replies but he has given so much to the fantasy genre building up a huge fanbase with millions of readers of his books that I think that his work and his nearest should at least be respected. The mocking of the recently deceased is one of the clearest signs of lack of intelligence and compassion in my eyes and does not belong in any forum.


Safe journey Robert. I bow in respect to you. I am sure that you really tried to give us a grand and epic fantasy story even if it in the end was spoiled by meaningless commersial interests almost certainly forced by the publishing industry.

Re:Respect please (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20633347)

The mocking of the recently deceased is one of the clearest signs of lack of intelligence

Some feel the same way about talking to the dead, or writing messages to them on slashdot. We all have our own means of coping with death, and thinking that of your own culture is the one true way, on a site read by people the world over, is just asking for the same disdain you're dishing out. Over here, 'not' making jokes would be considered rude. Fuck, I hope when I die I have a full room of people laughing at the little quirks that made me an individual. Even more so, I hope I don't have some jerk telling all my friends that they should be miserable, and not celebrating my life.

Straight talking (0)

tobyp (10493) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633197)

Why do people "pass away". Surely you mean die? I mean dead is dead, however you choose to phrase it. Less mealy-mouthed euphemisms please!

If only . . . (1)

cjp (624694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633283)

He'd spent less time reciting his works in Second Life, and more time finishing the series!
I think there's a lesson there for other authors. *glares*

A Great Series (4, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633359)

People keep going on about how slow and long this series was, however it has been an inspiration to me and reminds me very much of the great George R. R. Martin series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which I've only just started reading. The only book I was dissapointed in was Crossroads of Twilight. In serial work not every issue can be a home run. Sometimes you need to make one be a sacrifice to set up the next issues which makes them even better. As a good storyteller, Robert Jordan realized this. Those that want EVERY thing to be issue, episode, whatever to be the BEST one there is, will of course not like this but I have a hard time thinking of any long pieces of serial work that they'll enjoy.
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