Monday, September 17, 2007

Robert Jordan Dies

Robert Jordan has lost his fight with amyloidosis.

For those who have never heard of him (and are too lazy to click the link I provided to his Wikipedia entry), he is the author of the 'Wheel of Time' books. A series of highly popular fantasy novels that are regarded as amongst the most influential on the genre since Tolkien penned 'The Lord of the Rings'. Although gravely ill for some time now, he remained optimistic about finishing the twelfth (and final) book in the series. The actual quality of his books may have been questioned by many, especially the last few books, but none questioned the impact he has had on fantasy literature as a whole. Some even go as far as saying that he made the genre profitable again. One of my favorite authors, George R. R. Martin, surmises that RJ's positive blurb on the cover of 'A Game of Thrones' may have gone a long way in giving Martin's own fantasy series a head start.

I've been following RJ's books for years. Like many fans I salivated at the wonderful adventures of Rand, Mat and Perrin. Like many fans I grumbled as the books descended in quality and spiraled into a mess of repetitive writing, soap opera plots, and too many loose ends. Like many fans I grunted with semi-contentment as I read 'Knife of Dreams' (book 11) which wasn't half-bad and knowing that we only had one book to go. Like many fans I gasped with dismay when I learned that this was not going to be. But like many fans I wallowed in bitter-sweet melancholia upon learning that the great storyteller had left notes (both written and vocal) detailing the final installment making it possible that we may yet see 'A Memory of Light' being published. His love for his tale will live on beyond the grave.

Thanks for everything Robert, and rest in peace.

"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. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning." - Robert Jordan



أبو سنان said...

I enjoyed a few of his books. RIP.

Amy said...

I stopped after the 10th book... upset like you say with all the soap opera plots and loose ends. Just as soon as I think "Hey this is an interesting development!" the character disappears forever almost. I might pick up 10th, and 11th again if somebody wraps up the 12th. Never much cared for the tricksy Aes Sedai though. For people who are really into the WoT world, there are some online text-based RPGs.

Saudi Jawa said...

'Crossroads of the Twilight' was horrible beyond redemption. Hundreds of pages with almost no plot progression to speak of. 'Knife of Dreams' was actually not too bad. On par with the mid-series books I would say. Jordan had realized by then what a mess his storyline has become and wrapped up as many as he could in book 11 and promised to finish it all by book 12.

And given the financial value of the WoT books you can rest assured that book 12 will come out in one form or another. Whether it will be the LOTR treatment (publish unedited author's notes) or the Dune treatment (hire a writer) is left to be seen.

Amy said...

There was a lot of women's chatter sections of the book too... that only seems weird seeing as how it's written by a dude, for dudes. How else would 3 women so happily share the same stubborn obnoxious little......

Marie-Aude said...

I was eagerly waiting for book 12 to be published to start again from the beginning. 10 and 11 are on my shelves waiting for the same reason. I realized with book 9 I was not able to remember enough of the past stories to get it, but the effort of reading it whole again for each book was too much.

Peace be upon him

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