Monday, September 17, 2007

The Passing of Age

I would not be here if it weren’t for Robert Jordan.

Growing up, I was always an avid reader, but the tastes of my youth were more attuned to action-adventure, spy thrillers, and horror best sellers – I read very little in the way of true SFF. Shortly after I went away to college, I finally bought The Eye of the World after seemingly every member of my extended family recommended it to me.

I was completely and totally hooked. This was reading unlike any I had ever experienced before. I immediately bought all the books that were available in The Wheel of Time series to that point (The Lord of Chaos had just been released in mass-market paperback). Then I re-read them just in time for the release of A Crown of Swords – the release of which first brought me to the internet world in search of books.

As the years have passed, I continued to read and re-read the series. In 2000 I once again searched out information on the web for news of the soon-to-be released Winter’s Heart. This was neither the beginning nor the end of my SFF journey, but a beginning as I became a true internet SFF geek shortly thereafter. The culprit was the huge on-line community at Wotmania that celebrates and discusses the books of The Wheel of Time endlessly. This eventually led me to the newly-formed OF Section of Wotmania. This was yet another beginning in my life as a reader.

By this time I had of course read Tolkien and a handful of classic sci-fi, but through the guidance of people more knowledgeable and better-read than myself I had a whole world to discover. I was introduced to the likes of George RR Martin, Steven Erikson, Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, Kim Stanley Robinson, and so many others. I even picked up the Harry Potter books as early as I did in part due to my involvement with on-line communities.

The rest, as they say, is history– I was off. I’ve since read hundreds of books recommended to me and have become one of those more knowledgeable and well-read individuals (though I’m still way behind so many others out there). In early 2006 I decided to start a blog to catalog some of the few reviews I had written. And now my blog has had over 30,000 visitors and I’m constantly surprised and amazed at just how many ‘industry insiders’ and authors are familiar with it. All of this is due to my love of The Wheel of Time books.

Thank you Robert Jordan for writing The Wheel of Time and having such a positive impact on my life. I’m just one of your many fans, and the way my life has been touched is just one of many. I struggle to find the right words of gratitude.

My voice is only one of many celebrating the life you lived.

James Oliver Rigney Jr. (a.k.a. Robert Jordan)
October 17, 1948 – September 16, 2007


Chris, The Book Swede said...

A fitting tribute.

He will be missed.

I was rather angry when I noticed a post on My Elves Are Different about the subject. Wisely, they've made it so that it can't be linked to. You don't have to like an author, but still, a man has died.


Larry said...

Nice post, Ken. I finally got around, after taking some hours to reflect, to writing a similar post over at the OF Blog. It is so...odd...reading all of these perspectives on the issue and then reflecting back on 10 years of my life. Shall be a rough week for many, I imagine.

Neth said...

Thanks guys.

I agree that the comic by Steve at My Elves are Different is in very poor taste. He may be reflecting a very real feeling about the quality of WOT, but it really shows an unfortunate amount of insensitivity.

Mister Troll said...

I think I am the only person who never read any of his books. Billy Goat also left a tribute over on Books Under the Bridge.

Mister Troll said...

As we sadly on the topic of obituaries, see also Biology in Science Fiction, for some memories of Madeleine L'Engle.

Homunculus said...

A great tribute from you.

I must say that I've only collected 14 or 15 from his 31 german Wheel of time books.
I will start asap with his books.

Carl V. said...

A wonderful tribute. I discovered Jordan's writing just wandering through a bookstore one day and seeing the fantastic Eye of the World book staring at me. I took it home and was hooked, devouring the first 4 or 5 books in the series the moment they came out. However, as is the way in my world, I got tired of waiting the long lengths of time between books and decided that I wasn't going to go back to them until it was done and I could just sit down and read them all. With each release I would pick the book up, thumb to the end page to see if it said anything about this being the final one in the series.

I was thus saddened to hear of his death so close (realitively speaking) to the ending of his great creation. Although I am sure it will be finished thanks to his copious notes, etc. it is still not going to be HIM finishing it and I feel sorry for all those fans, like you, who have read and re-read these books for years and have invested yourselves so much in the stories.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it was really nice to read your thoughts on someone who inspired your reading so much.


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