Author James Oliver Rigney, Jr., better known to fantasy readers as Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series died yesterday.
I first started reading Jordan's books in 1990 when I was away at college. It wasn't uncommon for me to pick up a book to read if I wasn't taking some sort of literature course -- engineering and calculus textbooks can be awfully dull -- and I picked up Jordan's "The Eye of the World" on a Friday and was done by Sunday. Not a whole lot of homework got done that weekend. Over the next decade and a half, I picked up his books whenever they came out. There was a depth and complexity to the world Jordan created that is quite uncommon in the fantasy genre. The world he created was rivaled only by J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth -- and only because of all of the secondary material Tolkien produced. Most of the depth of Tolkien's Middle Earth is found outside the Lord of the Rings trilogy itself.
Some fans are angry. You see, the story that began back in 1990 wasn't finished before Jordan's passing. It's been 17 years, and we still haven't had the final battle. Imagine the cries of anguish had something happened to J.R. Rowling before the last Harry Potter book came out and you'll understand what Jordan fans are going through.
There is word that Jordan had parts of the last book written, and an outline so that someone can finish telling his story.
Rest in peace.
Fans wishing to send condolences can post them at Robert Jordan's official blog.