R.I.P. Robert Jordan

Arrrrgh. Fantasy author Robert Jordan died over the weekend (cancer).

Some of you know that I have always enjoyed reading. The longer the book, the better. Robert Jordan, with his epic 1000+ page books has been a “must-buy” author for me for a long time.

The first book in his “Wheel of Time” series was published in 1990. I discovered it in paperback form at my local library a few years later and was instantly hooked. He faithfully punched out a new book for me to devour every year through my high school graduation in 1996. While I was in college, his intervals between books lengthened out to 2 years or more. I was buying them in hardback as soon as I saw them, generally finding them at the bookstore on the day of release. I remember one case where my first sight of one was at a kiosk in an airport (with elevated airport prices). I was ensconced in Jordan’s fantasy world for that entire flight.

Jordan’s writing was known for incredible levels of detail and huge numbers of characters to keep track of. Somewhere in there, he had a 1000+ page book that covered only one day in the timeline of his world. Another had nothing really happen (as far as clues to tying up story lines) until the last 6 pages. It was maddening slogging through mundane moments in the lives of characters I no longer cared about to get scarce hints about how and what certain others were doing.

Somewhere in there I stopped calling Jordan a “favorite” author. I now HATE his writing style. It’s become supremely boring and slow…. but I kept buying them because I MUST KNOW HOW IT ENDS!

Volume XI, “The Knife of Dreams”, was published in October 2005 with the tantalizing note that there was only one more book to go. I would occasionally check Amazon to see if there was a publishing date set yet, but didn’t see anything. Now this. Arrgh arrgh double arrgh.

Rest in Peace Robert Jordan, but you sure had some bad timing.

According to his website, his wife (who is also his editor) will finish the last book from his notes.

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