Monday, September 17, 2007

Requiscat in Pacem

James Oliver Rigney, Jr
17OCT1948 to 16SEP2007

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Mr. Rigney served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a chopper pilot, receiving the Bronze Star with 'V' and cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross with cluster and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm -- twice.

After his return, Mr. Rigney attended The Citadel, where he graduated with a degree in physics, then served the US Navy as a nuclear engineer.

A historian, hunter, pipe collector and true Southern Gentleman who lived in a house in Charleston built in 1797, Mr. Rigney also dallied as a writer.

Fond of his privacy, Mr. Rigney wrote under pen names: Regean O'Neal, Jackson O'Reilly and Chang Lung were some of those -- but he was probably best known as Robert Jordan.

Rest in Peace, sir.



Jenna said...


First Madeline L'Engle, now him.

Someone is making sure Terry Pratchett eats his veggies, right?

Matt G said...

Fascinating man, wasn't he?

L'Engle's passed, too? I hadn't heard.

BobG said...

Damn, and he wasn't very old, either.

Mark said...

I cannot find the proper words to express my feelings. one of my favorite authors, has left this plane. May he find eternal peace, and good reviews.

Anonymous said...

Oh, damn. "Robert Jordan" was a 'fascinating man,' indeed...and one hell of a storyteller.

And last summer we lost David Gemmell, too...

As it happens, I'm currently rereading Jordan's Knife of Dreams, the latest published volume in his "Wheel of Time" dark fantasy series. I think that I speak for many readers when I say that the WoT series really reinvented and reinvigorated the whole fantasy genre for me...and the cheerful comment on the book jacket about the author intending to keep writing "until they nail shut his coffin" now seems grimly ironic.

And I feel somewhat guilty about hoping that he managed to finish that one last promised volume of the WoT before they got out the hammers...

Goodbye, James/Robert. Whatever name you choose to go by, you will be sorely missed.

--Wes S.

Nancy said...

hOh my.

He was a very interesting man and a unique storyteller.

Anonymous said...

I've never read any of his books, but was considering starting them whenever he finally finished the WoT series. I've heard they're a nice bit of brain candy, which is a good thing.

His other accomplishments are quite notable, but a man can certainly have a worse epitaph than "He entertained people and made them forget their daily problems for a while."

Anathema said...

I've received 4 e-mails so far today from very irate friends. (All of whom I introduced to the Wheel of Time series, and they hated reading an unfinished series.)
I started with "Eye of the World" when it came out in HARDBACK.


He was an incredible story teller, and a man who certainly did more than his share before he started publishing his stories.

He will be missed.

Simeron Steelhammer said...

"The Wheel of Time keeps on turning."

The latest of many songs that take a page from The Wheel of Time series.

It's sad that he's gone, he will be missed but, at least we had him for a bit...

Still, 58 seems way to soon and I would have loved to see the last book finished in his series...

*Raises a tankard of dark, thick, warm honey mead with a cinnamon stick*

May you entertain the masses where ever you are Sir Jordan!

Anonymous said...

!@# David Gemmell died as well? Damn, I loved his books. Jon Shannow and Druss were some of my favourite characters.

I never read the WoT series I hope for you fans that they are able to finish the final book well.

Anonymous said...

David Gemmell died in July of 2006. His wife is reportedly finishing the last book in Gemmell's "Troy" trilogy, based on Gemmell's notes and first draft, to be published next year.

As for Jordan, according to a recent entry on his personal blog ( the next (final?) book in the Wheel of Time series was to be called "A Memory of Light," and he was working on it in both manuscript and audio format when he died.

He also, according to a relative, "Wilson," told the plot to his wife and family, so between what he's already written, his series notes and his family, I'm sure somebody will be able to finish the series even if Jordan didn't quite manage to.

Again, Jordan said that he'd continue writing until they nailed shut his coffin. And he was a man of his word...

Anonymous said...

I picked up "The Eye of the World" in the Orlando airport as I was flying home just after completing Navy boot camp. Finished it on the flight back to NJ.

Since then, I've annoyed more than a few book store employees with endlessly varied questions that all boiled down to: "Do you know when the new Robert Jordan is coming out?"

I have all of his Wheel of Time books, including a copy of Winter's Heart I kept in the Amazon plastic wrap in case he ever showed up in Virginia Beach for a signing.

I've also read quite a few of the entries on his blog, and was pleased to learn of his time in service. His struggle against the disease was epic, he fought it like a true warrior and it is sad that he ultimately lost it.

He made me want to be a writer...something I truly hope to grow into one day.

Tonight I raise a toast to you 'Ganesha', James Oliver Rigney Jr. You will live a very long time in the minds of the people you've inspired and touched. Until the Wheel spins you out in peace ta'veren. You shook the world.

Anonymous said...

Damn, I have to admit that I didn't expect to look at my favorite blog this morning to find out that my favorite author had passed. That was a shock that literally ran through me when I hit the final line of the post. The man lived well and created thousands of hours of pleasure for millions of fans. Hopefully whoever they get to finish his epic will do justice to this man's talent. I had always hoped that after he finished it up they might open up the world forgotten realms style and let it live on. We'll have to see. Rest in peace Sir.

Anonymous said...

A pity he did not live to finish WoT. He had talent.

And for those fans of this genre, at least we still have Dennis McKiernan's Mithgar works to read.


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I think this man did an incredible effort to reach what he wanted and I can see he reached his goals because he got degree in physics, then served the US Navy as a nuclear engineer and received the Bronze Star with 'V' and cluster, he's a hero.

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