I just logged in to Google Reader to find not one, but two blog posts about a sad event that has been slowly approaching.
I knew James Rigney, better known to most of us as Robert Jordan, was battling cancer, and that it was a rare and rather deadly form of cancer. So I am not too surprised to find that he died yesterday, at 2:45 pm.
Warning, there are Spoilers ahead...
I started reading Robert Jordan's books at age 10...I picked up the first 18 chapters of the first book of the Wheel of Time series, The Eye of the World, as a free give away at the Encore Books in Closter. Which is now a Starbucks. My grandfather had taken us there so I could stock up on Babysitter Club books and other kids books before going on vacation to Maine with my dad's family. I read those chapters while in Maine...I read the part where Rand is carrying a wounded Tam through the woods of the Two Rivers, desperately trying to back to Emond's Field, to get his father to the Wisdom, as Trollocs ravaged the surrounding countryside, while in the main lodge of the fishing camp we were staying at. I then had to walk back through the dark woods at night to get back to our cabin on the lake. It was deliciously creepy. I didn't pursue the series until I was 13 or 14, and I picked up The Great Hunt, and then the Eye of the World, in Tower Records. Very soon after, I was googling everything I could find about the Wheel of Time on the internet--except no one knew what Google was back then. I think I was using Yahoo! or Excite. Anyway. I found the archives of the Usenet group devoted to Robert Jordan, and started lurking...the Lord of Chaos was the last book to be released (the first three books are the tightest and best written, but I think Lord of Chaos is my favorite) and Usenet was swamped with questions about "Who Killed Asmodean?" And then there was a little post by someone with the username "Aman A'vron" who was recruiting for a new message board system for the Wheel of Time. I didn't quite understand what role playing was at the time, but I checked out the Tripod based web pages, and whatever primitive forum was up, and started my first character.
I spent most of high school and college at the White Tower Online, and made some fantastic friends. We had something great, and it's all because of the Wheel of Time, no matter how badly the last 5 books have sucked. I don't keep in touch with enough you. I miss you all.
x-posted to my other blog.