The passing of fantasy author James Oliver Rigney Jr., better known by his pename Robert Jordan, will be felt not only by his friends and family, but, also by a legion of fans of his Wheel of Time series. His death last week leaves the future of the twelfth and intended to be final book in the series in limbo, at least for now. Jordan was in the midst of writing the book, A Memory of Light, when he announced last March that he had been diagnosed with the rare blood disease called cardiac amyloidosis. The creator of the fan group ”wotmania” (wot standing for Wheel of Time) recently reported on the group’s website:
“Beyond expressions of sadness at Jordan’s passing, I have no doubt the most frequent question/concern will be, “What happens to WoT?” I talked with Jason (from the Robert Jordan fan blog Dragonmount) about this. He said that Jordan has been dictating outlines and plot lines and everything else related to the final book. He used the phrase “army of writers” to talk about the people that were converting those tapes into written form. It would appear that the final book will still be published, I’m sure details regarding that will work themselves out. So please be patient (as challenging as that might be), and for now let’s focus on Jordan’s life, writing, and the joy he brought to us.”
On the fan blog Dragonmount, where Jordan himself frequently visited and posted about his progress, is was announced today that an International Wake in the form of gatherings around the world will be held to honour Robert Jordan’s memory on or around October 17, 2007. More information here. Jordan reportedly took great strength during his illness from the support of his fans, and, promised to do his best to finish the twelfth and final book. It seems he used his final days to ensure his thoughts about how the many plotlines of the decade old series would be wrapped up would be passed on to the writer or writers who will finish the series on his behalf.