Fantasy author Robert Jordan–creator of the simultaneously beloved and frustrating The Wheel Of Time series–died yesterday of cardiac amyliodosis at the age of 58. Born James Oliver Rigney, Jr., Jordan was a Vietnam vet and former nuclear engineer whose 1990 bestseller The Eye Of The World launched his staggering, 12-book opus The Wheel Of Time, which has since become the benchmark of seemingly interminable doorstop fantasy epics. He left the long-awaited terminus of Wheel, A Memory Of Light, unfinished, although it's likely that book will see print in some form in the future. Regardless of many followers and critics (this reporter included) who had a rough time keeping up with the exhausting, convoluted volumes, Jordan's influence and fanbase remain vast.

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