Who the hell is Jordan?

Amazon just announced that “The Wheel of TIme” series will be released this November! That’s big news for SF&F fans – it’s been a long time coming. Like, 40 years long. My introduction to TWOT is an interesting story combining my love of reading SF&F and using computers..

The year was 1994. The Internet was unknown to most people, and new even to technical types like me. I was playing around with the first web browser ever released (in 1993), NCSA Mosaic, and browsing through one of the early “social media” networks, Usenet. Usenet was a series of subject-based chatrooms where you could find a few enthusiasts posting messages to each other about…almost anything.

I forget how I stumbled upon the Robert Jordan Usenet group, but it was rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan and it was filled with thousands of messages. Thousands. They were all talking about characters from something called The Wheel of Time. How could I not know about this, being a diehard science fiction/fantasy fan?

I read a bit and then dove in with a message titled “Who the hell is Jordan?”. I quickly received dozens of replies, ranging from enthusiastic explanations to “fuck off, newbie”. Trolls have been a part of the Internet forever, it seems. But with that simple question I got turned on to Robert Jordan’s book and TWOT, and have been a fan ever since.

I bought all the books, read them at least twice (there are 14 books comprising over 11,000 pages and 4 million words!), and still have them in my library. I met Jordan once at a signing event in CO, and he was kind of a dark, weird guy. Unkempt. Turns out I met him only a few years before he died of a rare blood disease, so no wonder he wasn’t brimming with energy.

So I’ve got a long history with Jordan and his work. The Amazon series has a lot of fans to satisfy, and I hope they’re up to the task. Casting Rosamund Pike as Moraine is a fine start.

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