Noted fantasy author Robert Jordan died yesterday at the age of 58. He had been ill for some time, and announced last year in a letter online to his fans that he had been diagnosed with a rare blood diease. Jordan is most well-known as the author of the "Wheel of Time" books (though he wrote other series as well) the first book of which was published way back in 1990. My co-blogger Nat-Wu and I started reading his series not long after that first book came out 17 years ago, and had been eagerly anticipating the 12th and final installment in the series. I've never enjoyed the fantasy genre very much, but I found it impossible not to be lured in my Jordan's incredibly detailed and imaginative novels, both as a teenager and as an adult. I'm very sad to hear that he won't have a chance to finish his last novel, though I hope that a last novel will still be published based on his preliminary writings. I imagine that's something he would have wanted.
UPDATE: I recommend this short write-up of Jordan's life and death by the AP. Jordan was decorated with a Bronze Star while serving two tours of duty in Vietnam. The man was a writer and a hero, and will be missed.