I’m just about all recovered from my illness now, and with recovery comes good news.
In a couple weeks James O. Rigney, Jr. — a writer known to most of the world by his pseudonym, Robert Jordan — will become the 47th inductee in the South Carolina Academy of Authors. It’s a tremendous honor, one that I’m happy to say was in progress even before his death in September. I’ve written about my high regard for Jim here on this blog, so I was especially glad to learn about this. My elation grew, however, when it became clear that the induction ceremony would be held here at The Citadel (Jim was a proud alumnus), and that I would be among the faculty asked to attend.
But even that is not the good news this week.
No, the good news — the astonishing news — is that I received a phone call from the man leading the ceremonies, asking if I would be willing to give a short speech about Jim’s literary legacy. Indeed, it turns out only two people are planned to speak at the induction. One is an old friend of Jim’s, who will speak about Jim as a human being. The other (gulp!) will be me. With his family in attendance, in front of an audience of distinguished poets and authors, alumni and faculty, I will be responsible for encapsulating Jim’s life’s work as a writer, perhaps even to the point of defending the genre of Fantasy itself.
Great news, eh? And I’m sure glad it doesn’t come with any pressure or anything …