On Saturday, January 12, 2013, sci-fi enthusiasts will be lined up in costume at the College of Charleston’s Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library for an event with the author of A Memory of Light, the 14th and final volume of the Wheel of Time series. This will also be the first look at James Rigney Collection, recently acquired by the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library. Rigney, a Charlestonian writing under the name Robert Jordan, was the author of the phenomenally popular Wheel of Time science fiction series and Michael Fallon novels, among others. He passed away in 2007.
The College of Charleston Friends of the Library will host author Brandon Sanderson and Harriet McDougal, Rigney’s widow, at 3 p.m. on January 12 for a public book signing as they conclude their cross-country launch for A Memory of Light, which was released on January 8. Guests will have the opportunity to look at never-before seen early and edited manuscripts, handwritten notes and photographs from the Rigney Collection. Costumes and weapons depicted in the series will be on display, and T–shirts with mottos from the books will be on sale.
The James Rigney Collection also includes swords and scabbards, video interviews, an early Apple computer loaded with 4,000 pages of his notes, and first editions of his works in dozens of languages.
“We’re having a really hard time containing our excitement” says Harlan Greene, Special Collections senior manuscript and reference archivist. “In this collection we have the literary manuscripts of one of the most popular writers of our time and a native of Charleston. Just as Jim blended fact and fantasy and the past and the future in his works, we now plan to employ both ‘futuristic,’ state-of-the-art technology and classic archival procedures to preserve the collection and make his papers as accessible to possible.”
Recognized as one of the most prolific and influential fantasy writers of our time, James O. Rigney, Jr., created a richly detailed and vividly imagined series that has captivated readers around the globe. The series, which has often been compared to the work of J. R. R. Tolkien in terms of its magic and magnetic hold on readers, has been translated into more than 30 languages and sold more than 44 million copies worldwide since its beginning over twenty years ago.
Harriet McDougal, James Rigney’s widow and editor, donated the collection to the College of Charleston last fall. “I wanted the papers to be in the college community,” McDougal said. “Once the collection is processed, researchers, students and fans will have an insider’s look into the one of the most legendary epic fantasy series.”
In March 2006, Rigney announced that he had been diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, a rare blood disorder. After battling the disease for nearly two years, Rigney died from complications at just 57 years of age. Despite his premature death, Rigney left copious outlines, notes and audio recordings for the final volume of The Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light. McDougal chose fantasy novelist Brandon Sanderson to complete the series while she continued as its editor. Sanderson is the author of numerous fantasy novels, as well as the young adult novel, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians. He has long credited Rigney with inspiring him to be a writer.
For more information about the event and acquisition, contact Jenny Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843.953.6620.