i've been in two minds about creating this thread a couple of times in the past. its something i'm conscious of existing on the gaiman board, and i kind of like the idea.

a thread to mark the passing of those who should be noted. i've come close to creating this when other particular influences have passed, but this has been a strange week, i'm conscious of a number of deaths that the board might want to take a moment to observe.
Original Post

Russell Hoban
February 4, 1925 - December 13, 2011

This photo is from October 2010, when I met author Russell Hoban at the Map Marathon in London - a curious art event, which included people from Genesis P'Orridge to Gilbert & George.

I came across Hoban's work a number of years ago at random - an extract of a forthcoming novel on his publisher's website, which I was trawling from a work based rut. The extract struck me as having a lot in common with authors like Murakami and Brautigan, so I bought one of his books that week. And have gone on to read most of his work.

That novel, and many of his novels, was set in London. Full of details of London, with an added element of magic realism kind of detail. Which I enjoyed. But he also did more - from children's books to the more obvious science fiction.

For many his most famous novel is Riddley Walker, a post-apocalyptic novel. A boy turned man at a young age finds himself caught up in the punch and judy politics of a deeply fractured culture. I put off reading it for years, its very different from his other works, and takes on a strange hype of its own. But when I finally did read it I enjoyed it a lot and could see why it was such an influential work.

Russell was 86 and still writing, he is quoted as having said that any time he stopped writing he felt ill. At 86 things were catching up with him, when I met him he was frail, but engaged and still full of life. He had recently been in hospital with heart surgery, but it still came as a shock and a moment of overwhelming sadness when I heard of his death earlier this week.
Bill Hinzman - Actor whose only claim to fame was being the main zombie in the original Night of the Living Dead film. He parlayed that intoa second career on the con circuit. I met him one night at a room party in Orlando. In his 70s he outlasted everybody and still managed to nail a 20-something tattoo magazine photographer. I would see him once or twice a year after that and it always seemed a sad existence, regardless howmany chubby photographers he got star fucks out of, bouncing from con to con, having people only remember you for a small job you had 50 years earlier.
RIP Wendy O. Williams May 28, 1949 – April 6, 1998

I just found out about her death today. Joan Rivers mentioned a Wendy Williams in a tweet, and I thought "Now that's an odd combination" and checked out Wendy O. William's wikipedia, and found her death very sad.

My Dad went to one of her concerts with a fake press card so that he could take photos. He wasn't a fan, just had heard about her shocking stage performances and wanted to take pictures.
Sam Youd died on Friday. When I discovered the science fiction of John Christopher as a kid, the world got much stranger, and much more interesting. "The Death of Grass" was the first book I read with an environmental message - even today it scares me.

But more than anything else, I owe Mr Youd for the many and varied nightmares I had about the Tripods when I was ten...

Chris H
My Grandfather. It came as no surprise to him or anyone else, and he seemed to be okay with it -- or in any case, resigned to it. Not the kind of thing you get a choice about. I'm not sure if `bravery' in the usual sense even enters into it, but he handled himself very well. Friends and family, and medical personnel were close at hand, and appreciated. He simply slept more and more, became less `of this world' as time passed, and eventually didn't wake up -- as said, more like a dimmer switch than a simple binary on/off kind of thing. He was not suffering, and wanted for nothing.

My Dad was there right at the end, if you can be sure there was one in this case, which seemed important to both of them. I think he'll be okay.

This affected me, but I didn't mention it here.

I can't believe they quoted one of my all-time favorite writings from Adrienne Rich from daily kos:
[If you get a chance, poke around her work. Profoundly moving and honest.]

"It is deeply sad to lose Adrienne Rich, and profoundly uplifting to know all that remains forever from her words and her life:"

"The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life. The liar is someone who keeps losing sight of these possibilities....
"It isn't that to have an honorable relationship with you, I have to understand everything, or tell you everything at once, or that I can know, beforehand, everything I need to tell you. It means that most of the time I am eager, longing for the possibility of telling you. That these possibilities may seem frightening, but not destructive, to me. That I feel strong enough to hear your tentative and groping words. That we both know we are trying, all the time, to extend the possibilities of truth between us.

"The possibility of life between us." (Arts of the Possible, pp. 39-40)

Still floors me. And is a worthy goal. What a woman. Thank you for your efforts. RIP
So he spends his days pondering his heroes: Mozart, Keats, Blake, Melville and Dickinson. He admires and yearns for their “ability to be private, the ability to be alone, the ability to follow some spiritual course not written down by anybody.”

Mr. Sendak is quick to insist that a vast distance stands between his own accomplishments and theirs. “I’m not one of those people,” he said. “I can’t pretend to be.”

Still, he has the feeling that “I will do something yet that is purely for me but will create for someone in the future that passion that Blake and Keats did in me.”

What he has failed to consider, though, is that he may already have.

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