I guess I’m at that age where my heroes, one by one, start dropping into the void.
The latest to go is Hugh Cook. If you haven’t heard of him, don’t worry – not many people have outside of the Fantasy/SF world. But, to put it simply, Hugh Cook is a writer of novels, short stories, poetry and quite a bit else besides.
He also has the dubious pleasure of being the author of the first book I ever stole, the gloriously fat and bawdy Fantasy novel “The Walrus and the Warwolf”, packed full of pirates, ancient technology, rude jokes and shagging. Exactly what my 16-old self required to get him through the dark and dismal and sexually barren days of the late 80s.
Mr. Cook’s seminal series “Chronicles of an Age of Darkness” took the unsualy twist of telling the story of the same events from the view of a different hero each time. This meant that major characters from the other novels in the series would pop in and out of the novel you were reading. And the novels took place in a thrilling world full of real characters doing real things, as well as hefting swords, fighting monsters and lying through their teeth.
I was overjoyed about a year ago to discover Mr. Cook’s blog, but now on checking back for the first time in ages, I was greeted with the following text:
“Hugh died very peacefully on a beautiful dawn. Our farewell ceremony to Hugh was interwoven with his poetry and with the words from so many of you who have encouraged and supported him over this past most difficult time. It is wonderful too though to remember that Hugh lived his dream for almost all of his life. He engaged in the almost lost art of finding joy and pleasure in the simplest things and because of this he was a man satisfied with his life.”
So rest in peace, Mr. Cook. You will be missed by far more people that you realise.
A word also for my fellow blogger LadyFi, whose husband’s mother passed away today last week. Our thoughts are with you.