I was realizing this morning that we've lost three writers already this year who personally touched my life. The first was Kenneth Bulmer, a British SF/Fantasy/Other writer who was actually an influence on the style of my fantasy fiction. I've probably read fifty of his novels and have quite a few left to go. He wrote under many pseudonyms, including Alan Burt Akers and Manning Norvil.
The second was David Gemmell, also a British writer. Gemmell wrote heroic fantasy and I've read at least fifteen or so of his novels, with another ten or so to go. In just the last two years Gemmell has become my "favorite" author.
The third loss was, of course, Charles Grant, who I mentioned an entry or so back. The antholigies that Grant edited were there when I first began reading horror and they were certainly an influence on my own short horror fiction.
The worst loss of all is that, by all accounts, these three gentlemen were fine human beings who have left behind many loved ones. Let's hope for a Heaven, or Valhalla, or something. I know that I won't forget them.