This year I was saddened to learn of the death of one of my best loved authors, George MacDonald Fraser. Amongst his many other achievements (as a soldier, journalist, newspaper editor and screenwriter), Fraser was responsible for the wonderful Flashman series of novels, a set of scandalous diaries, attributed to Harry Flashman, the caddish bully from "Tom Brown's Schooldays". To anyone who has never read these books, I urge you to give them a try, they are a fantastic read, often scurrilous, usually informative and always hilarious, they tell how a cad, coward, lecher and bully becomes a great hero of Victorian Britain, weaving fact and fiction together with a deft hand. Fraser died on the 2nd of January 2008, at the age of 82 (obituary with more info here). He had a new book on the shelves at the time of his death, a fitting tribute to his prolific career. He will be missed.Mutate and Survive
That's really crappy news. As coincidence would have it, I spent this evening playing my AD&D campaign with friends, an evenings entertainment that we would almost certainly never have enjoyed without Gygax. I think that's kind of a nice tribute to him. His role in shaping the game was massive, so by extension he influenced the whole modern gaming world, especially mmporg's. He certainly made D&D the wonderful, quirky little game that it is. He will be remembered fondly.Mutate and Survive
Whilst many here today are saddened to learn of the passing of Christopher Hitchens, I'd like to take a moment to recognise another sad loss, that of comic book legend Joe Simon. Chief amongst his accomplishments must be the co-creation of the Sentinel of Liberty, Captain America, one of the most enduring characters in all of the comic book medium. I'm glad that Simon lived long enough to see his character realised so wonderfully on the big screen and brought to so many new fans.