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2005-02-25

Jack Chalker dies

Sci Fi Wire -- Jack Chalker dies

I know that Hunter S Thompson's death a few weeks ago should be more worthy of comment; he was probably a more influential voice in American society than Jack Chalker.

But realistically, Jack Chalker has had a much more direct and profound impact on my life than Hunter S Thompson had. Chalker's novels have colored my view of the world since I was a young teen, and along with other SciFi/Fantasy writers (Tolkien, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, Robert A. Heinlein, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Charles de Lint come immediately to mind) have defined my personality and opinions more than almost any other factor (parents, kids, and marriage excluded).

I've left Chalker's work largely behind in recent years, as my personal growth has left me less time for reading SciFi ("shit lit" as my father calls it) and I devote most of my reading time to various thick computer programming tomes, but recently I was culling my bookshelves to find books to take to the local used book store, Frugal Muse Books, to re-sell and I found a few of Chalker's more recent works that I hadn't gotten to reading yet. I put them back on the shelf instead of in the box destined for re-selling. Now I am doubly glad that I did.

RIP, Jack Chalker. your voice will be missed.

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