I was saddened to hear of the death last Thursday of Aaron Allston, who was only 53. He was a panelist at the first convention I ever attended, ConDFW in 2003.
Before I met him, I never knew an author who came out of gaming, or who wrote in a shared world. It was all part of the learning experience for me as I began to write speculative fiction.
He had a major heart attack in 2009, and had been in precarious health. I hate to see it when someone's quality of life is diminished by that kind of debilitating health problem.
I didn't know him well, but I know a lot of people who did, and regarded high very highly. Such a shame, and such a loss.