RIP Aaron Allston.

One of my favorite authors died yesterday.

I first saw the name Aaron Allston when I was thirteen and grabbed Wraith Squadron off of a shelf because I love all things Star Wars and had already become a huge X-wing fan due to Michael Stackpole’s books. I started reading it on a flight home from Oregon to Texas, and now my copy is worn and tattered and signed. I read every one of his X-wing books, both of his Doc Sidhe books, and most of his post-New Jedi Order books (because at some point I just got angry with the series; I have been talking about doing an attempt at trying again for a while now.)

I emailed him at some point in high school after Starfighters of Adumar came out and he emailed back, much to my glee. And then in 2003 I actually got to meet him at my first ever con. lurkz had to talk me into actually walking into the room since I was so nervous, but he was really nice and friendly, and we ended up staying long after the autograph session was supposed to be over and talking writing and Lord of the Rings and history. He came back to Aggiecon another time, and I remember very distinctly a really funny panel with him and Steven Brust.

At some point he added me on Livejournal and would comment on my entries every so often: wishing me a happy birthday, commiserating with me on how much anesthesia sucks after surgery, adding his two cents on the occasions when I tried to hammer out my opinions on things. He pretty much stopped commenting after his heart attack a few years ago. But I would check to see if he’d posted anything about his health, his cats, his projects, etc.

I have a stuffed Ewok that lives on my desk named Darth Kettch. I named my last three rats after characters that he either created or did a fantastic job writing (Face, Hobbie, and Janson.) When his last X-wing book, Mercy Kill, came out, it was the most excited I’d been for a book release since A Dance with Dragons and I devoured it in an evening. His book Iron Fist was the first book I can remember breaking down and all-out bawling in the middle of reading. Hell, I remember being in and out of consciousness and puking all down the highway with a tape of Starfighters of Adumar in Scott’s car after my back surgery in a futile effort to feel better.

My writing and sense of humor wouldn’t be what they are now without his influence. He’s going to be missed by a lot of people the world over.

Here’s to you, Aaron.

Yub yub, commander.