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Lit Aaron Allston has passed away.

Discussion in 'Literature' started by HEDGESMFG, Feb 27, 2014.

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  1. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2006
    I can't bring myself to type this all up again, so here's what I wrote elsewhere.

    Aaron Allston was an exceedingly kind and witty man and is responsible for the most important books I've read in my life. He's going to be greatly missed.
  2. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    Y'know, there's been a lot of celebrity deaths lately, but I never felt like I knew those people. Aaron Allston I felt like I knew. I suppose he has a special place in my heart since the first (possibly second) Star Wars book I ever read was Enemy Lines 2. I didn't know a thing about the EU, just the movies and SOTE video game. But here was this book with those characters I knew as older figures, and I was sucked right in. I extrapolated what I could from the background info he supplied in the book on the Vong War, but that didn't even really matter since it was self-contained enough to enjoy on its own.

    Right away I knew I had to get more Star Wars books after I finished reading it. I wanted more moments like Luke accidentally losing his clothes in front of his wife and fellow commandos. I wanted more scenes with R2 using his cunning to break Han and Leia out of jail. I wanted more fun. Which is what all of Allston's books are. He did what he loved, and that showed in all of his writing. Little details here and there, character traits that would often pay off way later in the plot. He really was a masterful artist, and it deeply saddens me that he will no longer be able to spread such joy and laughter through his works.

    I'm glad that he is no longer suffering. Health problems such as his are never easy to live with. But despite his health, he never stopped caring about his fans. From what I can tell about him, he was the humblest sort of artist, never one to dwell too much on himself. I never met him. I never spoke with him. But I feel like he spoke to me through his works, interviews, etc. He left an indelible mark on the Star Wars expanded universe, and will be missed. If there's an afterlife, I imagine he's hanging out with Ann Crispin, Brian Daley, and many other authors who made just as much an impact as he did.

    RIP @};-
    mavjade , Iron_lord, Sarge and 10 others like this.
  3. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Jul 19, 1999
    Sad, sad news.

    I'm going to throw in something here that I don't think has been mentioned much.

    From his work it's abundantly clear he loved writing SW, it's there on the page. But his skills didn't extend to just that, no, he was also one of the most professional and collaborative writers going. How do I know this? Well, there's the X-Wing series he did with Stackpole but there's also LOTF and FOTJ.

    It seems incredible, but Allston is, in all the comments I've seen on those series, the only writer who comes out the other side with any credit! He's seen as the one trying to make it all work, even if it's an impossible ask, he'll still try and make it work.

    His final book, X-Wing: Mercy Kill, is in some ways, testimony to that. I really can't agree with the story decisions taken for DN and onwards, so that makes it kind of hard to read a book in that era, right? No. Allston made it so very easy for me wth Mercy Kill. He made nods to the other stories, he accepted he was writing a story in a wider world, then with that done, he kicked off his own story and it was a blinder. It's a masterclass in how to work with others while telling your own story, how to use continuity to enhance your story without confusing the reader and, while it was doing all of that in the background with ease, it's primary focus was on spinning an enthralling, entertaining tale!

    So because of all that, it's so fitting - and heart-breaking - that X-Wing: Mercy Kill is his last work as it embodies those positive aspects so very well. (His best book? Oh I'm so torn between Iron Fist and Solo Command.)
    _Catherine_, Iron_lord, Sarge and 9 others like this.
  4. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    It seems my post this morning never submitted, so I'll repost:


    I was a late comer to Allston's works (the split between Stackpole's X-Wing books and Wraith Squadron is where I took a few years off from the EU in the late 90's, but there were among the first I returned to when i picked it back up), but his titles were almost always consistently entertaining and, often, hilarious.

    But he was also a very fun guy. I didn't know him personally that well, but he was always a highlight at the Del Rey panels at Celebrations (those shirts!) and it wasn't uncommon to see him stopping by fan events like the TF.N parties or just hanging out (I recall at C4 in LA the TF.N crew hanging out for mixed beverages in the upper realms of a hotel/mall lobby in small lounge areas that were hard to compare to senate pods, and Aaron was hanging out with some people in the next pod over).

    At C6, I also attended his SW University class on writing and storytelling- I had initially intended to just stop in for a bit before another panel/event began elsewhere, but it ended up being so interesting (and useful-I took a lot of notes!) that I stayed for the entire duration and blew off the other thing.

    The EU has lost one of it's greatest contributors, and it's a great shame that whatever new form the EU takes going forward will not have any new contributions by him. But, most of all, we lost a really nice, really funny guy.

    I 'll have to dig through my files to find better examples, but for now I'll link to this part of the LOTF announcement panel from Celebration 3. There's not a terrible amount of Aaron in this but you do get a few moments of his signature humor. Need to try to find the rest and get that back up...

    Mercy Kill was a heck of a book to go out on, too.

  5. Mandalore The Uniter

    Mandalore The Uniter Jedi Master star 2

    Jul 17, 2007
    Very very sad to hear about this. I knew Aaron since we first met at a local convention in 2008, and he was just the best guy. :(
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  6. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 8, 2004
    Damn, just read this... such sad news :(

    I know he'd had health problems for a few years, but still very, very sudden and sad to hear.

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    I noticed this in the comments under the story on TFN Main:

    Sean_Patrick_Fannonan hour ago
    I've been in touch with his brother, Stacy Allston, who has asked me to pass along that the family is still putting together their plans. The current thinking is to have some kind of memorial event for Aaron near the Austin, TX area, which he has called home for so long.
  8. Valin__Kenobi

    Valin__Kenobi Author: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji star 4 VIP

    Mar 30, 2004
    Not the first thing I expected to see when I logged on Facebook today. And now I’m literally on the verge of tears reading this thread.

    I have never heard a bad thing said about Aaron Allston. I can’t claim the privilege of knowing him personally, but I met him at signings at CIII and CVI (probably CV as well) and always tried to catch as many of his panels as possible. I spoke with him for a minute or two after one panel at CVI and he was, as always, wonderful. After his health problems a few years ago, I bought Backlash in hardcover, just to lend my support, even though I had already given up on FOTJ.

    I actually had a dream the other day that he was restarting the X-Wing series to fill the whole gap between Adumar and the NJO. Alas.

    He will be missed both as a writer and as an awesome human being. Thanks for everything, Aaron.

  9. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    For a long time, I really hoped they would do that. So much space to fill.
  10. beccatoria

    beccatoria Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 8, 2006
    This is so desperately sad. Rest in peace, friend, I hope you know how much you meant to us.
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  11. vong333

    vong333 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 18, 2003
    You this is sad news, and this year so far has kinda sucked. We got everything from Marvel getting the license from Dark Horse, to the possible end of the clone wars after the lost missions is released, to now the passing of Alliston. I've been re-reading Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand. Excellent books. I'm going to miss him. May he rest in peace.
  12. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    I'm very, very sad to hear this. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

    He was my favorite author and wrote my two favorite SW books (Adumar and Wraith Squadron). I was ecstatic when I found out he was publishing a writing book, because I admire him so much as an author. Whenever I've read something of his, in the back of my mind I constantly wondered how he did it, how he created characters I adore so much, how he constructed stories that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could, how he created dialogue I was frankly jealous of for its realism and humor, what I could learn from him that might help me be a better writer. Through his books, his panels at cons (which were always a Must Do, Must Attend, No Matter What), and even (luckily) some brief interactions with him in hallways at cons and at book signing tables, he taught me how to be better and inspired me to be better. And heck, he even retained his sense of humor in his book about writing and plotting, and that's been enjoyable to read.

    He was such an amazing, friendly, humorous person. I'm definitely going to miss him and his contributions to the SW universe and the fandom, but I'm happy he was able to share his talents with us.
  13. JediLaw

    JediLaw Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 30, 2001
    Very sorry to hear this. I met Aaron at a book signing. He was very gracious and kind. He will be missed.
  14. tulwinn

    tulwinn Jedi Knight

    Apr 28, 2011
    This really sucks, wraith squadron and iron fist are two of my favourite books and tons death is probably the only star wars scene to have me in tears. It sounds like he was a nice guy and I remember thinking that when I visited his home page and saw he had a page to answer reader questions. This thread is a nice tribute and it's good to read all your stories and know he won't be forgotten.

    May the force be with you Aaron
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  15. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Ok, here goes. Favorite Allston quotes:

    The funny:

    "You repair droids?" the cloaked man asked. The accent was foreign, Corellian perhaps.

    "We do," the shop owner said. "We have cleverly concealed that information on the sign outside, the blinking apparatus that reads NINGAL'S DROID REPAIR."

    He had such great humor.

    And the serious:

    "At times like that, you plan for your future by bringing people into your life. You know they can't all survive what you're facing. But those that do, they're part of your life forever. No matter what, when you fall, they'll catch you; when you're hungry, they'll heal you. And you'll do the same for them. And that's your future. I've had whole worlds taken away from me...but not my future."

    RIP. @};-
    Iron_lord, Vthuil, jcgoble3 and 3 others like this.
  16. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Jul 19, 1999
    Aaron's maddest idea? Easy - Ewok X-Wing pilot - via prosthetics!
  17. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    MasterSkywalker86 likes this.
  18. plaidphoenix

    plaidphoenix Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 6, 2013
    Also one of his best IMO.
    Revanfan1, imiller and Force Smuggler like this.
  19. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Jul 19, 1999
    Ummm, yes it is one of his best, but I think mad really captures it better - I mean, who else would start off a joke riff on an Ewok X-Wing pilot and then actually have it become reality?

    I mean that's like having a Gamorrean holding a conversation while doing high-level mathematics..... Oh wait.....
    jcgoble3, Revanfan1 and plaidphoenix like this.
  20. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    And that's why I can't hate the Ewoks. The giant tree village helps as well.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  21. imiller

    imiller Jedi Master star 3

    Apr 26, 2004 my sig makes clear, I might be more than a bit obsessed with that part of the series :)

    Mark me down as in the "best" column.
  22. Plaristes

    Plaristes Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 2, 2007
  23. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

    Nov 4, 1998
    I was really sad to hear about this. Aaron was by far my most favorite SW author, it's his X-wing books that I return to over and over again when I want to read some SW. He is also the only one I've met more than once, and it's been so fun meeting and talking to him. The first time I met him was at Jedi-Con ´04 in Düsseldorf and I was so happy to get my copy of Starfighters signed. Then somebody stole that book when I left it unattended for a short while. I told Aaron about it at the fan party at C3, and he told me to find him the next day so that he could sign a new version from me. At first he he started to scribble something totally unreadable, he stopped himself, then he pointed out that that was now the limited and very exclusive "C3-scribble", then he proceeded to write "thieves don't steal this book" all over the first page.

    It's always been a great moment to just stop by and chat with him at other celebrations. I also now that I have friends around that were a lot closer to him, so my thoughts are with them as well.

    And now I feel bad for not having read Mercy Kill yet, I will probably read it with a lump in my throat now.
  24. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    It's great to see how many users have changed their avatars to respect Allston...I'm sure he'd be proud to know how much his works and personality affected us.
    Force Smuggler likes this.
  25. JediGirl_Angelina

    JediGirl_Angelina Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 12, 2003
    What a sad day. His books have been always my favorite. His way of treating his characters, his humor left a huge mark on my style of writing too. He will be missed.
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