Science fiction author Jack Williamson has died at the age of 98. I never met him, but by all accounts he was a great guy as well as being a great author. His life completely encompassed what we know as literary science fiction – he made his first sale in 1928 and he was a working author for the next 78 years.
When I met L. Sprague and Catherine de Camp in 1994, at one point she leaned over to me and was proudly talking about Sprague’s lengthy stint as an SF writer. Then, her voice got low and conspiratorial and she said “If it weren’t for that blasted Jack Williamson, he’d be the oldest working science fiction writer!” Who would have thought that the world would get twelve more years of him after that? I consider us all lucky for that.