I feel like a horrible person. Today’s update is going to ramble for a little bit, so I apologize in advance. To start with we have to go back a little more than 15 years. I was in the service and living in a tiny dorm room with no cable. Because I worked odd hours I was usually up all night. I watched a lot of VHS tapes since there isn’t much to watch at 2 a.m. even when you have cable. I watched a lot of the original Star Wars trilogy. That led me to reading a lot of Star Wars books and I hated most of them. There were a few authors I did enjoy though and my favorites quickly became the Wraith Squadron books Aaron Allston wrote for the X-Wing Series.
was spending a lot of time on X-Wing related message boards and eventually
started putting together a pilot costume for myself. Then a small North Carolina convention rolled
around and Aaron was going to be there.
I brought the first Wraith Squadron book for him to sign and went to his
speaking events. He was the warm, funny
writer who was far too nice to the idiot dressed like an X-Wing pilot and
reeking of booze. We seemed to be
hitting the same convention circuit so I saw him a lot.
time I saw him I brought one novel for him to sign. He asked me about it probably the third time
I saw him. It was obvious I had all the
books, why didn’t I just bring the whole stack at once? I told him something along the lines of I
didn’t want to be rude. He found it
funny, since my normal convention mode was that of a loud, boisterous drunk. The insides of my X-Wing books document my
first meetings with Aaron. They go
something like “Good to meet you”, “It’s nice to see you again”, “It’s nice to
have a reliable stalker,” etc.
would laugh at my outrage. I had told
him he was the only Star Wars writer that seemed to understand that a character
didn’t need to be a Jedi to be interesting.
I’ll never forget how much he laughed when I told Michael Stackpole that
Michael ruined the character Corran Horn by turning him into a Jedi. It was really fun to make Aaron laugh.
this point we talked about a lot more than Star Wars. I had fallen in love with his Doc Savage
inspired character Doc Sidhe. We’d email
regularly. There was a period where I
was trying to replicate a coffee/chocolate drink from his novel and we laughed
about how poorly some of my experiments had come out. We talked about roleplaying games and any
other nonsense I could think of. I
always looked forward to hearing from him and it was even better when we got to
talk in person.
happened. I stepped away from the Star
Wars fan community. I stopped going to
conventions as much as I could when I was single. I didn’t spend all night in my email blasting
off messages to friends all over the world.
I drifted out of contact with Aaron without realizing it. I was reading a Star Wars rpg thread on a
message board last night and I just froze.
I didn’t want to believe what I had just read and went scrambling for an
official word on the matter. It was
true, my friend Aaron Allston had passed away on February 27, 2014.
that me knowing sooner could have changed anything of course. It makes me feel like I somehow betrayed our
friendship. How the hell did I not
know? Rest in Peace Aaron, you were far
more wonderful to me than I ever deserved.
You were a true friend and I already miss you.