I got the news via email this morning. jan passed away in the hospital.
jan finder new everybody. He would talk a mile a minute, or even faster. He was always cheerful, always generous — and never dull.
It was jan who thrust The Warrior’s Apprentice into my hands and said, “You have to read this.” He pulled the book out again to thumb through to a particular passage, commanding, “Read that.”
Of course, we’re talking about the book and the author (Lois McMaster Bujold) who has gone to win more awards than anyone aside from (maybe) Locus Magazine. jan had the eye for a good writer and was enthusiastic in promoting them.
He was also a manic when it came to everything Tolkien and a great promoter. I was always amazed (though I shouldn’t be) whenever I found yet another person who knew jan or who was introduced to science fiction and fantasy by jan.
He was in love with Route 66 and would travel it whenever he could, appearing miraculously in Los Angeles to collect everyone together for “Roast Mongolians” (as he preferred to call Mongolian BBQ).
He’d been fighting with prostate cancer for a long while. At first it looked like he’d managed to dodge the bullet but that didn’t work. He maintained his good humor even as he suffered through chemo. Apparently he had a bad reaction to his latest bout and went back to the hospital but, at 73, the stress was too much and his systems started shutting down.
It was a pleasure to have known you, jan.