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Jack Chalker passes away

17/02/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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SFF author Jack L. Chalker dies in hospital.

The writer Jack L. Chalker, who has been sick for quite a while now has finally died in hospital, reportedly on Friday 11th 2005.

He had been in a vegetative state since December 2004.

Jack Lawrence Chalker, born December 17, 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland, had a graduate degree in history from Johns Hopkins University and taught history at the high school level. He was a lecturer at the Smithsonian Institution, the National Institutes of Health, and numerous colleges and universities, mostly on science fiction and technology subjects. Chalker married Eva C. Whitley in 1978; they had two sons, the first born named David W. Chalker (born December 19th, 1981) and Steven L. Chalker (born September 4th, 1991).

Chalker's awards include the Dedalus Award (1983), The Gold Medal of the West Coast Review of Books (1984), Skylark Award (1985), and Hamilton-Brackett Memorial Award (1979), as well as others of varying prestige. He was a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award twice and for the Hugo award four times.

He is perhaps best known for his Well World series of novels, but also wrote many other novels (most, but not all, part of series) and at least nine short stories. Many of his works involve some physical transformation of the main characters. For instance, in the Well World novels, immigrants to the Well World are transformed from their original form to become a member of one of the thousands of sentient species that inhabit that artificial planet. The Wonderland Gambit series resembles traditional Buddhist jataka-type reincarnation stories set in an SF environment. Chalker's latest book, Chameleon, will remain unfinished.

Chalker was also the coauthor (with Mark Owings) of The Science Fantasy Publishers (1991, upated annually), published by Mirage Press, Ltd. (Hugo Award nominee, 1992).

Jack, you will be missed.

See his official site over at http://www.jackchalker.com/

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