Just read the news confirming that Hal Clement has died. I'm really rather depressed by this. I was lucky enough to meet him last year when I attended the Writers Of The Future workshops in Los Angeles, and found him to be an utterly delightful man, friendly and cheerful and with an enormous zest for the act of SF writing. Even at 80 he was working hard, still engaged in what he viewed as a great and enjoyable gift- that of creating worlds from nothing but your own mind. A sad loss, and one that I'll feel keenly for some time. Makes it difficult to concentrate on my own work today. So many of the people I look up to and whose work I enjoy are dying these days I feel like a bloody jinx.