Aaron Allston, a prolific science fiction writer and roleplaying game designer who was as well known for being active in the fandom community as he was for his Star Wars novels, has died after falling ill at VisionCon in Branson, Mo. He was 53.
A native and resident of Texas, Allston suffered a heart attack in 2009 that required a quadruple bypass, and sympathetic fans chipped in with an online campaign to help pay his medical bills. His death on Thursday is believed to have been caused by heart failure.
Allston joined the Star Wars universe in 1998 with Wraith Squadron, part of the popular “X-Wing” series, and he also contributed to the “New Jedi Order,” “Legacy of the Force” and recent “Fate of the Jedi” storylines. His final Star Wars novel was 2012’s X-Wing: Mercy Kill. His RPG work included 1991’s Dungeons & Dragons Rule Cyclopedia, a special hardback compilation and continuation of the D&D Basic rules, as well as the D&D supplements Poor Wizard’s Almanac & Book of Facts and the Complete Ninja’s Handbook, and the roleplaying game Strike Force.
“Aaron was a wonderful author, a devastating punster, an erudite teacher, and — most of all — a wonderful friend,” said fellow Star Wars novelist and friend Timothy Zahn in a post on Facebook reacting to the news, which he also confirmed. “His humor in the midst of his pain and medical difficulties was an inspiration to everyone around him.”