Friends and fans gathered today at 5:30PM in the Hyatt’s International North Ballroom to remember and honor Aaron Allston and A. C. (Ann) Crispin, both authors who regularly attended Dragon Con as guests and had taught writing classes at the convention. They each passed away in the year following the 2013 Dragon Con, Crispin in September, 2013, and Allston in February, 2014.
Attendees were given memorial leis as they entered the ballroom. Many of those present wore Hawaiian shirts, Allston’s preferred choice. Panelists related their stories of the authors and invited fans to share their memories.
Panelist Kevin J. Anderson recalled his early days writing in the Star Wars series of novels, a series to which both Allston and Crispin contributed novels. He sought Crispin’s advice on his idea to propose a Star Trek novel on the life of Sarek, Spock’s father in the video canon. But before he could speak, Crispin announced that she had been contracted for a new Star Trek proposal: the life of Sarek. Her novel Sarek went on to become a best-seller.
Janine Spendlove, also a panelist, related how Allston’s X-Wing novels and encouragement had been inspirations for her, both as a professional pilot and as a writer. Another military pilot, a fan in the audience, commented on how amazed he was that Allston had the details of a pilot’s life correct. Michael Stackpole replied that when Allston and he were asked what they flew, they replied “coach.”
A memorial fund has been established in Allston’s name to raise funds to assist authors with medical expenses and also to establish scholarships for writers wishing to study the craft at the college level.