We are sad to report that Wing Commander author Christopher Stasheff passed away June 10, 2018 after a battle with Parkinson's Disease; he was 74. Mr. Stasheff was an extremely talented writer and anthologist known for blending science fiction, fantasy and humor together. He was responsible for several long-running, well known novel series including Warlock of Gramayre, Wizard in Rhyme, Rogue Wizard and Starship Troupers. You can read his complete obituary here.
Mr. Stasheff is best known to Wing Commander fans as the author of Milk Run, the novella which precedes (and prologues) Dr. William Forstchen's End Run in the book of the same name. He was brought in to work on the series by frequent collaborator Bill Fawcett as part of a 'soft reboot' that took it in a harder military science fiction direction. Milk Run is a joy to read as it both captured the contemporary spirit of the Wing Commander universe and wove in Mr. Stasheff's distinct wit. The resulting adventures of the corvette Johnny Greene are, without question, the most literary single piece of Wing Commander fiction ever published. You can read the entirety of Milk Run online here for free, courtesy of publisher Baen Books. Thank you for your contribution to our universe, it won't be forgotten!
We recently restored a long-lost 1997 interview with Wing Commander novelist Andrew Keith. That same night Mr. Keith provided fans present with three documents - a sample chapter from False Colors, a short biography and a list of his other novels. Luckily, Dundradal managed to save the documents in question all these years, allowing us to once again make them available online:
Sadly, Mr. Keith passed away in 1999. We hope he will continue to be remembered for having been a good friend to Wing Commander fans online.
Biography: This self-effacing autobiography is a good introduction to both Mr. Keith's life and personality.
Bibliography: Mr. Keith published military and science fiction under several different names. If you're interested in tracking down more of his work, this list will let you know exactly what to scour the used bookstores for.
Sample Chapter: This early version of False Colors' prologue was released to fans almost two years before the book was published. It's a fascinating study in exactly what does and does not change during the editing process... make special note of the dates listed in the headers!
Publisher Jim Baen, a true giant in the literary science fiction field, passed away on Thursday. He was 62. The company he started, Baen Books, has been responsible for publishing the best of the best of modern science fiction (including David Weber's Honor Harrington series) and for significantly advancing the concept of unencrypted electronic publishing. Wing Commander fans know him best, however, for having published seven Wing Commander novels between 1992 and 1999. Freedom Flight, End Run, Fleet Action, Heart of the Tiger, The Price of Freedom, Action Stations and False Colors form the detailed core of what Wing Commander fans consider their own universe today. Rest in peace, Mr. Baen. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends - including the online community that he made his home. He made an important part of Wing Commander possible; he will be missed. Writer David Drake has posted a touching obituary for his friend at his web site.
Almost three years ago the online Wing Commander community was stunned by the sudden death of Jason Bernard, Captain Eisen from Wing Commander 3 and 4. From that event, a number of online tribute sites were created. With the recent passing of False Colors/Heart of the Tiger co-author Andrew Keith, we'd like to put together a simple tribute for him as well. Since he worked behind the scenes, it's harder to relate to him compared to Bernard, but he was a real great guy who was very attentive towards the fans. If you'd like to contribute to a memorial, you can begin by posting a message to the CIC Chat Zone or emailing us, we'll be compiling submissions soon. Update: tributes have been compiled here.
Some very sad news. Author Andrew Keith, who co-wrote Heart of the Tiger and False Colors with William Forstchen, apparently died last Saturday. Long time visitors may remember Mr. Keith from an online chat he was kind enough to appear at for us -- he was intelligent and always very polite about answering our questions while we were waiting for False Colors to come out. He will be missed. (Please thank Diane for informing us of this news). His obituary, as it appeared in the August 8th Tribune Review follows.
J. Andrew Keith, 41, of Greensburg, died Saturday, August 7, 1999, in Westmoreland Regional Hospital, Greensburg. He was born on August 31, 1957, in Pittsburgh, a son of the late William H. and Dorothy Hultz Keith. He had been self-employed as a free-lance novelist. He is survived by his brother, William H. Keith, Jr. of Greensburg. There will be no public visitation. Private interment will take place at the St. Clair Cemetary, Greensburg. Barnhart Funeral Home, Greensburg, in charge of arrangements.