R.I.P. Gene De Weese
Gene De Weese spent his whole life doing work for hire. He was extremely talented and his novels were excellent. His _King of the Dead_ is mind-blowingly ambitious: a biography of the equivalent of the Ancient Greek god Hades. He pulled it off beautifully and I was thrilled to have read it. But the book was marginalized by the fact that it uses the Ravenloft setting of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game. It transcended that setting, but people dismissed it without having read it, out of pure prejudice.
De Weese passed away last month never having received the recognition he deserved. His life story is one of my reasons for rejecting work for hire as a potential career option. And one reason why I loathe the traditional print publishing industry. It buries some brilliant authors without even the pretense of a justification.