I saw the first reports on Twitter last night as I was finishing up the day’s writing: Russell Hoban has died.

There have already been some fine things written about him. Here’s an obit in UK paper The Guardian. This one from his editor David Lloyd, is my favourite.

Though his creativity remained as strong as ever, Mr Hoban had been physically very frail for some time. I knew, via The Kraken, a mailing list of fans, that he was in hospital again: that’s partly why I posted Door below, as a way of wishing him well. Today I’m very sad.

As well as his warm and wonderful books, he leaves us his example. In a world which often seems like it only cares about the bottom line he pursued his own creative path where it led him, producing beautiful, original, astonishing writing on the way.

In recent interviews he said he’d begun to think of death as ‘a good career move’ – and maybe the flurry of tributes from readers all over the world who’ve been touched by his work will inspire more to discover it. Soonchild, coming in March, looks like it will be another Hoban treat. But right now, rather selfishly, I just wish he was still alive and working, so that I would have more of his books to look forward to, and know that one of my heroes was still there.