Fantasy writer Graham Joyce dies at 59

AP News
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Posted: Sep 10, 2014 12:07 PM

LONDON (AP) — Graham Joyce, one of Britain's best known fantasy writers, has died from complications of lymphoma cancer, an ilness he had blogged about extensively. He was 59.

Joyce died Tuesday afternoon in a hospital near his home in Leicester, a city north of London, said Simon Spanton, associate publisher of the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Orion Books.

Several of his novels received the British Fantasy Award, including "Indigo," ''The Tooth Fairy" and "Some Kind of Fairy Tale," which won last year. He also won an O. Henry Prize for short fiction and the World Fantasy Award for "The Facts of Life."

Stephen King, who called him "a truly great novelist," was among those mourning him on Twitter.

Raised in the mining village Keresley, Joyce remembered himself as an uninspired student who "muddled" through school. But he loved writing and storytelling and kept a "long-winded" diary.

He even turned his own illness into an adventure. On his blog, he imagined a mythical journey in which a heroine has been struck by lightning from the Gods and is on a quest to regain her health, "a kind of Holy Grail, or a Vessel of Plenty that was lost and must be found again."

But in that world, and standing in the way of her quest object is a terrifying enemy, he wrote.

"Cancer is a ferocious, dark force, a Darth Vader figure from 'Star Wars,' or Sauron from 'Lord Of The Rings.' The enemy pursues her. She is required to do fierce battle with that enemy, and the outcome is uncertain."

He is survived by his wife Sue and his children, Ella and Joe.