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Monday, July 14, 2008

A Moment for Hugh

For anyone who has ever read and loved the fiction work of Hugh Cook, you may be aware that he has been suffering for the last several years with brain cancer. Following his blog, I have learned that he has recently taken a bad turn. Hugh, as well as being an absolute imaginative genius (unjustly maligned by the publishing world), is a truly decent fellow. He has been a champion of flash publishing (print-on-demand technology) and I stand among many of his fans who have received warm and encouraging emails back from the man when approached. I remember getting that message, and how it made my day. For anyone who's interested, that email is copied to the bottom of this post.

Hugh lived in NZ for some time, and much of his work shows the dark inspiration he drew from Aotearoa's landscapes and our own stories. His epic 10-book series The Chronicles Of An Age Of Darkness are pure fantasy sci-fi brilliance. Three of those novels are available online here. They come highly recommended by me, though the online versions have been partially sanitised by Hugh to suit a broader audience. If you can find any of his books in second-hand stores, they are gold!

Hugh can no longer see, due to the aggressive action of the tumour on his brain, which must be the most awful thing for a writer. He lives between blind reality and hallucination. His family have been documenting his condition on his blog, and it is not happy reading.

His sister has asked that anyone who wishes to leave thoughts for Hugh do so by replying to comments on the blog, and has also made another poignant request that can be found here. For anyone who has ever read and loved any one of Hugh Cook's amazing works of fiction, please follow these links and let Hugh and his family know. For anyone who hasn't, go read the online novels and then send him your wishes. At a time in one's life like this, love and support can be the greatest medicine. Please take a moment for Hugh.

Hugh's website Zenvirus, where his Post-Chronicles work tends to reside, can be found here. Hugh's body of work available by print on demand can be found here, courtesy of

An email reply from Hugh, November 16th, 2006
Subject: Hugh Cook says thanks for getting in touch, good luck with your writing Re: message

Thanks for getting in touch,
Dan. Always nice to hear from a fan.

As you understand, there will be no more CHRONICLES
books, but I do hope to deliever further novels to the
world in due course. I am currently slowly working on
a new edition of THE SHIFT, which will replicate the
text of the first edition, and I am also working, very
slowly, on further books in the TALES OF OOLONG
MORBLOCK series, to follow on after TO FIND AND WAKE

The next two books, all going well, will be COMRADE
hope, in the next three to four years.

Good luck with your writing!

Hugh Cook

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