Russell Hoban (1925-2011)

Writer Russell Hoban, 86, died December 13, 2011 in London.

Hoban was a celebrated children’s author, best known for his series of books about Frances the Badger (beginning with Bedtime for Frances, 1960), and for his classic The Mouse and His Child (1967). He also did many adult works of SF interest, particularly post-holocaust novel Riddley Walker (1980), which was nominated for a Nebula and won a John W. Campbell Memorial Award and a Ditmar Award. Hoban’s first publication was his children’s book What Does It Do and How Does It Work (1959), which he also illustrated. He produced text and often art for more than 50 children’s books, in addition to around 20 books for adults. He also wrote poetry, plays, and an opera libretto.

Russell Conwell Hoban was born February 4, 1925 in Lansdale PA. He attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art from 1941-42, then served in the US Army from 1943-45, where he was posted in Italy and was awarded a Bronze Star. He worked as a magazine and ad agency artist and TV artist in the ’50s, and as an advertising copywriter in the ’60s, before becoming a full-time writer in 1967. In 1969 he relocated to London, where he lived for the rest of his life.

See the January issue of Locus for a complete obituary.