I didn’t see that Lloyd Alexander had died until yesterday. From the Washington Post (“Lloyd Alexander; Fantasy and Adventure Writer,” by Adam Bernstein):
Lloyd Alexander, 83, a critically acclaimed fantasy and adventure writer whose coming-of-age novels use vivid action and elements of mythology to depict contemporary struggles between good and evil, died May 17 at his home in Drexel Hill, Pa. He had cancer.
Mr. Alexander wrote more than 40 books and is regarded as one of the best-known writers of juvenile fiction of the past several decades. He won over adult reviewers with cliff-hanging plots, stylish prose and believable characters that make his fanciful, long-ago settings seem plausible and relevant.
As a kid, I first read fantasy, then SF, then in high school used the SF angle to work my way into J. G. Ballard and William Burroughs — from there I explored all sorts of alternative stuff, some of which I even understood. But Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain started it all for me. There are scenes that still stick in my head 30 years later, which tells you something about his skill as a writer. I can’t wait until my sons are old enough to read him.