During my recent adventures in Philly at NoirCon, my panel was moderated by Roger Hobbs. At 28, Hobbs was lively, energetic, and palpably brilliant. We had a lively panel, and last week, he e-mailed me about turning our discussion into an academic paper, saying that he wanted to maintain his academic interests along with his burgeoning fiction career. I told him we could talk about it once registration for next term was over. From his bio:
He wrote Ghostman, his debut novel, during his senior year of college and sent off the manuscript on the day he graduated. Ghostman has since been published in more than twenty-nine countries around the world and climbed numerous bestseller lists. In 2013 Roger became the youngest person ever to win a CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. In 2014 he won the Strand Critics award and was nominated for the prestigious Edgar, Barry, and Anthony awards. In 2015, he became the youngest person ever to win the Maltese Falcon award. Booklist called Ghostman “a triumph on every level.”
At Reed, Roger majored in English. He studied film noir, literary theory and ancient languages. He wrote his thesis on the early mystery stories of Edgar Allan Poe, in an attempt to create a theoretical model for examining suspense. He loves to travel, gamble, and make snarky comments about bad movies. All of his friends refer to him by his last name, “Hobbs.”
Hobbs died yesterday in Portland of an OD. As I said, he was 28.
Dammit. Damn it to hell.
So long, Mr. Hobbs, and thanks for the conversation.