Near legendary Usenet poster Gharlane of Eddore has died, prompting a search for his true identity.
His death was announced on a sci-fi newsgroup, appropriately enough, and quickly received messages from a large number of saddened users. However, when something of his real-life persona crept into dedications made on the group, a search for his identity began.
Gharlane was fiercely protective of his identity, which a friend said was in response to him being approached in real life by people he didn't know. Despite a number of details about Gharlane being published, his identity has been hard to pin down.
The man who lived in Sacramento but held Nevada to be his true home, who was good friends with sci-fi legend EE Smith, was a published author of sci-fi stories and a TV and film critic, who apparently spoke Russian and Arabic (although not very clearly), was a scout leader, did a tour in Vietnam and who passed away last Sunday leaving an 11-year-old son. He is something of an enigma.
The friend who announced his death has offered to accept any gifts to the man at his own address, extending people's natural inquisitiveness all the more.
Gharlane of Eddore was named after a character created by sci-fi legend EE Smith. He asked EE Smith for permission to use the name before embarking on a Usenet career that saw hundreds touched (and enraged) by his frequent postings.
He was extremely witty with a wide-ranging and extensive knowledge - particularly anything sci-fi. His absolute hatred of poor acting, writing or flimsy attention to detail caused many a spat with other users. His frequent grumpiness didn't help much either. But most of those offended at his remarks soon made up with the man.
His death has come as a sorry blow to many Usenet posters. ®