The shift into 2016 so far has been a pretty sobering string of great talents passing away. This Friday just passed, a memorial was held for Karen Fainges in her home town of Mt Isa, and while I couldn’t make it to the service, I wanted to take a moment to put down a few words to commemorate Karen’s life. In the spirit of the service itself, I’m going to keep away from maudlin sentiments, and instead celebrate a wonderful collaborator and long-time friend who’s been taken from us during that same gauntlet of time.

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The thing that got me started on this whole voice acting thing was actually roleplaying. When our regular gaming group got together and headed off to local conventions, one of the most memorable first experiences was playing in a game called ‘Roll Two Dice And Pray’. We figured out pretty quickly that the purpose of the game was to try and keep up with the absurd rapid-fire sense of humour of the person running it, and just have a blast. We walked out of the game with sore ribs and cheeks, having had an absolute blast. The genius behind running that game was Karen Fainges, who became a fast friend and a welcome sight amongst the crowd of strangers at conventions.

Karen was warm, genuine and incredibly witty. Her sense of humour could race from the surreal to the saucy back to the absurd like shuttle runs. For as long as I’ve known her, Karen had been tremendously active in the fandoms she enjoyed, not only publishing her own works but exploring the worlds of others with fanfiction and collaborative storytelling. With Karen’s passing, we all lose a dear friend, a writer and a teacher. My heart goes out especially to her family, who have lost a mother, a wife, a daughter and a sister.

If you’d like to find out more about Karen’s writing, her website contains details of her work, including links to where you can find her published writings.