Diana Wynne Jones died this morning. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and, because chemotherapy was severely harming her health without doing much good, elected to stop chemo last summer.
Jones was a towering author in the fantasy genre, easily a more skilled author than many who are more famous. She mostly wrote for children and young adults, although most of her works stand up very well to adult reading. She was always funny, clever, and inventive, a sharp critic of the lack of originality and serious thought that pervades most of the fantasy genre, and an adventuresome author who could never be accused of lacking originality or serious thought herself.
I just finished re-reading two of my favorite Jones books, Dark Lord of Derkholm and, what is arguably her masterpiece, Fire and Hemlock. I recommend both very highly, as well as the first Chrestomanci novel, Charmed Life, and her short stories (the ones in Unexpected Magic I think are especially good).