Late last week while attending a press event I received some truly shocking news. My good friend and colleague Craig Hinton has passed away.
Craig and I had been friends for the best part of nine years, having first met when I joined Computing all those years ago as a lowly technology staff writer. At the time, Craig was the deputy editor, and then editor of another VNU magazine, an excellent business networking monthly called Network Solutions.
As well as being an outstanding IT journalist, Craig was also an extremely talented author, having written several books, most notably a collection of Doctor Who books. My favourite is The Quantum Archangel. Craig also wrote several Doctor Who radio plays, and some more colourful books outside of science fiction.
We soon became very good friends, sharing many common interests including technology and of course science fiction. Craig was a huge Doctor Who fan and a well-known figure in Doctor Who fan circles as a result of his writing and his involvement with various fan clubs and conventions. He was also one of the few people I have met who could actually appreciate how much better Babylon 5 was compared to Star Trek, though we both agreed that Deep Space Nine had the better ending of the two. I remember how excited he was when the news broke that Doctor Who was going back into production after years off our screens, and this time with decent budget and no dodgy special effects. He really was like a kid locked in a toy and sweet shop overnight.
As well as being an accomplished author, Craig worked on and wrote for numerous technology magazines and publications including Network News, SC Magazine, Computing, Data Business, IT Network.com and Computerweekly.com. We had been talking for some time about getting him working with us on IT PRO as well; doing a column and working in the office helping us get the reviews and features into shape. Sadly this didn’t come to fruition in time. He was without doubt one of the best magazine editors I have ever worked with, and I was fortunate to learn a great many things about being a good writer and editor from him. I owe much of my career success to his guidance. Craig spent a great deal of time early on helping me to meet useful people in the world of IT, and thanks to him I made a great many contacts, many of whom have become good mutual friends outside of work as well.
Craig had an uncanny ability to make even the most boring piece of technology sound interesting, an important skill in the world of IT journalism. Few of the writers in this industry really understand the technology. Even fewer can articulate that knowledge into copy that is interesting, thought-provoking and insightful. Craig was one of the people who could.
In recent years, Craig struggled with several personal challenges, but was working hard to overcome them, showing the same determination and attention to the task as he did with his writing. Most recently, he was preparing to start a new career as a teacher.
Craig’s funeral is taking place this Thursday.
Goodbye and thank you Craig. Sleep well, and may you finally find peace.