I just heard from a writer friend that author Kate Wilhelm passed away on March 8th. To lose Ursula K. Le Guin and Kate Wilhelm...
Kate Wilhelm was the bigger influence on me. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang should be required reading for everyone. That book is so good. I preferred her science fiction stories to her mysteries, though I love Death Qualified, which is sort of both. My all-time favorite stories of hers are two novellas: The Plastic Abyss and Naming the Flowers. I re-read those two quite frequently and will probably re-read Naming the Flowers today. I have several collections of her short stories, and find those inspiring to read as well. There is a short story of hers called "The Funeral" that I loved long before I ever knew who she was. It wasn't until years later that I realized she was the author, then I just nodded to myself and said "of course!"
Two big losses to the writing world this year.