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April 29, 2004

I didn’t know Johannes Berg well; we met him a few times every year at sf conventions in Sweden, Britain or Norway. When I talked with him it would be in a group of people – but while he was maybe not a close personal friend, I was always happy to meet him; he was genuinely friendly, liked people and was always interested in what they had to say. Of course he was also opinionated, as sf fans tend to be, but never in a way that belittled others’ opinions. He was also very smart, very knowledgeable, and had a lot of rather diverse interests that he was deeply involved in. So he built bridges between different fandom groupings, by force of being a central person in them all, himself – groups of people who would otherwise look at each other with distrust had to admit that in some ways they did have something in common.

An hour ago we received a phone call telling us that Johannes H Berg died this morning in Oslo. We didn’t know he’d been ill – it was a brief illness – so the shock was keen. Johannes will be deeply missed.

Edited to add: There is a memorial site here.

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