(CNN) — He spent decades of his life preparing to join the starship Enterprise, but there were no spaceships on Saturday when Captain Kirk’s friend and fellow crew member was killed in a plane crash.
Canadian science fiction writer S.J. Watson, who wrote under the name “Skorostock,” died at the age of 73, as first reported by the Canadian Press news agency.
Watson was a computer science professor at the University of Alberta and a member of the company Unmanned Aerial Systems General Canada, where his work included providing technology and support for the space-related communications satellite project, according to the Canadian government’s Space Research and Innovation program.
His wife, Lorna Sinclair, confirmed to CTV News that S.J. Watson was flying the plane that crashed at an airstrip near the Alberta-British Columbia border.
She told CTV that the couple had a son, who was present on the flight. No one else on the plane was killed, she said.
Watson once got a message from actor William Shatner, asking him if he’d mind helping save a little man on board one of his flying robots, according to World Culture News, an online publication for science fiction and fantasy.
The story was about a car in need of help but with limited data. Watson told World Culture News that he and other members of the Unmanned Aerial Systems team were trained as medical scientists, so they volunteered to save the life of the little man.
S.J. Watson started writing science fiction as a teenager, CTV News reported.
“He became fascinated with flight,” Sinclair told CTV. “He started flying at 17. He loved photography, and that was a very common source of pictures for him. He was fascinated with the universe.”