Penguin Random House sales rep and Ace Books author Anton Strout died suddenly on December 30. He was 50.

Strout had been part of PRH for more than 22 years, most recently selling the Penguin adult list to B&N College, Bookazine, and Brodart. In an email to the PRH sales staff, Jaci Updike, president of PRH U.S. Sales, noted that in addition to his sales role, Strout was an “accomplished fantasy and science fiction author.” His novels included the Simon Canderous series, published by PRH’s Ace imprint. In 2011, Strout started The Once & Future Podcast, on which he interviewed authors about their books and their writing process as well as other pop culture, gaming, and science fiction news.

“Anton always came into work with a smile and a joke, determined to brighten the mood for everyone under any circumstance,” Updike wrote in her note. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, especially his wife Orly and twins Ben and Julia. He will be greatly missed by all.”