TRIBUTES from friends and fans are flooding in for the legendary fantasy author behind the Lone Wolf gamebooks, after he died aged 60.

Joe Dever, who was born in Chingford, was admitted to hospital at the end of October but sadly died this morning (Wednesday).

He had been due to attend a convention in Lucca, Italy, which he was forced to cancel after complications from bile duct surgery in August arose.

His last Facebook post, written on October 22, read: "I’ve had a very challenging few months health-wise that have made it impossible to maintain my usual busy work schedule.

"I can only apologise sincerely for the inconvenience this unavoidable decision will cause all my loyal Italian fans that have been looking forward to meeting and chatting with me next week at the show.

"Lucca is a big part of my life and it breaks my heart not to be able to be there to enjoy it with you this year."

He first created the fictional world of Magnamund in 1977 as a setting for his Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.

In 1984, he released the first book of the Lone Wolf series of young-adult gamebooks which sold over 11.5million copies worldwide.

Writing on Project Aon, a fan page where Mr Dever shared many of his books online for free, John Bryntz said is heart is heavy.

He added: “Joe will be missed by so many.” 

Mark Richard wanted to thank the author for getting “this book-hating school kid” to read for pleasure.

He added: “Thank you for the memories, thank you for allowing me to relive those memories through Project Aon.”

Edmund Ho said he woke up to the news and immediately felt like crawling back under his blanket to cry.

He said: “Like so many others, I discovered Lone Wolf in the early years of its publication as a young kid and till now, I am still as fascinated with the world of Magnamund as ever.

A good friend to Mr Dever, Darren Pearce, said he was a great man who he had the pleasure to work with.

He added: “His knowledge on a great many subjects was legendary.

“He was a warm guy, a true gentleman and he will be sadly missed.”