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Wyatt E.F. James *68

Published in June 7, 2006, issue

Wyatt E.F. James *68, a computer programmer and inventor of imaginary places, died of cancer Jan. 12, 2006, in New York. He was 62.

Born in Harrisburg, Pa. James grew up in the United States and in England. He studied English as an undergraduate at the University of the South and as a Woodrow Wilson fellow at Princeton. After several years in publishing, he took computing classes and eventually rose to systems analyst at Metropolitan Life.

As "Grobius Shortling of Brooklyn," James created a multitude of Web domains on the Internet in his leisure hours. He reviewed gritty who-dunits for his mystery list. He wrote an original guide to the castles and ancient monuments of Great Britain. And, a true tour de force, he invented imaginary castles in an imaginary country, posting maps, architectural plans, and antiquarian notes for dozens of imagined historic sites. "You have to be a compulsive sort of person to do this sort of thing," he wrote, "but it is a lot of fun, rather like making balsa model airplanes from scratch, or making a quilt or tapestry."

James leaves his wife of 25 years, Susan; two siblings; and many nieces and nephews.

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