|Ardath Mayhar, not afraid to use computer or gun|
Martha Wells posted a notice on her blog a few minutes ago that Joe Lansdale is reporting Ardath Mayhar has passed away. Mayhar was an SF/F author and SFWA Author Emeritus. She was probably best known for her novel Golden Dream: A Fuzzy Odyssey, one of several sequels to H. Beam Piper’s Fuzzy series.
I don’t have any details other than what I’ve written above. When more details become available, I’ll post them here.
I met Ardath a few times over the years at different Texas conventions. I don’t recall all of them; the ones in the 90s are a little vague. The first clear memory is when she attended the first Fencon in 2004, although I know I had met her previously. She may have been at one or two other Fencons. I hope there will be a memorial for her at this year’s event.
Ardath was a short, stocky lady who wore her hair in a tight bun, looking every bit like someone’s sweet grandmother. She often had knitting in her hands, I suspect in part because the needles could be used as weapons. For a while she allegedly carried a gun in her purse. I don’t know if she ever actually did, but it would be consistent with her personality and makes a good story, true or not. Ardath was the embodiment of feisty. Until she was physically unable to do so, she would go for walks in the snake infested woods near where she lived in East Texas.
Ardath was a blast to talk to. The last time I saw Ardath was at the 2007 Nebula Awards in Austin, Texas, where she was awarded the title of Author Emeritus. I sat in the lobby with several others and visited with her, mostly just listening. I knew it was a rare opportunity I was unlikely to ever have again. Someone else later voiced the same thought.
Aradath Mayhar was the type of character we don’t have enough of these days. She was also an accomplished writer. I have several of her fantasy novels I’ve never gotten around to reading, in addition to the things I have read. I may discuss one of them here later this year.