Category Archives: obituary

Farewell, Bill Crider

Bill Crider, World Fantasy Convention 2017

I woke up this morning to the news that Bill Crider passed away yesterday. He was a true gentlemen in the writing community.  Although most of his work was in the mystery and crime genres with a few forays into westerns, he wrote some short fiction that contained fantastic elements, such as his Sidewise Award winning story “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”. James Reasoner told me after the story won the award that Bill had written it at the last minute as a replacement for someone who had to drop out of the project. I considered it an honor to be included in that anthology with him.

One story of Bill’s I read years ago in an anthology (the name of both the story and the anthology escape me) concerned a town in the old west that was having troubles with a werewolf. And the only person in the area with silver bullets was a masked man and his faithful Indian companion…

Bill had been fighting cancer since about July of 2016. Bill had lost his wife Judy to cancer a few years prior to that. They have been reunited.

It was his announcement of the diagnosis that made me decide to attend Armadillocon that year.  I hadn’t seen many of my friends since moving to the Llano Flatto part of the state. It was the first time in over half a decade I had seen some of those folks, and it made me realize how much I missed them. Continue reading

Rest in Peace, Jerry Pournelle

Adventures Fantastic is deeply saddened to report that Jerry Pournelle passed away in his sleep this morning, September 8, 2017.  Pournelle was born on August 7, 1933.

I never had the chance to meet Mr. Pournelle.  He was a noted science fiction author, both on his own and in collaboration with Larry Niven.  Some of his better known works include the Falkenberg’s Legion series, King David’s Spaceship, and Janissaries. Among his collaborations with Larry Niven are the novels The Mote in God’s Eye, Lucifer’s Hammer, and Footfall.

Pournelle was also the editor on a number of anthology series, foremost among them the There Shall Be War series.

I would like to extend my condolences to Jerry Pournelle’s family, friends, fans, and his collaborator Larry Niven.

RIP, Edward Bryant (1945-2017)

Locus Online is reporting that Edward Bryant died in his sleep after a long illness.  A long-time resident of Colorado, Bryant was a short story writer, reviewer, and critic of science fiction and horror.  He regularly reviewed and provided conventions for Locus.

While Bryant was a frequent convention goer, I only recall being at one convention with him, the 2000 World Fantasy Convention in Corpus Christi.  I don’t think I interacted much with him, that being my first large convention.  So much major talent in one place was pretty overwhelming, and that convention is the high water bar I have for large conventions.  What I do remember is that Bryant was a warm and friendly man who was well-liked.  I don’t remember him being at the 2006 WFC or the San Antonio Worldcon a few years ago.

Bryant is an author whose work I’m familiar with more by reputation than actually reading.  Fortunately, much of it is available in electronic format.  I picked up a collection of his science fiction and one of his horror.  I’ll try to read some and, if time permits, post about it.

Charles Gramlich has posted this tribute.

RIP, David G. Hartwell (1941-2016)

David G HartwellDavid G. Hartwell passed away from some type of brain hemmorhage about an hour ago as I write this.  I was heading to bed and decided to check my Twitter feed one last time tonight.  Hartwell was one of the major editors in the fields of science fiction and fantasy for the last few decades.

His annual anthologies Year’s Best SF (1996-2013) and Year’s Best Fantasy (2001-2008) were among the most eagerly anticipated books of the year for me.  He also edited a number of standalone anthologies.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hartwell several times over the years, although I hadn’t seen him in recent years.  He was always open and approachable.  He had an enthusiasm for the literature of the fantastic that was always refreshing to be around, and his knowledge of the field was considerable.

Adventures Fantastic would like to express our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Happy Birthday, Charles Beaumont

beaumontCharles Beaumont was born this day in 1929.  He passed away in 1967.  Beaumont was a protege of Ray Bradbury and a central figure in what’s come to be called the California School.  Other members were Richard Matheson, William F. Nolan, Chad Oliver, and the late George Clayton Johnson.  Johnson’s story “Your Three Minutes Are Up” is a tribute to his friend.

Beaumont is best remembered today for penning a number of scripts for Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone.  He also wrote the novel The Intruder which was filmed by Roger Corman and starred William Shatner.

Beaumont’s strengths lay in short stories.  I came across a slim volume when I was a sophomore in high school; I bought it on the strength of Ray Bradbury’s introduction and read it during a move across the state.  Not all of the stories worked for me.  Some of them were aimed for a more mature reader.  I don’t mean “mature” in terms of sexual content (although that was part of it) but that the themes weren’t something a young teen could relate to.

On the other hand, the stories that did resonate with me blew me away.  I was hooked and spent years haunting used book stores trying to find all of his collections.  In addition to being the epitome of a professional working writer, Beaumont was an avid race fan.  He and Nolan often raced.

charles_beaumontBeaumont’s death is usually attributed to some type of early-onset Alzheimer’s.  He began to age swifty at the age of 34.  His loss was deeply felt.

Centipede Press recently published The Intruder, crime thriller Run From the Hunter (written collaboratively with John Tomerlin), and a massive collection of short fiction, Mass for Mixed Voices (which sold out almost immediately, and no, I won’t loan you my copy.)  This past year penguin published Perchance to Dream:  Selected Stories.  Also available is the collection A Touch of the Creature, which contains all the stories in the limited edition published by Subterranean Press (2000) along with three more.  These stories weren’t collected during Beaumont’s lifetime.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going reread some Beaumont short stories.  Please turn out the light when you leave…on second thought, better not.

RIP, George Clayton Johnson (1929-2015)

George Clayton JohnsonGeorge Clayton Johnson passed away yesterday, Christmas Day, of cancer at the age of 86.  While Mr. Johnson’s name may not be familiar to some of you, his work almost certainly is.  He wrote eight episodes of The Twilight Zone (plus one unproduced episode) and the first episode of the original Star Trek series to air, “The Man Trap”.  He also coauthored Logan’s Run with William F. Nolan.  His other credits include scripts for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Honey West, and Kung Fu.

Johnson was a member of the group of writers known as the California school which included (in addition to Nolan) such writers as Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, and Charles Beaumont.  He was known for his openness and willingness to assist authors trying to break into the field.

Rest well, sir.

RIP, Jon Arfstrom 1928-2015

Weird-Tales-52-01-204x300Jon Afrstrom passed away December 2.  He was believed to be the last surviving artist to work on the original Weird Tales.  While he wasn’t as well known as Margaret Brundage or J. Allen St. John, Jon Arfstrom created several striking covers in the final years of the magazine, such as the one shown on the right, which from January 1952.  This was his first cover.

In recent years he’d returned to fantasy art and provided cover art for publishers such as Haffner Press and Fedogan & Bremer among others.  He was the artist on the Stoker Award winning collection The Early Fears by Robert Bloch.

Fortunately, Arfstrom was a guest at PulpFest 2015.  You can see an interview with him here.

RIP, Tom Piccirilli

Apologies for this being so short.  I am on the road and posting from my phone.  Ed Gorman is reporting that Richard Chizmar informed him this morning that Tom Piccirilli has died. Piccirilli had been battling brain cancer for several years.  I first read Piccirilli a couple of years ago and liked what I’d read.  There are at least three of his works in my TBR pile.  Adventures Fantastic extends deepest condolences to Mr. Piccirilli’s family, friends, and fans.

RIP, Tanith Lee (1947-2015)

Tanith LeeFantasy author Tanith Lee passed away on Sunday, May 24 at the age of 67.

Lee was the author of a number of works, many containing a strong erotic component.  Her works include The Birthgrave Trilogy, The Flat Earth Series, The Wars of Vis, Red as Blood or Tales from the Sisters Grimmer, The Secret Books of Venus and many other works.   Her writing is characterized by lush, descriptive prose.  Lee’s work has won both the British Fantasy Award (Death’s Master, 1983) and the World Fantasy Award (“The gorgon”, 1983; “Elle Est Trois, (La Mort)”, 1984).  In 2013 Tanith Lee was awarded the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award.