Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

That grumpy old man

So, I feel like I should say something about the death of Charles Brown. He's someone I've been around, and someone whose writing and editing has had a large impact on my second (and most loved) career. I didn't know him personally. When I found out about it, though, I was pretty wiped. I didn't expect that.

Here's how I got back into writing. I turned 30. I had been talking about being a writer for years, but I hadn't actually been writing. Key component to the process. So I turned 30, and I decided maybe it was time to stop fucking around and get with the writing. And like most newly determined sf/f writers, the first thing I did was go out and buy all the sf/f magazines I could find. Get a feel for the competition. And that's when I found Locus.

I didn't buy it, because I didn't really understand what it was. It wasn't until a couple months later that I realized that publishing wasn't simply a cold mechanism of quality and content, but a network of people and friendships and...well. It was a social circle. So I started reading Locus, and then I subscribed. I sift through it, every month, gleaning knowledge and scrying the signs. What's getting advertised, who's getting reviewed, who just sold a book, to whom, via whom. In every con report I scan the faces for people I recognize, then learn names. Like flashcards, I guess. Being able to walk into a party, look a stranger in a face and know their name...it's important. Not having to do that eye-flick down to their badge is nice, and it's kind of a sign of respect. I don't know. Anyway.

I'm sure Locus will go on, much as it has. Still. We'll all miss Charles Brown. He was Locus, and Locus is the most important publication in the industry. He built a good team, and that team will carry it forward. It just seems like we've lost someone important.


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