Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ed Gorman: R.I.P.

Ed Gorman, mystery, horror, and Western writer writer, short fiction anthologist, and supporter of everything mystery, passed away on October 14, just a few weeks shy of his 75th birthday. I will post links to triubutes to Ed as they are posted.

I'm so lucky to have known Ed for such a long time. He was my editor when I was columnist with Mystery Scene Magazine. Haven't seen him in several years, but we stayed in touch via email. He will be missed.

Read Bill Crider's Tribute here. 

Read The Rap Sheet with J. Kingston Pierce's tribute but  links to several other tributes

According to Wikipedia:

Ed Gorman (November 2, 1941 - October 14, 2016) was an American writer and short fiction anthologist who has published in almost every genre, but is best known for his work in the crime, mystery, western, and horror fields. His non-fiction work has appeared such places as The New York Times and Redbook. He contributed to many magazines and other publications including Xero, Black Lizard, Mystery Scene, Cemetery Dance, and the anthology Tales of Zorro.

After twenty-three years in advertising, public relations, writing political speeches and producing industrial films, Gorman published his first novel Rough Cut (1984) and soon after was able to quit his day job and dedicate himself to writing full-time (thanks to his wife Carol's full-time teaching job).
Gorman wrote in many different fields, but considered himself first and foremost a genre writer. In the 1970s Gorman was a winner of a short story contest sponsored by Charles Scribner & Sons. An editor there suggested he expand his winning story into a mainstream novel, but Gorman gave up after six months, saying, “I was bored out of my mind. I am a genre writer.”

Gorman’s novels and stories are often set in small Midwestern towns, like the fictional Black River Falls, Iowa (the Sam McCain series), or Cedar Rapids, Iowa (The Night Remembers). For his Dev Conrad series, Gorman drew upon his years as a political operative.
Gorman was one of the founders of Mystery Scene magazine, and served as editor and publisher until 2002. In comics, he wrote for DC, Dark Horse, and most recently Short, Scary Tales, which will be publishing adaptations of his novel Cage of Night (as Cage of Night) and the short story "Stalker" (as Gut-Shot).

Kirkus Reviews has called him "One of the most original crime writers around." The Bloomsbury Review noted: "He is the poet of dark suspense." The Oxford Book of American Crime Stories said: "His novels and stories provide fresh ideas characters and approaches." Jon Breen at Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine once noted, "Ed Gorman has the same infallible readability as writers like Lawrence Block, Max Allan Collins, Donald E. Westlake, Ed McBain, and John D. MacDonald."
Though he was known for a long time as "prolific," his writing career slowed considerably after he was diagnosed with the incurable cancer Multiple Myeloma in 2002.


He won a Spur Award for Best Short Fiction for his short story "The Face" in 1992. His fiction collection Cages was nominated for the 1995 Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection. His collection The Dark Fantastic was nominated for the same award in 2001. Gorman won the 1994 Anthony Award for Best Critical Work for The Fine Art Of Murder and has been nominated for multiple Anthonys in short story categories.
He is a winner of the Life Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, The International Horror Writers Award, and been nominated for the Edgar Award.

See his bibliography here


jhegenbe said...

My editor as well, Janet. Here's my last communication with this great man from back in May:

"I wish I had your energy, John. You've really made up for lost time. Congratulations on all your success. I just got out of the hospital so I'm pretty tired. Sorry for this being so short. Best, Ed"

Mathew Paust said...

Never met Ed, but we were email pals and, of course, I knew him well as Sam McCain, Jack Dwyer, Dev Conrad, and every other protagonist in his amazing novels. He lives forever in them. Most of all, tho, his most profound gift to us as fellow human beings, is a short story that should be required reading for everyone, especially youngsters. It's called simply "The Face." Goodbye, Ed, my friend. You've made me cry again now, here in the public library. But they're proud tears, you know, shed for a giant.

Carole Nelson Douglas said...

Terribly sad news. Ed mentored so many writers and was the savvy heart of the mystery field when I inadvertently entered it in 1990. His good works, both written and personal, will live long and continue to bear fruit.

Carole Nelson Douglas said...

Terribly sad news. Ed was a tireless mentor and the savvy heart of the mystery community and field when I inadvertently entered it in the late '80s. His good works, both written and personal, will continue to live long and bear fruit.

Jacqueline Diamond said...

How sad that we've lost this wonderful editor. He did something almost unheard of: years ago, he contacted me after reading one of my books (Echoes) to ask if I had any unsold manuscripts that might be suitable for Five Star Mysteries.

As it happened, I had a mystery that had made the rounds, receiving praise but no offers, and my longtime agent, Jane Jordan Browne, had recently died. I sent him Danger Music and he did a lovely job of publishing it.

Thank you and RIP, Ed.

michael said...

It was good to read your piece. It brought some solace. Ed's otherwise regular blog site had been quiet since early Summer. Typically his last message is one supporting another writer (Max Allan Collins, for whom he had deep admiration and gratitude. Shocking news nonetheless. Looking at it from a distance it seemed like Ed was the fabric holding an entire community of mystery and western writers together. Undoubtedly my favourite writer. I only e-mailed with him a few times, but felt I got to learn to know him best through the figure of his alter ego Sam McCain. If you want to get to know him, that series (The day the music died) would be a great place to start. If you're anything like me, you'll be hooked in no time. What a dreadful loss. Damn indeed.