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17 November 2014 @ 03:20 pm
Requiem In Pace, Jim.  
I just got word that one of my oldest friends, with whom I had fallen completely out of touch, died this morning from a massive heart attack. Evidently, he'd been having symptoms for a while, but had just started a new job, and didn't want to take the time to see a doctor ...

I had been thinking just this past week or two that I needed to get in touch with him again.

I don't think he was more than six years my senior. As I said to the mutual friend who let me know, my being the youngest of our group doesn't seem like that big a gap after passing the half-century mark.

We met way back when I was still in high school; I was at a science fiction convention, overheard a fascinating conversation on abstruse philosophy of fantasy magic, and, quite uncharacteristically, interjected myself into it. I got two long-enduring friendships out of it.

At the time, Jim had already written at least one multi-volume fantasy epic and had several more mostly finished. He never got them published outside of long-defunct fanzines, and if you do a search on his name on Google, all you'll find is his soft-porn anime fanfics. Our whole circle read his stuff, though, in photocopies of his single-spaced typewritten manuscripts. I used to have custody of his "back-up files", in the days when that meant a Big Box of Manuscripts in Manila Envelopes.

But now ... dammit. I've lost a friend, but ... it hurts just as much that nobody will ever have the chance to read those novels of his, that he'll never get the fame that he should have.

I know what I've lost. But anybody who's ever enjoyed a fantasy novel has lost something, too, and most of you will never know it.

I need to start writing again. Serious writing. For Jim, who was always goading me to get my own ideas down on paper.

And maybe I'll throw a few nods to him along the way.

Good night, Jim.

I should have been a better friend.

godhigodhi on November 18th, 2014 01:56 am (UTC)
Thank you, Athelind
A fitting memorial to a good friend. His untimely demise has inspired me to concentrate more on my own fantasy fiction--especially since his death reminds me of my own limited time on this Earth. Rest in peace, Jim. You will be missed.
Bobyourbob on November 18th, 2014 05:46 am (UTC)
The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit: Finnish hare stampporsupah on November 29th, 2014 06:16 pm (UTC)
Every day can be one's last. *sigh* I was shocked a year or so ago, similarly.. a good friend from a previous gig, in whose apartment I spent Spring 2011, right on the corner by Columbus Park in North Beach (dangerously midway between Tony's Pizza and Coit Liquor, the former offering severely good Italian and New York style pizza, the latter with a beautiful range of beers from along the state, and internationally - I suggested they carry Rochefort 10, and a couple weeks later, there it was). He'd always been a bit spotty in replying to email, but this time, the lack of reply went on longer than comfortable. I even called a few times (I really don't enjoy phones), ll to no avail. Eventually, I asked ibneko if he could drop by sometime and check up.. only to receive the worst news.

At least I was able to convey the news to the others from that team, much as I wish I hadn't needed to.

Would it be feasible to republish Jim's work, if copies of his fantasy works survive somewhere?
Your Obedient Serpent: Eye in the Pyramidathelind on November 29th, 2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
You are not the first to suggest republishing his works posthumously. The very first step would be to see if I or any of his friends actually have his manuscripts stashed away somewhere, and then would begin the long process of untangling the rights -- he DID publish some or all of his first novel, at least, in a fanzine or an APA, and those copyrights are just as legitimate in my eyes as any of those defended by Big Media.

Edited at 2014-11-29 07:30 pm (UTC)