How We Will Miss Them Both!

This month two of EQMM’s most influential and valued contributors passed away. On October 1, the mystery world lost Clark Howard, a five-time winner of EQMM’s Readers Award, an Edgar winner for best short story with five additional Edgar nominations in that category, and a recipient of the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer for Lifetime Achievement from the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Clark was also a noted writer of true or “fact” crime, and was twice nominated for the best-fact-crime Edgar. He had a larger-than-life personality, and he was generous to a fault—treating his editors and friends to elaborate dinners at five-star restaurants on the few occasions when he traveled to mystery events. Clark’s life is chronicled in his autobiography Hard City, published by Dutton in 1990. It’s painful reading: As a boy he was parentless and homeless for a time, concealing himself in a bowling alley before closing each night so he’d have somewhere to sleep. While still a teenager, he served in the Korean War. Out of those tough beginnings he rose to become one of the best short story writers of his generation. He was one of a kind, and a friend to me and everyone else he knew at Dell Magazines.

This morning I signed on to my computer to the news that Ed Gorman, co-founder of Mystery Scene Magazine and one of our field’s most haunting and original writers, had succumbed to a long illness on October 15. Like many in the mystery community, I’ve known Ed for decades and counted him a friend—though I never met him face to face. Ed was shy of large gatherings. It was primarily through phone calls, paper mail, and e-mail that he managed to meet—and help—more writers and editors than we could begin to count. A nominee for the Edgar in both the best-critical and best-short-story categories, he was also 2003’s recipient of the Ellery Queen Award, which is given to editors or publishers for their wide-ranging contributions to the mystery field. Ed’s contributions to EQMM were especially significant: He contributed nearly two-dozen searing stories of dark suspense to our pages; he suggested, and developed, our first Web site; he conceived and was the first author of our Blog Bytes column; and he was an inveterate reader of EQMM who often took the time to write a complimentary letter to us about what he’d enjoyed in an issue. Those letters were such a boost; I will always be grateful that Ed took the time to write them.

This month our field lost two of the greats. May they rest in peace.—Janet Hutchings


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4 Responses to How We Will Miss Them Both!

  1. Josh Pachter says:

    Two of the greats, gone too soon, too young, with too many stories left untold. I’m deeply grateful for the many fine stories they DID have time to tell, and for the many professional and personal contributions they made to so many of us.

  2. I have known Ed for about 15 years, and was back then one was of those new authors Ed was incredibly generous toward (as he had been during the whole time I’ve known him). I don’t know how many 1000s of emails we had exchanged since then, but you couldn’t ask for a better friend or meet a nicer person than Ed.

    Probably no surprise given his work with Mystery Scene, but Ed had a vast knowledge of the mystery/crime genre, probably matched only by Bill Crider’s, as well as an equally vast knowledge of the Western, sci-fi, and horror genres, and was also masterful in writing in all these genres, both novels and short stories.

    We lost not only a hell of a nice guy, but a hell of a writer. Ed will be sorely missed by readers and writers alike.

  3. Jon L. Breen says:

    A fine tribute to two good people. I wonder how many writers, editors, and fans in the mystery world can make the same statement you do: that Ed Gorman was a great friend you never actually met. I certainly can.

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