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