Hey, just found out science-fiction writer Edward Bryant died. He was 71.
I met Ed once. When I was an Air Force base-newspaper guy at F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I got a chance to attend a meeting of the Northern Colorado Writers' Workshop, which was held at one of the members' homes in the Denver suburbs. There I got to meet Ed, and Connie Willis, and other SF writers who were mostly just names to me. I didn't get much from the workshop -- I was too busy being in awe at all those PUBLISHED WRITERS around me.
At the end of the meeting, Ed suggested we all go out to lunch. So we did. And at a local pizza parlor, I found Ed was easy to approach and talk with. I told him how speechless I felt about finally being in a group of published SF writers. Ed thought it was no big deal.
"Yeah, it's amazing," he laughed. "We pull our pants up the same way you do."
I told Ed I thought his 1980 short story "Strata" had captured the mood of living in Wyoming perfectly. Ed was born in Wyoming, so he knew his stuff.
"You know," he said, "you're only about the second person who's ever mentioned that story to me."
This might have been modesty -- "Strata" was nominated for a Nebula Award for best short story the year after it was published.
Bryant wrote a lot more -- his short story "Stone" is one of the great rock-and-roll short stories. He won several awards in the late '70s, including the Nebula Award for best short story two years in a row. For the past couple decades or so he'd been writing horror shorts and novels, and reviewing horror fiction in places like LOCUS.
He never got very famous, but he was one of the best. And just a heckuva nice guy to talk with.