I was just on my way to bed last night when I stumbled on this article on io9, reporting the death of Graham Joyce.
I was lucky enough to meet Graham several times, and was hoping to catch up with him again at some point. He was one of the warmest, most charismatic writers I’ve known, and regarded him as a friend. But then, he was the kind of man who made everyone feel like they were his friend. I never saw him without a smile on his face, and his ever so slightly roguish charm never failed to lift the mood of a room.
He leaves behind him a fine body of work. Often called ‘Dark Fantasy’, his novels transcend genre boundaries. They are the finest modern fairy tales (and I mean that in the old-fashioned sense, not the bleach-whitened Disney way) I’ve read. Although they are stories about the weird fringes of existence, it is not the borderlands of the real and unreal they are concerned with, but rather the boundary between our rational and emotional lives. He was a thoughtful and big-hearted man, after all.
A quest for some measure of immortality is one of the reasons some writers write. Graham is the first writer I’ve known relatively well who has passed away, and I see now that this afterlife is a faded one. Books give little more than an oneiric impression of their creator. The man has gone, and that is a tragedy.
Graham’s beautiful final post gives you a far better flavour of who he was than I ever could. I suggest you read it, and his books.