Monday, February 12, 2018

Give 'em hell, Bill!

The world is a less kind place tonight. Bill Crider, author of no small talent, passed away today after a drawn-out battle with cancer. He entered hospice in December, and his passing comes as no surprise, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Bill was a Good Guy, a term that gets applied to too many people who aren't and not enough people who are. I do not remember the first time I met him, and it seems like I've never not known him. He was a regular at AggieCon and ArmadilloCon and lord, but I remember so many late-night bull sessions with Bill and Joe Lansdale and any number of authors and fans who have come and gone over the years. One of Bill's trademark abilities (other than having read pretty much any obscure writer mentioned in passing, or knowing the life history of any beautiful, golden age Hollywood actress) was referencing "James Fenimore Cooper" in almost any conversation and having it seem a natural progression.

Bill's one of the few people I believe had read almost everything I've published, and looked forward to anything new by me. He was friendly and kind to me way before I had anything published, and I never saw him treat anyone as anything other than a friend, even if he'd never met them before.

He found out about his cancer 18 months or so, give or take. At first, his doctors thought it was kidney failure. He missed Armadillocon in 2016 for the first time in years, if not decades, because of the uncertainty. It was a brutal diagnosis, because just a few years earlier he'd lost his wife, Judy, to cancer. Naturally, we all missed him and hoped he'd be one of the lucky ones to lick his disease and live a much longer life. I rounded up a bunch of Bill's friends to make some videos to boost his spirits. That part, at least, seems to have worked. The recovery and remission part, unfortunately, did not.

Give 'em hell, Bill.

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  1. I had the honor of actually publishing Bill more than a decade ago, during the time I was fiction editor at RevolutionSF.

  2. I had it together for a little bit...then this. So much love.