My boss and my friend, Charles Brown, died on Sunday night, on his flight home from Readercon in MA. I'm writing the editorial in the upcoming issue as editor-in-chief, a promotion that comes at a heavy price. I'll write more about him there, but I'm overcome with thoughts about him, and need to get some of this out.
Working for and being friends with Charles meant taking part in an unending conversation on science fiction, fantasy, horror, the history of fandom, food, jazz, classical music, etc., all of the above interspersed with terrible puns, the occasional shaggy dog story, and jokes you wouldn't tell your mother. He loved to teach, to cook, to share good Scotch and recommendations for music. He had an uncanny sense about people: hated anyone who was fake or overly commercial and was doggedly loyal and protective of those that he loved.
I'm still in shock that he's gone. Despite the fact that he had outlived all expectations and was having health problems, it seemed like he might just last forever out of sheer stubbornness or the need to read one more book or see one more opera. I'm left with the feeling that he might walk in or call me any moment, and we'll take up the right where we left off. I learned from him every time we spoke; the things that he taught me about the SF field, and about life, were immeasurable and constant.
I'm not ready to end the conversation.