Making Light and elisem have let us know that the mighty Mike Ford passed away last night.
I did not know Mike half as well as I would have liked, and this is not entirely unexpected, but...
One of the things they don't tell you about writing and selling a science fiction or fantasy novel (or even a couple of short stories) is that in so doing you are, after a fashion, marrying into a family. And that with that family will come delights, loved ones, crazy uncles you can't stand, and unpleasant duties. One of those unpleasant duties is passing the word when someone leaves us.
One of the pleasant, if bittersweet, ones is recalling why they were loved.
Mike Ford was, to my small acquaintance, someone who epitomized the expression, "It's always the quiet ones." He was sly and conspiratorial and wicked in the best senses of those words, and willing to go to vast lengths for a witticism, with eyebrows that would be the envy of Leo G. Carroll. He projected an air of dignity that vanished at the first opportunity to make a terrible joke--the more vastly obscure the better--and an air of erudition that was not illusory at all.
His art was funny, humane, and ruthless, and so was he, that is the finest thing I can say of any man.
This is magic, this is what magic is:
Grief too terrible to be borne.
— John M. Ford, "A Holiday in the Park"