13/07/2009. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Long-time science fiction fan and founder of Locus magazine, the monthly news magazine of the SFF genre, Charles N Brown, has passed away at the grand old age of 71... he went like a true fan, on the journey back from science fiction con Readercon.
Twice married, Charles was born in 1937 and worked as an engineer in the nuclear industry until he parlayed his editorship of then zine Locus into a full-time gig in the late sixties. Aimed at bookshops and book buyers as well as fans, with Locus magazine, Charles brought a much-needed professionalism and astute business head to a genre that was still circulating wildly around the pulp world.
Since he died, Facebook has been filled with tributes to him.
Catherine Asaro, the science fiction and fantasy author of works such as Diamond Star, said, "I saw Charles at Readercon. He was in a wheel chair, but he was in good spirits, smiling, enjoying talking to people. It's so hard to believe just a day later he was gone. He has been such an icon in our field. He will be missed! We hadn't talked for years, since I haven't been going to many sf cons until recently. I'm so glad I had the chance to see him."
John Jarrold, a long-time editor and now literary agent in the fantasy and science fiction field told the Nest, "I knew Charles N Brown for well over twenty years and his love of SF shone out like a lighthouse in person, as it did in Locus. We discussed the genre and publishing many times over a beer or two at Worldcons, World Fantasycons and in London bars. I can’t believe we’ll see his like again…have one for me, Charlie…"
Thankfully, his magazine survives Charles, and Liza Groen Trombi will be inheriting the editor-in-chief role with their August 2009 issue.
Rest in peace, Charles.
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