Random memories: Hanging out with Gardner and Laura Anne Gilman at a SFWA Publishers Reception in NYC, laughing about writing sex scenes (“Always clean your sword!”) . So many publisher’s receptions with him…. Gardener telling hilarious stories of the slush pile in the SWFA suite at the NASFIC in Raleigh, NC. I remember running into Gardner holding forth at more SF con room parties than I can count. Gardner and Andy Duncan and I sharing odd appetizers at World Fantasy in San Jose. Conversations in so many green rooms, seeing him at panels, stopping to chat in the con hallways.
His encouragement of Abyss & Apex in its infancy, especially the half-page Locus review of us he did that put us on the map. Learning how to suggest A&A’s year’s best stories to him and me getting into the habit of sending him a little something about A&A for his industry summations, and the correspondences that followed. The thrill of A&A’s first honorable mentions in one of his Year’s Best anthologies, which never got old and was such a resume-builder for my authors.
Gardner told me that he chose his “year’s best” picks the same way choose my stories for Abyss & Apex. He could not get those stories out of his mind. Think of that, my friends, an editor that high up the food chain, at the pinnacle, who simply could not get our stories out of his mind.
He was an editor who was, first and foremost, our fan. He became a kingmaker almost accidentally, as a mere byproduct of his love of the genre and his willingness to help others’ careers.
As an editor, he was a role model to me. As a friend, he will be sorely missed. Godspeed, Gardner. Much love, always. But you knew that.