In sad news for the mystery community, author and editor Ed Gorman passed away on October 14, 2016.
In addition to his many literary accomplishments in the crime, western, and horror genres, Ed and Robert Randisi founded Mystery Scene Magazine in 1985. Ed remained publisher and editor until 2002 and stayed active in the magazine as a consulting editor and columnist up until the most recent issue, Fall #146 2016.
Ed is remembered not only as a talented writer (see the links below) but also as a man with a gift for friendship. Marked by his lively sense of humor and self-deprecating tone, a phone call from Ed brightened any day. In fact, many of his friendships took place solely over the telephone and email since Ed was not one to attend mystery conventions and events.
Ed was a mentor to a generation of crime writers, often giving them their start by publishing a short story in one of the numerous anthologies he edited over the years, many with his great friend Martin H. Greenberg. Ed was known for his encouraging phone calls and emails to new writers as well as more concrete aid in the form of agent and editor recommendations. His network of contacts in the publishing and writing worlds was as vast as it was affectionate.
Ed had a profound effect on my life. We had known each other for years, he as the editor and publisher of Mystery Scene Magazine and I as the editor of The Armchair Detective. In 2002, he called to ask whether I'd like to own a small magazine. Would I! It was a dream come true and Ed was an unfailing source of good advice and good cheer in the magazine's transition from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to New York City. In all the years since, he's been as much a joy to work with as he was a joy to know.
Edward Joseph Gorman was born on November 2, 1941, in Cedar Rapids. He worked in advertising and public relations for over 20 years, becoming a full-time writer in 1989. Gorman’s novels and stories are often set in small Midwestern towns, like the fictional Black River Falls, Iowa (the Sam McCain series), or Cedar Rapids (The Night Remembers). For his Dev Conrad series, Gorman drew upon his years as a political operative. In 1985, he co-founded Mystery Scene Magazine. In 2003, he received the Ellery Queen Award for distinguished contributions to mystery publishing for his numerous anthologies and Mystery Scene. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Private Eye Writers of America in 2011 and was twice an Edgar Award nominee. He is survived by his wife, Carol, a writer of young adult novels.
Here are some links that give some idea of Ed's importance in the field, both as a professional and a person.
First is "The History of Mystery Scene" by Jon L. Breen (Mystery Scene, Holiday Issue #77 2002), which includes the years Ed spent running the magazine.
Next is a ringing set of tributes, "Ed Gorman: A Great Man of Mystery," which ran in Mystery Scene Fall #76, 2002, the first issue after we took it over from Ed.
Here is a specific tribute from Dean Koontz, a longtime friend of Ed's. This also ran in Mystery Scene Fall #76, 2002.
And finally, here is an article on on Ed's Sam McCain novels which ran in Mystery Scene Fall #136, 2014.
We'll have more in our upcoming Holiday Issue #147, 2016.
Kate Stine is the editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Mystery Scene Magazine.