Yesterday Connie Willis called to tell me that Charles N. Brown, founder and editor of SF's news magazine LOCUS, died on the plane coming home from Readercon. Although I didn't know Charlie well, we had exchanged all the usual pleasantries at SF parties and conventions, and he interviewed me once for LOCUS. He was a passionate believer in science fiction, and we will feel his loss.
Not, however, the loss of LOCUS. There is some disinformation drifting around out there to the effect that LOCUS might fold as a result of Charlie's death. However, he had set up a foundation to run the magazine, and Liza Trombi, who will now act as editor, had been de facto doing this for a while as Charlie's health failed.
LOCUS is important to the SF community. And speaking personally, it was LOCUS that first made me aware such a community even existed. In 1978 someone handed me a copy, and it was a revelation. I had already sold three stories to SF magazines, but I had no idea that there were such things as conventions or fandom. I consulted the con listing in LOCUS, picked out a local one, and went. Thus I discovered the entire wonderful, weird world of science fiction.
Charlie left a great legacy. In addition, he died peacefully, in his sleep, accompanied by the capable and warm Amelia Beamer. There are much worse ways to go.