Thu
Mar 20 2014 8:50am

Lucius Shepard, 1947-2014

We are saddened to report the death of author Lucius Shepard, who passed away on March 18th at the age of 66. Shepard began publishing short stories in 1983 and his first novel, Green Eyes, appeared in 1984. In 1985 he won the John Campbell Award for Best New Writer; over the course of his career he won the Nebula for his novella “R&R,” the Hugo for his novella “Barnacle Bill the Spacer,” and the Shirley Jackson Award for his novella “Vacancy” in 2008.

Shepard wrote in many different genres, including science fiction and fantasy, cyberpunk, magical realism, poetry, and non-fiction. He was influenced by his life in Central America, writing stories in a more magical realist vein. He also rode the rails for a time to research freight train culture in America, and reviewed films in a regular column for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

With his complex body of genre-bending work, Lucius Shepard’s voice added immeasurably to our community. He will be sorely missed.

9 comments
Tucker McKinnon
1. jazzfish
Aw, dammit. I just picked up The Dragon Griaule again earlier this week. It's been difficult but rewarding reading for me.
Colin Bell
2. SchuylerH
@1: As I understand it, there's going to be one more Griaule novel, Beautiful Blood. It's better than nothing but it's still hard to accept that an author of such talent has gone so soon.
Stefan Raets
3. Stefan
So sad. We've lost one of the true masters of short form SF/F.

@2 - Correct, it's due out from Subterranean Press in July (and I should have a review of it up here around that time)
shellywb
4. shellywb
Oh no! I loved his work so much. I always thought he was an underappreciated voice in the genre. What a loss.
shellywb
5. Ben Trumble
The first time I met Lucius Shepard 26 years ago at a party in the Oakland/Berkeley Hills a friend told me, "You guys have Central America in common." I'd gone to high school in Guatemala, driven south years later to witness Leon and the Nicuraguan Revolution, then served as a Peace Corp Vol in Honduras during the Contra War. What we really had in common however was an obsession with General Lee Christmas of Standard Fruit. We'd both been through the archives at Tulane, both read the rare biography of Christmas, both sought his ghost in the fruit ports on the north coast of Central America. Later Lucius would live with my family for nearly a year in Monterey while working on material that went in to Two Trains Running. Later still I met Lucius in Honduras for the trip to Trujillo that inspired his book called Trujillo. Lucius was not always the risk taker he claimed, but he was the keenest observer of the world around him I have ever known. (John Gardiner once said the same of Joyce Carol Oates.) Lucius could and did sit on a park bench for two weeks and invent a world. There is a saying in Trujillo that if you drink the waters you will always return. At the edge of the earth, where there is no place left to drive, on a beach known to O. Henry near the grave of William Walker where the haunted spirit of Columbus still yearns for Spain there is a piece of Lucius Shepard that will always be there. He would have it no other way.
Chris Hawks
6. SaltManZ
Aw, man. Well, at least that bumps up my Dragon Griaule omnibus (that I ordered for Christmas) up in the to-read queue. Of course, I need to read my Lyonesse omnibus first (to honor Jack Vance's passing last year...)
Colin Bell
7. SchuylerH
@5: Thank you for sharing your experiences. It must have been a privilege to know him.
shellywb
8. DDOwen
RIP. He'll be sorely missed.
shellywb
9. JKPOTTER
I will miss you sorely lucius. Your kindness, your strangeness, your good heart.

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