It is such sad news to hear that Eric Brown passed away yesterday, at the early age of 62.
Eric was a vastly underrated British science fiction science fiction, whose name deserves to be in the chain from HG Wells through to John Wyndham, Arthur C Clarke, Iain M Banks, Charles Stross and Ken MacLeod, for example.
I got to know Eric after hearing that he lived in Scotland, and invited him to act as a judge in Shoreline of Infinity’s first Flash Fiction competition, alongside Pippa Goldschmidt. Eric quickly became a friend and advocate of Shoreline of Infinity.
Eric is a SF hero of mine, and I was very nervous when I first met him, but it didn’t take long to warm to his gentle demeanour and Yorkshire sense of humour. Our friendship continued, and we bonded well over curry and beer at Cloisters in Edinburgh, and I enjoyed listening to him as he talked about his love of less well known writers, especially 1950s crime and thriller writers.
His writing always inspired me; his style is so welcoming, and he makes it all look so easy, but underneath there’s a solid construction of characters, plot and ideas.
If you read nothing else of Eric’s work, read The Kings of Eternity. The first time I read it, I looked up with a ‘that was wonderful’ and turned right back to page one and read it through again.
Sadly, we’re not going to meet up for another Curry and Cloisters and convivial conversation – I am going to mourn for that much as I am going to miss looking forward to his next story.
Knowing Eric is to know that you don’t have to be a giant to make your mark on this planet; you just have to be a warm human being. Eric just happened to be one of the best writers as well.
Co-founder, Shoreline of Infinity