September 10, 2014

Graham Joyce

by Alan Beatts

Graham Joyce passed away recently.  He was a friend of mine.

I thought about writing a heartfelt memorial piece about him but I'm not going to.  The way I feel about it, and the way I feel about Graham, is personal and I'm not going to share it widely.  I met him at the World Fantasy Convention in 2000.  That same weekend I met (and became friends with) Lou Anders, Allison Baker, John Picacio, and Chris Roberson.  It was a very good weekend.  In the years since, Graham came to Borderlands many times for readings.  Often he would stay at my house when he was in town.

Like I said, he was a friend.

Also, like I said, I'm not going to talk how I feel about him being gone.  But I will share three things ---

I once saw Graham tell a very long joke that involved him sticking his index finger into his publisher's ear and making a horrible screeching sound.  The punchline involved how Martians have sex.

There is an editor who for many years (and perhaps to this day) insisted that Graham saved his life one night.  The editor in question was quite drunk and fell, face first, at the top of a down escalator.  Graham grabbed him and pulled him to his feet just before the editor's beard became caught in the mechanism.  The result was that neither the escalator nor the editor was harmed and, for years, Graham insisted that it had been no big deal.

He had the awful judgement to prefer Captain Beefheart over Dire Straights and insisted that his carefree, bucolic and innocent upbringing in Coventry was ruined by the Summer of Love -- the mere news of which drove him to drink, drugs, and ill-advised social associations.

A habit of association that continued long enough to include a store full of booksellers in San Francisco.

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