Sunday, 4 May 2014

Andy Robertson, Editor (1955-2014)

In the latest issue of the science fiction newzine Ansible, I was saddened to read of the death of Andy Robertson, a UK editor, author, and publisher. Andy was an assistant editor at Interzone since 1984 and was well-known in UK fan circles.

While I never met Andy, I owe him a great debt. When in 2002 I saw a call for submissions for his first Night Lands anthology for stories based on William Hope Hodgson's classic early sf The Night Land, I wrote a story and submitted it. I was very happy to have it accepted. "To End All Wars" became my first published piece and has since reappeared in my short story collection The Night the Nazis Came to Dinner and other Dark Tales.

Back in 2002 I was just starting my writing career. Fresh out of journalism school, I was getting my feet wet with nonfiction freelance and struggling over my first novel. Getting a well-paid fiction sale did wonders for my confidence, and gave me the determination to move forward through the many rejections and roadblocks to come.

I owe much to Andy, who was enthusiastic about my work and gave me the greatest compliment an editor can give a writer--a light edit. He will be sorely missed in the fan community and by his wife and two young daughters.

His passing is also a sobering reminder that we're all getting older. He was only 14 years older than I am. It's good to remember that while I go through my day-to-day activities. I hope I leave as positive a legacy as Andy did.


Deborah Walker said...

I was very sad to hear this. Andy was so inspiring. The community is diminished by this loss.

Sioux said...

I am quite fond of the editor/publisher who published my first story as well.

A "light edit" is indeed the mark of a great editor.

And yes, your plan to keep his leaving in mind as you live your life is a wise one. All of us are getting older. (Well, everyone except you and me, Sean. ;)

Sean McLachlan said...


I didn't know you knew Andy. Publishing can be a small world! Where did he publish your first story, in Interzone?

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.