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.