As many of you probably know, Ed Hoch died today. I don't know any of the details.
I wasn't a close friend of his but we worked together on projects from time to time and I always found him to be a gentleman and a bright, witty, courteous man who was eager to help new writers get started.
I'm not sure there was ever anybody like him before in the mystery field. I'm sure thre will never be anybody like him again. He was nearing his one thousandth story when he passed. He worked in every genre and sub-genre in the field. He may even have created a sub-genre or two. He was indisputably the greatest idea man of our time. I reprinted six or seven of his hardboiled stories. These showed not only a darkness but a richness of character that surprised peopple.
I'm looking forward to tributes from his close friends. He was a man among, that's for sure.
So long, Ed.
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Very sad news indeed...
I remember after the first year of having my short fiction being published in EQMM in the mid 1980s, getting a letter from Ed Hoch, asking for permission to reprint one of my stories in one of his "Best of" anthologies that I believe he did for Walker Books. Boy, what a thrill for a beginning writer like me!
Over the years he was a great supporter of my short fiction, and I always enjoyed seeing him and his wife Pat at Bouchercon and the Edgars.
*Sigh* Just a few months ago, I was asked to do a piece on short stories for the MWA Third Degree newsletter, under a tight deadline, and Ed was gracious enough to answer my questions and help me immensely with my article...
At that time, he had 940 (!!!) short stories published, and was hoping to break 1000....
There'll never be another one like him, and he will be sorely missed.
A sad day indeed. It always is when one of the great ones passes. I only knew the man through his stories. From all the accolades being said by folks that knew him, It will be a loss for everyone who ever encountered him.
I'm sorry Ed didn't make that thousandth story, but what a legacy he left. I had the pleasure of working with him on an anthology I edited. He was a wizard at writing a top-notch fair play mystery in any milieu.
A sterling craftsman and a wonderful person, was Ed. We'll never know his kind again and I was terribly saddened to learn of his passing.
He was a wonderful man. As my Godfather, he has been a part of my life for 36 years. He and his wife Pat introduced my parents to each other over 40 years ago and they remained the best of friends after all of these years. It was always a highlight when Uncle Ed and Aunt Pat came to visit. They always had a "surprise" for my siblings and me. Coca-Cola was his trademark as was his love for french fries and my Mother's cream cheese roll-ups. She only made them when the Hoch's were coming to visit!! Its amazing to read all of the tributes written about him on the web. We knew him on such a different level, to us he was simply Uncle Ed. He was a world renowned author yet he was so down to earth. He was the first short story writer to receive the Edgar award and he was so proud of that award. We were proud of him as well. I'm still in shock at the news of his passing. He was family to us and he will be missed. It's a very sad day.
I met Ed Hoch only once -- at a BoucherCon. I had just entered the mystery field as a publisher and arrived at the show to find the only person I knew there, Mike Nevins, who had helped me publish some books. I found out the first day of the show that Mike had volunteered us to speak on a panel with Ed Hoch. The topic was the History of Mysteries, of which I knew very little. Luckily I had a copy of THE FINE ART OF MURDER so I was able to study a bit before the panel. But I needn't have worried because Ed and Mike did all of the historical talking and I just babbled about my publishing house. Ed acted as if we had known each other all our lives. I wrote him a few times after that and he was always ready to help. It amazes me how easy it is to meet the big dogs of the mystery world by simply attending a Bouchercon. And then to find that they are such down-to-earth people, exemplified by the best of them all, Ed Hoch.
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