I got a phone call yesterday morning from Jo Hall letting me know that Colin Harvey had suffered a massive stroke. We’ve all been keeping our hopes up here in the West Country, but sadly Colin passed away in the night. He will leave a very big hole in the local community.
Colin is best know for the two novels, Winter Song and Damage Time that he published through Angry Robot. He was one of the first people to be published by the company. You can read Marco’s obituary, and comments from other Angry Robot authors, here.
Locally, however, Colin is at least as well known for the work that he did for others. He was one of the driving forces behind the founding of BristolCon. He was always encouraging other writers, and I know he’ll be particularly missed by Gareth L. Powell. Gareth has a novel, The Recollection, out with Solaris this month — his first from a major publisher — and Colin’s absence from the launch event at Forbidden Planet Bristol on the 25th is going to be very obvious to us all.
Colin’s favourite way of encouraging and helping other writers was to edit anthologies. As well as Dark Spires, he did a couple with Swimming Kanagaroo, and was working on one for Aeon. This sort of thing doesn’t make a lot of money, but it does make a lot of people very happy. I’ll always be grateful to Colin for providing me with a fine book to get Wizard’s Tower started, and there will be many writers who will be remembering him for getting their stories into print.
I’ve not yet spoken to Colin’s wife, Kate, over this. Gareth has been our main point of contact. In his brief announcement of Colin’s death,
he suggests that any condolences be sent via Colin’s agent, John Berlyne, at Zeno. I know John very well and I’ll be dropping him a note as soon as I have published this post to see what can be done.
Update: John (who has been on his way to Reno) emailed back to say that Zeno only subcontracted UK work on rights and he’s had no contact with Colin’s family. My apologies to John for any embarrassment I may have caused. I shall try to find someone else who can act as a conduit for condolences.
Update 2: Condolences can be passed on via Dindy Robinson at Swimming Kangaroo (see comment below).
I have also been in touch with Bob Nielson at Aeon. I’ll do a proper business post later, but now is not the time.
It is usual in obituaries to talk about the life of the deceased. I didn’t know Colin well enough to do that. But I was fortunate enough to interview him for Salon Futura last year. If you never met Colin, and would like to know more, you can see him talk about his career and writing here.