Sunday, September 17, 2006

Charles L. Grant - The Last Call of Mourning

Messages from a couple of directions are telling me Charles L. Grant has passed away after a long illness, and I'm, of course, saddened by the news.

I once heard him called a writer's writer, admired by those enraptured by words for his mastery of the language. His opening paragraphs are always fabulous passages to read, and his tales wonderful evocations of dread. He long championed "quiet horror."

The OxRun Station cycle includes my favorites of his books, but all of his novels under his own name were worthy, atmospheric reads.

A scary little town
The OxRun books explore a strange little town in both the modern era and in its distant past with a trilogy of novels that also paid homage to the black-and-white horror movies of the thirties. He also wrote comic science fiction and much more and edited some of the most respected horror anthologies of the current era.

I remember one of the first times I ever saw him.

It was when World Fantasy was in Nashville-- I think I'm remembering the place correctly-- in the eighties. He was hosting a late evening panel called "Charles L. Grant's Dark Corner of the Shop."

Sharing the dais was the late Karl Edward Wagner.

While they waited outside the hotel meeting room where their panel was to convene, they donned wrestler's masks and hurled boasts and insults at each other in a wild and fun impromptu exchange.

Hard to believe they're both gone now.

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1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I never got a chance to meet Charles Grant, but I did meet Karl Wagner. Wagner, too, was a very fine writer.

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