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September 9, 2014 2:02 PM   Subscribe

We've Lost One Of The Great Fantasy Writers: R.I.P. Graham Joyce
"Graham Joyce was a monumental writer in the fantasy genre. His humane, intense writing was like a masterclass in how to put story first, and he knew how to write people, with all our blind spots and our hopeful mistakes. He died today of lymphatic cancer, and it's a huge loss to fantasy literature."
posted by Fizz (18 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

posted by Fizz at 2:04 PM on September 9, 2014

wow, I'd never even heard of him. What book does MeFi recommend?
posted by dhruva at 2:08 PM on September 9, 2014

"The Facts of Life" is one of my favorite books ever, not just one of my favorite Joyce novels. I have loved pretty much everything I've read by him, though. A huge loss. I am so sad today.

posted by OolooKitty at 2:16 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Michele in California at 2:26 PM on September 9, 2014

posted by communicator at 2:35 PM on September 9, 2014

I was a fan of Some Kind of Fairy Tale in particular, though I also liked The Tooth Fairy and The Silent Land. I have his newish one, something about Ladybird.
posted by jeather at 2:37 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

"She said that eventually all the pain falls away, and what's left behind is only beauty."
posted by Fizz at 2:47 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh! I read Some Kind of Fairy Tale but couldn't remember the author's name. So I have read Graham Joyce. It was a good book; I'll have to check out his others.

posted by zardoz at 2:55 PM on September 9, 2014

That was such a familiar name to me but I can't think why.

Finally I remembered that twenty or so years ago, I probably bought a paperback I couldn't afford by an author I know I'd never heard of. It was called The Tooth Fairy. I don't remember it well but the few details I remember are striking.
posted by tel3path at 4:12 PM on September 9, 2014

The Tooth Fairy was the book that kept me sane while I was studying for the Oregon bar exam.

I actually got to tell him that at a party the following summer. He was drunk and exhausted, but he grinned and clinked glasses with me over it.

I stopped wanting to practice law a long time ago, but I'm still grateful: both to him for writing the book and to the universe for giving me the chance to thank him for it.

Fuck cancer. Fuck it right in the eye.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:02 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I recommend Dark Sister.
posted by gentian at 6:47 PM on September 9, 2014

I seriously never heard of this fellow before today in my life, but I love his last line:

"why can’t our job here on earth be simply to inspire each other?"

Yeah! Why can't it?!?! That's all I want to do as a job, or in general, dammit.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:13 PM on September 9, 2014

I'd never heard of him either but now I wish I had heard of him earlier. That's an amazing post.


For those of you who have read his work, where would you recommend starting? Or jump in anywhere?
posted by Athanassiel at 10:39 PM on September 9, 2014

wow, I'd never even heard of him. What book does MeFi recommend?

Me neither until the tributes poured in on Twitter once the news broke yesterday; he was working in a part of fantasy I wasn't all that interested in. What everybody seemed to recommend though was The Tooth Fairy.

Man, 2014 is shaping up to be a lousy year for people dying far too young in the sf&f field though.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:58 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Facts of Life is my favorite of his books.
I've liked his books for some time. I wish I'd found his blog earlier.
posted by oneear at 12:11 AM on September 10, 2014

Oh, that Graham Joyce. I've read The Tooth Fairy; it wasn't necessarily my cuppa, but it was interesting.

posted by ersatz at 10:46 AM on September 10, 2014


Several years back I went to a couple of writers workshops he ran at cons and had a drink with him the bar afterwards. He was a brilliant teacher (still remember most of what he taught) and a great guy. (And the friends I made via the first workshop basically got me into fandom)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:10 AM on September 13, 2014

Happened on a copy of Smoking Poppy in a free library and quickly snaffled it. Spent most of Sunday in bed reading it, unable to put it down for very long. It made me howl at the end. I'm glad I discovered him, but man it sucks that he died.
posted by Athanassiel at 7:10 PM on September 15, 2014

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