Rest in Peace, Biljon

Last night I and the SF community at large lost a terrific and very tall writer with whom I collaborated upon occasion, Bill Johnson. Bill wrote a lot of stories, which he sold mostly to Analog; but some years back I convinced him to submit one instead to Asimov’s Magazine and it won him a Hugo Award. When his name was announced at the awards banquet, nobody was more amazed than Bill. He was self-effacing (no mean feat when you’re six foot seven), unpretentious, and probably the smartest guy in the room all the time. We were roommates in college, students together in a class led by Joe Haldeman & Larry Martin, and both accepted that same year into the Clarion SF Writers Workshop (possibly the only time that three members of a class taught by one of the writers teaching at Clarion that year made the cut into the program). People tend to bond at Clarions; we already had that bond between us but we added to the list other students from that year, including Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert Crais, Lois Metzger, and Michael Armstrong. The only thing I’ll add is, there wasn’t a ceiling tile that was safe from Bill in that dormitory…

Bill was nearly unflappable. Which isn’t true of me, so he worked that for all the laughs he could get. He was a very quietly hilarious guy. But he also suffered from Marfan’s Syndrome, which I understand plagues tall people like Bill. When we were in college he confessed that it probably meant he would have a short life, and he wasn’t sure he would get to see his (hypothetical at that point) kids grow up. Fortunately, he outlived the prognosis, though I suspect he had more stents in him than any other human on the planet.

There are too many stories to recount here. It’s enough perhaps to say that he met in college and married the love of his life, Gretchen, and had great kids, who he got to watch grow up.

Rest in peace my old friend–

Rewind Interview with Best-selling Author Robert Crais

This week, the Liars Club Rewind Interview is with New York Times bestselling author Robert Crais. His latest thriller is A Dangerous Man. He just gets better and better.

Robert Crais Rewind

 

Robert Crais, the Epitome of Cool on the Oddcast

My longtime pal, New York Times Bestseller Robert Crais, author of the Award-winning Elvis Cole thrillers (his latest is THE WANTED, out in just a few days), graces the Oddcast this week, wherein he reveals a love for science fiction, and describes how intensely he dedicated himself to writing when he moved to L.A. and broke into television, working on such acclaimed shows as Hill Street Blues and Cagney & Lacey—a crash-course on immersion from this Grandmaster-Award-winning author.

Robert Crais on the Oddcast