Brian Thomsen

I’m not sure how many years it’s been since I last saw Brian Thomsen. I do know that it was more than five years ago, because Julius Schwartz was still alive. Julie, for those who didn’t know him, was THE DC editor in the 60s & 70s. Until his death in his 80s, he had an office at DC that he visited every week.

I always saw Julie when I was in New York. I was in his office when Brian arrived. Brian and Julie had a standing lunch date, and on the previous one, Julie mentioned that Dean and I were going to come visit him. So Brian stopped by too.

We had a lovely time. I always had a lovely time with Brian (and Julie too). We were never close, but our lives touched. He tried to buy my first novel many, many years ago. For a year, he kept taking it to committee, trying to get them to back the book. They’d refuse, and he’d send me a postcard, vowing to try again. He never did manage to buy it–someone else did–but he bought Dean’s first novel.

We had some lovely dinners with Brian when he was Dean’s editor. And we saw each other off and on over the years. When he moved to Wisconsin for an editing job with (I believe) TSR, he learned to drive. His friends described teaching him as one of the scariest experiences of their lives. I always imagined Brian negotiating the roads that I once drove in a similar situation when my then-husband taught me to drive a stick shift. Somehow Wisconsin drivers survived the both of us.

Brian died this week. According to Locus Magazine, he was 49–just a year older than I am. He had a heart attack. He leaves family, good friends, and those of us who didn’t know him well, but appreciated him.

It was always nice to know he was out there.

Now I hope he’s somewhere great, having lunch with Julius Schwartz and talking science fiction.

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