I did not expect to make this post today, although I did expect it eventually. Bill Trojan has been a friend, colleague–and hell, those words are too small. Bill is family. Bill’s been family since before Dean and I started Pulphouse Publishing. Bill was one of the four of us who ran the company, the other being Debb (Cook) De Noux.
Bill died on Sunday in his hotel room at Worldcon. He had had a great convention. For those of you who know Bill, you know how rare that is. He was a curmudgeon, to say the least, and the fact that he enjoyed this convention so much that he made a point of telling the organizers how wonderful it was is absolutely stunning. When I put news of his passing on several e-mail lists and on Facebook & Google+, I heard from people who are my friends who were also Bill’s. I had no idea that we had so many friends in common–and how many of these folks he had seen and had a great conversation with over the weekend. If Bill had to go, and I guess we all do, this was the way he would have wanted it.
He’s been in bad health for years now, which is why this isn’t a surprise. Yet Bill was consistently beating the odds, so much that I expected to have him around for another decade or so. He wanted to make it to 70, and I didn’t think that was a stretch despite his ill health. But he left us at 63, which was too damn early.
Bill helped run conventions, like the World Horror Convention in Eugene several years back. Until the last five years or so, he had the biggest dealer table in the any convention, including Worldcon, and that table was covered in books. I mentioned that he helped us with Pulphouse. What I didn’t mention–and what I don’t entirely know–is how many writers he helped over the years, with advice, connections, introductions, and money. He kept his kind acts close, and never bragged about them. I’m only just now beginning to hear what he had done for other folks.
Dean was Bill’s closest friend and is the executor of the estate. If anyone needs to contact the estate for any reason, e-mail me. Dean’s off line for the week or more–trying to deal with a collector’s sudden death is extremely overwhelming. Bill had more stuff than we do, and for those who’ve seen our house, you know that’s saying something.
I also need to thank John Lorentz, Patty Wells, Ruth Schacter (whose name I am misspelling–sorry, Ruth) and the other organizers of Renovation. They’re the ones who handled the immediate emergency around Bill’s death, in the middle of tearing down a big convention. You folks are great–but Bill already told you that this weekend. What an amazing few days.
I’ll miss him greatly. Dean will miss him more. And now, I’m slowly realizing, an entire field will miss him. Dammit, Bill. I wish you had hit your 70 goal because then we would have had you around for another 7 years. Of course, even that would not have been enough.