Locus Magazine reports that publisher Charles N Brown, one of science fiction's great figures, has died peacefully in his sleep on his way home from ReaderCon. I read Locus from the time I was old enough to see over the counter at Bakka, the science fiction bookstore where I later worked, and for some years now I have been a columnist with the magazine. Charles's obsessive, affectionate fascination with the field and all its readers, writers, fans and critics made him one of the most beloved figures in it, a sort of Forry Ackerman minus the id. Liza Groen Trombi -- my editor at Locus -- is taking over the magazine; I wish her the best of luck with it and look forward to my continued association with it. My sincere condolences to the Locus staff and Charles's many friends around the world.
Brown co-founded Locus with Ed Meskys and Dave Vanderwerf as a one-sheet news fanzine in 1968, originally created to help the Boston Science Fiction Group win its Worldcon bid. Brown enjoyed editing Locus so much that he continued the magazine far beyond its original planned one-year run. Locus was nominated for its first Hugo Award in 1970, and Brown was a best fan writer nominee the same year. Locus won the first of its 29 Hugos in 1971.
During Brown's long and illustrious career he was the first book reviewer for Asimov's; wrote the Best of the Year summary for Terry Carr's annual anthologies (1975-87); wrote numerous magazines and newspapers; edited several SF anthologies; appeared on countless convention panels; was a frequent Guest of Honor, speaker, and judge at writers' seminars; and has been a jury member for various major SF awards.
(Image: charles brown, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from catsprks' photostream)