RIP, Neal Barret Junior

Neal Barrett, Jr, one of science fiction's funniest and cleverest writers, died on January 12. He was 84. Though he was best known for his short work (which has been collected several times, most recently in Other Seasons: The Best of Neal Barrett, Jr.), I will always love him for the comic novel The Hereafter Gang, an indescribably gonzo story that has enough tricks in it for a whole bookshelf.

I met Neal on a few occasions and found him to be just as delightful and weird (in the sense of "Weird is a side-effect of awesome") in person as he was in his fiction. He will be sorely missed.

Barrett began publishing SF with "To Tell the Truth" in Galaxy (1960). His notable short fiction includes "Perpetuity Blues" (1987), Hugo and Nebula Award finalist "Ginny Sweethips' Flying Circus" (1989), Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist "Stairs" (1989), "Cush" (1994), and "Radio Station St. Jack" (2008). His short work has been collected in Slightly Off Center: Eleven Extraordinarily Exhilarating Tales (1992), World Fantasy Award finalist Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories (2000), A Different Vintage (2001), Way Out There (2004), and retrospective Other Seasons: The Best of Neal Barrett, Jr. (2013).

His first novel Kelwin appeared in 1970, followed by The Gates of Time (1970), The Leaves of Time (1971), Highwood (1972), Stress Pattern (1974), The Karma Corps (1984), The Hereafter Gang (1991), Interstate Dreams (1999), PIGGS (2001), and Prince of Christler-Coke (2004). Series work includes the Aldair series, the Through Darkest America duology, and the Finn, the Lizard Master books. He wrote mysteries as Wiley Moss, Tom Swift and Hardy Boys novels under house names, and numerous comic and media tie-in novels.

Neal Barrett, Jr. (1929-2014) [Locus]

(via Making Light)