Friday, 4 November 2016

A Tribute to Paul Brazier

NOTE: The following is a brief tribute to my friend and former editor Paul Brazier, who died in October 2016.  After some thought, and discussion with friends, I've decided to put it on here.

When I was living in Brighton, back in the late 1990s, I found out, from the ad in the back of the magazine, that the publishers of Interzone met in one of the local pubs.

I was feeling rather desperate at the time. I’d been writing stories, and having them rejected, for years. Interzone, one of the best SF magazines I knew, had been one of my prime targets, but…. Well, many of you who write will know the score.

Paul was there, at the Mitre, along with David Pringle, and all the others. Paul and I hit it off, and he offered to look at my stories, for possible inclusion in an edition of Interzone that he was editing.

I sent him a couple of tales, including ‘City in the Dust,’ which had already been rejected by another magazine. I was fully expecting the usual brush-off.

Instead, Paul wrote back saying that he loved the story, which ended up being published in March 2001.

Over the next couple of years, I got to know both Paul and Juliet better, and visited them regularly at their house. Over that time, Paul helped with developing my writing and editing skills, and was always very generous with his time and attention.

He also got me in as a guest to the Arthur Clarke awards, and through him, I came to meet many amazing people, including some of my SF heroes.

None of us can become successful in our chosen field without help. The myth of the self-made person is just that – a myth. Paul was one of those people who excelled at being a facilitator, and was very talented at helping people. He certainly helped me. But he was also a good friend.

He was kind, fun, and always generous. One of my happiest memories of the Brighton years was going around to Paul and Juliet’s to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then have dinner. This was always stimulating, fun and at times, morale boosting.

Paul and I drifted apart a little after I moved from Brighton.

However, we did meet up again a few years ago, and once more, Paul was kind and generous with his time, although I was sorry to see that his health had deteriorated somewhat. I was to have visited him again this October, but sadly, fate, and everyday hassles intervened, and it was not to be.

Nonetheless, I would count my friendship with Paul as one of the most positive in my life. He will be greatly missed.

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