“. . . from that day forward she lived happily ever after. Except for the dying at the end. And the heartbreak in between.” – Lucius Shepard, The Scalehunter’s Beautiful Daughter.

Very sad news that the brilliant, irascible and irreplaceable Lucius Shepard has passed away following a stroke last year.

Shepard started publishing in the late 1970s and produced a string of stories that included some of the most powerful and memorable ever to appear as fantasy or horror or whatever it was he wrote. Whether it was stories of a valley spanning dragon, a hallucinogenic South America war, jaded vampires, or down and out bums, his fiction was always up close and in your face, as beautiful as it was ugly, and utterly, totally unforgettable.

I met Lucius twice. Once in Seattle at his home in 1997, and a second time in Washington DC in 2003. We always meant to hit another bar, but never got the chance. Instead we emailed, I bought a story or two, and always wanted more.  There will be no more. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.