Friday, April 3, 2009

Cimmerian sighting: Bidding farewell to the heroic heart of Steve Tompkins

The news has begun to spread that Steve Tompkins of The Cimmerian passed away on March 23 after suffering a heart attack. As usual, real life has a lousy way of intruding on the fantastic.

I won’t sit here and tell you that Steve and I were friends. I’ve never met him face-to-face. But we had exchanged a dozen or so e-mails since he asked me in February to contribute weekly pieces to The Cimmerian. This news has hit me pretty hard and I feel like I’ve lost a comrade in arms, the trusted man to my left in the shield wall of those fighting to preserve Robert E. Howard’s legacy and promoting fantasy fiction as a whole. Steve’s shield was broader and he wielded a more skillful sword than most who answer the martial call of defending swords-and-sorcery and weird fiction.

Steve was a brilliant individual with an unquenchable passion for Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Karl Edward Wagner, George R.R. Martin, Charles Saunders … the list goes on and on. He had a remarkable insight into the works of all these diverse authors, an amazing recollection of miscellanea and facts stored in the arsenal of his mind, and an uncanny ability to cite reference upon reference and work them, intelligently, into indefatigable essays. I’m not being self-deprecating when I say that Steve’s knowledge of the fantasy genre dwarfed my own.

To read the rest of this post, visit The Cimmerian Web site.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's terrible news.

I went through the archives at TC awhile back just reading his pieces. You could tell he was head over heels in love with what he was writing about.

Brian Murphy said...

Yeah, there is no way to fake writing like that. His passion was contagious.

Mr Baron said...

This is truly bad news.