Science fiction fan, editor, writer, and publisher George Scithers, has died, from a massive heart attack suffered two days ago. He was eighty.
My connection to him was that he bought the first story I ever sold, and several thereafter. At my first-ever science fiction convention, SunCon in Miami, 1978, I was a two-story pro, neither of which had been published yet, and I walked up to Colonel Scithers to introduce myself. He wore a hideous sport coat -- I never saw him in one that wasn't loud enough to hear coming before you saw it -- was running something at the con, said, "Hello," and promptly put me to work, moving furniture.
Welcome to sci fi, monkeyboy. Here, move those chairs next to the wall over there ...
We exchanged letters with stuff I submitted for years, and for a long time, I had his first acceptance of my story, "Heal the Sick, Raise the Dead," framed and up on my office wall. He reprinted the story in an anthology, and used it as a good example in a how-to-write book he later did. I always thought he liked like a miniature version of Isaac Asimov. We bumped into each other at cons. He was quite the character. I haven't talked to him in years, but it's still a shock.