Ed Bryant, an award-winning science-fiction and horror writer who'd lived in Denver since 1972, died in his sleep February 10 after a long illness. He was 71. Although fans knew him for his stories, he was a beloved mentor and legendary teacher, too.
He was also my neighbor, one of the human landmarks on a block that's officially designated as an actual landmark. I saw the emergency vehicles racing to the neighborhood yesterday morning, but didn't realize they were for Ed until the testimonials started flying through cyberspace.
Wrote Dean Wesley Smith: "Writer, teacher, and great person, Ed was only five years older than me. I’ve known him since 1982. He was like a solid core of the science fiction and horror publishing field. Everyone knew and seemed to love Ed."
Juliet Wittman did. Her profile of Bryant, "Fright for Life," was published in the May 11, 2000, edition of Westword. It begins with this:
Everyone will tell you that Edward Bryant is the nicest guy in the world. Responsible, a good friend, kind to his cats, endlessly helpful to other writers. So where does this come from: "The muzzle of the .357 belched flame and the back of Mrs. Hernandez's skull exploded outward, the spray of blood and tissue coating the face of the zombie close behind her"?
The story offers several clues as to the origins of Bryant's facility with the horror genre, and also contains considerable praise from friends and fans — as well as insight from Bryant himself.
"I hate the idea of dying, because I'm afraid I'm going to miss something," he told her. "As long as you're alive, there's always more time."
Ed Bryant has run out of time, but his legend — and stories — live on.
Read "Fright for Life" here.