Mike Ford is gone. The cause of his death is not yet known. Elise Matthesen found his body around two o’clock this morning. She said it looked like it was fast and easy, whatever it was.
He’d been in poor health for decades. This still comes as a terrible shock.
I keep thinking that Mike would know the right thing to say about all this. There’s a hole in the universe.
Against Entropy(The circumstances of the poem’s composition. You won’t find a clearer demonstration of (some of) the reasons we’re mourning Mike.)
The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days—
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.
The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.
—John M. Ford
Some links to writing by Mike Ford:
Neil Gaiman: The Lovers, the Dreamers, and Death.
Today Neil posted a collection of wonderful things Mike recently sent him in email.
Another post by Neil, with the cleaned-up text of “The Final Connection”.
Troy: The Movie
The Infernokrusher Romeo and Juliet
“I am the King now, and I want a sandwich.”
“Declaration” and “Response”, by John M. Ford and Elise Matthesen
As Above, So Below (short story)
The Speculative Engineering store at CafePress
Some of Mike’s front-page posts here:
Harry of Five Points
In This Hour (during Katrina; on coping with the stress of bad news)
Judy Sings Holliday (on the Valerie Plame case)
You Can’t Dance to It… (on science fiction and prediction)
Earth Creatures Put One Right Past Martian Defense Force
TSA Gumbo Surprise
More Songs about Buildings and Food
Given how joyfully Mike disported himself in the comment threads, it’s a damned shame that ML’s “view all comments by” function is currently out of commission. To give you some idea, here are some of the comments Mike posted to a single open thread:
#103: Caster sugar.
#253: Kojak and the Defenestrations of Prague.
#268: Attendance at the Roman games.
#294: Liquid nitrogen; shrubbing.
#353: Poirot on Betjeman.
#359: Recasting McGonagall.
#382: Misanthropy and comedians.
#388: Mad fiendish mathematicians.
#404: Sir Francis Drake’s gold pocket calculator.
#472: Bother, dinosaurs, and sodomy.
Links to writing about Mike Ford:
NESFA’s Chronological Bibliography of his work.
Senseless Acts of Random Stuff helpfully provides links to a ludography, a collection of quotes, and Mike’s poem about Loren Wiseman.
Interview: John M. Ford in Strange Horizons.
Neil Gaiman’s Concerning Speculative Engineering, with notes on Exploration, the Scattered Oevre of John M. Ford, and an Unreliable and Vaguely Scatalogical Anecdote about Freud or Someone Like That, his introduction to Mike’s collection, From the End of the Twentieth Century.
The memorial threads at SFF Net.
A long thoughtful consideration of Mike’s influence on the Star Trek universe, by Eric Burns.
Avedon Carol: There could never be enough of Mike Ford.
Kathryn Cramer posts a memoir, with photo.
A Flickr photoset of everyone’s pictures tagged “John M. Ford”.
DDB’s photos of Mike.
A LiveJournal post from Pamela Dean.
Another post by Pamela Dean.
Madeleine Robins writes some anecdotes about Mike.
Peg Kerr’s memorial post.
Some words from Mike’s close friend Jim Rigney (Robert Jordan).
Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber.
Jane Yolen’s Journal, 25 September 2006.
Ellen Kushner on Mike’s handwriting.
Diane Duane’s long essay about Mike from the program book when he was GoH at Boskone.
A post by Will Shetterly.
Another post by Will Shetterly.
Roz Kaveney wrote a poem.
One, two, three, four reminiscences by Joel Rosenberg.
A post by Steve Jackson.
And one by Hilary Moon Murphy.
The Authorized Klin Zha Homepage.
Unqualified Offerings’ Jim Henley.
John Clute’s obituary in The Independent. (Elise: “He did well by Mike.”)
Note: Elise says:
“If people want to send messages, e-mail is best right now. It keeps the phone clear for various chats with medical examiners, medical examiner investigators, Mike’s attorney and the like; so if people could refrain from phoning unless it’s re next-of-kin stuff or immediate legal/logistical stuff, at least for the next 48 hours, it would be a kindness. Thank you. The e-mails are lovely, though I won’t be able to respond for a bit.”