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September 6, 2013

Ann Crispin
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 11:00 AM * 40 comments

Ann Crispin, one of the founders of Writer Beware, died this morning.

Her death comes three days after she posted a farewell on Facebook:

“I want to thank you all for your good wishes and prayers. I fear my condition is deteriorating. I am doing the best I can to be positive but I probably don’t have an awful lot of time left. I want you all to know that I am receiving excellent care and am surrounded by family and friends.”

Newbie writers have lost one of the best friends they could ever have had.

Buy and read her books. Recommend them to your friends. Name and shame the scammers.

I’ll miss you, Ann.

Comments on Ann Crispin:
#1 ::: sussura ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 11:16 AM:

I am so sorry to hear the news of her passing. While I hadn't met her in person, her work impacted me in so many positive ways. Thank you, Ann. Thank you so much.

#2 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 11:25 AM:

What I said to her on Facebook: What you did with your life made a difference in the lives of others, and a good one. She was a mensch.

#3 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 11:29 AM:

Well said, Patrick. One can't ask for a better eulogy.

#4 ::: Natalie L. ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 11:29 AM:

I only met Ann once, but she was so kind to me and it was the kind of thoughtless kindness that speaks volumes about a person's character.

I was at Capclave last year and didn't know many people and wasn't hugely interested in a lot of panels so I spent a lot of time sitting in the lobby knitting by myself. During one of these lobby knitting sessions, another knitter sat next to me and we got to talking, after a while, some of their friends wandered over, too. Ann was in this group. They started talking about where they were going to go to get a meal and as the decision was being made, Ann asked me if I was coming along. I wasn't, but just the fact that she asked me if I was coming--that she included me in the group--meant the world to me.

Her work was--and is--so very important. She'll be missed. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

#5 ::: Patrick ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 11:30 AM:

I followed the Writer Beware blog for years, and I'm sorry to see her go. The publishing industry has lost a great person and moral champion.

#6 ::: Michael Walsh ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 11:40 AM:

Sad news indeed. She was a nice person.

#7 ::: Terri Coop ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 11:52 AM:

Gentle journey Ann. WriterBeware and P&E saved me from the clutches of Publish America. You wrote sci-fi and Trek when it wasn't cool for women. You were tireless and kind and funny. The world is less bright today. You are treasured and remembered.


#8 ::: Gaie Sebold ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 12:02 PM:

Anyone who is or aspires to be published has lost a great friend. I'm so sad to hear this.

#9 ::: Peter Damien ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 12:10 PM:

Ann did a tremendous amount for me as both a boy with writerly dreams, and a grown-up fumbling around with the beginning of a writing career. I liked her a lot, I probably owe her a great deal, and I'm very, very sorry to see her go.

#10 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 12:16 PM:

A great loss.

#11 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 12:18 PM:

Damn, damn, damn. Fuck cancer. I didn't know her that well, but I had a great admiration and respect for her.

#12 ::: Jesse L. Cairns ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 12:21 PM:

Thank you for everything you did for the newbie writers, Ann. We will not forget you.

#13 ::: canisfelicis ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 12:27 PM:

Aah, damn.

#14 ::: Angela Highland (Angela Korra'ti) ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 12:42 PM:

I loved her Han Solo novels very, VERY much, and have a very healthy respect for her Star Trek novels as well. The SF/F genre is poorer for her loss. Many condolences to her loved ones and fans. :(

#15 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 12:42 PM:


#16 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 12:55 PM:

I met Ann Crispin at Glasgow Worldcon (Intersection) in 1995 - at a kaffeeklatch, where she graciously coped with me being interested in her Starbridge novels while everyone else was there because of "V". Time for a re-read - those and her Star Trek novels - and maybe get around to reading "V".

Sympathies to all those who knew her properly.

#17 ::: AnonX ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 01:19 PM:

Fuck cancer.

#18 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 01:28 PM:

She made a difference. That's the best kind of eulogy to have.

Fly with the sparks, Ann.

#19 ::: Nick Jamilla ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 02:01 PM:

My thoughts to you, Ann, and your family and friends.

#20 ::: Nina ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 02:06 PM:

My husband and I sat next to her at the Lord of the Rings marathon at the Uptown theater in DC, the day they released the third movie. She was so nice.

A reporter interviewed us and then her, and then asked for our names and I recognized hers. I gushed about the Writer Beware website and tried to make the reporter realize that he had stellar interview fodder here, but the reporter was an idiot and printed a lame quote from a teenager about "we all know each other from Renn Faire".

I've since been outraged on her behalf. Her work really deserved a wider audience. She probably just laughed it off.

That marathon stands out as one of the better days of my life, and Ann was a big part of it. She noticed things in the movies - not just funny little mistakes that we could have a laugh at or particularly gorgeous *ahem*... anyhow, she noticed little moments of authenticity that passed me by, and by bringing them to my attention made the movies I had already seen a dozen times seem fresh, and made the new movie leap off the screen.

She was a very perceptive person, with exquisite taste.

#21 ::: Lori Basiewicz ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 03:09 PM:

My condolences to Ann's family. Ann will be much missed by the literary community.

#22 ::: Mark Bohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 03:57 PM:

My condolences to her family. I am a fan of her work.

#23 ::: James Rollins ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 04:04 PM:

What a loss. I referred countless young/new writers to the wit and wisdom of Ann on Writer Beware. She will be missed.

#24 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 04:16 PM:

Damn. Condolences to those who knew her. Condolences to all of us who read her.

#25 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 04:28 PM:

Sincere condolences to those who knew her. If she cofounded Writer Beware, we have all benefited from her work.

And yes, cancer sucks. Death to cancer, forever and ever.

#26 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 05:04 PM:

Oh, dear. This is the point at which I think: "Dammit, the world needs more people like Ann Crispin, not one fewer!"

#27 ::: Jackie Morse Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 05:09 PM:

I am so sorry to hear about her passing. Rest in peace, Ann -- and thank you for your willingness to help others.

#28 ::: Kvon ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 05:12 PM:

I always liked her StarBridge books. Thank you, Ann.

#29 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 06:09 PM:

My condolences to her friends and family.

#30 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 06:16 PM:

I never read any of her fiction, but (co-)founding Writer Beware is a huge legacy in itself.

The sheer amount of hard work and decency that WB puts into protecting the naive from scammers and creeps is one of the wonders of the modern world.

#31 ::: Linda Deneroff ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 06:32 PM:

Ohmighosh. Ann was a friend of mine, but we didn't keep in touch that much. I didn't know she was ill, I am so sorry to hear of her death. My condolences to her family.

#32 ::: Karen Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2013, 07:04 PM:

A phenomenally gentle and generous woman. She'll be deeply missed. Rest in the light, Ann.

#33 ::: Nina ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2013, 12:07 AM:

I never had the pleasure of meeting her, but admired both her fiction and her crusade against scammers trying to crush the dreams of young writers.

#35 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2013, 01:40 AM:

Condolences to all her people. She did good work.

#36 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2013, 01:01 PM:


As much as cancer sucks, I'm grateful that the manner of her passing allowed her an opportunity to say a farewell, and to give us an opportunity to send her our thanks and love over the past few days. If it felt weird to say "I'm going to miss you" to someone who was still alive, it was only because usually the way things go I end up saying it to everyone else after it's too late to say it to the one person I wish could hear it.

...and because I'm no exception to this reluctance we have, as a society, to acknowledge death's inevitability, I guess.

#37 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2013, 01:57 PM:

She made a difference, and she was a gracious, kind woman. May her memory always be a blessing.

#38 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2013, 07:09 PM:

Jesus, Facebook just suggested that I friend her.

#39 ::: janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2013, 04:37 PM:

Even if you didn't know her personally, you have to know how she touched and changed and made a difference in writers' lives.

For those of us who knew and loved her, it was not only her humanity but her deep laughter, and her honesty that shone.

Yeah, she was a solid and popular writer. Kudos and honors for that work. But she put a lot of her career on hold to do a job that needed doing. Thr writers' angel.

She sent her own valedictory, but we were the ones blessed by it.

Goodbye, Annie. You always did fight the good fight


#40 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2013, 09:23 PM:

Really good Washington Post obituary here.

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