It is with a heavy heart that we heard this morning about the death of Colin Harvey. He had a stroke on Monday morning, and did not recover.

I first met Colin at NewCon in Northampton, as I was just starting to get Angry Robot off the ground. We’d got talking about nothing in particular, as you do at SF conventions, but once he’d sniffed out I was not only a possible publisher but also open to pitches, he went for it with gusto. I bought two novels off him in quick succession – Winter Song and the still-in-progress Damage Time – and the former was included in our launch line-up in July 2009, the second novel last October. His writing was an unusual mix of traditional SF tropes – crashed spaceship, decaying city – but written with almost total focus on the characters of the people caught up in such events.

Colin hadn’t just come from nowhere, however. He had made frequent story sales in the usual venues, and had a trio of titles out through small presses in the UK and US. He had a natural enthusiasm for SF in all its forms too – he was part of the team organising the blossoming Bristolcon, and ran regular blogs and interviews across his and several other websites. He was a cheery presence on the UK SF scene, and we shall miss him terribly. Our thoughts and condolences go to his wife, Kate. — Marc

PS, thank you to everyone leaving your own reminiscences of Colin in the Comments section below. It’s wonderful to read them all.

80 Comments

  1. I’ve no idea how I missed this news, but only heard because of the Colinthology tribute anthology that’s come out. I met Colin several years ago in Ireland, and always enjoyed chatting to him at various cons. What a terrible blow for his family, and a sad loss. My very belated condolences to all.

  2. I was on holiday when this happened, and have literally only just heard whilst scrolling idly down the news on the AR website. I’m totally shocked by this. I didn’t know Colin very well, but he’s been knocking around the convention circuit for years (as have I), so I was very aware of his presence. How terrible to die so young and so unexpectedly. Heartfelt condolences to all his family and friends.

  3. I’ve only just heard… I met Colin some years back, and we’ve had great chats at Eastercons in particular. A lovely man who loved writing and had great perseverance as well as talent.

    I had an email from him recently that I’d meant to reply to… Ah, damn. He should still be here. Condolences, everyone.

  4. I met Colin only twice and he was a very easy person to get on with, the first time was at Waterstones Birmingham this easter. It was part of Angry Robots book pitch. He was sat next to Lauren Beukes and he had the look of a very happy man, the rest of the authors where Remic, Whates, Abnett and Meany. He definatly got the best deal out of that. I was lucky enough to talk to him for a good half hour. The second time was at Alt Fiction at Derby, he said hello but was very busy. I did get an email a couple of day late saying sorry to not talking to me longer but was just max out, that was a realy nice touch and meant a lot to me. What a very nice man and I only met him twice he make a bit impact on my life, will miss him.

  5. People that are driven to write, or do anything creative supremely well, seldom have easy lives. Colin seemed very lucky to me because he seemed to have such a great family (and family life), and integrating one with the other is certainly no mean trick. For many artists it might even be impossible. So hats off to Colin and his family, for supporting each other in the twin pursuits of happiness and art, and in that respect pulling off a coup worthy of an artist’s Houdini. Well done all. Thinking of you.

  6. I met Colin at the 2008 Eastercon, where I was on a short-story panel with him. He was on an anthology panel with me, Ian Whates and Ellen Datlow at the 2010 Eastercon. I last met him at last year’s Fantasycon where we had a brief chat. In the short time I knew him, I knew he was one of the good guys and he put in his time as a reviewer and editor as well as an author. I’ll miss him. Fifty is no age to go. My condolences to his friends and family.

  7. I’ll add my own shock to that which has already been expressed, and condolences to Colin’s family. I’ll always associate Colin with Fantasycon, and this year’s event will seem a little emptier without him.

    Colin contributed the excellent “Occupation” to the NewCon Press anthology ‘Further Conflicts’, which was published this April. I never dreamt, when I approached him for a story, that this would be my last opportunity to do so. A sad, sad loss.

  8. a very close friend…i am honoured to have known colin and to be a dedication of his last work…will never forget colin, his warmth and friendship was overwhelming, and his loss is a pain so acute words fail. I can only hope he knew how loved and respected he was by all here.

    thank you x

  9. Really can’t believe this. Thoughts go to his family.

  10. I got to know Colin through his attendance at P-Con in Dublin. He was always great company and willing to help with anything that needed done. It was always a pleasure to talk to him in person or on-line.

  11. Enjoyed many chats and pints with Colin over the years at Pcons in Dublin and Worldcon in Montreal. He only recently proofed his short story and interview for Albedo One and we both just finished editing anthologies for Aeon Press and conferred on a number of issues relating to them. I just can’t get my head around this. A lovely guy, gone way before his time. I will miss him.

  12. I met Colin at several cons and had enjoyable conversations. Sad and shocking news.

  13. The first time I met Colin was at the big AR launch at Forbidden Planet. I remember chatting to him and when he found out, with some well placed questions, that both Mark and I are aspiring writers, he was nothing but encouraging and sweet. And subsequently, each time we saw him then, he made a point of asking us where we were on our journey.

    Our thoughts and hearts go out to his wife and friends. He was a great guy and will be sorely missed.

  14. Alas, another good man gone.

  15. I first met Colin over beer and a chat at P-Con in Dublin several years ago, and likewise over a few late nights at the Delta in Montreal during Worldcon 2009. I had the pleasure of reading and accepting his story for the current issue of Albedo One. He was a good friend to us at the magazine and will be sorely missed. Gone all too soon.

  16. Very sad to hear this news. My condolences to Colin’s family and all who knew him. A huge loss to the SF community. I think I may have bumped into Colin in late 2009, at an AR “do” at Forbidden Planet in London, but my memory of the event is a little hazy.

  17. Christopher Kastensmidt

    This is just so hard to believe. Colin was a wonderful person, and far too young to go like this.
    I’m glad I had the chance to meet him and share some laughs, and that’s the way I’ll remember him.
    Rest in peace, Colin. You shall be missed.

  18. I’m deeply saddened to hear of this. A bright talent cut off too young, too soon. My condolences to his friends and family.

  19. I’m terribly sorry to hear this news. I didn’t know Colin well, but we were members of a writing group together and he recently (and graciously) had me over to his site for an interview. My deepest sympathies for his family and friends.

  20. I’m very sorry to hear this. He was kind enough to do an interview for my blog around the time Damage Time came out (http://scififanletter.blogspot.com/2010/12/author-interview-colin-harvey.html). The world has lost a promising SF author.

  21. Colin always struck me as one of the good guys of the world. He was very supportive of new writers, both through his anthologies and in his very perceptive reviews. Among the first glowing reviews I ever received for my fiction were from Colin.

    Colin also was an amazing SF writer, with a unique voice and style. He will be deeply missed. 

  22. So very sad. He was a lovley bloke. Microcon will never be the same.
    We need to do something to remember him by. Maybe we could publish an anthology in his memory.

  23. Very sorry to hear this. Condolences to his family, his friends, and all who worked with him.

  24. I’m so sorry to hear this. Colin, you will be missed. 🙁

  25. Just heard this news, I’m shocked and saddened. Add my small voice to the condolences to be passed on to his family.

  26. How devastating. His family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    I too met Colin through Swimming Kangaroo. He volunteered to do a series of blogs for my website while he was between jobs. I’ve always had a real respect for him and his works.

    He is missed already on this plane.

    May he rest in peace.

  27. So sad to hear of Colin’s passing. I never knew him except through an occasional email, but I knew him to be a very professional and kind man. My condolences to those left behind, for he is gone far too soon.

  28. Colin Bruce Harvey

    I just wanted to add my comments at this extraordinarily sad news. Colin was my namesake and we were occasionally mistaken for one another, understandable given that there were obvious cross-overs in terms of our interests. Although we talked via email a few times I met him just once, at a BSFA book launch for an academic book I contributed to. He was affable, engaging and very funny and I really hoped we would run into one another again. My sincere condolences to his wife, his family and his friends, and to everyone at Angry Robot.

  29. An awful tragedy.
    Colin was a thoroughly good bloke.

  30. Really sorry to hear about this. I never had the pleasure of meeting Colin but am very aware of his writing. My thoughts and condolences are with Colin’s family and friends at this time.

  31. Colin and I were authors with Swimming Kangaroo. He was always willing to share with other authors and to support them. We never met in person, just talked via email. A brilliant author, one of the good guys and gone far to soon. My condolences and prayers to his family.

  32. My orbituary is here:
    http://aliettedebodard.com/2011/08/16/rip-colin-harvey/ (God, I hate this word)
    Mostly, I feel stunned, saddened, and angry that we lost him so soon. My thoughts go to Kate and his family; it must be a hard blow to have this happen so suddenly.

  33. This is way too early, way too soon. Condolences to his family and friends, and what a sad loss to the SF community. He will be missed.

  34. In his own words– http://www.colin-harvey.com/general/1959/sparrowhawks-life-and-death/

    I’m sure his life was good and he appreciated the moments. Sad to lose him so soon, but no regrets. Condolences to his family.

  35. I had the honor of sharing a conversation with Colin during one of Angry Robot’s podcasts, and you could not have asked for a better man to chat with about genre fiction. Both fiction and the world are already poorer for his passing. My deepest condolences to his family for his tragic loss.

  36. Very sad, and shocked to hear this. Condolences to Kate, his family and friends.

  37. I knew Colin through Swimming Kangaroo and was always touched by his encouragement of other authors, his humor and his energy. It was such a thrill for me to see him published by Angry Robot. My thoughts are with his family now and I wish them peace on the difficult path ahead.

  38. I was lucky enough to find Mr. Harvey’s books through Dindy at Swimming Kangaroo. It was pleasure to read and review his words and worlds. His talent will be missed. More importantly, the man will be missed. My thoughts to his family and friends.

  39. So very sorry to hear this. Condolences to the family and friends.

  40. Colin and I were both writers with Swimming Kangaroo and chatted on Facebook. He was always encouraging and frank about his writers’ journey, and a good man as well as author.

    Is there anything we can do for his family, aside from buying his books and prayer?

  41. Colin was one of the first people in the Anglo-American SF community with whom I started exchanging emails, in 2008. He was a very nice guy and gave me a lot of encouragement to pursue a career writing in English.

    I was hoping I could meet him in person next year in England. Now it’s never going to happen and I’m very, very sad. My condolences to his family.

  42. This is horrible news. My condolences to his family and friends.

    I knew Colin through the SF/Convention circuit and was happy to lift his story “The Killing Streets” from the slushpile for (eventual) publication in Interzone #225.

    A genuinely warm presence at conventions, and always paying it forward through his suite 101 reviews and editing anthologies (among many other things). It was good to see him signed by Angry Robot for his novels.

    While I didn’t know him that well, I’ve had some good talks (and shared a few drinks) with him. Hell, he was still so young. RIP Colin: you will be missed.

  43. I first started communicating with Colin in late 2002 in an informal online crit group, and for eight years (!) I only knew him as an e-mail address to which would be attached great stories and great crits.

    I feel very lucky to have met him in the flesh last year at Eastercon, and I feel very sad that such a talented and generous writer is no longer around.

  44. Very sad news. I didn’t know Colin well, but I met him at several events and he was always brimming with enthusiasm. I remember his amusement and delight when I asked him to sign the back of my iPad at FantasyCon 2010, as I had his two Angry Robot novels as ebooks. A terrible loss, and he will be much missed by fans and friends all over the world.

  45. I never had the pleasure of meeting Colin in person, but it was obvious through the emails we exchanged that he was a wonderful man and a gifted artist. The world is a poorer place for his loss. My deepest condolences to his wife and family.

  46. Absolutely gutted by this news. Colin was a wonderful chap and will be missed.

    Thinking about his family and friends at this time.

  47. And also just when they announced the publication of Winter Song in German. I am sure he was so proud of that.

    http://www.randomhouse.de/book/edition.jsp?edi=390336

    Sorry for the double post. Just forgot to put it into my original post.

  48. I am at a loss for words. I just wanted to do my bi-weekly check of the Angry Robot website, and this article was at the top. At first I could not believe it.

    I bought both of his books from Angry Robot. I have just read Winter Song so far and I liked it very much. Now I do not know when I will read Damage Time, since I will feel apprehension, that there won’t be any more books by Colin Harvey.

    My sincere condolences to his family and friends. From what I have read here and elsewhere, the world a genuinely lovable person.

  49. Devastated. Absolutely devastated.

  50. Too sad, far too young. Such a vibrant man and such a big loss to all. My thoughts go to his wife Kate and family and friends.

  51. Colin was one of the first writers signed by Swimming Kangaroo Books when we published Lightning Days. He and his editor fought over almost every line in that book, and Colin and he editor both learned from the experience. The next book he delivered to us, The Silk Palace, needed very little editing and remains probably the best book published by SK. I had the joy of meeting Colin at a convention in Ohio and was amazed by his enthusiasm and energy. I watched him hawk books in the Dealer’s Room and watched him work the lines at the convention. He was always looking for ways to push his books, to push Swimming Kangaroo and to push the anthologies that he loved more than anything. I was absolutely thrilled when he was signed by Angry Robot because I had long known he was destined for better things. He and I had many chats in the wee morning (for me) hours, I will miss those and miss him. Farewell my friend. I will miss you.

  52. Sad new indeed – condolences to his family.

    I recently read ‘Winter Song’ and I thought it was a fantasic slice of science fiction that mixed old school ideas with great modern writing. His writing will be missed.

  53. Mark & Lee: I am so very sorry for your loss. This is terrible news. I only ever spoke with Colin a few times by email, but I loved his writing and am happy that this part of him will survive for others to discover.

    My thoughts go out to Colin’s friends and family.

  54. This is awful. I’m so sorry to hear it. My condolences to his family and friends.

  55. Colin was a lovely human being with a wonderful sense of humor – and a great supporter of other writers. He’ll be sorely missed. Much love to his family and friends

  56. So sad to have lost Colin. I met him at Worldcon in Montreal. He was wonderful to spend time with. Funny, smart, thoughtful and kind. A terrible loss.

  57. I don’t really know what to say. This is such a sharp and unforgiving reminder that life is short.

    My condolences to his family and friends.

  58. Shocked and saddened by this news. My thoughts and condolences are with Colin’s family.

  59. Totally shocked and devastated. I’ve known Colin for many years through writers’ groups, conventions and SF Group pub meetings. He published one of my stories (in Future Bristol) and was one of the best – if strictest – editors I have ever worked with and he made the story much better than it would been without his input.

    He was passionate about SF and writing and I enjoyed everything of his I read.

    Don’t know what else to say, simply cannot believe he has gone.

  60. Very sad news. My condolences to his family.

  61. I never meet Colin Harvey but I loved his writing and we exchanged a few emails when I reviewed Dark Spires. He seemed a very friendly and accessible person and I am very sad he is gone. I would have loved to get to know him better. I can’t believe he is gone.

  62. When I was at a bad spot in my career and thought a flight to the UK would help, Colin showed me around my first Eastercon. He was gracious and funny and a great writing buddy. He will be missed by many, and those who did not get to meet him have missed out as well.

  63. So sorry that I won’t be having any more conversations with Colin, he was one of those students that you feel you are learning as much from as you hope that they are learning from you.
    I used to laugh out loud at the fact he would monitor the time he spent writing and record it in spreadsheets. But then he would blog that he had spent 60 hours plus a week studying and writing! Probably making him one of the few students that worked harder than his lecturers. In fact I would have put money on him becoming a lecturer once he had graduated.
    You’ll be sorely missed Colin.

  64. Reeling with this sad news, Colin was my first author friend as a newbie attending my first FantasyCon back in 2006. We were both published with small presses at the time and were assigned tables next to each other in the long corridor away from the Dealers Room, which we instantly called the Corridor of Doom and Despair.
    From that time, we became supportive of each other and our careers, always delighted at each success and milestone. I was so proud to hear he had books with Angry Robot and knew how much that meant to Colin.
    My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this heart-rending time.
    Miss you so much, Colin…

  65. I met Colin Harvey in Montreal as part of the launch of Angry Robot Books. He was so upbeat, friendly and I really warmed to him as a person. When we were in England last year I saw him twice, once in Bath for dinner. He picked an excellent restaurant and took the trouble of catching the bus to meet us. We also met him at the William Gibson event in Bristol. I really appreciated the effort he put in to meet us and to correspond on Facebook and Twitter since we met.I feel for his wife to lose someone so vibrant, young and talented. The world is a sadder place without him. So glad to have known you, Colin.

  66. I echo Gary’s sentiments, so hard to believe and so, so sad.

  67. I am shocked and saddened by Colin’s sudden passing. Spending time with Colin was something I always looked forward to – he was someone who was guaranteed to lift your spirits and brighten your day through his infectious optimism and boundless good-nature. A talented and creative author, he never stopped pushing himself to improve and develop his own writing and to promote and develop the writing of others in the genre. He had a ready smile and a warm sense of humour – a genuinely lovely man who will be sorely missed.
    My thoughts are with his family who must be devastated by the loss.

  68. Pingback: Cheryl's Mewsings » Blog Archive » R.I.P. Colin Harvey

  69. Awful awful news. I didn’t know Colin so well, but he was always interesting and interested, enthusiastic, warm, and welcoming on the occasions I spoke to him. I was looking forward to getting to know him better in the years ahead. My thoughts are with his family.

  70. Just stunned. Totally stunned. What a terrible loss of a wonderful friendly funny man. I only spoke to him last week about publishing some of his stories and his novel Ultramassive! I said he was an exceptional writer, and he said “Thanks mate. That means a lot”. We had such a laugh at so many signings, jokingly signing one another’s books and posters with dodgy signatures. I cannot believe Colin died so young. Heartfelt condolences to Colin’s family.

  71. This is very sad news – and such a shock. Great writer, great bloke. My thoughts are with his family.

  72. Truly, truly sad news. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with Colin’s family at this difficult time.

  73. Very, very sad news. I only met Colin once, at the Angry Robot signing last Eastercon, but he was a lovely bloke and I was looking forward to seeing him again at BristolCon. A great loss to the AR team, and my sympathies go out to his family.

  74. I’m really struggling to believe this – such a vital, energetic man. He’ll be sorely missed. My heart goes out to Colin’s family and friends.

  75. Colin was studying Creative Writing at Bath Spa University…an example of how he was always trying to improve and grow as an author. He added so much to our classes and was popular with the other students and with staff. We were looking forward to his application for the MA…

    Colin’s narrative ability and characterisation were superb. He was developing further, especially in areas of style and in the confidence to ask the big questions. He has left some good work, but he has also left even better work undone. It’s a great loss.

  76. It’s terible news and I’m saddened. My condolences go out to his family and wife Kate. He’ll be missed.

  77. Very sad news. Enjoyed Winter Song, and recently attended a workshop ran by Colin at AltFiction. He was very enthusiastic and helpful, and made us all laugh.

    A sad loss.

    Maria

  78. I’m sorry to hear that – my heart goes out to his family.

  79. Colin was the first Angry Robot author I met, shortly after I joined the company, and a couple of months before we started publishing. He introduced himself on the coach to EasterCon in Bradford, as he recognised my face from the AR website.

    He was always friendly, and always smiling, and although distance meant we tended to speak on the phone, rather than face-to-face, I’ll miss his eternal optimism. We are poorer for his absence.
    – Lee

  80. I am very sorry to hear this. My condolences to his family and friends.

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