John M. Ford’s writing will be available again next year. That makes me really happy: Mike was a friend, someone who was happy to talk about almost anything and everything. I knew him for many years, and had expected to know him for many more. Alas, that expectation was cut short by Mike’s death in 2006, some 13 years ago. Before that, however, were bright days shared between us as friends.
Lynn Litterer and I would go run errands with him, get together for lunch and dinner, and just visit. Often, we’d all get together at DD-B and Pamela Dean’s place and do reader’s theater of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and others. Mike would share stories of his trips to London to the RSC and the West End. He recommended the Arden editions of Shakespeare, as they had the best footnotes.
I remember when Mike invited us over to his place to play Darklands – a wonderful computer RPG from Microprose. He’d act as GM, running the mouse, and we’d wander through medieval Germany, gaining fame, defeating river pirates and learning alchemical formulas. The music was ethereally wonderful – Mike had a Roland MT-32 connected to his PC, and the game’s sound effects were written for it. Listening to it now transports me back to Mike’s apartment, lined with books, snow falling outside, with Lynn and Mike in the quiet winter night. When we wanted to take a break, we’d order pizza from the pizza place a block away (The Leaning Tower of Pizza, I kid you not), and help Mike with washing dishes and cleaning up afterwards. Then back to the game, with the Weather Channel in the background letting us know when the snow would stop blanketing the streets outside.
Mike was a true friend and a decent fellow. He was also a brilliant writer, who many people loved.
I really, really miss him.