“Ed Gorman Remembered”
by Patricia Abbott
You can easily find out about Ed Gorman’s amazing career on multiple sites. This is a more personal remembrance. During the decade I knew Ed Gorman, it always seemed possible that one day, I’d run into him at a conference or a bookstore but that never happened. Ed was not one to frequent such places according to those who knew him. But he was more than available on his blog until shortly before his death.
Five years after his death New Improved Gorman, the site where Ed and some of the crime-writing/reading world interacted on a daily basis, is still available to peruse. You can learn much about him there. You can also learn much about crime fiction.
Ed Gorman’s final posts are indicative of what he did so regularly on New Improved Gorman: promote his friends and in many cases, introduce newcomers to his world. His last two posts in the summer of 2016 interviewed Max Allan Collins and reviewed a book by Bill Pronzini. Ed died a few months later of a disease he had been battling for years.
It amazes me now that busy, successful writers like Ed Gorman and Bill Crider managed to post every day or even more often on their blogs. Ed’s posts were a good introduction to the crime fiction genre. In 2006, there was a vibrant blog world. A site called CrimeSpot (the creation of Graham Powell) collected blogs dealing with crime fiction and updated itself almost hourly as new posts appeared. Long before Facebook, people publishing crime stories or interested in them were able to interact through this truly wonderful resource.
One of the first interactions I had with Ed was when I commented on my blog that the only Western I had ever read was Lonesome Dove. He promptly sent me two of his Westerns, which changed my idea of what Westerns could be and I still read them today.
In 2008 I began a feature on my blog called Friday’s Forgotten Books. At first I solicited book reviews (Bill Crider was the first person I asked) but eventually crime fiction bloggers began to post them unsolicited and send me the links or sent the review directly to me. For a few years, Ed posted a review of an old book nearly every week. But eventually he asked me if I would be willing to post his review on my blog. So, a day or two ahead of time, he sent it to me. I was never sure why he wanted them on my blog but I was glad to have them. His reviews were always interesting, insightful, and very much “Ed.”
Ed was kind to me in other ways. He asked me for stories to publish in two of the anthologies he published with Martin Greenberg (Prisoner of Memory, 2008; Between Dark and the Daylight, 2009). This was heady stuff for a newer writer. Ed immediately treated people as if they belonged to the clan.
I am so grateful for the years Ed was a part of my life. In the pre-Internet world I would never have met him. Even if “meeting” has a different meaning now.
Patricia Abbott is the author of the novels Home Invasion; the Anthony- and Macavity-nominated Concrete Angel; and the Edgar- and Anthony-nominated Shot in Detroit. Her short story collections include Monkey Justice and Other Stories and I Bring Sorrow and Other Stories of Transgression. She won a Derringer for her flash fiction story “My Hero.” The author of nearly 200 stories, she lives in Detroit.