We lost a friend this week–and Mercury Retrograde, indeed all of SF/F, lost some of its magic. On Wednesday, my dear friend, talented artist, and editor Brett Shanley left this life, and in so doing left a hole in my heart. I will always remember my friend and his gentle soul; but this week I grieve the songs he didn’t get to compose, the novels he didn’t get to finish, the books by other authors that won’t benefit from his keen eye and generous spirit. This week it’s hard to imagine what Mercury Retrograde will look like without him.
Brett was a man of many talents: for years a fixture of Seattle’s music scene; a true professional armsmaster for the U.S. Army; a novelist of unique vision who didn’t find the time to bring that vision to fruition; a generous, thoughtful, and deep-sighted editor of other novelists’ works. It was my great privilege and pleasure to work with him on both sides of the desk: working together as editors to develop Mercury Retrograde’s catalog; working as writer and editor on my first novel. He made my work, and those of other authors he worked with, far more than it would have been otherwise, and did it in a way that respected each author’s unique voice and vision. I am so very proud of the work we did together, and grateful that he was my friend.
Brett is survived by his best friend and wife, my friend Jenelle Shanley. They nurtured one another and shared much joy and many sorrows, and the opportunity he created for me to know her is another of the many things for which I am grateful to him. And as those of us left behind reel, I can do no more than be grateful for the time we had together, and wish both Brett and Jenelle peace.
I miss you, my friend. Seems we hardly knew ye.