CHRISTOPHER FOWLER REMEMBERED
Saddened to hear of Christopher Fowler's passing. I hadn't seen Chris for a few years and mainly knew him from the period when I lived in London, attended Fantasycon every year and rarely missed a BFS Open Night in Holborn or London Bridge. Chris often invited me to his book launches too, with drinks afterwards at the Phoenix on the Charing Cross Road and we once did an event together in Foyles.
My fondest memory was a lock-in with him, in a pub, after an Open Night. I was a relatively new writer with one book to my name and I'd been reading Chris for years - his books were stalwarts in the horror section of Waterstones in the 90s when I lived in Brum - and I looked up to him as an established author and couldn't quite believe that I was chatting horror with him after hours in a pub.
When Apartment 16 was published, and that was a big deal for me, Chris had read the book and came and shared some of the kindest words a veteran writer has ever said to me. It was a real moment of confirmation that I treasure.
The last book of his I read was 'Nyctophobia', his highly atmospheric and sensory ghost story set in Spain. One of the best I read that year and I'm surprised it's not more well known.
I was always impressed with how much he wrote, the quality of his work, as well as his leading an interesting life at the same time. He was an example of how writing hard but also living a full life is not only possible but essential.
Fondly remembered and a real loss to British fantasy.
Chris wrote an excellent and eccentric blog too that will remain online - check it out here.
[I think this picture was taken in The Phoenix after Solaris's End of the Line launch - really captured the vibe of that time for me. I think Jon Oliver was holding the camera, or Jenny Hill]