August 25th, 2012

sucks, penguin5

Josepha Sherman, RIP

I honestly don't remember when I first met Jo Sherman. But I do know that we got along very well very quickly. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, we served on a bunch of panels together, hung out together, and became friends. We even worked together: she and I edited an anthology of stories based on urban legends called Urban Nightmares (among the contributors: Michael A. Burstein, Robert J. Sawyer, Laura Anne Gilman, and more), and I was the editor on a bunch of her Star Trek fiction (her stories in the New Frontier: No Limits and Tales from the Dominion War anthologies, all three books in the Vulcan's Soul trilogy). In 1999, she and Laura Anne Gilman wrote a Buffy novel (the first of two), the same year I wrote a Buffy novel, and the three of us did a bunch of signings in New Jersey to promote the books. I remember one store saying that they liked their authors to do a little talk before the signing, and innocently asking, "Can you guys talk for an hour?" After we were done laughing, we told them we'd somehow manage to keep it down to just an hour, yeah.

My fondest memories of Jo are of doing panels with her, at which she was always funny, smart, and open. She was always ready to give good advice, and also to geeble about subjects that interested her, whether it was Highlander or Star Trek or folklore. Jo was also part of a close group of friends that did a bunch of fun things together in the 1990s, including "WineCon," a gathering of folks to tour the wineries on the north fork of Long Island.

Jo deteriorated over the past few years, suffering from dementia. By that time, she had moved to Connecticut -- once she moved out of New York City, I didn't really see her all that much. When I got the e-mail yesterday that she had died Thursday night, it wasn't really a surprise -- it had just been a matter of time. At least now, she's finally at peace.

In some ways, we already lost her some time ago, and I do miss my friend. She was a good writer, an excellent editor, a wonderful folklorist, and a fun person to be around.

*raises glass*
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