I first met Brian Thomsen when he was editing the Questar line of science fiction for Warner Books. Even though DC Comics was a division under the Book division’s purview at the time, the two never shared events. We worked a floor apart and it might as well have been a world away.
Brian, though, was a comics fan and delighted in breaking that barrier. In time, as happens everywhere, Brian chose to move on and became a freelance editor, writer, and book packager. (He would also continue to visit DC on Wednesdays, bringing Julie Schwartz sushi for lunch and they would chat, which resulted in Brian co-authoring Julie’s must read autobiography Man of Two Worlds.)
During all this time, Brian knew I was honing my craft, and finally getting some fiction assignments. One day, after lunch was over, Brian told me he had sold an anthology called Mob Magic and did I want to contribute. He’d already gotten a commitment from Denny O’Neil and I knew I’d be in good company. I wrote a story called “Solo” and it saw print, the book barely got noticed and life continued.
Sometime later, Brian informed me he had sold two books to DAW and was I interested in pitching to either of them. He had the broadest and vaguest of parameters, allowing the authors to be free in their thinking. I could not tell you today why I picked Oceans of Space instead of Oceans of Magic.
I set about to challenge myself in several ways, writing a story entirely through dialogue as well as a mutiny trial aboard a starship – things I had never written before. The result, “A Matter of Faith” was accepted, edited, and saw print. Unfortunately, as with so many anthologies, it sort of faded away.
With deep regret, I watched Brian go through health issues and shortly after I contributed some essays to a book of his, he unexpectedly passed away. He had been a terrific help to my writing career, a fun guy to talk with, and generally a fine human being. I still miss him.
These two stories are my only original works and I am thrilled to have a forum to make them available once more. Coming in a few days will be “A Matter of Faith” and I have to thank Aaron Rosenberg for the fine cover. “Solo” will follow eventually, but there I created something I want to explore further and need some time to fuss with so stay tuned.