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Honour Your Inner Magpie

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My beloved Mike is gone.
elf hill
elisem
Um.

More than that is hard to say just now. I think it will be a bit before I am coherent.

There is a post on Making Light.

Please pass the word to the people who loved him, liked his work, and so on. There will certainly be some sort of memorial service, but it won't be for at least a couple of weeks. Late October is the best I can give right now. More when I have it.

Hug your dear ones.

Elise, as chair of MarsCon 2004 and on behalf of everyone who had the pleasure of working with Mike for MarsCon 2004, where he was the Author Guest of Honor, I'd like to offer the deepest sympathies and condolences of everyone on the ConCom.

Dr. Mike was a true class act and a gentleman, and he was the perfect choice for Author GOH that year. His charm, wit and intelligence (to say nothing of his poetry and prose) were an asset to the convention and have always been an asset to Minnesota fandom. He will be deeply missed.

I hope it brings some comfort to you in this time of grief to know that he and his works are remembered very fondly by very, very many people.

What everyone else said, with a heaping bushel of hugs and sympathy.

I will miss him.

Elise, I don't know what to say. You know you can call ans talk anytime if you have need. Please do remember to take care of yourself.

I knew him a little. I liked him so much. I'm grieved he is gone.

Elise,I'm so very sorry. May he rest in the light, and may you know peace and concolation, in time.

Esther Friesner

More Third-Party condolences

We have met perhaps once. We have many dear friends in common. Your loss, although I cannot personally begin to comprehend its magnitude for you, leaves a void in our shared community whose vibrations have knocked me out of my chair from a couple of thousand miles away.

When Yehuda Yudkowsky died, I gained a tremendous admiration for the Jewish community's highly formalized way of handling death. Far from being trite or redundant, their ritualized statement of condolence puts words in our mouths when words cannot express our grief.

May God console you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Elise, I'm so sorry for you. I'm sorry for me and the rest of us, too. Mike was a wonderful person in all his forms and I'm going to really miss him.

The last time I saw him he was standing at your shoulder. You were behind your table at WisCon and the looks of pure love and affection between the two of you and the way you touched his hand when he laid it on your shoulder spoke volumes. I am so sorry he is gone, but I know he'll always be standing beside you.

I barely knew him -- I saw him at two Minicons and Noreascon, but he was charming and funny and brilliant.

And at the Farthing Party I was talking to TNH about _The Last Hot Time_...

I am so sorry.

{{{HUGS}}}

You were blessed by knowing each other in this life. May you be blessed by knowing each other longer in some future lives.

I think I shall write something tonight, not necessarily about Mike, but I will indeed be thinking of him while I do.

Oh, dear G-d.

Oh, dear G-d.

Omigod. Elise, I'm so sorry. If you can think of anything I can do that would be good or helpful right now, please let me know.

I didn't know Mike well, but I spent a little time with him while visiting
Minneapolis a few years ago, and he was kind to me once when I was ill
and distressed. He was a good man, and a superb writer. The world is
less for his passing.

All the hugs in the world to you. May you find comfort in good time.

Dear Elise,

I had intended to write last week to say how much I enjoyed meeting you in Montreal. One thing piled on top of another, and it's Monday-week after getting home, and I'm writing for a very different reason.

I've met you once and never met him, just admire his writing, and I'm sorry now that I won't get to meet him. So I can't say much, and my words will be only drops in the flood of condolence and sadness from those who know you (and that's as it should be).

I'll just say that I'm terribly sorry you've lost a loved one, and I wish you strength and the good kind of comfort (the kind that comes with time and warm memories and contact with loved ones), and sincere, if not-very-well-acquainted condolences.

-j. (who was wearing the blue sari at the Farthing party)

I am so very sorry. I'll light a candle tonight.

I met him at some SFWA event in the late 70s. He was so funny.

I wish, with all my might, that I could buffer you against all the pain, craziness, and loneliness you're about to slam into. We are part of a horrible sisterhood, and I hate it when we get a new member.

I promise you, if we are ever together, that if you want to spend hours talking about Mike, I will sit and listen to you, and cry with you, laugh with you. I have been sad all day about this news. But I am more sad for you, who has lost your soulmate.

Words like "I'm sorry" and "my condolences" seem wholly inadequate to the task at hand. A wonderful artist has left us and the world is wholly poorer for it.

Until I was introduced to Mr. Ford, I had never met a real live mad scientist. The swooped eyebrows and mischevious twinkle in his eye made it absolutely clear that he was usually up to something. He didn't need to actually say anything; he was the type of person who could just look in the right direction at the right time with the right people, and everyone would be laughing. He was also a person whom the world is in dire need of - Mike was genuinely *kind*.

Despite only being around him on occasion, some of my most prized experiences are a direct result of time shared. I got to play Munchkin with him a couple of times as well as Deadwood (as in B movies, not HBO). I laughed so hard while playing them that I cried - every time.

As jenett mentions in her entry, I went to see Eddie Izzard with him, courtesy of Elise. During a bit about Greek gods, I looked over to see Mike rocking back and forth in his chair, laughing so hard it was silent, tears streaming down his cheeks.

I have few words for a day like this, but I have many memories that I will cherish for years to come and many friends and acquaintances with memories just as good, if not better.

So long and thank you, Mr. Ford, for the memories.

PS: And the fish.

I always considered it the kindest of compliments when Mike would laugh at one of my jokes, and one of my favorite accomplishments. I am so sorry, for you, for me, for everyone that he is gone.

hugs, hugs, hugs. what more can I say.

I'm here if you need a shoulder at all. or some Bailey's.

more hugs.

I don't know what to say, that hasn't been said already, and with better wording too, by people who are a lot closer to the two of you than I've been.

Alice

Thinking of you from far away

I am so sorry for your loss. May he remain in happy memory for many, many years.

My condolences. Sincerely.

Words almost fail

(Anonymous)
I felt lucky to have been among those many who have experienced his work. From the moment--seems many years back but it wasn't long enough--when I sat bolt upright while reading Asimov's to exclaim out loud, "Who is this guy?" and proceeded to disinter every older magazine with everything of his in it (not that much, not yet)--I have been yet another fan. From heartache to humor, suspense to action, he could do it all, and do it so damned well. I can't begin to know what he was like as a person from one or two sightings at a Con, but if he was as rich in real life as he was in words, well, the grief and emptiness must be a hundred times more than what I feel at knowing I'll never read another new John M. Ford work. Thank the gods that the old John M. Ford works are so worth reading again and again. And again.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

-ellen, yet another fan

Respects from a stranger

I didn't know him and I don't know you, but I've seen tributes appearing everywhere in the last little while. And eventually I started to look into the question of "Who is this Mike Ford guy?" And what I've seen shows that he was a wonderful man and a wonderful presence. My loss (at never having met him) is nothing compared to yours, but I find myself moved.

Best wishes.

I cannot even imagine what you're going through; I only know how hollow and awful and devastated I feel myself, and I knew him only in passing, online. Not enough. Never enough.

He made me laugh and he made me think and he made me sigh and scratch my head and he made me wish and long that I might ever be half as witty, as learned, as eloquent, and as wise. He was irreplaceable, and he will be - is already - sorely missed.

If it matters at all to hear from a stranger: I am grieving with you, and you're in my thoughts.

Damn. I am so very very sorry.

A simple miracle, a poet: like a tree, making air of light; and the dance and sparkle of the wind in green.

"All felled, felled, are all felled."

Nine

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