John M. Ford: the forgotten SFF writer

The SFF author we should all know about but don’t. Turns out when you don’t stick to one thing, you end up destitute, forgotten, and largely ignored. Eep. And here’s me with my ADHD. My corpse will be in the livingroom, laid out on the recliner. Please have it stuffed and mounted in the corner in a pose of vague disapproval to remind the children to do better in life than I did.

Image from Slate article

“He would make art in the most surprising places,” Gaiman told me. “Once he wrote a short play based on the invitation and directions to my annual Guy Fawkes party. There was a typo, and he took that as the grounds for a play.” When Ford visited his editor Teresa Nielsen Hayden at her office at Tor, he would scribble short parody poems of the documents on her desk and leave them for her to find. “Life was not long enough,” she recalled, “for Mike to do all the stuff that he would think of to do.”

“He could have had a more successful career,” Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa’s husband and Tor’s editor in chief, said, “if he had been more disciplined about his writing” and stuck to one genre, or written a series. “But Mike wanted to write what he wanted to write.”

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