In Memoriam: Andy Robertson, SF editor

Art by SmuzzWe’re sorry to report the passing of SF editor and fan Andy Robertson who had been involved with Interzone, serving as Assistant Editor from an early stage and contributing many reviews and interviews. Andy also published a number of stories and edited two anthologies based on the works of William Hope Hodgson and was working with my Crucible co-creator, Smuzz, on The Night Land project.

With another EasterCon upon us – an event where Andy was in his element – Smuzz has kindly given us permission to post his tribute to Andy here.

The reason I first came to Eastercons was to sell comics.

The reason I stayed was Andy Robertson.

Andy Robertson was the Thinking Man’s Brian Blessed. A large, athletic man of enveloping love and enthusiasm who – with great self-effacement – embraced a deep understanding of science, a love of Nature and a passion for literature – most especially – finer SF.

Andy, with Ken Brown and Dave Pringle (two others I returned to Eastercon for) was one of the original people involved in Interzone and has done more things behind the scenes of SF than I know of.

As a friend, Andy’s always been almost superhumanly encouraging and helpful, offering both refuge from disasters and practical advice and help in any number of things, from art, science and literature to life itself.

I’ve always wished we didn’t live so far apart as being with him has always been to breathe in a larger, better world, of home-made armour, hand-built bows and lovingly crafted books.

His coping with his wife’s terrible death was heroic – That he was struck with Parkinsons was unutterably Wrong. His young son being struck with Leukaemia is still worse.

For the last few years, I, Brett Davidson and Paul Brazier have been working with Andy on the ‘Night Land’ Project – a series of stories based on the End of Time Mythos of Edwardian William Hope Hodgson.

Most recently, we’ve been working to complete the epic novel Anima, (written by Brett), intended to be printed in the style of an Edwardian art book.
Dogged by ill-health of both Paul and Andy, and more recently, of Brett, it’s taken its time.

This last month, we’ve begun to see the layouts develop as they’ve been planned.

Shortly before I left for Eastercon, I heard that Andy – after years of fighting (And with Andy that meant fighting) Parkinsons – had died under anaesthetic in hospital.

The point is inescapable.

This is no longer a world in which we can tell Andy how much we love him.

The ‘Night Land’ project will continue, but without Andy above us all as will the ‘Team Dominic’ charity for his son.

Andy is survived by his two utterly wonderful (I don’t say that lightly) daughters, Alice and Claire and the vivacious Dominic.

This notice is all I can think of to express the massive hole Andy leaves in my life.

In this, I know I will be far from alone.

• The Night Land project is at http://thenightland.blogspot.co.uk

About John Freeman

Editor, writer, curmudgeon. Founder of downthetubes.