On the one hand, I have spent large amounts of energy decrying Byron and describing him in unflattering terms, all of which were 100% deserved.
On the other hand, he also gave an unemployed 24-year-old with a couple years' magazine experience and a bunch of reviews for writing credits a job in SF/F book publishing. I also learned more about the publishing process beyond editorial in five years there than I would have anywhere else. Working for him provided me with two of the greatest highlights of my editorial career: helping bring Alfred Bester back into print, and editing the Marvel novels from 1994-1999. Working for him allowed me to work with people like Harlan Ellison and Stan Lee and Diane Duane and Andre Norton and so many more wonderful people.
He was also a good father, a good husband, and a devoutly religious man -- he died while driving home from synagogue. He leaves behind a wife and two wonderful children who deserve better than this tragedy.
I can't bring myself to say that he was a good man. He was a bad man in many many ways. But he did some amazing things in his career, and made the genre that we work in a better place.
Rest in peace, Byron.....
[First posted on my LiveJournal on 11 July 2005.]
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