If you're one of the old hands of science fiction, the word of Ed Bryant's passing comes as very sad news. Many younger writers and readers, alas, will have only the vaguest notion of who he was.
Back when I was trying to break into the field, Ed was part of a generation that included Joe Haledeman, Gardner Dozois, and George R. R. Martin, plus a few others, who were shaking up the field, making things happen, writing the best and most interesting stories around. They -- Bryant most emphatically included -- were dazzling.
Everybody will mention Ed's two Nebula Awards and multiple Hugo nominations simply because that's the easiest way to establish the esteem in which he was held. The important thing to keep in mind is that he wrote stories that deserved those honors.
Ed remained an active part of the SF community to his dying day, but as time went by his fiction became rarer and tended to appear in horror venues, which made him less visible. He also had serious health issues over the years and that cut into his productivity.
The Locus Online notice of his death mentions that he was a critic. Yeah, I guess. What I remember from those days, however, is that he was one of the people who were actively encouraging new writers, critiquing manuscripts, offering advice -- performing the secret ministry of our genre, without compensation. Just to encourage the creation of the the literature he loved.
He was also one hell of a nice guy. I won't tell the story of how, at one convention, he wound up stark naked pushing a bed down a hotel corridor at three in the morning, except to say that it came about because he was an honest man with a good heart.
Also a helluva good writer.
Vaya con dios, Ed. Your friends miss you already.
Above: There we are, Ed and me, at MidAmeriCon II, plotting the overthrow of all that is good and decent in science fiction. You're welcome.