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22 September 2008

Obituary: Brian Thomsen

Editor and author Brian M. Thomsen, 49, died September 21, 2008 of a sudden heart attack at home in Brooklyn, New York. Thomsen was a founding editor for the Questar line at Warner beginning in late '80s, where he edited many important books, notably C.J. Cherryh's Cyteen (1988). In the early '90s he went to work for roleplaying-game company TSR, where he ran the fantasy fiction line. When TSR was acquired by Wizards of the Coast in 1997 he moved on to freelance editing and writing, and working as a consulting editor for Tor.

Thomsen was also a fiction writer, producing around 30 stories for various anthologies and a pair of Forgotten Realms tie-in novels in 1995 and 1996. He edited many anthologies, including The Reel Stuff (1998, revised 2008) and Alternate Gettysburgs (2002) with Martin H. Greenberg; World Fantasy Award nominated critical anthology The American Fantasy Tradition (2002); and Novel Ideas: Fantasy and Novel Ideas: Science Fiction (both 2006).

Thomsen helped Julius Schwartz write his autobiography Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics (2000), and wrote books of non-fiction in various fields, including history.

He was a Hugo finalist in the Best Professional Editor category in 1987, and a judge for the 1993 World Fantasy Awards.

(Adapted from a comprehensive obituary to be published in the October issue of Locus Magazine. Locus will publish tributes to Brian Thomsen in its November issue.)

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