Dennis Etchison (1943-2019)

Dennis Etchison, 76, died May 29, 2019. Etchison was a major writer and editor of horror fiction, especially in the ’80s and ’90s, and received a Bram Stoker Award for lifetime achievement in 2017.

He began publishing short fiction in the 1960s, and notable stories include British Fantasy Award winners “The Olympic Runner” (1986) and “The Dog Park” (1993), and BFA and World Fantasy Award winner “The Dark Country” (1981). Some of his stories were collected in World Fantasy Award finalist The Dark Country (1982), Red Dreams (1984), The Blood Kiss (1988), The Death Artist (1999), Talking in the Dark (2001), Fine Cuts (2006), Got to Kill Them All & Other Stories (2009), and A Long Time Til Morning (2014).

Etchison’s original novels include Darkside (1986), Shadowman (1993), California Gothic (1995), and Double Edge (1996). His first book was a novelization of the John Carpenter film The Fog (1980), and he did other film novelizations, notably for David Cronenberg’s Videodrome (1983, as Jack Martin) and for the Halloween franchise (also as Martin). He was highly knowledgeable about film, studying it in college and serving as a consultant to Stephen King for his non-fiction volume Danse Macabre (1981); he also wrote for television.

Etchison was also an influential anthologist. He edited groundbreaking horror anthology Cutting Edge (1986), three volumes of the Masters of Darkness series (1986, 1988, and 1991), Lord John Ten: A Celebration (1988), World Fantasy Award winners MetaHorror (1992) and The Museum of Horrors (2001), and World Fantasy Award finalist Gathering the Bones (2003, with Ramsey Campbell & Jack Dann).

Dennis William Etchison was born March 30, 1943 in Stockton CA. He attended Los Angeles State College and UCLA, and worked various part-time jobs while writing his early stories, including some years as a gas station attendant in Malibu. He later taught creative writing. Etchison became a full-time writer in 1976, and served as president of the Horror Writers Association from 1992-94. He is survived by his wife Kristina.

One thought on “Dennis Etchison (1943-2019)

  • May 29, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Just for clarification: Dennis actually died — peacefully in his sleep — in the early hours of this morning, making the date of his passing the 29th, not the 28th.


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