RIP: Steven Utley (1948 – 2013)

Sad news, folks…

Via Jessica Reisman, Lawrence Person is reporting that Steve Utley has passed away.

Utley announced to his friends that he had been diagnosed with Type 4 cancer in his intestines, liver, and lungs, and a lesion on his brain on December 27, 2012. On January 7, he sent out an email saying that he was losing his motor skills and designated Jessica as his literary executor (and hopefully she’ll be able to get some of his swell stories back in print). On the morning of January 12 he slipped into a coma and died that night.

Steven Utley was one of the original Turkey City writers, along with Chad Oliver, Tom Reamy, Howard Waldrop, etc. Utley’s work included “Custer’s Last Jump” (with Howard Waldrop), the collections The Beasts of Love and Where or When, as well as the forthcoming collections The 400-Million-Year Itch and Invisible Kingdoms.

5 thoughts on “RIP: Steven Utley (1948 – 2013)”

  1. Terrible, terrible news. I am heartbroken beyond words. Absolutely wonderful writer whose work has never received the attention it deserves.

    Rest in peace, Steven. I will miss you.

    Mike

  2. I’m not very familiar with is work (although I believe I have read Custer’s Last Jump) and am sorry that it is tragic news that is now bringing me a greater knowledge of him and his work. My heart goes out to his family and friends and I pray that they have peace in this time of grieving.

  3. I had no idea until about five minutes ago (8:45 PM EST) and feel sledgehammered by the news, even though I knew he was ill. All I can say tonight is that I’m glad he went fairly quickly, as he wished, and sorry that I don’t live nearer his home in Smyrna, Tennessee. He’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had, a man of quiet integrity, mordant self-effacing humor, and underacknowledged talent, and his death, well, it diminishes us all, even apart from his idiosyncratic genius as a writer. Steven, even if you couldn’t believe in Him and wouldn’t pretend that you could, Godspeed and, yes, rest in healing peace.

  4. I am terribly saddened by Steven’s death. I’ve worked with him for close to twenty-five years, but we only met in person once. The stories have always been remarkable. One can feel like a friend through correspondence, but getting to meet and talk over a very long lunch surpassed all expectations. I will truly miss him.

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