I was feeling a little sentimental today, thinking back on my old fiction magazine, TABARD INN. I got to wondering, whatever happened to all those people I published way back in the day? Sure, a few of them were friends before I published them, so I know where they are. I kept in touch with a few writers who had become my friends during the process of me publishing them, so I know where they are. But what about everyone else? Did they drop off the face of the earth? Did I discover anyone who went on to bigger and better writing credits?
(OK, there were a few who already had a pretty good list of writing credits before I came along, but what about those who didn't? If I may be allowed *ahem* a moment of possible hubris.)
I spent a lot of my downtime at work today Googling all of those writers who I haven't heard from since publishing them, and sadly I discovered that most of them either didn't have writing careers or they actually did fall off the face of the earth and are probably swimming in the ether. I found a few others, and while there were no big names, they seemed to still be writing and getting a publication out there every once in a while. Shockingly few of them had websites, though.
One of these guys became a writer of children's books, which I find incredibly funny, considering the graphic, doomed nature of his story in #3. Another guy just got a graphic novel Kickstarter going, and it looks pretty cool. One guy is in prison.
But there was one guy who surprised me. Norman Nathan, who wrote "Evolution" for #3, seems to have done well for himself in life, but he has the unfortunate distinction of being the first TABARD INN author to pass away. It threw me for a loop. I didn't expect to find out that one of the writers I'd published had died, and it brought me down quite a bit.
I guess it's because of the brutal vitality of the magazine that I didn't expect anyone involved to be so mortal. Intellectually, I knew there were a lot of older writers submitting stories to me, but emotionally, it just felt like there was such youth and vigor to the contributors that death would have never occurred to me.
If you have a copy of #3, give "Evolution" a read. It's a melancholy story, just the right mood for this kind of news. RIP Norman Nathan.