by admin on Mar.07, 2014
It is with great sadness that our family must tell Michael’s readers of his passing. It happened very suddenly on Sunday, February 16th and remains a great shock to us all.
The depth of this loss is vast and multi-fold. He touched so many as a writer, as a English teacher, and as an immaculately honest and kind man. For those lucky enough to have known Michael, he radiated enthusiasm, wit, and laughter. A self-proclaimed “hyperbolicker,” his awe of the universe so naturally shone forth through his love of language. He was conversant in Spanish, French, and German but loved and respected English most of all. Without effort and at the drop of a hat, he’d recite full poems from Thomas, Eliot, Swinburne, and Shakespeare, his favorite. A wordsmith himself, Michael could not help but relish and convey the music of the words he read or recited.
Michael published his first novel, A Quest for Simbilis, in 1974, and for all the years that I knew him, he wrote almost every day. Novels, short stories, and, his first love, poetry poured out of him up through the very last day of his life. Some thought of Michael as reclusive, when in fact he was just old-fashioned, a writer’s writer. Once a piece was perfect, he wanted to set it aside, forget it, and begin the next project. Even so, we, his family, feel that, along with our memories, his written works are what we still have of him. In this spirit, this space will soon change into a Michael Shea Forum, a place where people can share their experiences, both literary and personal, as well as find access to new releases and formats of his work– Mythos, fantasy, sci fi, and horror– in print and electronic formats.
Michael was a loving father of two, and my husband and best friend for thirty five years. We will miss his gentle spirit and the window to the world that this generous man held open so widely for us all.
Please feel free to share by posting a comment, we would love to hear from you. And if you would like to send a private communication to his family, please use the contact page here.
This small bit of verse comes from Michael:
Where wild winds shepherd their cloudy kine,
Where lightnings unborn sleep sheathed in the blue,
That’s the bright country that I will call mine,
And where I would do what the winged one’s do!
–(The Mines of Behemoth, Book II in the Nifft series)