Michael Shea, 1946 – 2014

by on Mar.07, 2014

Michael Shea at Point Reyes, CA, January 2014

Michael Shea at Point Reyes, CA, January 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)

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A short tribute by Morgan Scorpion, with an excerpt from Fat Face

by on Mar.06, 2014

Thank you Morgan Scorpion for this very beautiful reading.

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Thank you

by on Mar.06, 2014

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post and express their feelings and thoughts for our family. It is very much appreciated. Linda

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by on Sep.02, 2013

sheaMichaelTo all our friends in the Bay Area:

Michael will be doing a reading of ASSAULT ON SUNRISE at Book Passages in the SF Ferry Building on Thursday, September 5th.

The location is Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111

Come if you can! We’d love to see you.

Can’t make it to an event? Want a signed copy?

Order a signed book from Book Passage at no extra charge while supplies last.


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Thanks to Library Journal for this review of ASSAULT ON SUNRISE

by on Sep.02, 2013


Shea, Michael. Assault on Sunrise. Tor. (Extra Trilogy, Bk. 2). Aug. 2013. 288p.
ISBN 9780765324368. $25.99: ebk. ISBN 9781429988278.

Reality TV has reached its extreme with the advent of live-action films in which the demise of a character (or an extra) involves the actor’s actual death—and in which the survivors receive a small fortune just for living through the “movie.- When a number of extras pool their resources and relocate to a town of their own, naming it Sunrise. CA, they provide a safe place for other survivors and arouse the anger of Panoply Studios, which paid out millions in much-needed funds.

Now studio CEO Val Margolian has developed a scheme for exacting his revenge on the surviving actors as well as their town. He also hopes to make a huge profit from filming the destruction of Sunrise through an attack by unstoppable mechanical insects. In the tradition of Mad Max: Beyond ThunderdomeWestworld, and The Running Man, Shea creates a brilliant and cautionary satire that questions what passes for modern entertainment.

This sequel to The Extra takes current reality TV several steps further, delivering a thrilling action-adventure that, naturally enough, would translate well to cinema.

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