I'm hearing that Eric Brown has passed away. It's devastating news. Although I'd known that Eric was very unwell, we had all been hoping for the best. Eric, in his typical way, clearly didn't want to make much of a fuss about it.
I met Eric for the first time about 32 years ago, when a gang of Interzone contributors converged on Harrogate for the 1991 Mexicon SF convention. I was already a great fan of his from the stories he'd written in IZ, which were fresh, sparky and written with immense confidence and gusto. I never read a story of his that I didn't enjoy, and what shone through them - as others have noted - was his humanity, his kindness and his interest in people and locations, more than gadgetry and gosh-wow speculation. Once I'd started going to conventions more regularly I saw a bit more of Eric, and it was always a joy to catch up with him. I think he was universally liked within SF, and generally accepted as THE person to talk to you if you wanted a curry recommendation. I think he'd been to every curry house in the UK. Unfortunately I didn't see much of Eric once he moved to Scotland, but one always assumed there'd be another encounter once normal life resumed and the SF community started mingling again.
My wife and I extend our sympathies to Finn, Freya, and all of Eric's friends and family.