By Curt Phillips: One of our own — Virginia fan and SF writer Bud Webster — is in hospice care at a Richmond, VA hospital. He’s battled a long illness and endured multiple surgeries in recent months, and he has reached the end of his journey. Let me be clear about this; Bud is not expected to rally or recover. Hospice care is end-of-life care.
His wife Mary is with him at the bedside, and some friends have been able to visit and express their concern and affection for Bud. Long-time friend Alan Wold visited yesterday and reported that Bud was responsive and still sassy; an observation that will come as no surprise to those who know Bud best.
There is a Facebook page called “Bud Webster Fan Page” where comments and greetings can be posted, and I have reports that Bud is able to receive these, although I’m not sure if he can read them himself or if someone else is reading them to him. Those who’d like to post a message to Bud are urged to so so soon, as time is not our friend in this situation.
Bud Webster is the author of some very fine fantasy stories published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, as well as science fiction appearances in Analog, Helix, Jim Baen’s Universe, and other publications. He is particularly known for his “Bubba Pritchert” series in Analog, and for his excellent reviews of long neglected genre works in F&SF’s “Curiosities” department. (Publication data for much of Bud’s work can be found at his entry on the Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base.)
Bud has served as the Estates coordinator for SFWA for several years and has taken the lead in tracking down the heirs of many of science fiction’s deceased authors.
In the old book community, Bud has received high praise for an extensive series of essays and articles about genre topics. Many of these are collected in his books Anthopology 101: Reflections, Inspections and Dissections of SF Anthologies (2010) which reviews and discusses many of the most important science fiction anthologies from our early years, The Joy of Booking (2011) which chronicles Bud’s adventures as a seller of science fiction books at regional conventions for many years as well as his own thoughts on being an accomplished science fiction collector, and Past Masters, & Other Bookish Natterings (2013) which examines the careers of many of the best and most unfairly neglected writers in the field. Those who love the history of science fiction would do well to read these books and learn some of the wisdom of a master bookman.
Bud is an old friend of mine from back in the days when we were both involved with a long ago SF convention called RoVaCon and the old Roanoke, VA fan group, The Nelson Bond Society. He and I share a common love for collecting vintage science fiction books, and though we’ve spent years discussing them, it still feels like no time at all since I first engaged Bud Webster in one of our book talks. Bud, SF writer Paul Dellinger and I used to meet at the home of Nelson Bond there in Roanoke, who was something of a mentor to both of us (me with collecting SF and Bud with writing it) and we passed many very enjoyable hours talking about the books and writers we love. I can’t begin to express how much I’ll miss those talks.