By Steven H Silver: Joel’s wife, Felicia Herman, has announced that Joel died on June 2, a day after he suffered a respiratory depression that caused a heart attack, anoxic brain damage and major organ failure. Per his wishes, Joel’s organs were harvested for donation.
Joel was the first person I met at the first science fiction convention I attended. I had exchanged some letters with him about his Guardian of the Flame books (and Mark Twain) and had decided to attend Windycon to have the chance to meet him. Not knowing anything about conventions, I arrived, figured out a panel he would be on, and sat in the front row. I planned to approach him after the panel and introduce myself. While people were still filing in, a big bear of a man planted himself in front of me and asked, “Are you Steven Silver?” It was Joel, on the look out for me.
Over the years, I saw Joel several times, but not ever enough. The last time was at Minicon in 2008, where I got to introduce him to my wife and daughters.
Editor’s note: Felicia also said, on the Free Joel Rosenberg site, that today, June 3, would have been their 32nd wedding anniversary.