Celebrated sf writer Lucius Shepard died in Portland (OR) March 18 at the age of 70. He reportedly suffered a stroke last year and had been in poor health for some time.
He won a Hugo and a Nebula, and a host of other awards, but the truest measure of his popularity in the sf genre may be the Locus Poll, where he registered eight wins between 1985 and 2001 – for seven pieces of fiction and a collection.
Shepard attended the Clarion Writers’ Workshop at Michigan State University in 1980 and sold his first story, “Black Coral,” in 1981 to New Dimensions, an anthology edited by Marta Randall.
Critics found in his work the influence of his travels throughout Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and concern for impoverished third-word countries generally. During the early 1980s he worked as a freelance journalist covering the civil war in El Salvador. Thereafter he primarily wrote fiction. His first novel, Green Eyes, appeared in 1984.
Fans grouped him with the cyberpunk movement. In 1985 he won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. His novella “R&R,” which won a Nebula in 1986, later became part of his novel Life During Wartime (1986). He won a Hugo for his novella “Barnacle Bill the Spacer” in 1993.
He was also an award-winning poet whose “White Trains” received a Rhysling Award in 1988.
Update 03/20/2014: Deleted reference to service in armed forces. Corrected age at death.