Bud Webster in Hospice Care

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.

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13 thoughts on “Bud Webster in Hospice Care

  1. I posted this on the Facebook page that Curt mentioned:

    “I don’t recall when I first met Bud …. but it was obvious we both had that crazed thing of Bibliomania. Talking about the weird and obscure.

    The last time we talked was at the Nebula Awards at Crystal City, VA. I gave him an obscure Conklin that he knew about, but *gasp* did not have. It was nice to see him smile like a crazed book collector .”

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  3. This is terribly sad news. He will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  4. Oh, dear. I remember that series about SF anthologies; it was fascinating. He will be missed.

  5. Also re-posting my comment from Bud’s fan page: Big heart, questioning mind, soaring imagination, quick wit, humble mien, true friend … good man.

  6. Bud is talented, big-hearted, and wonderful and this news makes me so sad. He has selflessly helped so many people through the SFWA Estates program and he is indeed a SFWA fixture. If I could go wrestle Death for him, I would, because he is well worth any struggle. 🙁

  7. I heard from my friend Bob Snare in Williamsburg. He and some other local fans have been spending time with Bud, sometimes relating info to him, other times just being quiet together. I haven’t heard from him in a while and should probably call and see what’s what. Mary Horton (Mrs. Bud) had a cameo in my dreams last night, which may be why I’m thinking about them both today.

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  9. Bud died this morning, Sunday, February 14. He stayed with us longer than anyone expected — when I first heard he was in hospice, they’d given him a week or less. Outlasted Scalia, anyway.

    He’ll be remembered.

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