Hayford Peirce and Wife Dead After Incident at Home

Hayford Peirce in 2006.

On November 19, Hayford Peirce (1942-2020) was found at his home in Tuscon, Arizona in critical condition with a self-inflicted gunshot wound; his wife, Wanda Zhang Peirce, was also found dead at the scene. Perice was hospitalized, and subsequently died.

KOLD reports the discovery was made when Pima County (AZ) sheriff’s deputies were called to the home for a welfare check.

Zhang Peirce was the previous owner and chef of a Chinese cuisine restaurant that closed in 2015. Her cause of death has not yet been officially confirmed. However, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said there are no outstanding suspects.

Hayford Peirce’s first fiction sale was to Analog in 1974. His work also appeared in Galaxy and Omni, and he wrote mystery shorts for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

The first of his several novels was Napoleon Disentimed (1987), a parallel-universe and time-travel story. His short stories fill five collections, including three devoted to his magazine series protagonists — Chap Foey Rider, Capitalist to the Stars (2000), Jonathan White, Stockbroker in Orbit (2001), and Sam Fearon: Time Scanner (2001). (“Chap Foey Rider” is an anagram of the author’s name.)

Peirce lived in Tahiti for many years, then moved to San Francisco before moving to Tucson.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver and James Davis Nicoll for the story.]

5 thoughts on “Hayford Peirce and Wife Dead After Incident at Home

  1. SIGH

    This year just keeps at it, sad to say.

    I never knew he’d moved here to Tucson. I enjoyed the one novel I’ve read by him, Napoleon Disentimed, but his short stories were great.

    Requiescat In Pace.

  2. Hayford lived here in Tucson for around thirty years. He was a good friend and colleague, and I enjoyed visiting various Mexi restaurants with him to try out the enchiladas. So sad that he is gone. May he (and Wanda) rest in peace.

  3. I have known Hayford for over 40 years, meeting him and his then-wife Douchka in San Francisco as part of the Bay Area circle of science-fiction writers and fans. They became close friends of mine. After his move to Tucson and Douchka’s passing, we stayed in touch, and I followed his activities, writing and travels with delight. He was generous, fun, empathetic and kind, always quick to help. We all loved him, too, for his eccentricities and, indeed, his foibles. I am beyond saddened by this event, and send my condolences to his step-children and his half sister. We will miss him terribly.

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