Thomas Piccirilli (1965-2015)

tom-piccirilliHorror and mystery author Thomas Piccirilli died July 11 of cancer. Piccirilli had over 150 published stories. As a top writer in the horror field he was the winner of five Bram Stoker Awards, two for Best Poetry Collection (A Student of Hell, 2001, and Forgiving Judas, 2015), as well as for Short Fiction (“The Misfit Child Grows Fat on Despair,” 2003), Best Novel (The Night Class, 2004), and Best Alternative Forms (The Devil’s Wine, 2005). He received a total of 16 Stoker nominations during his career.

For his mystery writing he was also a finalist for the 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award given by the Mystery Writers of America.

Nick Mamatas has written a fine personal tribute to Piccirilli:

Here’s how good he was. A couple of years ago, I left a copy of The Coldest Mile on a bus in Seattle when Olivia and I in town for the Locus Awards. I had used my Virgin America boarding pass as a bookmark. I got a Facebook message from a stranger who found the book and said he’d like to send it back to me. It was a cheap mass market paperback, not the sort of thing anyone would miss or have a sentimental attachment to, but when this guy found the book, he started reading it, and was hooked. And he knew, because of the bookmark, that I hadn’t finished and that I needed to. So he contacted me and mailed the book back to me at his own expense, then filled his Kindle with Tom Pic.

Here’s how good he was. When the cancer came, a young relative of his launched an online fundraiser. She had no idea how much we loved her uncle Pic, and set the fundraiser goal to $500. It ended up being 4,823% funded.

12 thoughts on “Thomas Piccirilli (1965-2015)

  1. I’ve already noted on Nick’s Livejournal, but I’d like to repeat it here, that I bought some of Piccirilli’s work on Nick’s recommendation, even though it was outside my comfort zone; I have never regretted that, though I do greatly regret that he is no longer with us to write more stories that push us to think in different ways…

  2. I hope its not a bad place to ask… I haven’t read anything by him. Where would be a good place to start? He must have been excellent to inspire such devotion.

  3. Of his horror novels, I’d recommend November Mourns or A Choir of Ill Chilren. Of his crime novels, The Cold Spot or The Last Whisper in the Dark.

  4. For those who like short fiction and/or poetry, I would highly recommend Futile Efforts, which is available in Kindle format.

  5. I always liked his horror novels. But I loved his crime novels. I discovered his crime novels when I was obsessing on crime and noir writings a few years ago. And I was over-joyed with them. He was so under-appreciated. His talent certainly deserved a jump into the heavily advertised lucrative hardcover thriller market. I’m a retired public librarian. And when I was working I always bought every book of his and they always circulated quite well. Like until they fell apart. He sounds like he was a great guy and I actually feel a little guilty that the first thing I thought of was that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy any new fiction of his anymore. Now I have to search for his writings that I haven’t read yet. RIP to a phenomenal writer.

  6. What an odd coincidence. I just came across Piccarilli as a link in “you may also like..” stuff on Amazon on Friday, and added him to my list of writers to check out. Sorry to hear that he’s gone, and too soon.

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