John Pelan (1957-2021) – Locus online
Author, editor and publisher John C. Pelan, 63, died on April 12, 2021 in Albuquerque NM from an apparent heart attack. He lived in Gallup NM. Pelan was an important figure in the field of dark fantasy and horror, best known for founding many small presses and editing anthologies.
Pelan was born July 19, 1957 in Seattle WA. In 1986 he founded Axolotl Press, publishing works by James P. Blaylock, Charles de Lint, Tim Powers, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Michael Shea, etc. In the 90s he started Darkside Press, bringing genre fiction classics back to print, and Silver Salamander, an imprint devoted to modern horror that produced works by Brian Hodge, Thomas Ligotti, Elisabeth Massie , etc. He also co-founded Midnight House in the 90s. While these publishers went out of business in the early 2000s, in recent years he has led the Dancing Tuatara imprint at Ramble House.
Pelan was a well-known anthologist, starting with Axolotl Special 1 (1989) and continuing with the winner of the International Horror Guild Award Darkside: Horror for the Next Millennium (1996), The Last Continent: New Tales from Zothique (1999), The Children of Cthulhu: Chilling New Tales Inspired by HP Lovecraft (2002, with Benjamin Adams), winner of the Stoker Award The Dark Side: Generations of Horror (2002), Shadows on Baker Street (2003, with Michael Reaves), A Walking the Darkside: Visions of Horror (2004), Lost on the Darkside: Voices from the Edge of Horror (2005), Dark arts (2006), Alone on the Darkside: Echoes from the Shadows of Horror (2006), The best horror fiction of the 1901-1950 century (2012), The best horror fiction of the century 1951-2000 (2012), and Tales of Terror and Torment: Stories of the Pulps, Volume 1 (2013). He also edited the Fall 2019 issue of Strange fiction review for Centipede Press.
As an author, Pelan has published over 30 stories, some in collaboration with Edward Lee. Some of his short fiction has been collected in Darkness, my old friend (2016). His longer works include The color out of darkness (1998) and two collaborations with Lee: Controllers (1998) and Family tradition (2002). He was also a prolific essayist and critic. He is survived by his wife, Kathy Pelan.