Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Late Great Barry Hughart

Sad news reached me yesterday (thanks to Doug A. for sharing)  that Barry Hughart had died. I would have ranked him as the greatest living writer of fantasy, and I stand by my evaluation in CLASSICS OF FANTASY that his BRIDGE OF BIRDS is "among the ten best fantasies ever published".  I particularly admire the book's conclusion, which I described there as "the purest eucatastrophe known to me in fantasy, where all the threads come together and every single plot point is resolved. There's really nothing quite like it in all of fantasy literature".

Here's a link to the too-brief announcement in LOCUS. Note however that this brief obit gets his date of birth wrong: being eighty-five, his birth-date must have been 1934, not 1924, and wikipedia confirms this.

I'm reminded of Dunsany's words about Sime: "We have lost, in a time of losses . . . a genius
whose . . . imagination has passed across our time little more noticed by most people than the shadow of a bird passing over a lawn"

--John R.


grodog said...

I'll have to check the book out, haven't heard of heard of BRIDGE OF BIRDS or Hughart previously.


northtroll said...

I was introduced to Hughart by a good friend of mine. His work struck me as a great intro to China as a fantasy setting for rpgs. Not only that but his characters were a pleasure to experience.