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Friday, December 12, 2003

In Memoriam 

Although I've subscribed to the newsgroup for years now, I haven't been keeping up with rec.arts.mystery for a couple of weeks now. Thus it was a tremendous shock to read in the group of the passing of Dan Sontup at the age of 81. Dan was a regular poster on RAM, well known for his quick wit, opinionated style, and most especially, for his unique take on crime fiction then and now. He was one of the few living links to the age of pulp that has been given further spotlight with the reissue of works by the likes of Jim Thompson, David Goodis, and more recently, Dorothy B. Hughes. His obit as taken from the MWA Newsletter (with thanks to Bev Vincent for posting this to the group):

Dan Sontup (1922-2003) Dan Sontup, a former New York chapter president, died on November 6. He served as an editor at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency and began his writing career in the pulp magazines, publishing his work in such venues as EQMM, Guilty Detective Story Magazine, Manhunt, Man from U.N.C.L.E Magazine, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, and Pursuit. In more recent years, his short stories appeared in AHMM and in several anthologies. His books include The Lolita Lovers (1962) and M Squad (1962).

I had the pleasure of meeting him in 2002 at the Edgar Awards Dinner. He was sitting with his daughter and upon introducing myself, he gave me a big smile and we chatted for a minute or two. I wish I'd had the chance to get to know him more, but I certainly appreciated his posts and insight. A few months back he remarked on another list that he was working on a novel and wondered if it was perhaps too late for him. The list members unanimously agreed that it was far from the case and encouraged him to finish it. Sadly, I suppose this wish didn't quite come true. RIP, Dan, and my thoughts are with your family at this time.

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