Geoffrey H. Goodwin (1971-2022)

Banner image for Geoffrey Goodwin's Facebook page
 

Geoffrey H. Goodwin was a writer, a bookseller, a friend. He contributed here at The Mumpsimus in the early days, starting with a conversation about Hayao Miyazaki's film Howl's Moving Castle, which we saw together in Cambridge, Massachusetts when it was released in 2005. Geoffrey then contributed two interviews: one with Thomas Ligotti, another with Jedediah Berry. We had planned for Geoffrey to do more interviews and guest posts, but other commitments pulled him away. His final contribution here was to our Delany Roundtable in 2014.

2014 turned out to be a disaster year for Geoffrey. A car accident caused by a drunk driver brought significant physical and mental injury to him. His later years were extraordinarily difficult.

His later years. Yes, Geoffrey is gone now, his death reported as cardiac failure, the failure of the literal heart of a person with, in the metaphorical sense, an extraordinary heart. It is appropriate that the final Tweet he wrote was to encourage people to read the work of another writer: "Hey! I'm posting for the first time in months to encourage everyone to read Sonya Larson's work. A great writer and a great person. Thanks!" That's Geoffrey through and through. Generous, earnest, caring, fun, and kind of random. I so enjoyed my time with him, whether roaming around Boston and Cambridge or hanging out at a convention, chatting about writers, sharing gossip, enthusing. When I think of Geoffrey, I think of enthusiasm.

I didn't keep up well with Geoffrey in the end. In his last couple years, social media was about it, and he was an infrequent user. It was, to be honest, hard for me to know what to say in the face of all his struggles. I was encouraged when, this past fall, he seemed to be finding some peace and hope. I began to think perhaps we would see more writing from him. I yearned for more short stories, especially. Though I had very much worried for his life sometimes, recently it didn't occur to me that he would not keep living — only a few weeks ago, I remember thinking I ought to email him and see if he's working on new stories. I didn't, because I thought there would be time. I should have known better. There is never time when you need there to be time.

Here, I want us to remember Geoffrey as a writer. As far as I know, none of his fiction is online, so to read it, you will have to seek out the original publications, which you should. His fiction had a wildness to it, a passion, that deserves to be remembered. 

Here is his bibliography of short fiction via the Internet Science Fiction Database, with links I've provided to the easiest ways I know to acquire copies:

In addition to these stories, there is also a collection of interviews that Geoffrey conducted for Bookslut from 2004 to 2012. That collection is not officially available online anymore, but the Web Archive can provide you access.

One of the last Facebook posts he wrote, one he pinned (publicly) to the top of his page, read:

23 December 2021

Happy Yule...
or your version...
to you and yours;
happy birthday to me;
and happy 2022 to us all...

Be you. I love you for you, and you help me start over, apologize less often...and keep healing. Even when reality is stark.

I can be tougher and tougher to find irl and in the metaverse...but if you ping the right channel, I'm somewhere.

Which is a beautiful thing. I keep finding ways to enjoy life.

Thank you for being you.

If you ping the right channel, I'm somewhere.

Let's keep pinging.