That Mike will be remembered for his work in science fiction goes without saying. But it is worth emphasizing too that he was an irreplaceable presence in the blogosphere, who showed the potential of the medium for work of substance and lasting value. I doubt he ever posted anything that didn’t reward his readers’ attention, with writing that wore lightly Mike’s learning not only in the sciences but also in philosophy, theology, and history. He was for many years a regular and welcome contributor to the comments section of this blog, raising the tone simply by virtue of his presence. One of the things I most admired about him was the calm and patient manner with which he would respond to even the most obnoxious and ignorant interlocutors. He never had to say that he knew what he was talking about, while his opponent didn’t. He simply showed it by typing up a few sentences.
I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Mike in person only once, at a conference in New York City at which the esteemed Matt Briggs was also present. The three of us “bloggers in arms” marked the event with a photo. (It was also an honor, and a thrill, when Mike had a character cite me as an authority in his philosophical SF short story “Places Where the Roads Don’t Go,” in his collection Captive Dreams. Thanks, Mike!)
Matt has posted his own reflections about Mike at his blog.
Though I knew Mike mainly from our online interactions, I have to say it felt like a gut punch to learn of his death. Perhaps that was for the usual selfish reason that all of us are sad at the death of a person we like and admire – that we know we will be worse off. Thank you for your work, Mike, and may God bless and protect your soul. You and yours are in our prayers. RIP.