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​In memory of Joseph S. Pulver Sr. (1955 – 2020)

Posted by Michael O'Brien on 24th Apr 2020

Today we lost Joe “bEast” Pulver, a dear friend, husband, author, editor, and titan in the Weird Fiction community.

Joe’s prolific career spanned three decades and covered a variety of genres and subjects, with a special focus on the King in Yellow Mythos of Robert W. Chambers. He started his fiction career publishing short stories in various small press magazines in the 1990s and went on to edit several notable anthologies, including the Shirley Jackson Award-winning The Grimscribe’s Puppets (Miskatonic River Press, 2013) and the Shirley Jackson Award-nominated The Madness of Dr. Caligari (Fedogan & Bremer, 2016). Joe was an important part of Chaosium’s fiction line for much of its history. As a writer, he entrusted us with his debut novel, Nightmare’s Disciple, back in 1999, and provided contributions to several of our Cthulhu Mythos anthologies in the decades since. As an editor, Joe honored us with his brilliant 2015 anthology Cassilda’s Song, a World Fantasy Award finalist, and another book due for release later this year: The Leaves of a Necronomicon, a round robin Mythos novel Joe put together with many of his favorite authors.

Nicholas Nacario, graphic designer for Chaosium and an assistant editor for the fiction line, worked closely with Joe on the publication of Cassilda’s Song and in acquiring Leaves for the company.

“I didn’t know Joe nearly as well as I wished that I had on a personal level,” Nick noted, “but I am very grateful for the moments and the memories that he gave me. If you were lucky enough to have known Joe, you remember him as an overall fantastic person, one of the friendliest and most enthusiastic you could ever meet. He considered you a friend on sight and that meant he wanted you to be well and be happy. If you have read his works, you would know him as a unique artist whose prose and even his punctuation (especially his love of exclamation points!) left an impact on you. I will miss him.”

James Lowder, Chaosium’s executive editor and fiction line editor, added: “We are fortunate at Chaosium to have had so many chances to shepherd Joe’s words and projects into print, more fortunate still to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such a talented storyteller and passionate champion for the horror community.”

Joe has traveled past the Lake of Hali and on to Carcosa, where he sits on the throne of the King in Yellow. Our deepest condolences to his wife Kat, his family, his many friends, and his fans. May he rest in peace.

Photograph of Joe Pulver (C) Copyright 2015 Todd Chicoine and used with kind permission