I am very saddened to report that we have lost another of our Wild Carders.
I received word yesterday that Steve Perrin, the writer/ creator who gave us Mistral, her father Cyclone, and the ace reporter Digger Downs, died at his home in California. I am told that he died painlessly in the night, from an atrial fibrillation.
Steve had been part of Wild Cards since the beginning… BEFORE the beginning, actually… though he never actually wrote a story for us until the triptych in our latest volume, JOKER MOON, which just came out. I am very pleased that he was at least able to see his story in print and hold the book in his hand before he passed away. But his contributions to the series went way, way beyond that one tale. Steve was a game designer, a mainstay at Chaosium and other game companies, and was one of the creators responsible for such landmark RPGs as RUNEQUEST and CALL OF CTHULHU. He was also the writer and designer for SUPERWORLD, the role-playing game that inspired Wild Cards. Without his game, there would never have been a Wild Cards series.
I first “met” Steve when both of us were in high school (me in New Jersey, him in California), writing amateur superhero stories for the ditto’ed fanzines of the fledgling comics fandom of the 60s. I met him the same way I met Howard Waldrop (who was also writing for the same fanzines) — through the mails, and in the lettercols and comments sections. He was a very prolific writer, turning out far more stories than me and Howard combined, and creating dozens of characters… among them, the very first African-American superhero of the Silver Age, the Black Phantom… who made his debut in a fanzine well before Stan Lee and Jack Kirby came up with the Black Panther.
Perrin was also one of the founding members of the SCA, and loved games. He was a big DIPLOMACY player, as I recall, and later on, with high school and college behind him, he made his career designing and writing role-playing games. There was none better. I have no doubt that if he had decided instead to write for Marvel or DC, he would have been just as successful.
I never actually met Steve in person until the worldcon in San Jose in 2002, but we kept in touch, off and on, over the decades. He was a true ace, and all the gamers out there will miss him, as will our Wild Cards readers, and his fellow members of the WC consortium.
Current Mood: sad