Cemetery Dance, and the horror fiction community as a whole, lost a special member of our ranks last week when Frank Michaels Errington passed away.
I never got the chance to meet Frank in person, but we’ve been swapping emails and Tweets for almost four years. One of the first reviews I ran after we started Cemetery Dance Online was Frank’s take on Little Girls by Ronald Malfi. “Includes one of the most disgusting scenes I’ve ever read,” he wrote in that review, and I could just see him grinning about that. His love and enthusiasm for horror was infectious and shined through every review he wrote. Even when he didn’t love (or like) the book he was reviewing, he tried to find something positive to say.
In fact, finding positive things to say was Frank’s trademark. He was all over Twitter, and if an author or reviewer or fan in his circle posted about having a bad day, you can bet Frank would pop up to offer words of encouragement. He met his own health issues with that same positive energy, never more evident than in the post he wrote the day before he died:
Good morning. So here’s where we stand (I love using the Royal “We”, so sue me) yes, I did have a mild heart attact. The Cardiac Catheterization shows blockage of two main arteries of 99% and 95%, thus the incredible weakness. Will have angioplasty (Ooo a balloon party)….
“A balloon party.” I just bet he was grinning when he came up with that one.
Frank’s wife, Kathy, shared the news on May 31 that Frank had suffered complications from the procedure. Later that day, she returned with the news that he had passed away.
Frank’s reviews will live on at his own blog (“Frank Michaels Errington’s Horrible Book Reviews”), and here at Cemetery Dance. More importantly, his positive energy and enthusiasm will live on through each and every person who encountered his gentle nature and kind soul.
—Blu Gilliand, Managing Editor, Cemetery Dance Online
Frank Errington Michaels was one of CD’s most stalwart reviewers. With the exception of a handful of others, he was one of the few in my stable that I could always count on sending me, on average, one or two reviews a week. He used to joke to me that writing reviews for CD helped him afford to attend NECON every year. I never really thought of that very much, until I started actually counting how many reviews he wrote for us, and realized he wasn’t joking, at all.
Frank was more than an avid reviewer, however. He was an avid reader, and a fan. I used to think I read a lot, and then I got to know Frank, and realized my pace couldn’t hold a candle to his. More than that, though? You got the feeling, reading his reviews, that what Frank appreciated more than anything else were the stories, and where they took him, and where they could possibly take others. He will be missed greatly in the horror community. I can only choose to believe that, while his TBR pile is now everlasting, he can also read at leisure, having all of time at his disposal.
—Kevin Lucia, Reviews Editor, Cemetery Dance Online