Allow me to introduce: H.A. Hargreaves
Shortly after Robert Runté came aboard as senior editor with Five Rivers, he introduced me to H.A. Hargreaves. It was to be a relationship that went beyond publisher and author, for during the months and years that followed I came to call this quiet, unassuming, brilliant author a friend.
The first book of Hargreaves’ we published was an updated and expanded version of his original collection of short stories, North by 2000, to which we added a +, and thus in 2012 we issued North by 2000+. It is an astonishing collection of short stories, timeless, insightful, and I dare anyone to read these narratives without coming away thoughtful, challenged. Hank was like that. He was a tour de force who through gentle comment could unhinge your entire perspective. That brilliant mind comes through in the interview I did with him in July 2012.
The following month, in April 2012, we released a previously unpublished collection of Hargreaves’ short stories, Growing Up Bronx. As I noted in the introduction I wrote for Hargreaves’ collection, Growing Up Bronx while being a memoir in short stories of his formative years in the Bronx, is also an insight into the catalyst for much of his speculative fiction writing. The stories are poignant, honest, without pretense.
Sadly, this was to be the last of Hargreaves’ published work. In the months and years that followed Hank continued to write, but rather desultorily, coping with the frailties that come with age. His mind, however, was as lively as ever, and our correspondence continued with a quiet wit and joy.
By 2015 the CSFFA recognized Hargreaves for his contribution to Canadian speculative fiction, and inducted him into the Hall of Fame. It was a richly deserved recognition. Two years later, in July 2017, my dear friend, and one of Canada’s remarkable writers, left us. He is sorely missed. But his work remains and stands testament to the remarkable man he was.