Creative works by author Dan Foley.

Meeting Rick Hautala for the first time … again.

I first met Rick at Necon back in 2001. If you don’t know, Necon is a gathering of horror writers, artists, editors and fans that takes place every July in Rhode Island. It’s affectionately  called Camp Necon by the attendees because it really is summer camp for us. We meet, consume large amounts of alcoholic beverages, play and talk, talk, talk. Yes we have panels and a book signing night, but mostly it’s about friends—seeing old ones, making new ones and just plain enjoying their company.

With the exception of the one year he wasn’t able to attend I saw Rick every July from 2001 to 2012. Like most of the horror community, his death in March of 2013 came as a shock for me. For the twelve years I knew Rick I only saw him at Necon (and once at Anthocon) where he felt at home with family. One of the things I really looked forward to every July was sitting and talking with him for hours. I just had to sit upwind of the cigar.

When I finally joined Facebook, I met another Rick, one who was a passionate social liberal and I couldn’t have agreed more with his point of view.

Yesterday I finally read Rick’s autobiography, The Horror, The Horror, and I met Rick all over again for the first time. His autobiography describes a Rick I never knew. Outside of Necon we were polar opposites. I’m an extrovert, I’ll talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime and I usually do. For me the glass is always half full. Rainy days and sunny days, hurricanes and blizzards, I love them all. Within the pages of The Horror, The Horror, I found a Rick I had never known, a Rick who took out his soul and held it up for all of us to see, and my admiration for him took another giant step up. If you knew Rick, or even if you didn’t, I urge you to discover him within the pages of this wonderful memoir.