Ken Basarke Memorial Page

1948 - 2003

Ken BasarkeOn April 1st, 2003 my friend Ken Basarke passed away from cancer. Although Ken was an official MiC author, I did not get to know him as well as I would have liked. I met him on numerous occasions over the last few years and always enjoyed the chats we had. More than once Ken and I would have conversations in the green room at Ad Astra or some other local con that usually ended with one of us saying "uh oh, I've got a panel" and the other saying "me too" as we both quickly rushed out of the room.

Ken has numerous short fiction credits to his name. He also had two novels written (The Ursine Fix and The K'nith) and was working hard on getting them published. I had the honour of publishing one of Ken's essays in the September 2001 MiC Newsletter called "What is my Writing Worth". Last time I spoke to Ken he proudly mentioned that the same essay was republished in The Canadian Writers' Guide, 13th Edition

This page is dedicated to the memory of Ken Basarke. A good writer and a good friend. We will miss him. (Don Bassie, Apr. 2003)


"I first met Ken in 1996 after joining the same Toronto writer's group to which he belonged.  Ken was pretty prolific in his output back then, writing short stories and novels in a range of genres.  His writing always had a black sense of humour and a visceral punch.  We shared the same love of Zelazny and many other writers.  I always valued his critiques as he'd come up with points that no one else had seen.  The main thing I remember about Ken was his sense of humour and a constant enthusiasm for writing.  He had compiled a list of short story credits and had a couple of novels in circulation.  He never let rejections get him down for long, and always kept focusing on his dream of being a writer and that first novel sale.  Just being around Ken and talking about writing with him was like a battery recharge.  He had just rejoined the writing group recently, and it was fun to be reading new stuff from him again after the long break.  When my mom was in hospital in Mississauga, Ken was quick to welcome me to drop by for a chat and support when I was in that area.  I regret now that I didn't get to visit him as often as I would've liked.  He'll be missed". (Douglas Smith, Apr 2003)

"I can't even remember how Ken and I met, but I knew him mainly as one of the most prolific members of the writers circle he and I belonged to for over a decade.  His writing was dark to darkly humourous, tortured, disturbing and usually managed to hit me somewhere around the solar plexus. And he drew from his Sihk heritage to create unique images and devices. Sometimes it seemed his ideas were too big or strange to fit onto the page. He nagged me not to pull my punches when writing my own conflicts or fights, always saw the logic flaws in my stories, infuriated me at times and made my writing better for it.  What's more, Ken kept at this frustrating task of writing and encouraging others even when life threw him a few curves.  Even when he was sick with chemotherapy (and complaining about "chemo brain"), Ken put fingers to keys and cranked out stories, articles and emails.  I have to admit that, because of Ken's heroic determination, I think twice about complaining why I "can't" get anything written.  Now I wonder who's going to kick my tuchas to keep me going from now on.  One thing for sure, I'm not going to forget his comments about the power of the krall or the erotic pleasures of motorcycles."  (Mici Gold, Apr 2003)

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