Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Writer Ric Locke Has Died

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Folks, this news stuns me.  But here goes: writer Ric Locke, who was a very good friend of my husband Michael, has died. 

Now, why should you care about this?  Simple.  Ric Locke was a very, very good writer — and he also was an extremely close friend of my late husband Michael.  Ric’s self-published novel, TEMPORARY DUTY, is a particularly good novel of military science fiction and adventure, and was one of the last novels that Michael edited.

Now as to the particulars of Ric Locke’s passing: he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer around Father’s Day, but had been given up to a year to live.  However, Ric had apparently been having money problems; he couldn’t get the needed medical equipment to help him (oxygen tanks and the means to carry them around).  Worse yet, the Social Security Administration was after him because supposedly Locke had “earned too much money” from TEMPORARY DUTY to qualify for help (this last according to writer Tom Kratman).

Ric’s last blog post, made only a few, short days ago, said that he wasn’t doing well, and that the sequel to TEMPORARY DUTY was unlikely to be able to be completed.  Because of this, he apologized to those who’d donated in efforts to help him complete his second novel, and he asked for forgiveness.  (Which of course he didn’t need to do, but that was Ric; he was conscientious to a fault.)

Ric was a very good man, someone who’d do anything he could to help if he was able . . . he was an excellent writer, a gifted conversationalist, and someone whose loyalty was bone-deep.  I know this because of two things — how he thanked Michael years after the fact for editing his novel in a written foreward (something Ric didn’t have to do as Michael was long-dead by the time TEMPORARY DUTY got into print), and because I got a chance to meet up with Ric when he took Michael and me out for dinner back in 2004.  We had a riotous writer’s conversation, full of wide-ranging chatter, puns (my husband loved puns, and Ric was no slouch in that department, either), and more than a few alcoholic beverages.  (None for me; I was the designated driver.) 

It was a night to remember.  And it’s something I’m doing my best to recall, because I believe it’s important to remember those you’ve lost the way they actually were when they were brightly alive.  (It’s tough to do.  But ultimately, it helps a little bit.  Nothing helps that much when someone you really care about it is gone from this plane of existence, and I’d be a fool if I said anything else.)

Ric Locke died at 1:36 PM on July 24, 2012.  Funeral arrangements are pending, but according to his son, James (who made a comment at Ric’s blog to this effect), his memorial service will be held in Mineral Wells, TX — Ric’s hometown.**

You may have noticed that I haven’t given an age for Ric — that’s because I’m unsure what it actually was, except “older than me or Michael.”  (My best guess is that Ric was in his early sixties, but I may be wrong.)  But age is irrelevant; what matters is what you did on this Earth, and the people you got a chance to meet while you were here.

Ric Locke did a great deal, met many interesting people, and wrote a fantastic book of military SF that you owe it to yourself to read.   He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


**Those of you who read this blog who wish to go to Ric’s funeral need to get a hold of his son, James; he has a Facebook presence, but if you can’t find him, let me know and I’ll be glad to help if I possibly can.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 27, 2012 at 12:41 am

50 Responses

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  1. A creator of worlds so fantastic to spark the imagination of all of us who have read temporary duty, but Rick is not gone he lives, he lives in all of us who found the worlds the people and the creatures he created. He will be missed. My hope is that someone will finish his second novel and that the proceeds go toward a cancer research fund on his behalf.

    Kevin Gardner

    September 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    • I agree, Kevin — in that sense, my late husband Michael (who edited Ric’s book; you might’ve seen Ric’s dedication to him in front of TDY), also lives. And yes, Ric’s words mattered; I’m glad they got into print, so he knew how many people enjoyed what he wrote while he was alive.

      His son has a shot at finishing Ric’s novel, I’d think, if Ric left good notes — that’s what I’m trying to do with my late husband Michael’s stuff. It’s more difficult, and of course it’s not the same as having my husband here, but I can do it and I will do it. (If Ric’s son, James, feels the same way, there’s no doubt that in time he’ll find a way to finish up his father’s work, too.)

      Barb Caffrey

      September 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

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    November 24, 2012 at 11:45 pm

  3. I was profoundly saddened to read this. I had just finished Temporary duty for the second time, and was looking for more from this gifted author. If you could point me to where his son’s Facebook presence is, I’d be grateful.

    Steve Irvin

    August 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

    • Hi, Steve.

      Ric’s son, James, is on Facebook but has a severely limited presence. I know he did not accept my friendship request, even though I’m the widow of his father’s editor and was a friend of his father, to boot . . . I do not know if James will accept *any* FB requests, to be perfectly honest, nor do I have any idea how James is dealing with any grief over his father’s passing (though I hope he’s doing OK; I’ve dealt with a lot of grief myself due to the untimely losses of my husband and best friend, and it’s really difficult to bear).

      So I don’t think I can help you there . . . but OTOH, if you search for Ric Locke, *his* FB page is still up. And if you go there and say, “I loved Ric’s work and would like to know if any other stories are available,” maybe you’ll get an answer from James on that page.

      I wish you well, though, and completely understand your sorrow. I felt terrible, myself, when I heard, especially since the last post I’d seen from Ric was that he thought he might get a few more months to live. (As his last-ever blog post said, Ric’s health declined much faster than anyone had thought, including all the medical personnel.)

      As far as I’m concerned, my husband Michael should still be alive today (and in the best of health, natch), my best friend Jeff should be alive today (also in excellent health), and Ric, too, should be alive and in the best health possible. But unfortunately, because we’re human beings, sometimes we have to say goodbye way too soon to talented, giving people . . . all we can do is cherish the memories and appreciate the creative works they left behind.

      Barb Caffrey

      August 23, 2013 at 2:42 am

  4. Thank you for the wonderful words you wrote about Mr. Locke. I just finished temporary duty for the second time, and was, and am still, amazed by the book. It was when i was looking for more works by Mr. Locke that i saw your blog post and was deeply distressed. I assume there are writers who can ‘fake it’, and fool their readers into believing their words are not as deeply felt as is evident on the page – but the humanity of Mr. Locke’s writing, his characters, his story can only show what type of man he must have been. I have been reading Science fiction for over 50 years, and it is so very rare that I find a novel as fine as this one. It is such a shame that his humanity, his humor and his love shall no longer grace the wold we live in.

    Once again, thank you for your words of kindness for this fine man.

    Jack Moore

    Jack Moore

    September 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    • You’re welcome, Jack. I just wish I hadn’t had to write them.

      Here’s a bit more information, in case you’re interested, regarding my interactions with Ric Locke: My late husband Michael was Ric’s editor. After Baen Books passed on Ric’s wonderful TEMPORARY DUTY (TDY for short) — and after my wonderful husband Michael had died — I urged Ric in 2006, or maybe it was 2007, to put TDY up for sale himself, independently. And both Michael and me told Ric to write the sequel to TDY, and keep writing it, even if there wasn’t an offer forthcoming. (Ric did write something on the sequel, I understand, but I don’t know how much. Last I heard, his son James was thinking about finishing it up, which is a very difficult thing to do even if you know someone very, very well — I’ve been trying to finish my late husband’s work now for nearly nine years, for example.)

      Note that I am far from the only one to tell Ric that his novel was wonderful and that I was sure it would do well if he only put it out himself. The noted author Sarah A. Hoyt told him to do the same thing, and around the same time, and she may have done it first for all I know. And many other fine and wonderful people, some of them writers and editors, some readers with a taste for great adventure stories on the grand scale, and many with a taste for military SF told him to do the same thing.

      I think ultimately it was Sarah’s words that made Ric believe that he could, indeed, sell TDY independently. And that’s why I’m glad he encountered her, and believed she was right, and finally listened to all of the rest of us who told him and had been telling him for years that TDY was great and that readers would recognize its quality.

      Ric really didn’t expect that TDY would do all that well. He had no budget for promotion or publicity. He was flat broke (as am I, so I understand the feeling). He was discouraged by the editors and agents who had passed on TDY (all the major SF&F houses, most of the minors, and at least fifteen agents from what I heard directly from Ric himself on a few occasions when we had a chance to read each other’s e-mail). And he felt that despite the changing marketplace, with the quality of his work, someone should’ve taken a chance — I agreed with him on that, BTW, but there’s no accounting for why a publisher does or doesn’t do something, some days.

      As well as being a fantastic writer, Ric was a kind, gentle, courteous man. He thanked my husband Michael for Michael’s editing, long after Michael had died, when Ric obviously didn’t have to do so — something that meant a great deal to me. He *remembered*, and for that, I will always value Ric Locke’s friendship and loyalty extremely highly. And miss him very much, especially as I try to get a couple of my own husband’s military SF stories (they’re basically long short stories, or perhaps short novelettes?) into print independently later this month. (He kept telling me to do that very thing. I should’ve listened sooner.)

      Barb Caffrey

      September 6, 2013 at 10:04 pm

  5. I just ran across this by accident. I knew Ric in the Usenet group rec.arts.sf.composition. If I remember correctly, he was a few months older than I and so would have been 64 when he died.

    Brian M. Scott

    November 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    • Thanks, Brian. I appreciate you knowing how old Ric was. I met him, but could not tell — all I know is, when a vibrant, intelligent man like Ric goes out of this world, the whole world loses. And more than just the books Ric would’ve written if he’d have been healthy and had more time.

      Barb Caffrey

      November 11, 2013 at 12:36 am

      • Ric and I were 2nd or 3rd cousins. He was 8 yrs older and lived in the same town in which we were born.

        Related or not, Ric was as good a man as they come.
        He had a kind heart.
        And anyone who ever spoke with him knew he was brilliant . The sort of brilliance that is rare.

        I miss Ric. We had reconnected after many years ( I live overseas)
        about a year prior to him leaving us. We had talked about him visiting me as he had been out my way in the Navy.
        Hopes were dashed not long afterwards when he learned of his cancer .
        We stayed in touch until the end.
        I spoke to him in the hospital and through his son during his last days.
        His last communication through his son was to express his appreciation, and his regrets he was not able to accept my invitation to visit. It was almost an apology.
        That’s how Ric was . (You who knew him understand.)
        I’m happy to have known him, proud to be related .

        Thank You All for your kind words. Please don’t forget him.

        My Best,
        Durand Watson

        Durand Watson

        October 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      • Thank you, Durand, for your comments. I miss Ric, too. He and my late husband Michael were great friends, and I cherish the memory of meeting Ric (we had a very good and wide-ranging conversation for several hours in 2004, a few months before my husband’s untimely death).

        Ric was a smart man, a kind man, and an interesting conversationalist. He also was a very good writer, and his TEMPORARY DUTY is an excellent novel of military science fiction. I wish he were still with us.

        Barb Caffrey

        October 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    • Brian is correct. He was 64 when he left us.

      Durand Watson

      October 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm

  6. Bello Barb,

    I was just rereading Ric Locke’s TEMPORARY DUTY the other day and wondered if his son had attempted to get another writer to finish the story?



    October 12, 2014 at 5:02 am

    • I haven’t heard anything, Michael. I reached out to Ric’s son a while back but heard diddly-squat; the only thing I heard was right after Ric died, and that was when Ric’s son James was under the belief that perhaps he, himself, might be able to complete Ric’s work on his own.

      I’m not sure I heard that right, mind you, but that’s the only thing I’ve heard.

      I know that if James is trying to do that, he’s probably going through the same sorts of things I’ve gone through trying to finish my husband’s work. (And in some ways, it’s easier for me to handle doing that because I fully understood what my husband was doing and I talked with him all the time about it. I don’t know how much Ric’s son talked with his father about Ric’s work prior to Ric’s cancer diagnosis. And after that, Ric was almost certainly too ill to talk much about any plans he had for the sequel to TDY.)

      There are things you can do as a collaborator after the fact, mind, but the first hurdle you have to overcome is this one: you are not the original writer. No matter how much respect you had for him, you can’t write like he did. All you can do is be true to the story as you see it, and then stay faithful to that shared vision.

      Mind, I’ve found this very difficult to do with my husband Michael’s work. But it’s the only way to go; that way, at least some of my husband’s words live.

      So if James is able to do that with his father’s writing, good for him. But it may take him years to figure it out, just as it took *me* years. (It took me at least four to feel confident enough to finish up the second novella, and I’m now working on the third. Goodness alone knows how long _that_ will take.)

      Barb Caffrey

      October 12, 2014 at 5:10 am

  7. After reading TDY “for the umpteenth time” (phrase from the book), discovering that Ric has passed away and reading about a man I never met had to go thru, I’ve decided to start a community project dedicated to Ric’s work. Literally 10 minutes ago I’ve registered I envision a Wikipedia-like website that outlines the plot, races, characters and other things from the book. One of my friends is a graphics designer, I’ll see if we can get some sketches too… At the very least the site will have every single known fact about TDY. Hopefully it will help some other writer to pick up where Ric has left off!

    The universe that Ric has created is amazing! Very simple at the first glance yet has an astounding amount of potential!

    I’m no writer and English being my third language I don’t pretend to be able to do any writing myself. My best hope is to generate enough interest in Ric’s work so somebody else can finish that Ric has started. We all owe him this much at least….

    My name is Yuris and you can reach me at tdy”at” I would love to hear from you!

    Rest in peace Ric…. We will remember you!


    February 10, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    • Thank you, Yuris. Do check with Ric’s son, James Locke, to make sure he’ll be OK with this; I do not know James, but I do know he had said at one point publicly that he was going to attempt to finish his father’s work, if he could.

      As someone doing her best to finish up her deceased husband’s work (Michael, my late husband, was Ric’s editor, and Ric kindly acknowledged this years after Michael had passed away), I know how hard that is. But if James is going to try, your website should coordinate with him as best you can…if James wants someone else to try, it’s up to him as Ric’s sole inheritor (to the best of my knowledge) as to who does so and why.

      In other words, while it’s wonderful you love TDY and the universe Ric created — I agree with you, and my late husband Michael surely would, too, if he were still here to say so — be careful that you don’t step on any legal toes here. TDY is not in the public domain; Ric’s son James holds all rights to it, and it’s up to James, as I understand it, as to what he wants to do.

      Barb Caffrey

      February 10, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      • Barb,

        Thank you for your prompt response! Among other things it means that Ric’s legacy is still alive and his work will be remembered for the days to come. I have left messages on both Ric and James Facebook pages. I have no other means to contact James, so if you have any contact info you can share please forward it to me.

        Just to clarify, I don’t intend to violate any copyrights and the last thing I want is to have a legal battle with Ric’s descendants. All I want to have is a fan page dedicated to TDY…. We all owe Ric this much. If it helps James to finish his work on a sequel, great! And even if it does not, at least there will be some artifacts left for other people to visit and enjoy the universe that Ric has created.



        February 11, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      • Yuris, I’m sure James will be happy to hear that. I was able to contact him last night, and he knows about this blog and about you and your earlier comment (plus my response). I also found out that Ric’s intended sequel was to be called SERVICE CALL. And that James is doing his best to continue his father’s work in the same way I’m trying to continue my husband’s work. (That’s why I write both military SF and comic fantasy; I wrote comic fantasy first, and were my husband Michael still alive, I doubt I’d have done much with the military SF except maybe edit for my husband.

        Barb Caffrey

        February 11, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      • Hello Barb, I’m so happy that Yuris is taking on the task of keeping Ric’s name , novel , and memory alive.
        While I’m not a writer, I do read. And while science fiction is not a category I normally read I greatly enjoyed reading Ric’s novel. And I can see where it could have many commercial possibilities. Who knows, we may see it on a movie marque in the future ?
        Although related, I’ve never met Ric’s son in person, we have talked on the phone enough for me to pick up he is a very smart man. I believe he can finish the sequel .

        Thank You for your blog and postings.

        My Best,
        Durand Watson

        Durand Watson

        February 11, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      • You’re welcome, Durand.

        I believe James Locke can finish Ric’s novel, too. I’ll help in any way that I can.

        Yes, there are certainly cinematic elements to TDY. (As for being on a movie marquee? You never know about these things. Sometimes years after someone has passed, their work is appreciated more — that happened with Philip K. Dick, for example, at least with regards to movie producers. I think the general run of SF fans knew exactly how good Philip K. Dick’s work was, but it took the movie producers a little while longer. ;-))

        Barb Caffrey

        February 11, 2015 at 9:29 pm

  8. Ric’s universe is certainly rich enough to serve as a basis for a movie or a TV show. It’s actually quite convenient for the producers as well – the aliens are all humanoids, don’t have much technology to speak of and diverse enough to keep things interesting. Unfortunately, there’s not much content to work with at the moment – let’s face it, all we have is one (relatively short) book.

    I think translation to another language would make more sense at this point. I can certainly help with Russian translation – I’ve never done it before, but always wanted to. Just for fun, I’ve read couple of first chapters with translation in mind. It’s certainly possible – even the Navy terms and slang translate well for the most part.

    My site is already running, but not much there at the moment (as in nothing at all 🙂 Right now I’m re-reading the book again and collecting every detail worth recording. As soon as I have enough, I’ll get the site updated.


    February 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    • Hello Yuris,
      I really think Ric Locke’s book is very well done and I enjoyed every page of it !
      In a prior post, I mentioned that Ric is a relative of mine. We are second cousins. We both grew up in the same small NE Texas town. He is a few years older, but I’ve know him all of my life. I also knew his parents and a brother who are deceased. He has one brother living that’s a year younger, and a son I’ve only met via phone as I live out of the country but could tell he is a fine man..
      Im very proud to be related to everyone in that family. All very smart, all would give you the shirt off their back to help anyone in need. The only thing more fascinating than Ric’s Locke’s book would be conversing with him. Since you have such an interest in his book I truly wish you could have met him on this earthly plane. I am sincere when I say I have never met anyone as brilliant as Ric, and he was as good a man as you can find.

      My Best,

      Durand Watson

      February 24, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      • I only had the good fortune to meet Ric once in person (with my late husband Michael; we had a very convivial evening at a local restaurant, and they enjoyed some alcoholic beverages while I was the designated driver). I agree with you, Durand, that Ric was a kind and generous man, and I wish his health hadn’t gone so bad at the end.

        Barb Caffrey

        February 25, 2015 at 12:28 am

      • Thank you for sharing this Durand! I really appreciate!


        February 25, 2015 at 7:05 am

    • Be sure to keep James Locke in the loop; since your last comment, Yuris, I have been in contact with James. I can’t say much other than that, but he is aware of your interest…Ric did have a page on Facebook, and if you are on Facebook yourself, you could ask to be a part of that page. (That would be the easiest way to get in contact with James.)

      Barb Caffrey

      February 25, 2015 at 12:26 am

      • Barb, I’ve already tried to contact James via Facebook couple of weeks ago. No luck so far…. I have no other means of contacting him, but I’ll keep trying. If you could pass my email to him (tdy at yuris dot net) that would be great!


        February 25, 2015 at 7:07 am

      • I will tell him. From what little I know, his life seems very busy…but I’ll let him know.

        Thanks for trying, Yuris.

        Barb Caffrey

        February 25, 2015 at 7:36 am

  9. I’ve been poking around Google search results and stumbled upon “Temporary Duty” entry at It appears that Ric was in the process of listing every character in the book and adding details, but never had a chance to finish.

    The site should give you an idea on what I’m trying to do. Here’s the direct URL if you’re interested:


    February 25, 2015 at 7:42 am

    • That sounds like him, Yuris.

      I know that if my husband had been alive, he would’ve helped. (Michael was known for his lists, most particularly for David Weber’s Honorverse, years ago. Now, what he wrote is sadly out of date, but considering he died ten years-plus ago, if you put it into that context, you can see how complete he was.)

      Anyway, I honor what you’re trying to do. I hope James will be able to get in contact with you, because it is _exceedingly_ rare for anyone to be this enthused about an author several years after his passing when he did not have a huge following in life. (Sometimes people die way too soon by our standards, and that’s what I think happened here. I feel the same way about my late husband.)

      Barb Caffrey

      February 25, 2015 at 7:45 am

      • I just found Ric’s obituary record online. But before I even read it I knew exactly what Ric’s age was…. 64, the “square of eights”. If you read the book, you will surely know the significance of that….

        Anyway, my site is up now and I will keep adding content as often as I can. If you’re willing to contribute (content, not money) you will be most welcome! English is my third language, so I need editors badly! 🙂


        March 11, 2015 at 8:12 am

      • I’m run pretty ragged as it is, Yuris, but if I hear anything regarding a second book I might be willing to talk about that. (And yes, I know about the square of eights.)

        Barb Caffrey

        March 11, 2015 at 12:49 pm

  10. Ric died exactly 3 years ago, July 24th, 2012. I never knew him personally, but he changed my life nonetheless. Rest in peace Ric, you will be in our memories forever!

    I’ve set up a personal page for Ric on my site, to my knowledge the only one in existence. If you’d like to contribute personal information about Ric (the name of the aircraft carrier he has served on, for example) please contact me!



    July 24, 2015 at 9:24 am

    • Yuris, did James Locke ever get a hold of you? I know I’d talked to him a while back and he said he would…any news there?

      Barb Caffrey

      July 24, 2015 at 11:24 am

      • I’m afraid he never did. I was able to contact Ric’s brother Sam some months ago but his phone went dead shortly afterwards. As of now I have no means of contacting James but his own Facebook page and he hasn’t returned any of my messages so far.


        July 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      • I think losing his father is still a very raw wound, Yuris.

        Think of it from this perspective, if you will. Some of us take a little longer to be able to get back to ourselves, because we miss our loved ones so very much it’s hard to go on.

        Then factor in that James is trying to figure out how to write the next book, when James’s writing style isn’t anything like his father’s (I haven’t seen James’s writing, but it would be virtually impossible for James to write just like his father so I think this is a good guess).

        Then figure that it took me, a professional writer, nearly five years to figure out how to write in my late husband’s universe, and *another* five before I felt confident enough to write “To Survive the Maelstrom.”

        Anyway, all I can suggest is for you to say again to him that you’re here, you want to help, and if you can do anything for him, just ask.

        I think he’d appreciate that.

        Barb Caffrey

        July 24, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      • Thank you Barb, I totally understand that it would be hard for James to get over his loss. I certainly respect his feelings and would like to do anything in my power to help him.


        July 25, 2015 at 10:27 am

      • I told hm much the same thing.

        Just reach out, from time to time — every six months or so, it’s not wrong to ask how he’s doing. (And is there anything he needs?)

        Barb Caffrey

        July 25, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    • Hello Yuris,
      On behalf of others and myself who were fortunate enough to be related to Ric Locke, your efforts
      are greatly appreciated.
      It’s not an easy task to put Ric in a certain category, personally speaking. Honestly , he is the most brilliant and interesting person I’ve ever known. And I’ve been around the globe a couple of times.
      I will be happy to share any helpful information I have. What I don’t know, I will find out.
      Ric was about 8 years older than me. I looked up to him as a young person and the older I became, the more I realized just how brilliant he was. Im so very happy you recognize and publicly acknowlede Ric’s fine work. I can assure you he was a very down to earth, good and honorable man who anyone who ever met him would agree. I wish you could have known him.
      Please contact me : and I will answer any questions you wish to put forth.

      Durand Watson

      Durand Watson

      July 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      • Thanks, Durand, for commenting.

        I had wanted to send you an e-mail a while back and didn’t have an e-mail account for you…d’you mind if I send you something also?

        Barb Caffrey

        July 24, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      • Of course Barb. I’d be honored to receive anything you wish to send me.
        Durand Watson.

        Best Regards,

        Durand Watson

        July 24, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      • Thank you very much Durand! Email sent! 🙂


        July 25, 2015 at 10:21 am

  11. I’m so sorry. I’m re-reading Temporary Duty at this moment and I decided to do a search to see what Mr. Locke was writing next.. This hits hard. I feel such loss knowing he will no longer be creating. Temporary Duty is a story that has stuck with me for years, and I believe always will.


    January 9, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    • I think Ric would’ve been happy to know that. And my late husband Michael, who was Ric’s editor, would’ve been ecstatic to hear it, too.

      The last I heard, Ric’s son, James, was going to try to finish Ric’s second novel. But there’s a lot of work to be done and I don’t know where James is at on that. It may take him years to figure it out, just like it took me years to be able to start figuring out my late husband’s work also…James Locke does know that many readers enjoyed his father’s work and I believe that makes a great deal of difference to him.

      Barb Caffrey

      January 9, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    • dejalwm, I’ve been in the same boat with you for years. I’ve read Ric’s book at least 10 times and every time I read it, there’s something new and amazing I get to discover. His book has changed my life forever – I’ve ended up creating not one but two websites dedicated to Ric’s work – and Expense be damned I don’t want Ric’s work to simply disappear one day. Ric was both a great person and a great author and the universe he has created in his book is simple, complex and amusing all at the same time.

      Warrick Merrell (Ric) Locke died on July 24th, 2012. He was born February 3rd, 1948. I will never forget both dates. And I’m very much hoping that someday, somebody, James or some other author can finish Ric’s sequel to “Temporary Duty” named “Service Call”. Or I can just start writing my own fiction, I suppose.

      Ric had an alternate ending of his book, completely changed at the request of Jim Baen. The alternate ending is a lot more downbeat, but gives you a glimpse of where the next books would be heading if Ric was still alive. It’s still available here:


      January 10, 2016 at 2:06 pm

  12. Today is Ric’s birthday. Were he still among humans he would be 68. But he’s with the Makers now.

    Rest in peace Ric! We miss you!


    February 3, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    • I hope that in the positive afterlife, whatever form it takes, that Ric is talking with my husband, Michael, and maybe even my friend Jeff Wilson (who Ric never met, not online and not any other way, either), and having a good time.

      I like to think so, anyway.

      Barb Caffrey

      February 3, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      • Thank you for your kind words Barb! I’d like to hope they are all happy. By the way I’ve read your late husband book and really liked it. Will definitely read more!



        February 4, 2016 at 1:37 am

      • Which one did you read? (One of the Joey Maverick books, or the Columba story?)

        Now, if you read either of the ELFY books, those are mine. 😉

        I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my husband’s work. That’s excellent to hear.

        Barb Caffrey

        February 4, 2016 at 5:33 pm

  13. hi you said sequel to TEMPORARY DUTY was unlikely to be able to be completed. so how much of the book was actually written ? & maybe someone else could finish it & carry on the series to see Ric’s vision complete? R.I.P Ric


    March 30, 2017 at 10:06 am

    • What I heard was that maybe a third, possibly as much as a half, was completed by Ric before his passing. His son has whatever Ric did, and last I knew, Ric’s son was trying to figure out what to do next…but finishing up someone else’s work is very difficult. (I know; I’m trying to do that with my late husband Michael’s writing, and it’s not easy.)

      It is _possible_ for someone else to complete it if Ric’s son allows, mind. But Ric’s son is the one to make that decision.

      Barb Caffrey

      March 31, 2017 at 12:03 am

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