Death is part of life, I know. But lately it seems to me that there has been far too much of it in SF and fantasy.
Vonda McIntyre passed away last week. I’ve known Vonda for a long time; we were the same age, part of the same “generation” of writers, breaking in during the early 70s. Though I can’t claim to have known her well, I admired her writing and always enjoyed her company when I found myself in Seattle. She was a kind and generous person, and at the Spokane worldcon, where she was guest of honor, she showed herself to be especially humane and tolerant during the ugliness of the Puppy War. Her novel DREAMSNAKE was a Hugo and Nebula winner, and she won another Nebula at the Santa Fe Nebula banquet that I ran. I was pleased to read that she finished a new novel just days before she died.
And just now I received word that Gene Wolfe has died as well. I haven’t seen Gene for a few years, sadly, but I knew him well when I lived in Chicago in the 70s. When my friends Alex & Phyllis Eisenstein and I founded the Windy City Writer’s Workshop, we assembled a good group of young aspiring writers… and two giants, Gene Wolfe and Algis Budrys. Gene and Ayjay became mentors of a sort to the whole group of us, attending every monthly workshop and giving us more good advice about the art, craft, and business of writing than I can possibly recall. I learned so much from Gene, and his praise… not always easily earned… meant so much to me. He was a magnificent writer as well, one of the best our genre has ever produced. It is a disgrace that he never won a Hugo (though he was nominated a number of times). He was, however, a SFWA Grand Master and a worldcon Guest of Honor, the two greatest honors our field can bestow. His work will be read as long as SF endures, I believe.
We have lost two of the good ones. SF is poorer for their passing, but their work remains. Read their books.
Current Mood: sad