I was very saddened today to hear of the death of Roger Ebert.
Roger (somehow I think of him as ‘Roger,’ not ‘Ebert,’ though I never met him in the flesh, and spoke to him only once, by telephone, in the early 1970s when both of us were young and dinosaurs roamed the earth) has been my favorite film critic since forever. I did not always agree with him, but I always found him insightful and fun to read. He was not just a terrific critic, he was a terrific WRITER. His shows with Gene Siskel, SNEAK PREVIEWS and SISKEL AND EBERT AT THE MOVIES, were must-see TV for me. A hundred other teams have tried to recapture their magic, but none came close.
He was One of Us too. A fan, and an SF fan at that. In his youth, he wrote for fanzines, and he even published a few short SF stories in Ted White’s AMAZING and FANTASTIC along about the same time I was publishing in those selfsame magazines. If he had not gone on to be the world’s best film critic, he might well have been a successful SF writer.
A brilliant man, a good life. I give him two thumbs up.
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