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As time passes by more and more of the authors I read as a child are dying. Mr. Ellison is one of the last authors I remember reading as a young kid. I encountered him on a couple of occasions. One of the benefits of going to SF conventions. What I remember is that although his reputation would make one think he was difficult to be around. He certainly was capable of verbally eviscerating anyone, but I never saw him be angry or disrespectful of people in general. He saved his fights for those in power. He didn’t “punch down”. Now, I didn’t really know him. I just have a couple of personal memories. He wrote the scariest short story I’ve ever read. I genuinely enjoyed his nonfiction and feel very sad for the authors that would have been included in his third volume of Dangerous Visions. It’s a real shame how that project ended. His version of a Star Trek episode was fascinating, and he should have known it would never make air exactly as he wrote it. He was a huge presence, an occasionally brilliant, but always interesting writer. He will be missed.
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KindredKindred by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Contrary to the synopsis from Goodreads, I wouldn't call Kindred Science Fiction. I'd call it Fantasy certainly or Speculative Fiction if you like. However this is a minor quibble. A contemporary African-American woman (well, from 1976, but contemporary to the story) is called or somehow transferred from 1976 to 1815. Her life appears to be connected to an ancestor slave-owner. Who can, inexplicably, call her to his time and place when he is in danger. To survive she must find a way to act like she's from this time and place. She must act like other enslaved people of color of the time. I won't go into any more detail except to say that this is an amazing story. As long as you are not overwhelmed by the subject matter of slavery and its realistic depiction the story is simple to read, but the author delivers an emotionally complex story that talks about all the ways owning people infects everyone involved. Nothing is simple about the reactions and actions in this story. Definitely worth anyone's time.



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Sign up for programming before 1/28! Even if you'd rather watch a panel than participate, FOGcon needs your vote.
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It's official FOGhorn 1 went out. Check out the SF convention I'm chairing. I'd love to see everyone there.

FOGcon 5

FogCon

Nov. 2nd, 2010 09:50 pm
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As usual, I've been terrible about contributing to my own journal. I still go through these bouts of depression. Except it doesn't really feel like depression. At least not that painful debilitating stuff I go through sometimes. I've been feeling fairly good, just not able to overcome the inertia of being home. I have been being pretty productive. Getting a lot of my volunteer obligations up to date. I'm very excited about a project I took on a few months ago. I'm doing publications for a new science fiction convention that will be based in San Francisco. It's being inspired by conventions like WisCon, which is a convention I've always wanted to go to someday.

The new convention is called FogCon For Friends Oh Genre fiction and we're having a great time getting it all together. It happens this coming March. One of our Honored Guests will be Pat Murphy who wrote one of my favorite science fiction novels of all time The City, Not Long After. We just added Fritz Lieber as our posthumous honored guest and more cool stuff will be coming. I hope folks local and nonlocal can come out. I'm really proud of what we are doing.
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I have cellulitus again. On antibiotics, but this has been a rough one, Seems like all I can do is read, watch TV, and drool. The fan on my computer died. fortunately I was given a new iPad (more on how how I came to be given one, later). I love this iPad as an ereader. I can access the Internet on it too, but its not so good at posting for me. I am enjoying reading old SF (all the stuff I can get for free.) I also downloaded a new Heinlein biography Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve by William H. Patterson, Jr. Which I'm enjoying reading, but wouldn't recommend to anyone unless they were pretty hardcore RAH fan.

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