By the time this post is up, by the merits of ye tyme-travail (or the international date-line which allows me to live in your future), I’ll have been on this island for a decade. Time passes, and so, sadly, do people. I’ve lost a good friend and long ago dive partner, and science fiction is poorer for the passing of Mike Resnick. Mike was a close friend and mentor to a couple of good friends of mine, so although we personally only shared a couple of e-mails, I know a lot about him, and all of it is positive. I know: no one speaks ill of the dead, out of respect for the bereaved. It’s the decent, considerate thing to do, because no other time is as fraught and miserable than it is for those bereaved folk. In Mike’s case, he didn’t have to wait to be dead before anyone realized he was a good guy and one sf-fantasy’s greater champions: one of the people whose shoulders the field stands on.
Of course one exception to the ‘don’t speak ill of the dead in public, no matter how you disliked them, out of kindness and respect for those who are bereaved’ is the wokescolds, whose shrill tantrums about trivia are far more important than consideration or kindness to those going through what we humans find hardest. Jaym Gates is pleased he’s dead because Jaym managed to find something to be offended by and have one of Jaym’s near perpetual hissy fits about. Now – according to Jaym – was the perfect time to dig it up. Life’s little lessons: Don’t try to prove that everything your detractors say about whatever your crusade-du-jour is true, with your obnoxious behavior, unless you’re trying to prove your detractors right. You certainly showed your class and made us think ‘better’ of all wokies, Jaym.
Anyway, farewell to Mike and my friend Brian. The world is poorer for losing you, and you will be remembered. Raise a glass to the living, and glass to the dead.
Talking of people opening their mouths to change feet, and trying to knock down the giants of yesterday so they don’t look like such pygmies, I see Chuck Wendig decided to join the fashion of dissing the people that made sf-fantasy exist at all. I suppose he felt if NK Jemisin was on the act, and the other wokies were having such a good time attacking everyone from Lovecraft to Heinlein (either of whom added more to the field and raised its profile more than ALL the wokies put together) he should have a go too. He decided JRR Tolkien was a suitable beloved monument to tear down. I can see that ending well. I know I’m no Tolkien, or Heinlein or Lovecraft, but at least I’m able to acknowledge that, and that I’ve learned and benefited from the great figures of yesteryear. I really struggle to understand the kind of pitiful inadequacy that has to tear down any monument that is not to themselves. Why not just tattoo ‘loser’ on your forehead?
I’m wrestling with a huge ‘real life intrudes’ with house-building, so writing is at a near standstill – by the time I get home I’m tired and dispirited from finding out the hard way that I’m 1)not a master-craftsman, 2)everything is heavy. Most of it needs moving repeatedly, a lot of it over head 4)I am too damn short for ceilings. 5)Building on your own is like pulling two sides of a seine net on your own. 6) everything takes much longer than you thought it could, never mind should. Still: writing is fighting back. I keep having weird dreams. About writing… I think it’s my conscience pricking me, or stories needing to get out. But… I have a home to build. Still, we have got power from my solar panel farm, lights and plugs, and ceilings all in and painted. Guttering and getting the water hooked up is next… getting closer. It’s just such a long haul.
Suggestions on how to inspire and how to keep the writing going while tired and dispirited welcome. I think I should re-read Tolkien to remember where it all came from.
Image by Simi Luft from Pixabay