RIP

Apr. 4th, 2017 02:03 pm
supergee: (mourning)
Michael Levy was one of the good guys and one of the major contributors to the academic study of sf. He was a regular at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (when he wasn’t there this year, we knew something was wrong), and he wrote lotsa reviews (for NYRSF, among others). One of his final contributions was Children’s Fantasy Literature, a historical study written with Farah Mendlesohn, which I recommend wholeheartedly to anyone interested in the topic.
supergee: (mourning)
RIP, George Weinberg, who shook things up in the 70s by writing a book whose title seemed to many to be a contradiction in terms: Society and the Healthy Homosexual
supergee: (motto)
Charles Pierce remembers two flawed human beings who fed our heads with words. I liked Breslin’s first book title* so much that I had a friend translate it into Latin to use for posts about the many situations to which it applied.
*and the whole book, come to think of it

ETA: And George R.R. Martin discusses a mess of journalism to which (unlike the rest of this post) my userpic applies.
supergee: (mourning)
Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017). I didn’t like him all the time, but he had the heart and he had the words, and when they worked together, he was great. (I have just learned that he called Rudy Giuliani “a short man in search of a balcony.”)
supergee: (mourning)
I just wrote about Robert Nozick, who made libertarianism serious, and now we lose the guy who made it funny. In 1971 Jerome Tuccille wrote It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand, which he described as a “libertarian odyssey.” For my money, it is still the best, or at least funniest, book on the movement, though I admit he sometimes transcended mere fact.

He stopped calling himself a libertarian, after an effort to run for office (governor of NY) on the Libertarian ticket that ended about as well as such things usually do. He somewhat reratted to conservatism, working as a stockbroker and writing bios of malefactors of great wealth (starting with Donald Trump). He never lost his distrust of the State, though, particularly on lifestyle issues. He wrote many books on many topics, though for me he never recaptured the greatness of It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand.
supergee: (mourning)
A logician approaches two men, knowing that one always tells the truth, and one always lies. She does not know which is which.
She asks the man on the left "Would your fellow tell me that Raymond Smullyan has died?"
The man replies "no."
The logician weeps.
Thanx to Metafilter
He was best known for his books of logic puzzles, such as Alice in PuzzleLand and The Riddle of Scheherazade. He followed up a puzzle book entitled What Is the Name of This Book with a book named This Book Needs No Title, a paradoxical look at life, the universe, and everything that went from great one-liners:
The reason Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge was that he didn't know any better.

I believe that solipsism is the proper philosophy, but that is just one man's opinion.
to the remarkable concluding parable, "World without Laughter." He has also written The Tao Is Silent and another collection of philosophical tales, 5000 B.C.

Who Knows? is a marvelous look at the Big Questions. Part 1 is based on his friend Martin Gardner's The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener. For instance, Smullyan asks how we should describe an approach such as "I don't know whether there's a God, but I sure hope there is one."* The second part discusses Hell, and here he and I are in complete agreement: It is conduct unworthy of a deity. Finally, he turns his attention to R.M. Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness and offers some insights on that. He has also written an autobiography called Some Interesting Memories, whose only flaw is that he remembers too many old jokes.
*I have suggested sperotheist (which is WRONG for the same reason as polyamory).
supergee: (mourning)
Nat Hentoff was a great jazz critic and fighter for the First Amendment, but not being capable of getting pregnant, I will not argue with anyone for whom his deranged fetus-fan views outweigh all of that.
supergee: (mourning)
RIP, Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions and other major religious works.

Kate

Dec. 20th, 2016 06:00 am
supergee: (fandom)
John Hertz remembers Kate Yule

Thanx to File 770
supergee: (fandom)
Lon Atkins (1942-2016) Guy Lillian said it well enough that I won’t try to improve:
Lon Atkins, lost either yesterday or just this morning, was a titan in our Southern fannish world. His Rebel Award, his Fan GoHship at the DSC, were beautiful if finally inadequate reflections of his contribution to our early days as a regional fandom and our growth into the vibrant and important segment of SFdom we’ve become. He was Official Editor of SFPA for four years and kept it going through its slimmest days. His fabled battles at the Hearts table with his great friend Hank Reinhardt were not only legendary, but entertaining, helping to build the sense of community that marks the region and its game. He did the best apazines — the best-written, the best-reproed, the most comprehensive — I have ever seen. And he was a gentleman.

I am lost in regret. Lon was a mentor and a model for how a good man conducts himself in science fiction fandom. MELIKAPHKAZ forever!
supergee: (mourning)
Fidel Castro pissed off a lot of American politicians and eventually stopped putting queers in camps.

ETA: And as Roz Kaveney pointed out, apologized for the latter, which most dictators never do.
supergee: (mourning)
Leonard Cohen was a first-rate poet who also wrote two enjoyable novels.
supergee: (mourning)
One of the best people I ever knew was my Swarthmore classmate Pete Grubmeyer, a quiet, gentle person who loved to teach and spent a lot of his off-hours helping the poor and the homeless. He did all that because of an intense Christian faith that I hope was a comfort to him as he battled a series of cancers, which finally took him out the other day.

I assume that Pete believed there’s a better life after this one. I don’t know if he was right (and you don’t either), but I am, like Raymond Smullyan, a sperotheist (one who hopes there is a God), and I hope Pete is enjoying the bliss he deserves.
supergee: (mourning)
Fan and movie historian, author of Keep Watching the Skies. I enjoyed hanging out with him in LASFAPA.

Thanx to File 770

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Arthur D. Hlavaty

May 2017

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