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Another Star Falls

And now AJ has left us.

Algis Budrys was one of the greats. He did not write many novels, compared to some, but the quality of his work was second to none. MICHAELMAS and ROGUE MOON and WHO were his masterpieces, and all three deserve a place among the classics of our genre, but HARD LANDING and THE FALLING TORCH and even THE AMSIRS AND THE IRON THORN are worth a read as well. He was also, for many decades, the field's leading critic and reviewer. Like many other young turks of my generation, I remember waiting for AJ's review -- it was the one that counted.

Later in life, he became a mainstay of the Writers of the Future contest, but he was always a teacher. He was one of the charter members of the Windy City Writers Workshop that I founded during my years in Chicago, always willing to share his time, energy, and insights with the younger neopros who made up most of the group. He taught at Clarion as well, and of course he was one of the Milford Mafia, way back when Damon Knight first started the workshop.

Author, teacher, critic, scholar, he was all that, and a genial host and good guy as well. There was no one better to lift a glass with at a con. And he knew where all the bodies were buried too. Some of the stories he told... but no, I better not.

First Arthur C. Clarke, and now AJ Budrys. This is turning into a real bad year for science fiction.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
RIP. Not a great year.
Jun. 10th, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
Oh man. I just read Michaelmas recently and it was an absolutely amazing work. I wish I'd known more about his work earlier.
Jun. 11th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
Bad year? More like a bad decade.
Jun. 11th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
I think I speak for your entire fanbase when I say...

...keep yourself healthy, George. :s
Jun. 11th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
yea, eat your vegetables ;)
Jun. 11th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Cant forget Robert Asprin
Not the same type but was greatly saddened to know that his had passed as well. A huge loss to the fantasy genre

Edited at 2008-06-11 02:25 am (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
Re: Cant forget Robert Asprin
Hey, I'm curious about your icon; I grew up in & around Fresno and never heard of the 'browncoats.' And it is very amusing- definitely captures the spirit of the 'No.
Jun. 12th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
Re: Cant forget Robert Asprin
The Fresno Browncoats are just a local gathering of Joss Whedon fans who love firefly/Serenity, which are knwon as Browncoats


Jun. 11th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
not a bad year, indeed. and not all too long ago, J. O. Rigney passed away, too.
Jun. 11th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
He lived well, it seems

I've never read anything by him, but I'll follow up on your recommendation. After all, it is all your fault that I'm now a Battlestar addict (and, retrospectively a Babylon 5 addict).

So, Algis Budrys will live on in memory and many still will know him through his books.

*hugs* cheer up *hugs*
Jun. 11th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
Robert Asprin as well, for the less serious Sci-Fi.
Jun. 11th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)

Two stories marked my transition to puberty, and to recognizing science fiction as a real art form. One was Rogue Moon (the other was Microcosmic God, by Theodore Sturgeon).

To paraphrase Mr Budrys, the Universe is homocidal and we're all suicidal, in the end.
Jun. 11th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
Can I steal your icon?
Jun. 11th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)
Why not? I stole it.
Jun. 11th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
I only met him once, though I submitted several stories to him when he was the editor at Tomorrow. I admired his work as a writer, and greatly appreciated the courtesy with which he treated other writers, even those with negligible publishing credits. My tribute to him is

Jun. 11th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Jun. 11th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
Sad tidings indeed. Slowly the luminaries of the previous generation begin to fade. Those who paved the way for our current crop of authors, that fought to break ground and gain mainstream acceptance for a genre which enthralled them. Having achieved intellectual immortality and set aside the burdens of this world they have past the torch to you and your peers, and I don't think that they could have left sci-fi and fantasy in better hands. You have never failed to light up the world of men, to fuel our hearts and imaginations with dreams of worlds distant and yet somehow not so different from our own.
Jun. 12th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
Well shit
Seems like every-time I come to your blog, one of my favorite authors ends up dying.
Somehow, I've decided to blame you. It can't just be coincidental anymore. Somehow George you have become an instrument of death.
fuck. Well at least I got my copy of Rogue Moon signed by him. I'm going to have to corner all the still-breathing authors I like and get a hand-shake and their signature.

Next time I see you George, I'll try to steal your pants or something, so I can enshrine them upon your passing. Maybe I'll open up a stand somewhere, where people can try your pants on to see if they fit. The person who fits them will be blessed by the Gods of writing and take your place in the inky halls of novelists, and become king of all england... Or maybe Santa Fe.
Jun. 13th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
Parris on AJ
My lady Parris is safely in Ireland with friends, but she sent me some thoughts about AJ that I wanted to share. She writes:

"I am broken hearted, sitting here in an internet cafe, mourning that magnificent man and writer, our friend, AJ. If you get a chance to make a statement about his life and his work, remember how kind and
gracious he was to so many of us new fans of the 70's. May AJ's spirit finds his way to the Summerlands, May the Goddess greet him as the great Poet he is, may his loved one finds solace in a life well lived, and well loved, May we meet again, someday, somewhere, as we dance upon the wheel of life."

I couldn't have said it better.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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