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A Bad Year Gets Worse

Death, death, and more death... this year just keeps getting worse and worse.

There is not much I can say about the death of Carrie Fisher that a thousand other people have not said already. She was way too young. A bright, beautiful, talented actress, and a strong, witty, outspoken woman. Princess Leia will live as long as STAR WARS does... probably forever...

And the world lost one of its great fantasists today as well: Richard Adams, the author of WATERSHIP DOWN. Gardner Dozois ranks WATERSHIP DOWN as one of the three great fantasy novels of the twentienth century, right up there with LORD OF THE RINGS and THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING, and I agree. A truly amazing book... and one that somehow always seems to get forgotten when fans discuss the great fantasies. Maybe because of the talking rabbits? No idea...

Adams was a wonderful writer. Yes, WATERSHIP DOWN was his masterpiece, but it was by no means his only great book. He wrote two terrific epic fantasies with human characters, SHARDIK and MAIA, both of which are criminally underrated, as well as an erotic ghost story, THE GIRL ON A SWING. His other "animal book," THE PLAGUE DOGS, also has some wonderful sections... though it is such a dark, depressing, angry, gut-punch of a novel that I can't say I 'enjoyed' it.

Adams was not 'one of us,' in the sense that he was never a convention-goer or part of our genre fantasy community, which may be why he was never honored with a life achievement award by the World Fantasy Convention. Nonetheless, he deserved one. I've been suggesting him for that honor for at least twenty years... in part because I wanted to meet him. Now I never will. That's sad (though not as sad as PLAGUE DOGS).

A wonderful actress, a great writer. The world is poorer tonight.

Please, let this wretched year come to an end.

Comments

( 69 comments )
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Miltime8
Jan. 2nd, 2017 09:10 pm (UTC)
Cheer up!
George, in an effort to cheer you up just a little bit, I want to tell you about the campaign being run by The Young Turks (a progressive online news network). TYT is trying to raise money to fund their hiring of several investigative reporters. What has the GOT-obsessed host/owner of TYT, Cenk Uygur, dubbed these reporters he plans to hire? "the Watchers on the Wall, the Sword in the Darkness." The actual campaign is called "Watchers on the Wall." I'm not going to include any links or anything lest you think I am trying to promote the fundraising campaign. (Also, I don't care if this gets posted. I just hope you read it, since letting you know about this example of your impact is the only point.) The one investigative reporter they already employ, Jordan Chariton, has done really good work in covering the No DAPL protests and the water contamination in Flint and Indiana. You know, stories that the corporate media has long left behind or never covered.

Cenk grew up in East Brunswick, NJ, which I think is like an hour away from your own Bayonne. From what I've gleaned from your writings (including the immortal "racists clad in dead elephant skins" post), I'd say that your political views align very closely with those of TYT and its viewers. TYT also does a review show for each GOT episode. I really hope they try to interview you one day and that you accept.

Cenk Uygur also formed Wolf-PAC, a political action group with over 30,000 volunteers, whose only goal is passing a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics. They are trying to do this by passing resolutions in 2/3 of the states to call for an Article V (limited) constitutional convention. So far, they have passed the resolution in 5 states (California, Vermont, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island).

So cheer up big guy, there's reason to hope in 2017, and your work has inspired and touched more people than you will ever hear about.

Diego Hurtado Ruiz
Jan. 3rd, 2017 11:23 am (UTC)
Happy new year
Hello, George. How are you? I hope this year will be better than 2016. Happy new year!
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( 69 comments )

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