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The Big Six-Oh

Yes, it's true. I was born on September 20, 1948. Which means that today I reach the big six-oh. I know, I know, sixty is the new forty. Somehow it still feels like the old sixty. Dare I eat a peach?

"It beats the alternative," I hear people saying. People always say that when one complains about aging and its indignities. These people lack imagination, I say. Clearly they can't be science fiction and fantasy fans. The only way getting old beats the alternative is if the alternative is dying... but after a lifetime of reading SF, I yearn for other alternatives, like eternal youth and health.

Inside, at least, I don't feel all that different than I did at twenty-five. Yesterday I was a young turk, today I seem to have become a grey eminence. That has its good points, of course. But so did being twenty-five.

Ah, well. I shouldn't complain. It's been an interesting ride so far, and I am hoping to continue for another sixty years at least. I've got my health, I'm financially secure, I love my work, I have more readers than I ever dreamed of having, I have great friends both old and new... and of course I have Parris. (I love you, honey). I'm a lucky guy. Hell, the Giants even won the Superbowl.

And now that I'm sixty, I am legally entitled to be a Cranky Old Phart. I've buying myself a cane to shake at people, and learning how to growl, "Hey, you kids, get out of my yard!"

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( 297 comments — Leave a comment )
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malegrim
Sep. 21st, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
Happy birthday!

I can't say I agree with your sentiment that "the only way getting old beats the alternative is if the alternative is dying," though. SF cuts both ways. What if the alternative is living the same day over and over and over, or being locked in temporal stasis and being revived for one day every hundred years?
wraith_mistress
Sep. 21st, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
Birthday...
Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday to Mr. Martin...
Happy Birthday to you!!!

Thank you so much for writing. It truly was a great day the day you were born! Woot!

Marlene
tenshi_kain
Sep. 21st, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Another sixty years at least, oh yes. Happy Birthday, sir.
zaccur
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
happy birthday
I know this sounds kinda weird but you know that pic of you on the dust jacked of most of your books? the black and white one with you in front of a castle? Well when i first started reading your work it was because i saw that pic. This is several years back i was still in high school (i am 32 now) in that pic you looked exactly like my dad did at that time. A few years latter after you where my favorite author I showed the pic to my dad when i gave him the audio version of A Game of Thrones and he just smiled and said that you were a very hansom righter... Oh and your both going to be 60 this year but your a little older his birthday is 12/24/1948
bojojoti
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
And many more!

You're blazing the way for my husband, as he will hit the 6-0 this December. He doesn't have a cane, but he started yelling at the neighbor kids decades ago!
magnificentwilf
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, well you know what they say, The older you get, the more birthdays you've had...or is it the other way around? Either way it doesn't matter, no seriously, it doesn't matter.
Happy Birthday.
How about we call the cane a walking stick and tell everyone that it's really a magic staff.
(That's what I would do, except without the beard, I don't think I could pull it off as well.)
reutii
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
Happy B-day!!!
well my mother always says "you are as old as you feel"...if you feel 25 what does it matter how old you are offically...?;)

happy b-day may you have many more (in good health and happiness of course)
squamous
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
cfsm01
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
HAPPY BDAY!!
snowtricat
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:47 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday!!!
Old phart. lol
lonerhino
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
A snappy haiku would be appropriate here, but....I got nuthin'.

Best to you on your birthday, George.
fragilemuse
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
happy birthday!
angrylagomorph
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
I'm holding out for designer clones and cortical stacks. Given the type of stem cell and clone research going on these days(particularly the new discoveries regarding the cause of cancers), it looks like the big problem will be figuring out how to transfer digital info into a chemical/electrical system.

If you can manage to give the tech guys and gals another 3-4 decades, maybe you'll get a chance to experience one of those alternatives.
daystarclarion
Sep. 21st, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
hoppy birfday gampa grrm :D
dark_majesty
Sep. 21st, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday George! I won't spout off any of the trademark ageisms either. I'll just say that I for one hope you have many, many more. :)
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  • 5 Mar 2018, 19:17
    Still working on that. When we have a final, I will share it.
  • 5 Mar 2018, 05:32
    All the Wild Cards books under Tor have had absolutely stellar covers. I'd frame them and hang them on my wall if I could.
  • 4 Mar 2018, 03:28
    Are all these examples digital artwork? It doesn't look like traditional oil on canvas. I miss the fantasy/sci-fi covers of the '70s and '80s. Even the paperbacks had amazing covers.
  • 3 Mar 2018, 17:49
    Whatever anyone can get their hands on is, I suspect, the right answer.

    At the last party, it was an open bar with pretty much everything you can imagine on offer. There were some special drinks as…
  • 3 Mar 2018, 00:07
    Any chance you could tell us who’s doing the cover art for Fire and Blood? And maybe when we can expect a glimpse of it. Thank you!
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