Archive for the ‘Obituary’ Category

Ed Bryant, RIP

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Howard Waldrop called to inform me that SF writer Ed Bryant has died at age 71. This is a shame but not a surprise, as Ed had been ailing for many years.

Ed was in the category of “friends you only see once or twice a year.” He was a regular Armadillocon attendee in the early days, and I saw him read “A Sad Last Love at the Diner of the Damned” before it appeared in Skipp & Spector’s The Book of the Dead. He was also an astute reviewer in the field for many years.

He will be missed.

I will update this when I have a suitable link to a proper obituary.

Joan Jett Covers the Mary Tyler Moore Theme Song

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore, RIP.

In way of remembrance, here’s Joan jett covering the theme to the Mary Tyler Moore Show (“Love is All Around”) live on Letterman.

It was either that or the entirety of the “It May look Like A Walnut” episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show

William Peter Blatty: RIP

Friday, January 13th, 2017

William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, has died at age 89.

I remember about a quarter of a century ago, I finished one book before bedtime, and went “I know! I’ll read the first chapter of The Exorcist and then go to sleep.”

At 3:30 AM I finished the book. It was that good. William Friedkin’s very faithful movie adaptation was also great (indeed, arguably the best horror movie of all time), but it helped that he had great source material to start with.

Greg Lake, RIP

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Musician Greg Lake, of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and King Crimson fame, has died.

In my youth I drove my parent’s old 8-track equipped Dodge Monaco, with The Best of Emerson Lake and Palmer one of the few 8-track albums I possessed and thus in very heavy rotation. (Among the annoyances: All but 10 seconds of “Tiger in a Spotlight” was on one track, and then a KERTHUNK for the very end.) I never saw one of their elaborate live shows, but I did had tickets for the Austin leg of the Emerson Lake and Powell tour before it was cancelled.

Here’s the obligatory Emerson, Lake and Palmer track:

Alas, there does not seem to be a full version of the original “In the Court of the Crimson King” on YouTube, or that would be here as well…

Gene Wilder RIP

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Gene Wilder has died at age 83 of Alzheimer’s.

He was one of his generation’s great comic actors, with a natural gift for underplaying a straight man and perfect deadpan delivery, and was in some of the greatest comedies of the 1970s.

Blazing Saddles, of course:

Young Frankenstein:

And who can forget the freaky boat ride from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

And here’s an animated overview of his life in his own words:

Muhammed Ali, RIP

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali has died at age 74.

As the young Cassius Clay, Ali combined the power of a heavyweight with the speed of a middleweight. He was so good for so long that he earned his self-anointed title as The Greatest of All Time.

Growing up I actually saw Ali box on TV, back when they still showed boxing on broadcast TV. Alas, Ali was far past his prime when I saw him lose to Leon Spinks.

The late fights took a serious toll on Ali, eventually robbing him of his previously celebrated eloquence, and he became a sad example of a great fighter who stayed in the ring too long.

Rest in Peace.

Prince RIP

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Musician Prince, AKA Prince Rogers Nelson, AKA The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, AKA is dead at age 57.

Imagine there’s an embedded video of “Paisley Park” here, since Prince was evidently extra diligent in keeping his music off the Internet…

Keith Emerson, RIP

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Keith Emerson, the keyboardist for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died at age 71.

Along with Rick Wakeman and Tony Banks, Emerson was one of the great progressive rock keyboardists, and was one of the first players brave (or foolhardy) enough to take the massive, temperamental modular Moog synthesizer on the road.

(Note the shout-out to everyone’s favorite rock documentary…)

Here’s more on Emerson’s modular Moog for the analog hardcore:

Their song “Lucky Man” ends with Emerson’s classic Moog solo:

Here he is doing “America” from West Side Story on David Letterman:

In 2011, Emerson actually let keyboardist Rachel Flowers borrow his modular Moog to play a cover of ELP’s “Trilogy”:

More on David Hartwell

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Now that the New York Times has finally bestirred itself to publish a David Hartwell obituary, it offers me a chance to throw up a few more Hartwell-related links from:

  • Kathryn Cramer.
  • Michael Swanwick.
  • I would have had this up earlier, but I was distracted by shiny objects. But Dwight’s post jogged my memory…

    RIP: David Hartwell, 1941-2016

    Thursday, January 21st, 2016

    I’ve been holding off on this until I received final word that David Hartwell had indeed died, but Kathryn Cramer has now confirmed his death. He was reported as being at death’s door following a serious brain injury (whether from an aneurysm first, then a fall down stairs, or vice versa) Tuesday, but only passed yesterday.

    David was a friend, albeit one I only saw at science fiction conventions. He came to one of the pre-Armadillocon pizza lunches I used to throw, and we dined together at more than one Worldcon (where he usually picked up the bill, because That’s What Editors With Expense Accounts Do). I’ll miss his irreplaceable deep insights into the field.

    There’s plenty of testament to what a fine editor David Hartwell is (Gene Wolfe said he was the best editor he ever worked with), and he won (and deserved) his Hugo for Best Editor. Chris Brown’s Tropic of Kansas was one of the last novels he bought for Tor before his untimely death.

    His indefatigable work as Editor and Publisher of The New York Review of Science Fiction is well known, and he was very appreciative of what we were trying to do at Nova Express back in the day. He also ran Dragon Press and was editor of the Gregg Press science fiction line.

    David was a great creator of science fiction institutions: He had a hand in creating not just NYRSF, but also the World Fantasy Convention, Sercon, the Philip K. Dick Award, etc. Anyone could have come up with those ideas, but it took David Hartwell to actually create them and make them stick.

    David was also one of the field’s greatest science fiction first edition collectors, and we often talked about collecting first editions over dinner. He said the pride of his collection was the first American edition of Frankenstein (in two volumes), and he also owned a first of Symzonia. He also owned a bookstore in Westport, NY.

    David was deeply involved in just about every facet of literary science fiction except writing fiction. He was, more than anyone else, Mr. Science Fiction, and his death is a terrible blow to the field.