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In Memoriam: 2007's Great Genre Writers
Author: Rafe Telsch
published: 2007-12-30 20:42:33
(November 11, 1922 Ė April 11, 2007)
Kurt Vonnegutís contributions to American fiction are unmistakable, from his short stories, carrying cultural commentary and delivering cautionary messages, to his novels Ė particularly Slaughterhouse Five, an amazing story that not only delivers Vonnegutís memory of the burning of Dresden, but carries a fascinating story as well, with a lot to think about as far as free will and predestination. Forget about that faux graduation commencement speech that makes the rounds every couple of years (it wasnít actually Vonnegutís words) and take the time to read some of this brilliant authorís work. Admittedly, Iíve spent part of this year finally visiting some of Vonnegutís work myself Ė too late to appreciate the author within his own lifetime, but itís Vonnegutís own Slaughterhouse that reminds us that a person is never truly dead, because there are always moments in time where they are still living. Still, itís sad to be in the time that Vonnegut isnít living. So it goes.
(November 29, 1918 Ė September 6, 2007)
Iíve been a fan of science-fiction and fantasy for as long as I can remember, so I donít know what the first sci-fi novel was that truly turned me onto the genre, but I know LíEngleís A Wrinkle in Time was close to the beginning. The concepts of tessaracts and folding time and space have stuck with me, eventually drawing me to Frank Herbert, among other authors. I remember as a teen reading the other stories in the series, following the Murray family through other unbelievable adventures, but A Wrinkle in Time stayed with me, to the point that Iíve reread it a few times even into adulthood, and dreaded the Disney adaptation of the movie a few years ago, which was just as awful as LíEngle herself expected it to be. Although itís been years since LíEngle published a new book, her passing is still a reason to remember her contributions. So it goes.
(October 17, 1948 Ė September 16, 2007)
Probably the most tragic of the three, Jordan passed away with his story incomplete Ė at least as far ast he telling goes. Although, much as I predicted at the time, someone else will carry the torch and finish the Wheel of Time series (Brandon Sanderson was announced earlier this month by Tor Books), itís always a shame when an author doesnít get to finish their own story. Jordanís passing was a grim reminder of our own mortality, and another reason (as if we needed one) to remember to do the most with the time we have, because we never know when it will be over with. So it goes.