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Amygdala will move to an entirely new and far better blog template ASAP, aka RSN, aka incrementally/badly punctuated evolution.
Tagging posts, posts by category, next/previous post indicators, and other post-2003 design innovations are incrementally being tweaked/kludged/melting.
Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?
I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.
Thanks for any understanding and support. I know it's difficult to understand. And things will change. They always change.
I'm sometimes available to some degree as a paid writer, editor, researcher, or proofreader. I'm sometimes available as a fill-in Guest Blogger at mid-to-high-traffic blogs that fit my knowledge set.
If you like my blog, and would like to help me continue to afford food and prescriptions, or simply enjoy my blogging and writing, and would like to support it --
you are welcome to do so via the PayPal buttons.
"The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson
"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin
"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to
trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule --
and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt
"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley
"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss
"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire,
the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind;
and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise
the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his
expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were
respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon
"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify
the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.
They show disrespect for elders and they
love to chatter instead of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They
no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize
"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook
"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization.
We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect
disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest
and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr
"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the
land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion
"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him
an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also
to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing,
with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess
and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion
and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices,
intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to
improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation;
a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most
tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition --
to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri
"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke
"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology;
it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to
understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit
and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant
"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is
but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest
winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon,
but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without
being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant
"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand
"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.
"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible,
and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and
man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and
after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814
"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort,
are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true,
the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated.
This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News
"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas
"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
-- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson
"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example."
-- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance."
-- H. W. Fowler
"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place."
-- Kate Wilhelm
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein
"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).
"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)
"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden
"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit.
He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.
The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cutepanda. Don't you lovepandas?
Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181
Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9
Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6
Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7
...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow
I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber
Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow
One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's
face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged
We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott
Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal
If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.
Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks
I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes
Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this? -- Natalie Solent
People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost,
Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry,
Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny.
It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out.
And She of whom I must write someday.
THE LATE ABIGAIL FROST POST. I hate writing posts when friends of mine die.
The more I liked them, the harder it is.
Which is why so often I haven't written posts for so many friends who have died in in the past almost eight years I've been blogging: it keeps happening, and it hurts each time, and it hurts more to write about the loss.
One post I've put off is about Abigail Frost. Abi died on May 1st, 2009, at the age of 57.
Abi was one of the brightest, sharpest, most acerbic minds ever to move through fandom, and given how many of those sorts of minds have come out of British fandom, that's saying a lot.
She was a good friend to another brilliant British writer, Roz Kaveney. Avedon Carol is another writer and blogger who has now long lived in Britain, who was a good friend to Abi.
Since then, David Langford, another mutual good friend of Abi's and mine and so many, has worked hard to compile this terrific collection of some of Abi's fannish and other writings, as well as a handful of photos.
I first encountered Abi Frost as one fanzine fan in the pre-internet days usually first encountered another fanzine fan, particularly one who lived a great distance away -- in this case, a continent away, continents we had each yet to, respectively, visit -- in her fanzine writings, which appeared in a multitude of British fanzines. She was also to be found mentioned in many British convention and party reports.
In 1991, Abi ran for TAFF, the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund which, since 1954, has sent a European (originally and still usually a British) fan to North America (originally and still mostly to the U.S.), and vice versa, every other year or so, and Abi soundly lost to Pam Wells.
In 1993 she ran again, and won. I first met her in person on her TAFF trip, when I hosted her in NYC, at a time I was roommates with the late Robert Legault, one of the best copyeditors in publishing, and particularly, but not limited to, the science fiction world. Robert was, during the week Abi was in NYC, away traveling that month.
(And, digressing, contrary to rumors then and since, I paid full half the month's rent on that apartment every month I was working, which was most, for Scholastic Books, and years later, just a few years ago, finally repaid Robert the remainder of the money I owed him, we became friends, online, again; miss him.)
I got along fabulously with Abi; later, I was terribly glad to be able to spend a day with her on my Farber Fundtrip to England in November of 1996.
Self-centeredly, because people who read my blog know me, not old sf fandom, I'm going to give you some samples of some bits of writing where Abi mentioned me. Her own stuff linked below.
Before a planned Worldcon trip in 1990:
Things I don't want to do at the Worldcon at ConFiction, in the Hague, the Netherlands: Fall in love with a Bulgarian; eat pickled herrings; get poisoned by the North Sea; [...] get sued for libel; lose my passport; drop my shoes in the sea; fail to recognise Gary Farber; [...] meet millions of Scientologists; turn up incorrectly dressed at the Casino; eat pickled herrings; go to the Perry Rhodan event; eat pickled herrings.
Chicken Bones 2 (1990)
She need never have feared: the last Worldcon I've made it to was in Boston in 1989. [CORRECTION: Bucconeer, Baltimore, 1998. None in between.]
Abigail arrived in America, and wrote an In Progress report, dispatched to David Langford. A few excerpts:
[...] IF IT'S SEATTLE THIS MUST BE WEDNESDAY
Arrived at JFK Wednesday evening; G Farber waiting and even recognisable at the gate. Despite all my elaborate precautions against being taken for a wetback (most of my Abbey National account converted to traveller's cheques, addresses of practically everyone I know in the States, Official Looking Letters from ReinCONation and from J Bowman masquerading as WSFS Inc, lunch invitation from Famous New York Publishers etc) they just waved me through Immigration and I was mildly disappointed. Renewed acquaintance with subway and crashed out in the famously grungy Lower East Side.
Met Gary at the Tor lobby to walk about in search of a bar which, he said, sold good American beer; then decided we hadn't enough time so started walking in the other direction to meet le tout New York for dinner. I'd forgotten that aspect. Le tout New York was fine, and talked all the time. Back to Clinton Street for party. Crazed and increasingly desperate search for paper cups along the way ('Couldn't you decant soft drinks into empty beer bottles?' I suggested, and got looked at like something out of Animal House. Paper cups! We must have paper cups!). Lise Eisenberg discovered plastic bottles of what, if it's reached California and I have anything to do with it, will be the next British fan cult:
Blue Stuff, aka Blue Raspberry Drink. 100% chemicals and very nice with gin. Ended up pouring half my gin into a soda bottle to take with me, and leaving half as a thank-you for the unrich Farber. Don't Americans drink gin?
It would seem not. In Minneapolis Geri Sullivan and Jeff Schalles pressed the best part of a bottle on me, bought for Chuck Harris was it last year and not finished indeed barely started by him. I did my best for the honour of Britain with it, especially once I'd discovered that consuite sour cut with club soda made a fairly reasonable mixer in the absence of tonic.
ReinCONation was -- wonderful? weird? I am still weighing up its sheer strangeness. Everyone tells me it's the nearest thing to a British convention in the US;. substitute consuite-life for bar-life and yes, I can see it. I failed to get to much of the programme (partly because, in the hotel that hosts vast Minicons, it was just so far away), but we have nothing like as much fan programming anywhere, even at Mexicon. But the fan panel I went to seemed just like home, except that all the panellists seemed much more articulate than any of our usual suspects. But... but... there was something I don't think I'll ever quite nail down that was that little bit alien.
I come from a fandom, indeed a national class culture, where the sign of total acceptance is that they start to ignore you; when they really love you they insult you. I suspect it has to do with the upperclass life in which everybody was at boarding school with everybody else and remembers them being sick at dancing class at the age of seven. I don't come from that segment of society, but it's sort of in the water and in any case if, like me, you get sent from a decent state school to Oxford you rapidly learn to sink or swim in it. Your typical Minneapolis fan has an almost imperturbably sunny nature, an inalienable friendliness, which is not at all easy for your standard sharp and snarling London fan to deal with. If you encountered anything like this at home it would be phoney to the nth degree; here it isn't. Step back and try to imagine Michael Ashley here. It's painful. Try to imagine Chris Bell. It's hilarious. Try to imagine me, and I suppose it's just puzzling. [The Plain People of Fandom: You overestimate yourself, sunshine. It's obscene, that's what it is.]
Farber gave me a good tip before I left NYC: 'If there's anything to do with music going on, go; it's not bloody filk.' Dead right there, mate. Are you listening, Glasgow? Give these people a slot and a decent sized room with a PA and tell them just to fill it for the evening. I was too tired to take in much of the Friday night concert but the Saturday jam sessions were a delight.
SO FAR, SO [*COUGH!*]
Have not yet been assaulted by rabid anti-smokers; in fact people seem apologetic about it. Having no great trouble really. In fact, all this bit is is a convenient spot to tell you about, oh, god, I can't remember the name of the place, but it's near Gary's housesit. Imagine Spaghetti Junction, the Blackwall Tunnel exit and Hyde Park Corner all rolled together. Lots of cars, coming from several different directions, and it's rush hour and they're all standing there packed together with the engines running. Above the whole unbeautiful mess is a billboard advertising cigarettes, with compulsory Surgeon-General's Warning, which the random factors have made: CIGARETTE SMOKE CONTAINS CARBON MONOXIDE. At this point, Get a Life! seems an appropriate response.
WILL SOMEBODY ELSE PLEASE DO THIS
In the nature of things, when staying two nights with G Farber you end up with a certain amount of what I am normally far too grand to call smoffing. Result of this one is suggestion of a new fan fund: exchange between anglophone and non-anglophone countries. This is plainly the next frontier for fan funds; question is, how to do it at all without things getting totally smeared all over the place, and how not to make it we-the-anglophones-spreading-the-true- gospel-to-the-underprivileged.
Think about it. Talk about it. Then execute it brilliantly without me or Gary having to do a hand's turn, please.
I miss Abigail. I will always regret that though I thought of her many times in recent years, during which she'd almost entirely stayed far far away from science fiction fandom, other than a few friends such as Roz Kaveney, David Langford, and Avedon Carol, I'd never written her in snail mail to regain contact. So far as I know, she never did get online.
I never even knew that she was ill with cancer, until suddenly I'd heard that she died.
She was sharp as hell, burned brightly, and deserved so much more than life, and fandom, handed her.
One thing I'll never do is forget her.
Read some of what you've missed in this collection of just some of her fine writings, as collected by D. Langford.
To quote the famous Langford, who earns Hugos like other people earn wages:
I'm sure you'll have your own favourites from Abigail's now-on-line works; don't let me influence you over-much! Going through all that material led to to many happy rediscoveries. Two particularly fine pieces of personal writing, according to me, are Splinters & Mysteries and A Mitcham Mint.
Having gained the permission of Roz, I may eventually have a part two of this post, taking up the story of just how badly Abi was treated by science fiction fandom, in her later years, and why, how tragic and wrongheaded it was, and why this sort of thing should never be allowed to happen,
But that's for another day and another post.
To read A Mitcham Mint is to understand why Abi and I understood each other so well.
ADDENDUM, September 7th, 2009, 9:32 p.m.: People who don't understand how the internet works might want to know that there are these things called "referrer logs," and they tell you such information as IP addresses of where you get hits from, as well as much other info about the computers and people that read your website, including the ISP, geographic location of the source, what operating system you use, what browser you use, and much else, such as, for instance: "http://groups.yahoo.com/group/inthebar/messages/227848?l=1, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/inthebar/messages/227848?l=1," "http://groups.yahoo.com/group/inthebar/messages/227852?l=1," etc." Or if you're, say, clicking from an email sent to or from a Yahoo mail account. And so on.
The internet: don't try using it without knowing what you're doing.