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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.
Mike Glicksohn was possibly the second most famous letter of comment writer to fanzines in all of fanzine fan history, after HarryWarner, Jr.
Mike was a writer, a publisher, a personality, a math teacher, a good man, a great fan, beloved by many, friend to even more.
141 High Park Avenue, Toronto, is an address I'll never forget, I saw it so many times. Later Mike wrote from 508 Windermere Avenue, and earlier from 35 Willard St., and 267 St. George St., all famous fan addresses.
Although in early days, giants such as Rick Sneary reigned, for the Sixties and Seventies and longer, it was Glicksohn who took the mantle of Warner as letter writer to almost all fanzines.
His own primary fanzine, done with fellow Hugo-winner, both together, and on her own, was Energumen.
It was one of the most deserving Hugo-winning zines ever. The .pdfs can't begin to show the quality of production. Mike was one of the most meticulous of publishers, in every detail from that beautiful 24-lb blue bond paper, to doing one of the most beautifully illustrated and graphically well-designed fanzines ever, finding and publishing, many for the first time, some of the best fan artists, later pros, ever published, including more or less discovering Tim Kirk, Alicia Austin, James Shull, George Barr, Derek Carter, and so many more, including Connie (Reich) Faddis, Alexis Gilliland, Mike Gilbert, the list goes on on and on.
He published Jack Gaughn, to whom the first issue in February of 1970 was dedicated, and a fold-out centerpiece of art was included, as well as that first cover. Many illos of that issue were by the great Alicia Austin. His longtime great friend, Joe Haldeman, also managed to have a letter in the first issue.
Jay Kinney, Bill Rotlser (of course!), Phil Foglio, Bernie Zuber, Jeff Schalles, Arthur Thomson (ATom), and many others were among the numerous artists Mike published so immaculately.
The writers he and Susan Wood (Glicksohn) published won Best Fan Writer Hugos, their artists, Best Fan Artist Hugos.
That was in no small part due to Mike Glicksohn.
Read The Rest Scale: if you're a science fiction fan, yes.
He published art by Sandra Meisel, Jonh Ingham, Alpajuri (Paul Novitski), Andy Porter, Jeff Cochran/Freff, Brad Balfour, Jeff Schalles, Grant Canfield, Bjo Trimble, Bill Kunkel, Dan Steffan, Randy Bathurst, Terry Austin, endless amounts of Bill Rotsler, Alex Eisenstein, Ken Fletcher, Steve Fabian, Eddie Jones, Vincent DiFate, Ron Miller, C. Lee Healey, Steve Stiles, Joe Pearson, and many divers hands.
The covers were beautifully off-set on the highest quality stock.
Writing, fannish and sercon alike, by Susan Glickson (Wood), Tony Lewis, Joe W. Haldeman, John R. Douglas, Greg Benford, Angus Taylor, Paul Walker, Ted Pauls, Arnie Katz, Bob Shaw, Terry Carr, reprints from Walter A. Willis, Bob Silverberg, Bill Rotlser, Dean Koontz, John D. Berry, andy offut, Rick Stooker, Ginjer Buchanan, Avram Davidson, Jerry Lapidus, Bob Toomey, Ted White, Harry Warner, Jr., Walt Liebscher, Darrell Schweitzer, Sandra Meisel and, again, many more.
Fans and pros of every persuasion could be found in 'Nerg, and no one could be found who didn't think the fanzine was of the highest possible quality. Major letterhacks there included Jerry Kaufman, Warner, Meisel, Lapidus, the unforgettable Dave Hulvey, Mike Deckinger, Mike O'Brien, Roger Bryant, Darrell Schweitzer, Grant Canfield, and the oft-quoted Aljo (Alva) Svoboda.
As a convention fan, Michael reigned supreme, smoothing With Bob Tucker and Beam's choice, found at just about every Midwestern sf convention there was, for decades, staying up at the parties until dawn, speaking articulately at panels, befriending neos, moving with ease among the great professional writers to the humblest of neofans, friend to nearly all. He was a major part of the Toronto in 1973 Worldcon bid, later one of the most successful Worldcons ever, Torcon II. He was a founder of OSFiC, the Ontario Science Fiction club that sponsored Torcon II and other sf cons. Another beautiful, more personal, zine of his, was Xenium.
From that first issue, Rosemary Uyllot's column, Kumquat May, done by a then unknown fan, earned enough attention to
But later, the far more indelible upon memory blue, which I cannot show you a sample of, alas, but Taral Wayne did make a CD-ROM: Strange Voyages is apparently still available from Taral Wayne, 245 Dunn Ave. Apt. 2111, Toronto Ontario, M6K 1S6 Canada. $15 (US or Canadian) covers shipping and handling as well as $1 to be donated to TAFF in Mike's name. For orders outside North America, please add $2 to cover the extra cost of postage, for a total of $17. So it says here.
I liked Mike. We were never close friends, but he was always kind and friendly to me. I haven't seen him in decades, heard varying bits and pieces about his illnesses and battles with cancer for many years now.
I'll still miss him. We'd not had any contact in decades, but he was a presence all over the sf fandom of my youth, a man who helped create much of the environment I grew up in, the culture that was so important to me for so long, and I'm very sorry he's gone.
RIP, Mike, and have a smooooth one with Bob Tucker.
[A variant edition of this is crossposted on Facebook, readable to everyone; both of these may be revised, almost surely not identically.] [UPDATE, 3.21.11, 6:24 p.m.: there seems to be a glitch keeping the FB post, which should be readable by everyone, and which no one has before informed me was not, but which I was just informed wasn't readable by those not on FB, and have checked myself, found this to be true for at least the moment, haven't been able to figure out why, and thus am now warning you until I see that the problem/glitch/whatever has passed, that you may not find that link operable unless you have an FB account, or... beats me, until such time as I find that it's definitely working for all again; my apologies to all and anyone who may have been affected, and any resulting confusion; this is the first time in a couple of years of using FB that this has ever happened, so I'm guessing it's just a temporary glitch, but I'm obviously in no position to say. Again: sorry about that!; these two posts are substantially the same, so mostly what you're missing are the many wonderful comments by other folks -- if those were visible anyway -- and a few minor variations.]
By Mike Glicksohn, a wonderful set of memories, and I'm... full of mixed emotion at rereading this, and realizing how I, too, have now been around for, gulp, about 40 years of activity in the sf field, even more than the 35 years Mike had when he wrote this, though Mike was understandably about 10,000 times justifiably more beloved than I am. But I couldn't identify more with those feelings of how one goes from awe at one's elders to finding that, hey, wait, I can't be an elder: I'm still just a kid!
And I've never been a thousandth the sf fan Mike was; I'm just...also older. You should read this piece.
ADDENDA: Geri Sullivan. Mike Glyer. Lots on Facebook and LJ and sff.net and all over. I'll add some of the more substantive to both my posts as I catch them, when time allows, if I can. People are encouraged to send me links, as always.
Digressively: Geez, that ConFusion one-shot, which includes pieces by Lenny Bailes, mentions Diane Drutowski in Fred Haskell's (as he was then) reprint piece, and, well, I could make a long list of Friends in it or part of it, reminds me of the 1977 ConFusion where I had a special ultra-cheap good-for-only-72-hours Greyhound bus ticket, and was lunatic to use it to go from NYC to Ann Arbor, MI, knowing I'd spend more time on the road than at the con.
Little did I know that that a massive snow storm would shut down the entire Ohio State thruway, and leave our bus and a couple of thousand stranded in -- was it Cleveland, or Cincinnati? -- where the Red Cross brought us cots and doughnuts and coffee, and I managed to get a phone call through from a phone booth (no cell phones in those days, children!) to the con suite, where someone desultorily took a phone call -- possibly Jack Chalker? -- and I later found that someone had scrawled a chalk message on a chalk board that "Gary Farber is trapped in a phone booth in Ohio in a blizzard."
Greyhound was nice enough to extend the ticket for a day.
Ah, yes, from that oneshot, and Fred Haskell's report of the time:
Oh, yes, by Fred Haskell: "Gary Farber called later in the evening to say he was stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again in a bus terminal in Cleveland or somesuch."
This is what I wrote elsewhere --Our old friend Mike Glicksohn died today. He’d been ill with cancer for a long time, so no surprise. But always a shock, a blow. Our hearts are with Susan Manchester, whom he left behind, tonight.
A Facebook page about him notes that he published me before I was a professional, and it reproduces a page from his fanzine Energumen, with a poem and drawing I sent to him from Vietnam in 1968. I wasn’t much of a poet then, but the last couple of lines are poignant.
Also, apparently I didn't make it clear that Mike died earlier today; if he'd died on some previous day I'd have mentioned that. He died at 5:30 a.m. Eastern time according to Robert Sawyer who put it on Facebook and tweeted it within the hour.
I've also neglected to say here that I know that I first met Mike at the Aussiecon party at Discon II, in 1974, when I had been reading and loccing fanzines for a couple of years, but had just missed going to Torcon II, the year before, because I was still young and neoish enough to wave goodbye, literally, to a car full of NYC fans driving off to it, without realizing, as I subsequently did, that I could have have squeezed in, and, in those days, found crash space, eaten cheap food, and not missed that wonderful Torcon I heard so much about, while I was still 14 years old.
In 1974 I was still neoish enough as a con fan, and all around, to be awed to be among my fannish elders, and it was still a couple of months before I started reading slush for Lou Stathis (unbeknown to Ted White, I think, until later), and was even more awed to be a Galactic Observer, very quietly leaning against the walls of that Aussiecon party, listening and watching as Mike Glicksohn, and Robin Johnson, and Leigh Edmonds, and Susan Wood, and Valma Brown, and Joe Haldeman, and so many others, conversed, played cards, told stories, and I just soaked it all in, learning what The BNFs Were Like, and that not incidentally, in those days, as in the many decades previous, so many professional writers, editors, agents, and artists started in fandom, and the field was so small, that while there were always some pros who came from outside, and, of course, many fans who were awed by various pros, it was perfectly common -- as it still is today to some extent in at least some circles -- for there to be no social or other distinction between "pros" and "fans" since so many people were both.
(They certainly mixed it up in fanzines, and had ever since the Forties, as well, while, of course, some did maintain a distinction separation, as Robert Heinlein very much did, while yet others I'll leave nameless were more, um, variable, depending upon who they had in mind -- as well they might.)
I wanted to point out, though, that I raised the cost of the CD to $20 plus $2 postage, even though I think it says $15 plus $2 on the disk. The actual costs ended up being a little higher than I originally expected, due to lavish packaging of the content. I doubt I'd do another with a label, for instance.
UPDATE: March 20th, 2001, 7:18: a.m., PST: Mike Glyer reports Mike's memorial service:
A service of remembrance for Mike Glicksohn will be held at Windermere United Church, 356 Windermere Avenue, Toronto ON, at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday March 23.
Sara Stratton, a family friend, has also sent out a preview of the announcement that will appear in the Toronto Star next week:
Michael David Glicksohn (“Honey”), born May 20, 1946 in Portsmouth, England, died March 18, 2011 in Toronto after a lengthy illness. Amazing husband of Susan Manchester, he will also be missed by brother Manning (Louissa) and nephew Ray (Mary Ellen), cousins Dale (Petra), Jo (Howard) and Abby, great-nieces Willow and Jade, cousins Alison Purdy and Kevin Purdy (Rosemary), step-mother Hilary, and by many, many good friends. Predeceased by his parents, Paul and Ellen (nee Mullane). Mike taught mathematics at Humberside Collegiate Institute for 34 years. He was involved in science fiction fandom for many years and won a Hugo Award for best fan writer. Each Memorial Day weekend for more than 25 years, Mike and his friend Michael Harper hosted MikeCon, which was attended by hundreds of friends and fans from across Canada and the U.S. A service of remembrance will be held at Windermere United Church, 356 Windermere Avenue, on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers or donations, Mike would probably appreciate it if you raised a glass to him.
Energumen ed. by Michael Glicksohn and Susan Wood Glicksohn
Energumen ed. by Michael Glicksohn and Susan Wood Glicksohn
Locus ed. by Charles N. Brown and Dena Brown
Algol ed. by Andrew I. Porter
Granfalloon ed. by Ron Bushyager and Linda Bushyager
SF Commentary ed. by Bruce Gillespie
Best Fan Writer
Susan Wood Glicksohn
Richard E. Geis
Charles N. Brown
Best Fan Artist
Arthur "ATom" Thomson
Gotta love newspapers when they get your obituary wrong. No, I don't know where “Honey” comes from. Anyone?
Yvonne Penney has also mentioned asking permission to start a scholarship in Mathematics in his memory at the school where he taught." Most who commented there and on my Facebook variant of this, and elsewhere thinks it's a fine idea. As I wrote:
[...] so many of Mike's famous writer friends, and so many well-known folks, would want to help out, that I'm sure something real could be worked out so long as there are people at the school willing to work on it, and someone local who knows what they're doing who is the same, and similarly handle the legal and administrative angles, which can be, to be sure, time-consuming, involving, ongoing, and something that would be apt to be a commitment of, well, as many years as people are willing to work on making it last.
There are ways to start talking endowments, but then you really need to bring in a good tax lawyer, and so on. Raising the money really wouldn't be the harder part, I think, if you want to go long term, but even as a commitment for a few years, or 5 years, say, it would be a wonderful thing.
Absolutely those of us in fandom should honor Mike's memory. But should we perhaps consider doing it in a way that will immortalize Mike's fannish contributions -- such as, for instance, endowing a fanzine collection at the Merril Collection, or endowing CUFF in his name? He had hundreds of teaching colleagues and thousands of former students who knew him in a capacity we did not. They, too, will be moved by his passing, and may well choose to do something at the school he taught at for three decades. Rather than duplicate their efforts, I suggest we find a way to commemorate the aspect of Mike that WE knew about. :)
I'm sure this will all be worked out in time.
Meanwhile, Mike's passing on has been commented on endlessly all over blogs, Facebook, LiveJournal, mailing lists, in endlessly more comment threads that I could list or be aware of or have access to, and I'm sure the same will be true in fanzines, and yet more comments and articles continue to pour in and will do so for years to come.
UPDATE, 3/20/11, 12:51 p.m, PST, more on memorial details. Word comes on Facebook that:
Murray Moore is putting together a memorial oneshot in memory of Mike Glicksohn. He's doing it for Mike's memorial service on Wednesday, so please mail him material ASAP. The memorial oneshot contributions eddress: murrayamoore AT gmail dot com
Chris Garcia is dedicating the next issue of Drink Tank to Mike. Anyone who has any memories they want to share, send them to Chris at - garcia AT computerhistory dot org
Hania Wojtowicz has mentioned compiling a document for Susan listing as many Facebook and LiveJournal links and quotes as she can; I've suggested making this publically available and linkable. [Update: she says she will. When/where she'll draw the line, I have no idea. Ruthlessly, I suppose. Probably in time for the Memorial Service.]
A service of remembrance will be held at Windermere United Church,
356 Windermere Avenue, on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m.
Student's will remember him as "Mr.", his colleagues and family as "Mike or Michael", either way, the perennial favourite math teacher to thousands, and friend or family to many will be missed dearly as Mike passed away March 18th, 2011.
Lots and lots of tributes there.
I'm trying to remember in more than semi-coherent fashion this speech Mike gave at the first Autoclave, at the banquet, in which he told a Harlan story (back when they were still friends, obviously), which had to do with, um, (NSFW), the punchline being how a dick fell off. I wish Mike were around to remind me how it went. I'm half tempted to call Harlan up and see if he's feeling forgiving of Mike, now, given his own feelings of mortality, and ask him if he remembers his own story he told Mike, or some version.
I really am half-tempted, but not quite enough. At the moment. Besides, I'm sure Harlan will hear, and he'll do whatever it is he'll do.
Meanwhile I'm pondering if I have any Mike stories of my own really worth telling, but I feel like I couldn't possibly have any that really aren't just variants of everyone else's. Poker. Snake. Hair. Locs. Parties. Smoothing. Hat. Parties. Articles. Mimeography. Names of mutual friends, and his best friends. Everyone else can tell them better. The ones left alive, at least.
I’m sorry that my initial relationship to him was really with a version of him that I made up in my head. I’m glad we both lived long enough to actually relate as human beings.
We all tend to have versions in our heads of people if they're not in front of us recently, and with enough time to know who they really are at a given time. It's always a shame to miss out on relating to the actual person, and, I think, always a terrible thing when people die without ever having a chance to match reality with reality. Even letting years pass makes for lost years. I'm glad Patrick fixed things up with Mike eventually. Age and the greater wisdom and perspective it can bring can sometimes help with such issues.
Oh, wow. Glicksohn. His letters were a big influence on me -- he was one of a few champion letter writers, the usual venues being fanzines, and from my early days as a reader he (and they) showed me how much art, thought, and pleasure could be spun into a letter. I miss him.
For many of us (and not others of us, or it's a mix), letters of comment on fanzines long ago turned into comments on BBS' or Fidonet, or Usenet, or listservs, or Genie, or the WELL, or Compuserve, or sff.net, or SF-LOVERS on ARPANET, or then blogs, or LiveJournals, and then ever so much more.
But for me: it's all the same thing. All one continuity from when Jack Speer invented the mailing comment down to... this comment on a blog.
And to my tweets, and to people's phone texts, and back to mailing lists and letters to fanzines, be they .pdfs or hard copies, or in chats in Second Life, or the newest 3D interactive projections coming out of experimental stages, or whether you've been using DragonSpeaking to dictate your writing for fifteen years, or however soon we'll be jacking our brains directly into a cloud; it's all one continuity.
I'm going to stick this in as a comment, rather than jam up the post more, since it's digressive to Mike, but from Fred Haskell's con report of that 1977 ConFusion I linked to above:
"[...] Gary Farber arrived as did Michaels Glicksohn and Harper (who had Stories to Tell about being trapped by the snow in a small Canadian town). Also discovered Lynnette Parks had arrived, and was much delighted to see and talk with here. She showed me a pornographic puppet slide=she had done. Neat!
The day passed pleasantly, and in the evening I dragged out my MAC proofs (to show Gary) and my portfolio (to show Ken’s roommate John). I somehow ended up doing this at a party, and for the next few hours found myself surrounded by people looking through my MAC proofs and portfolio. It was a real treat, as they seemed to be really getting off on it, particularly Denise Mattingly. I ended up taking orders for copies of three portfolio prints from her, and for a number of MAC prints from others.
When this was over, I got my guitars and played again. This night nobody joined me,but it was alright, as I was in better form. After playing a few hours (in the midst of which I was violated by Q-tip Fandom) I decided I was all out, and after a brief visit to a quiet party with Joe Haldeman, Ro and Lynn Lutz-Nagey, Cat and Mark, Ben Zuhl, Mike Glicksohn, and, for a time, Barbara Jones (there may have been one ortwo others as well, but memory fogs), I went and sacked. Whew. (I should mention that I had a chance to talk with a lot of good people and had a very good day onSaturday, and that no one should feel slighted if I don’t mention them.)
Also went out and played some pinball (two games per quarter, five balls per game!) with Mark and Ben and Joe (I’ve never seen anyone who could bang and shake a machine without tilting it like Joe can), and then with Joel and Candice and Mike. Finally went back to the hotel, and settled into a conversation with Larry Downes, Diane Drutowski, and Gary Farber. This coversation lasted for hours, and covered a large variety of topics including sex, pop-tarts, and and The Early Days of various Fan Groups. Eventually we went across the street to the Hanging Athenian Gardens, presumably to get me some coffee, although I foolishly ended up eating something as well. Around 2 am, Diane decided that she was definitely getting flakey and went off to crash. Gary, Larry, and I continued relentlessly on. In another half-hour or so we went back to the hotel, and conversed in the mezzanine. Around 3, Larry decided he had to crash, and went off to Bill Bowers’ room (which was where Diane had gone earlier for similar reasons).
Gary went along so as to bring back the key so he could crash there when it came to that. Gary returned, and we talked until about fiveabout fanzines and sealing way and whether pigs have wings." [more next comment]
More Fred: "Though I had forgotten to make arrangements, I was reasonably certain that Bill wouldn’t mind finding me sleeping on the floor in the morning (for two reasons – hewas extremely kind about putting me up in the past, and he was allowing a number of people to crash there that night). So I went along with Gary and fell over. Around six, Larry, Gary, and Leah got up for the return to Detroit (Larry and Leah home andGary to the bus station), and I woke briefly from the proceedings, though returning to sleep was no problem.
Shortly before eight, we were all rudely awakened by the fire alarm. Ahh yes. We were the picture of calm. Bill stuck his head out the door to see what was going on, and I followed. Didn’t seem like much. We returned to the room to discuss a course of action. I suggested that we call the desk to find out what was going on, which Bill did. The desk clerk said that they thought it was a false alarm, but that we should probably take the stairs down to the lobby, just in case. Bill, Diane, and Ric Bergman (who were the only other people in the room) started getting dressed and collecting their Important Things and I went off to the bathroom to take a piss. I came out and grabbed all my stuff (my coat, purse, and the bound volumes of Love & Cheap Thrills and RUNE Volume Seven (which I had gotten out of Morrison the preceeding evening to show Gary)). Bill took his photo albums and he and Ric grabbed bottles of Coke. We all went down the stairs to the lobby.
In the lobby were quite a few sleepy stewardi and pilots, and the remaining fen (Joe and Gay Haldeman, Rusty Hevelin, Cat and Mark, and maybe one or two others, I’m not sure). The fire trucks were arriving as we got to the lobby, so we were quickly joined by firemen, who also milled around. It took them about fifteen minutes to give the all-clear, and we all went back to our rooms.
Of course, the assholes who turned in the false alarm waited long enough for everyone to get back to sleep, and then did it again. We debated staying in the room, but decided that somebody stupid enough to turn in a false alarm might be stupid enough to start a fire, so we went down to the lobby again. This time in the elevator (we weren’t really convinced that was a serious matter. We were right). This time there were fewer people in the lobby, and the all-clear was given sooner.
Diane went back to sleep, But Bill, Ric, and I stayed up and talked. My intentions were to wait for a while before returning to sleep to make sure I wouldn’t again be interrupted, and that may well have been Bill and Ric’s intentions also. In any case, the conversation was so interesting that we ended up talking through until the one o’clock check-out time. This of course brings us up to the point where we came in, so I’ll end the detailed account."
Just saw a tweet from someone sad about Mike's death because his 11th-grade math teacher had died.
There have to be thousands of kids who Mike taught over the years who will remember him that way. I'm not sure how long he taught, exactly, but I'm guessing over twenty years, maybe even thirty, and that must add up to an awful lot of former high school math students.
Thanks. It had been years since I'd seen Mike and the photo at File770 was unrecognizable to me. But the photos you've posted of him show the Mike I remember, mostly from poker tables at Minicon and Jon and Joni Stopa's Wilcons. Mike was a real mensch and learning of his passing has put a damper on my day. It would be worth a hundred bucks to me to sit down at a poker table with him again (that being, in inflation adjusted dollars, how much I usually lost to him).
We're all getting older but damnit, Mike wasn't that old.
Mike was a Jiant when I began to really get into fandom. At Conquest in Kansas City in '75, the con did a one-shot, which was mimeoed in the big second floor lobby, I guess on Sunday. I don't remember who took position first, but I was facing Mike across the mimeo, slipsheeting from both sides. (It's *so* much easier with two!) I felt, for the first time, that he looked on me approvingly, discovering I knew how to slipsheet.
I just saw this post, which is lovely by the way, and I noticed the fact that you didn't know where the name Honey came from.
My father, Michael Harper, considered Mike to be a brother, so much so that growing up he has always been a presence in my life, coming to all family events like birthdays and christmas. When my family made a move from Mississauga to Toronto, we lived with Mike for a time. This was back around '92-'93. At the time, Mike was still dating Susan Manchester. One day I managed to overhear a phone conversation between the two of them, and Mike closed it with "I love you Honey". My nearly 2 year old mind was not quite up to par at the time, and for whatever reason, I made the connection that Mike Glicksohn's name was Honey. Ever since then, that is what I called him. What is amazing though is that the name caught on. Over the many years of Mikecons that my father and Mike threw, the name seemed to catch on, to the point that acquaintances who had only met him briefly knew him only as Honey.
The outpouring of love and tributes has really astounded me, and goes to show how many lives he touched, whether it be through science fiction, or math, or even just being a great guy who in the summer would sit on his porch with a drink and say hi to neighbours and old students.
Thanks so much for explaining, Raisa. I was very moved that you'd come by and be kind enough to let me know the meaning of that, and such meaning it is.
I knew your father very slightly, though we met only on a handful of occasions, such as Midwestcons of the Seventies, or other such cons, and only very glancingly, but I was certainly aware of Mikecon and the two Mikes' immensely close friendship and meaning to each other, if again, only in a very superficial and immensely distant way, and I'm terribly sorry for your loss, and the loss to all those who were true friends of Mike Glicksohn's, and even more, as in your case, who were true family in every important meaning of the word.
Thanks again for your comment. You have no idea how much it means to me that you'd be thoughtful enough to visit my blog and explain. It makes me tearful all over again to think of Mike, and how much he touched me, and how little he knew of it, even though our contact was now long ago and far away, but that doesn't change my emotions, and one of my great sadnesses at such losses is that once people are gone it's too late to ever let them know how much they have meant to us.
It's something I try to keep in mind with all those still with us, and to try to remember when I'm cross with someone, or annoyed, or in some petty fight: that all these things are ultimately so petty, given how short life is, and how important it is that we cherish each other, and overlook the stupid fights, and misunderstandings, no matter how large they may seem for a time, or how large, in some ways, even, the issues involved might be -- but, really, when the time comes that one of us dies -- and any of us can be laid down by a bus, or a fire, or a heart attack or a stroke, or any kind of accident or illness ten minutes from now -- does any of that really matter?
Usually, for me, not.
I try to keep that perspective. I'm human, so I certainly don't always: I get as angry and annoyed and irritated with others as anyone else, and am damn prone to being annoying and irritating myself, and certainly can't ask anyone to forgive me any wrongs I've genuinely done them, but -- in the end, life is short, too short, for all of us. And once we're gone, we can never do more than regret.
And that, too, makes me very sad, and gives me perspective, and I at least always try to keep that in mind.
I am saddened to read of Mike's death. I hadn't been in contact for many years, but I knew him, and Susan Wood, well in the days of Energumen. I believe I first met Mike at a meeting of OSFiC (the Ontario Science Fiction Club) in Kingston, Ontario (KingCon) in 1967. In 1969 I moved into a big rambling "student" house that Mike lived in, on Bedford Road in Toronto. As I recall, Mike had a sign on his door that read "Quantum Mechanic". That summer is bathed in a golden haze in my memory: in addition to the many friends I made, it was the summer of the moon landing and, a couple of blocks down the street in Varsity Stadium, the Toronto Pop Festival (June) and the Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival (September). Later Mike and Susan had their own place on Maynard Avenue. Mike was even more fanatical than I about keeping his books in perfect condition. I once asked if I could borrow one, and he gently refused, saying that he was afraid I might leave "eye tracks" on the pages. If there's a heaven, I hope it's got good whisky and good second-hand bookstores, with copies of all the old sf books in very fine condition. -- Angus Taylor
Angus, I'm so glad to see your comments. We've never met, but I know you from your old fanzine writings in so many many many articles and letters of comment, of course. Thanks so much for leaving your comments for any of Mike's other friends who eventually read this again, or for the first time.
I'm sorry I haven't responded before to your reply. I'm happy to share my piece of Mike. Honey was a huge part of my life and it makes me glad to know that others were as touched by him as I was. I appreciate everything you have written about him in the past months.