Ray introduced me to `sci-fi' when I read "Something Wicked This Way Comes" in high school in the late `60s.

I loved his characters so much and despaired when the book ended. He made me fall in love with and respect the art of writing, and the authors that touch me.

I gave out copies for some time after that, once I had a little money.

Also had a chance to have him sign a few of his books for me a long time ago. Lovely man.
Sometimes great and sometimes not, his final book, on the American Civil War, was a stunning look from a rare non-American voice. Although replete with factual errors I ascribe to his declining mental faculties, the book was worth it for his brutal dismissal of the idea that the war wasn't about slavery.
Originally posted by editengine:
Originally posted by Gromit:
He sure rocked that Burbank soundstage.

As an embarassingly close friend of mine once said, 'that was so fake, there isn't gravity on the moon.'

But, couldn't they still stand on the Moon if they just wore heavy boots? Razz

(IIRC, that anecdote is where our regular by the same screen name got his screen name)

Storm Thorgerson, the English graphic designer best known for creating a slew of iconic album covers for the classic rockers, including those for The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, died Thursday. In addition to Pink Floyd he did bold, surrealist cover art for a slew of rock acts, including Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Muse, Ween, AC/DC, and Paul McCartney & Wings... r.i.p.

I guess we all knew this was coming, but the loss of Iain Banks still hits pretty hard.

The first thing of his I read was the Wasp Factory, and I can remember having one of those "holy shit!" moments when I realised what a force he was going to become. And he thoroughly lived up to those impossible, overblown expectations. I saw him speak just once, in a tent in a field in the middle of Suffolk in 2008 when he described his address in Fife as "within a mortar-shell lob of Gordon Brown's house" and that summed him up: his dark humour was thoroughly to the fore and he knew exactly what to say for maximum effect, regardless of political sensibilities. His SF novels were frequently full of gore, and bleak, unremitting darkness, but I still wanted to be a citizen of the Culture for all that. There was an underlying rightness to many of his creations, and that rightness stemmed from someone who had a sound moral code, and was prepared to call out anyone who fell short of it; Tony Blair was a favourite target.

He was one of the good guys; he came across as a thoroughly nice chap who had found his true calling in life, and knew it. He was a great storyteller, and a great raconteur, and whatever he talked about or wrote about, his infectious enthusiasm was a joy to behold. Everything and anything could catch his razor-sharp wit and he made you feel like intelligence was something to be celebrated rather than frowned upon. The fact that there won't be any more Iain Banks novels after The Quarry is unfair, and unjust, and makes me sad.

So I have a glass of Laphroaig right here with me, and I raise it and say: Thank you, sir.
as chris says, we knew it was coming, but just logging on for 1st time today, it still feels like a shock, so quick. undoubtedly an important writer. i saw him speak about 4 times over the years, he always impressed with his charisma and easy going nature. so it goes.
JJ Cale... r.i.p.

For those who don't know, he was a very unique songwriter and guitarist (catch the solo in this song) who a range of artists from Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mark Knopfler, The Allman Brothers to Chet Atkins Johnny Cash and Captain Beefheart (to name a few) all loved and also covered.

King of the laid back groove.


mick farren 1943 - 2013

just came across this on twitter, having only just visited his blog in the last couple of days for the 1st time in a while.

he was always involved in music, apparently collapsing on stage, still playing live with his band. he was involved in music journalism, with hawkwind, motorhead, wrote for the NME.

he had his obsessions, elvis, ufos, conspiracy. which came through in his blogging. but he wrote a number of non-fiction books over the years as well.

i particularly knew him from his fiction. he wrote a range of novels over the years. i think his latter stuff had gotten into vampires. but his earlier stuff, which i have a pile of was more science fiction. he was writing weird psychedelic stuff, futures powered by the consumption of reality, virtual reality tank novels, people play acting in ghettos filled with noir and vampire since there was no jobs.

my recommendations for work to read- the DNA cowboys, exit funtopia, armageddon crazy and the feelies.
Frederik Pohl - 1919 to 2013. Bill just retweeted tweet from his grand daughter.

one of my favourite stories in burning chrome is hinterlands, which to a degree pohl's gateway is an antecedent. i certainly read that and other pohl after joining this board. and gateway is certainly one of the influences that in turn comes through in some of my short stories.

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