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James Tiptree, Jr., Joe R. Lansdale (photo: Karen Lansdale), Jo Walton, and Michael Swanwick (Beth Gwynn)
Dr. Ain was recognized on the Omaha-Chicago flight. A biologist colleague from Pasadena came out of the toilet and saw Ain in an aisle seat. Five years before, this man had been jealous of Ain’s huge grants. Now he nodded coldly and was surprised at the intensity of Ain’s response. He almost turned back to speak, but he felt too tired; like nearly everyone, he was fighting the flu.
The stewardess handing out coats after they landed remembered Ain, too: a tall, thin, nondescript man with rusty hair. He held up the line staring at her; since he already had his raincoat with him, she decided it was some kooky kind of pass and waved him on.
She saw Ain shamble off into the airport smog, apparently alone. Despite the big Civil Defense signs, O’Hare was late getting underground. No one noticed the woman.
The wounded, dying woman.
BUBBA HO-TEP, the cult classic film based on Joe R. Lansdale’s novella, was the subject of an answer on a recent episode of JEOPARDY.
NECESSITY, the conclusion of Jo Walton’s Thessaly trilogy, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award. Congrats to Jo and the other honorees.
On FLOGGING BABEL, Michael Swanwick dances on his own grave.
Marianne and I went to West Laurel Hill Cemetery today and bought two plots in their “green” section. Not that we’re planning on using them anytime soon. But making these arrangements is the sort of things adults do to save the next generation a lot of bother when our time comes.
The green section of the cemetery is a field of wildflowers, essentially. People are buried there in biodegradable coffins or just a linen shroud, either cremated or whole but unembalmed. Their names with dates of birth and death are carved into a low stone wall nearby. Several beehives are located nearby to pollinate the flowers and once a year some goats are brought in to crop the dead plants down to the ground. No headstones, no plastic flowers, or even jewelry allowed. Eventually, trees will grow up and there will be a small patch of woodland abutting the more conventional (and quite beautiful) cemetery grounds. And in some distant future, perhaps, a fox will dig its burrow among what once were my bones.
Here are some shots that Marianne took of me dancing by my grave.
For more info about HER SMOKE ROSE UP FOREVER, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by John Picacio