View 727 Wednesday, June 06, 2012
RIP Ray Bradbury. I’ll have something original in a few days. Ray was a long time friend, and we used to meet for lunch sometimes when he had an office in the Bradbury Building downtown. I have not seen him recently and all my Ray Bradbury stories are a bit elderly. Ray affected writing more than he intended to: he made short stories look much easier than they are. A lot of new writers fell for that. In the early days Ray was a fantasy writer in a science fiction world – it’s hard to remember that science fiction used to sell much better than fantasy – but he could do science fiction as well, witness Fahrenheit 451. At one time the whole genre was dominated by “ABC”, Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke, although usually someone would quickly add Robert Heinlein. Now the Big Four are gone. They will all be missed.
It was a good day for the republic. Everyone was nervous about the Wisconsin recall election, and all the political professionals were uncertain, the result being that neither Romney nor Obama came into the state to comment on the election. Romney’s advisors feared further irritation of the unions (although it is hard to understand why, since they’re going to hate him no matter what he does) and Obama feared being associated with a loser. One suspects that Obama’s political advisors had more confidence in their prediction that the recall election would be a disaster for Democrats and best stayed away from, while Romney’s advisors feared up to the last moment that the unions would pull legal rabbits out of the hat and find reasons for perpetual recounts.
It was a good day for Romney, but not as good as it might have been: he could have been standing with Walker at the victory speech. I hope he has learned something from that. His remarks on the election were good, and he has named Walker a hero; and we can hope he has learned that Walker’s advisors are probably smarter than his present team. But it was a good day for the Republic.
Someone sent me a link to this. Blast from the past and all that… http://articles.latimes.com/1985-10-27/magazine/tm-13029_1_chaos-manor. Interesting times.
And digging about for other stuff, I found:
in which I comment on my views on the Iraqi War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and such matters in 2003. I don’t seen anything in there that I wouldn’t say now.
And finally here’s a reading list: http://www.jerrypournelle.com/archives2/archives2mail/mail259.html#LIST
Now it’s lunch time.
Comment on last night’s mail:
As I’m sure others have pointed out by now, the story “Light of Other Days”, which introduced slow glass, is by Bob Shaw, not Sturgeon. It happens to be my favorite SF short story of all time – a perfect little gem.
Of course, the new technology isn’t slow glass in one important respect: the video can be replayed at will. Both of Shaw’s short stories (not the novel) are based on the enforced delay before you can see what was on the other side.
I should have trusted my instincts. I had a suspicion that Slow Glass was not Sturgeon but I didn’t remember anyone else doing it.