Vonda McIntyre passed away two weeks ago.   I found that it hit me rather hard, and didn’t want to blog about it for a while.

Here’s the thing: I don’t think I ever got to meet her.   And that’s remarkable, because, she was sort of always there. We were in the same field, we moved among the same people, were at the same conventions, often.  On a panel opposite mine, perhaps, or on the other side of the room in a party; doing a reading at a time not convenient for me to come in and listen.

She was Guest of Honor at the 2015 Worldcon in Spokane; I was there, too, but did I paths ever actually cross?  I don’t know…

Our books appeared together in the Feminist Futures Story Bundle, and there was a certain amount of emails back and forth among the participants and packager.  But that’s not real contact.

I guess that’s the thing making me especially sad: that I never got the chance.  We were not close…  but might we have been?  I’ll never know.  But her books are still here.


And then, a few days ago, it was Gene Wolfe that we lost.

Shadow & Claw: The First Half of 'The Book of the New Sun' by [Wolfe, Gene]

Tor.com has the best tribute to him and his work.  I can’t really add to it.  And his books are also still here.


And then, of course, Notre Dame.  You’ve heard about the fire, I’m sure.

But the good news there is that it was not completely destroyed.  When I first heard about it, it looked like the entire cathedral was gone, and I was astonished at how devastated I was.

Yes, I am an atheist — but religion did not build Notre Dame; human beings did.   Human minds, human hands.   An as an atheist, it’s the human spirit that I find holy, and every object of beauty we create is sacred.




Human beings… well, we don’t last.   But the things we make — they go on after us.   That’s what they’re for, I think.



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(next post: non-sad things.  I promise.)

2 Responses to “Losses…”

  • Sean Eric Fagan Says:

    I met Wolfe once, I believe. Didn’t do much more than the equivalent of “WOW IT’S YOU!”

    I never met McIntyre; I did, however, exchange email with her multiple times over the decades. As horrible as various sites are, I do love that I can communicate with various authors more easily than writing letters. And it let me do this: a few months ago, for various reasons, I was thinking about blindfolds. And every time I think about those, I remember her book ENTERPRISE, which had a throw-away line about how blindfolds are really a magician’s trick. So I sent her email letting her know that something small had stuck with me for over 30 years. And she said this pleased her.

    (In that note: every time I see a solar panel, I think of you.)

  • Emma Worthington Says:

    A bit late to this, sorry. I borrowed Dreamsnake from the library in my early teens, loved it and re-read it several times. I hadn’t read it for quite a few years (although had read The Moon & The Sun) when I came across The Steerswoman. It gave me the same feelings as Dreamsnake while being a completely different story, if that makes sense. Two independent realistic women, confident in their abilities, but on very different worlds and quests. Reading Rowan’s adventures made me go back and re-visit Snake’s for the first time in years.

    I hope you don’t mind me comparing them, I love both stories very much (although Rowan has my heart). RIP Vonda.