Phyllis Gotlieb, the legendary Canadian science fiction writer, died yesterday. Phyllis was very old but very sharp -- I last saw her at an Ad Astra convention in Toronto a few years ago, and I followed her on a mailing list for Canadian sf writers, where she was a smart and funny poster. Phyllis wrote well into her old age, continuing her very long career in the field.
I first met Phyllis at Ad Astra, the Toronto area science fiction convention. She and I were co-panelists on the very first panel I ever sat on. I was 17 and I'd just sold my first story. Phyllis was well into her senior years. She was delightful. I don't remember what the subject of the panel was, but I remember the warmth and wit with which Phyllis engaged with little pipsqueak me, the welcome she made me feel as a freshman writer. I have never, ever forgotten that -- the author of O Master Caliban! deigning to notice me, much less treat me as a colleague.
Phyllis and her husband Kelly were palpably, achingly in love (Kelly once had my father in his university physics class, a class he never forgot). We had dinner together in 2007 at Ad Astra, and the two of them were the epitome of sweet old married coupledom, finishing each others' sentences, helping each other in a million tiny and affectionate ways.
By my reckoning, Phyllis was 82 when she died (I don't know the details of the death). I can only hope that when I'm 80, I'll be as sharp, productive and good-spirited as Phyllis was when I last saw her. Science fiction has lost one of its greats today, and Canada, too. My sincerest condolences to her family. You are missed, Phyllis.
(Image: Sunburst Awards)
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, […]
Timothy Ellis’ galaxy spanning space opera continues in Hero at the Gates! We’re 9 damn books in and the central plot is finally about to get past its prelude! I’ve really enjoyed this massive story. 9 novels ago Jon Hunter was a wet behind the ears kid on board his uncle’s space trader. Now he’s […]
Modern civilization has all but disappeared. It falls to a fearless, dedicated and slap-stick bunch known as Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors to help humanity recover. With help like this, you might be better off on your own! Benjamin Wallace’s first installment in the Duck and Cover series is a quick and witty read. We find America […]
If you’re looking to earn a top salary in the tech industry, there’s no better career than coding. However, sometimes the hardest part of entering this career path is knowing where to begin.We took the Complete Web Developer Course because it took that decision out of our hands. This course teaches beginner-friendly coding languages that will also help land an immediate […]
To be a Pokémon master, you’ll need a phone that won’t constantly die on you. Because nothing is worse than seeing the screen go black right as you’ve finally found the Charizard of your dreams.That’s why we’re so excited about the LinearFlux PokeCharger Portable Battery ($39.99). With its 3.0 Amp HyperCharging technology, this slim battery will […]
The tech industry is constantly innovating, and in order to stay competitive, you’ll need to keep up. The Programming Into the Future Bundle was created to teach you the skills employers are looking for at this very moment, including in-demand coding languages like Google Go.The bundle of courses includes instruction on a range of innovative tools that advanced coders […]