RIP, Kevin O'Donnell, Jr

Science fiction writer Kevin O'Donnell, Jr died last week; the Science Fiction Writers of America has a sweet, sad obit for him, written by John Barnes and John E. Johnston III. Our condolences to his family and all those who loved him. (via Making Light)


  1. “To honor Kevin O’Donnell, Jr.’s memory and service, we, his friends for decades, ask one thing: if you smoke cigarettes, quit now. If anyone you care about does, help them to quit. Tobacco robbed us of what might have been decades more of Kevin O’Donnell, Jr.’s unique voice and personality; please don’t let it claim more victims.”

  2. Sigh.

    Another Great One leaves us. 

    I love his work, and I think that he has been unfairly ignored. After all these years ORA:CLE feels way more real than Neuromancer, to say a contemporary novel. As somebody working from home and living in a building, ORA:CLE predicted the future rather well, and was a fantastic book, managing to keep me turning pages, engaged and caring about the characters, even if they never left the damn apartment. That is an incredible feat, that many writers with a whole universe and tons of alien races still can’t pull. 

    He will be missed. 

    (And I fucking hate getting old and watching people you admire die)

    1. Extract from my blog:

      He wrote a book which I found particularly formative and frankly until I read Snow Crash I did not encounter a peer for it in terms of writing that resonated with how I thought The Net – which is what we called it back then – would become.

      It’s still right up there – he was describing social-media-like networks of communication, peer-to-peer communications, agent-based software and dynamic code, services which answer questions for pay not unlike Amazon Mechanical Turk, greenhouse gases, an sentient AI Google-alike, skinny wispy-bearded hackers who can only sleep in cupboards, an urgent threat to liberty (in this case terror from an invasion of alien big-game hunters) and political reaction trying to lead to censorship of the net… and a happy ending.

      All written in 1983.

      Older, better, and more plausible than Neuromancer cyber-trash.

      ORA:CLE – Opinions Research Advice : Computer Linked Experts

      #Many thanks, Kevin.#

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