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)
Chamber’s second novel, A Closed and Common Orbit, in her Wayfarer series is so wonderful I cried several times. A Closed and Common Orbit picks up immediately after Chambers’ first story, Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet concludes but is barely an extension of that tale, beyond further expanding on Chambers’ wonderful universe. […]
Despite showing its age, John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids continues to be a consuming post-apocalyptic tale.
P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever is a fun new alphabet book written by rapper Lushlife that shows kids just how nutty the English language really is (rules schmules!): Turning the traditional idea of an alphabet book on its head, P is for Pterodactyl is perfect for anyone who has ever been […]
Trying to earn a promotion? Memorial Day weekend might be a good place to start. There are tons of e-learning packages that can help you build professional skills a lot quicker (and cheaper) than any technical academy. Whether you want to earn IT certifications, learn to code, become a designer, or anything else, these comprehensive […]
If you’re into tools or gadgets, Memorial Day weekend is your Christmas. Take an extra 15% off the final price of these DIY accessories – all of which are already on sale – by entering the promo code WEEKEND15. LUXJET Universal 24-in-1 Magnetic Screwdriver Set & Repair Kit This small but sturdy kit won the […]
If you can build a cloud infrastructure, you can build a business. Companies are overwhelmingly turning to cloud computing to set up or bolster their network, and it’s easy to see why. It allows on-demand access to processing power, a la carte services, and nearly unlimited storage, all without adding extra systems and the maintenance […]