Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Gee, I have been getting a lot of spam comments. I just went down the blog and deleted the most recent ones. It's so discouraging. Why do people do this?

I have mixed feelings about the food product named Spam. I've been to the Spam Museum in southern Minnesota a couple of times. Museum volunteers hand around plates of Spam canapes, and they are pretty good. But the few times I've bought Spam and tried to make it edible, things did not work out. The museum is terrific, however.


There is snow on the ground right now, but the temps this week are going to be above freezing, and rain is predicted. The ice sculptures in Rice Park, done every year for the St. Paul Winter Carnival, were half-melted when I saw them; and ice fishing events have been cancelled in many places in Minnesota, because the ice on lakes is too thin.

Minnesota has always been a winter state. It looks best -- most natural and like itself -- with ice and snow. But that's ending. I wonder what it will do to the Minnesota personality, which has been shaped by the weather. Minnesotans tend to co-operate, because winter forced them to. Traditionally, we've had one big enemy, and it was weather, not other people.

The Last Two Months

It's been over two months since I last posted. My rule is, I should post something at least once a week, so readers know I am still alive. I'm not sure why I took a break from posting...

I went east to visit family for Christmas, which was nice, even though it rained most of the time. It should not be raining in late December in the mountains of New York. Should I mention global warming, or do you all know about it?

When I got back, I finished proofing the collection of hwarhath stories. If all goes well, it will be out in May from Aqueduct Press. Now I have to move on to unfinished stories. There are seven of these at the moment. I still plan a collection of Lydia Duluth stories. I figure I have enough to keep me busy all year.

January was not a good month in many ways. David Hartwell, who edited two of my novels, died in a freak accident. He was moving a bookcase up or down a flight of stairs, fell and hit his head. I knew David for at least 25 years. A bright and interesting man, who was passionate about science fiction. I always enjoyed chatting with him at conventions. I'm going to miss him a lot, even though we only met once a year or so.

David Bowie and Alan Rickman died. I didn't know them, of course, but I enjoyed their work. I was especially fond of Rickman in Galaxy Quest and Sense and Sensibility. They were working class guys who made good in the arts, did good work and pushed limits, Bowie especially.

The Marxist biologist Richard Levins died, also the Marxist historian Ellen Meiksins Wood. I have been reading both for years.

I am hoping, now that we are in February, that the deaths will stop. But my generation is reaching the age when mortality catches up. David was 74 and should not have been moving furniture up and down stairs. Bowie and Rickman were both 69. Ellen Meiksins Wood was 74. Richard Levins was 86.

I need to start paying more attention to young people.