It is with a heavy heart I post this. Two days ago, I found out via Twitter that SFF legend Gene Wolfe is in the hospital. He has had a bad case of the flu, and had trouble keeping food down for about two weeks. It has been stated he would appreciate get well cards from friends and fans.
Here's the address if you wish to send him a card:
800 NE GlenOak Ave
Peoria, IL 61603
I have read a number of his books, and like many great authors, I have more of his that I haven't read. The first science fiction convention I went to(only a couple years ago), he was a guest at, and made certain to take the time to sit at one of his panels which was part reading and part just him chatting.
He is a Catholic, and his faith came through in his discussion. Unfortunately, the religious ignorance of the audience was also apparent when he mentioned the only time he felt real fear was an encounter with a diabolist. He had to explain what that was, and then there were comments about all fundamentalism being wrong.
For those unfamiliar with the term, there are, broadly speaking, two types of Satanist. One is a hedonist that mostly doesn't want to be told what to do, might dabble in magic, but generally will leave others alone and be decent to people. The other is in full agreement with Christianity on the nature of good and evil, and actively seeks to do evil. There are stories of them in drug and human trafficking, sex slavery, and other sinister things.
At any rate, the experience of being among so called fans that were so uninformed about faith nearly made me swear off of sff conventions entirely. I still had good experiences with game cons, and it was my stumbling into independent authors and small publishers that got me to go to LibertyCon.
I wish I had taken a chance to talk with Gene at the convention. Even then, his health and strength were clearly on a downturn, though his mind was still quite active. Sadly, in many ways he and his work are being shoved aside. Here's a recent picture of books I rescued from library weeding:
The sheer cultural ignorance of librarians amazes me. But then, we know they're actively playing Social Justice. As we know:
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.