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July 24, 2008

I Always Cry at Superhero Movies

This age wanted heroes. It got us instead. Tony Kushner

I always cry at superhero movies
Our hero, bitten by a radio-
Active wombat learns the sudden truth:
Her wombat powers are not just a fluke.
The crisis of the moment means that she
Must act, and no one else can do it.
She didn't choose her powers; they chose her.
What were they thinking when they chose her, though?
Those all-too-human shoulders are too frail
To bear the burden of the superhero.
I know that shocking moment all too well.
The desperate, drastic need for someone's help
But no one else is stepping up to act.
"I volunteer!" I didn't say that, did I?
Shit, I guess I'm doing something stupid
Theater-goers cheer when Wombat Girl
Suits up to fight the threat against the city.
The camera doesn't show the queasy gut,
The hands that slightly shake while zipping up
The hero's wombat suit, but I know better.
My diaphragm quivers. Down my cheeks slide tears.

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Posted by abostick at 07:38 PM | Comments (1)

July 06, 2008

Thomas M. Disch 1940-2008

Thomas M. Disch
Thomas M. Disch 1940-2008
image source: Strange Horizons
Thomas M. Disch was found dead in his apartment in New York City, apparently a suicide. Quoth Ellen Datlow:
I've just found out that Tom Disch committed suicide in his apartment on July 4th. He was found by a friend who lives a few blocks away.

I'm shocked, saddened, but not very surprised. Tom had been depressed for several years and was especially hit by the death of his longtime partner Charles Naylor. He also was very worried about being evicted from the rent controlled apartment he lived in for decades.

Disch was one of science fiction's Greatest Generation, the cohort of writers that included Ursula Le Guin, Samuel R. Delany, Roger Zelazny, and Joanna Russ, who had been cultivated by editor Cele Goldsmith during her tenure as editor of Amazing Stories. Among his novels are 334, Camp Concentration, The Genocides, On Wings of Song, and The M.D.; and many of his stories are collected in Fundamental Disch.

I met him only once, twenty-six years ago, when he was guest of honor at Norwescon, just outside Seattle, in 1982. I remember Dick Lupoff interviewing him on the first night of the convention, and the chemistry between the two was phenomenal, making the interview a masterpiece of comedy. I was convulsed with laughter (and perhaps I should wonder what they thought of me).

NB: Ellen Datlow gives Disch's date of death as July 4; Wikipedia currently lists it without citation as July 2.

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Posted by abostick at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)
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