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Wondering where time gets to . . .

Due to circumstances of work and just plain forgetting about it, I was only able to attend one day of Madcon 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin, which was today. I'd wanted to both have a chance to see Harlan Ellison again, and catch up with Allen Steele. When I arrived, the first person I saw was Allen, who was pleasantly surprised to see me since he hadn't expected anyone from his days in Nashville to be at this con. We chatted for about half an hour before he had to go off for his first panel of the day (yep, actual programming on Sunday at a con).

I had seen an ad in the Chicago Reader in which the convention had announced that this would be Harlan's last convention appearance ever (per him). This made it even more imperative (to me, at least) to make it there. Per Allen, Harlan had announced on Friday that the reason for this is that he is dying. He has not said what specific malady is the apparent cause (other than Allen did say that Harlan told him it was not cancer), and at 76 he isn't really that old (compared to some), so I was surprised to hear that.

Harlan didn't make an appearance until about 2 pm. Allen had said Harlan has been sleeping a lot, and he actually missed the panel Allen was going to (which he was supposed to be on) about 11 am. When he did show up, other than now having snow-white hair and being a little pudgy, he appeared to be the same Harlan I had first encountered at Middle Tennessee State University well over 30 years ago; opinionated, irascible, and generally a lot of fun to listen to. If he's dying, it appears he isn't going to let it get him down.

I'm still not sure exactly how this made me feel; I know many will be rather smug about it, some may even think he's using it as a publicity ploy, but he appears to be selling off his extra copies of his books, which could be to cover medical expenses. I have to say that I will miss him when he's gone, if for no other reason than he is one of the most talented writers I've known. Yes, he can be irritating, but many of you know that I can be, too. That doesn't diminish his talent, or the fact that he uses it very well. Of course, if he'd gone into stand-up comedy, he could probably have given Don Rickles a run for his money.

That's it for now, just wanted to have my brief say somewhere.



painter 11

Thank. It makes me feel great when I read all these stories. It helps me from hopelessness and make me more stronger to fly… thank… for everything. Love