Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The River Rolls On

"Blackness. Nothingness. He did not even know that his heart had given out forever. Nothingness.
Then his eyes opened. His heart was beating strongly. He was strong, very strong! All the pain of the gout in his feet, the agony in his liver, the torture in his heart, all were gone.
It was so quiet he could hear the blood moving in his head. He was alone in a world of soundlessness.
A bright light of equal intensity was everywhere. He could see, yet he did not understand what he was seeing. What were these things above, beside, below him? Where was he?"
- Riverworld

I just read this morning that Philip Jose Farmer passed away at age 91 on the 25th of Feb. I cannot begin to tell you the hours that I have escaped into one of his stories.

From "Riverworld" with Sir Richard Burton, ( Any of you who think I am referring to the actor that was married to Liz Taylor should quietly leave now ), to "The World Of Tiers" with first Robert Wolff then Kickaha, ( Paul Janus Finnegan ), even a dalliance with "Venus On The Half-shell" maybe the worst book ever written... and damn proud of it! I was drawn into the worlds that he created and became friends with the characters and the man who brought them to life on the page.

I do not know the eternal fate of this man but a part of me dreams that he has woken on his Riverworld, grail in hand, ready to flag down that steamboat just coming into sight.

Requiescat in pace my friend, and Thank you for all the adventures.

PJF wrote close to 100 fantasy and SF novels and literally hundreds of short stories – and many of those were Hugo Award winners: here's his list of awards and nominations (from wikipedia):
• 1953: Hugo Award, Most Promising New Talent, The Lovers
• 1960: Nomination, Hugo Award for Best Short Story, "The Alley Man"
• 1961: Nomination, Hugo Award for Best Short Story, "Open to Me, My Sister"
• 1966: Nomination, Hugo Award for Best Short Story, "The Day of the Great Shout"
• 1967: Nomination, Nebula Award for Best Novella, Riders of the Purple Wage
• 1968: Hugo Award for Best Novella, Riders of the Purple Wage
• 1972: Hugo Award for Best Novel, To Your Scattered Bodies Go
• 1974: Nomination, Nebula Award for Best Short Story, "After King Kong Fell"
• 2000: Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award, lifetime achievement, awarded at the Nebula Awards Ceremony
• 2001: World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement
• 2003: Forry Award for Lifetime Achievement

Old Man River:

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