Thursday, March 17, 2005

Absent friends...

Today has been a very sad day. A close friend, a mentor, died at 2:23 a.m. in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She was 93 on our birthday, Feb. 17, and she will be missed by many. She was Andre Norton, a woman who was the inspiration for and the godmother of fantasy and the first woman to be taken seriously as a science fiction writer. She shepherded many other writers into the public eye and co-wrote many books with new and upcoming writers who went on to greater things. Most of the women in science fiction and fantasy owe Andre for blazing the path, which was amazing for a woman who was brought up in the Victorian tradition and who never went beyond a high school education or traveled.

Early on, Andre was classed as a young adult writer and most of the established writers considered her beneath them, and although the characters in her book were usually young people in the first flush of power and life she created worlds and characters that still resonate today.

One of the saddest things about a celebrity passing is those who wish to profit from the celebrity's fame and hard work, and even to blacken their name in the cause of making money by casting them in a sensationalistic and negative light. Such, I found out today, is one of seven writers who shared the same birthday, a disappointed, mentally unstable woman who Andre welcomed into her home, nurtured, and cared for most of her life, and who intends to pay Andre back for her own lack of success and notoriety by writing lies for publication.

To this blighted rose I offer this piece of advice: Do not suppose you will get away with your lies because there is another who knows the truth and is not afraid to publish it. So beware because the road you now venture onto will cost you dearly. Your lies and your perfidy have now come to the light and there are those who will not stand by and allow you to tarnish the brightness of this great lady's star. You have been warned.

I am sad to lose my mentor and my friend, but in a way I am also happy for her because she is beyond pain. To Andre I offer my love and my remembrance of all your generosity and the wonderful gift of your friendship and teaching. It is because of you I found my way.

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