There’s been some fun anniversaries around here lately:
It is the one-week-a-verary of the launch of The Light Between Stars. So far, the reviews are good and I am still incredibly pumped that Simon and I are in the same book.1
Two years ago, last weekend was also the launch party for Simon’s first novel Soul, Light and Wings, where he charmed and entertained all present far better than I ever could.2 It’s a great book that you really need to read.3 http://www.brain-lag.com/books/soul-light-wings.php
Seven years ago, also last weekend, was the Toronto launch of the anthology Dandelions of Mars: A Tribute to Ray Bradbury at the beautiful Lakeshore Arts4 gallery. I’m delighted that my story “Five Stories About Alan” is a part of this book – Bradbury gave me permission to see wonder in the world when I was getting many messages to just “buckle down and do as you’re told!” There was that weekend when I was thirteen, listening to the Beatles’ White Album, making posters based on the stories from R is for Rocket, and everything just changed. Plus the summer of 1972, the first book I read after school got out, was Something Wicked This Way Comes and I discovered that some books magically turn into spectacular movies inside your head.
So thank you, Mr. Bradbury. And thank you to Whortleberry Press for creating such a lovely book. https://www.lulu.com/shop/jean-goldstrom/dandelions-of-mars/paperback/product-21075430.html
And yesterday was the 51st anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. That was a pretty big day for me – actually it was a big several days as the CBC provided 24/7 coverage. I think I got about ten minutes of sleep that week.
Ice cream and excited memories aside, July 20 also makes me a sad when I think about how we didn’t follow through on the promise of that first landing. Arthur C. Clarke was right when he said that instead of dominating the 1970s, the space programme was dominated by the 1970s. Yes, as a species we’ve done some impressive things in space since 1969 but I do keep wondering where we’d be if we had kept sending people out to the Moon and beyond.
There’s all kinds of explanations for our collective astro-lethargy: Economics, politics, attention deficit, etc. Mostly we just got scared. Going out into space gave us complete and uncompromising views of the Earth – how it’s all connected no matter how we pretend to divide it up or ignore the facts.
That can be upsetting.
Part of us thinks that if we can just crouch low enough behind some big wall, or hide deep enough in a dark enough cave, nothing’s going to hurt us. Personally I think we’re in greater danger sitting there with our eyes closed and our fingers in our ears. Once this time is over, I want to get out there and explore.
Sorry, I forgot to talk more about coincidences. Can anyone tell me why all this spacey, spec-fic stuff always seems to happen in July? Is it just the way the Cosmic Axis tilts this time of year? Or is there a science fiction holiday that I don’t know about?
Please write in and tell me!
1 And no, I will not get over it! Ever! 2 I know this because people told me so. Oddly, I didn’t seem to mind. 3 If you strap me to any functioning Truth-O-Meter you will see that I am being completely objective here. Or you can trust what Amazing Stories magazine says: https://amazingstories.com/2017/11/soul-light-wings-simon-g-spencer/ 4 You can learn more about these great people at: https://lakeshorearts.ca/