When I was a kid, I read a lot. I worked my way through the Hardy Boys mysteries, and even read a Nancy Drew book or two before I decided those were more in line with my sister’s sensibilities.
One day I discovered Encyclopedia Brown in the local public library, in a book of ten short mysteries whose endings were hidden at the back of the book, like a puzzle book. I was hooked. I read all the EB books the library had, and—if I recall correctly—I also discovered that interlibrary loan would bring me new tales.
As I aged, I discovered that names like “Franklin W. Dixon” and “Carolyn Keene”, authors of the Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew mysteries, respectively, were “house names”, false identities adopted by writers who would write one or two or ten novels in the series, then move on. I long assumed that Donald J. Sobol, the name on the spine of the Encyclopedia Brown collections, was also a house name.
I was wrong. Donald J. Sobol was a real person, a single, singular author, and this is his story.
This time last year, I was still wearing hard plastic eye-shields to bed, thanks to my laser eye surgery. But my vision has been 20/16 since then, and the only glasses I’ve had to wear are sunglasses and (to my wife’s evergreen amusement) reading glasses.
Thanks to Dr. Rocha and his entire crew for making my eyes better than they’ve been since, oh, grade 2 or so.
After two previous attempts got lost in the mail (or else lost in customs), my artistic license finally arrived sometime between last Wednesday (when we left for Edmonton) and yesterday (when I checked the mail).
My first encounter with Gordon Lightfoot’s classic song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” was actually reading the lyrics published as a poem in a high-school English reader. (I had a similar experience with Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”, though I think I’d probably heard that one on the radio, my dad being an aficionado of the ’60s station KY58.)
So for Throwback Thursday, please, enjoy this tale of human woe and the sinking of a massive freighter in a storm on (spoiler alert!) Lake Superior.
Congratulations to William Gibson, one of my favourite authors, on the announcement that he has been named the latest Damon Knight Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award recognizes “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.” Gibson joins the Grand Master ranks alongside such legends as C. J. Cherryh, Peter S. Beagle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Joe Haldeman. The award will be presented at the 54th Annual Nebula Conference and Awards Ceremony in Woodland Hills, CA, May 16th-19th, 2019.
(Aside to Mr. Pensato: I’ve been doing a bit more work on Blinky.)
PS: I’m in the process of moving my photos off Flickr and onto my own personal site (ie, this one). So I’m not going to lose sleep over the whole “your photos are getting deleted” thing. Let me know if you’re interested in the simple WordPress plugin I’ve built in order to pull my photos.