Monday, September 25, 2006

Another SF Author Gone: John M. Ford

Sunday, John M. Ford died.

I just found out while checking my bloglines feed of Gaiman's journal. Making Light has a poem by Ford and plenty of links for this occasion. Here's an excerpt from the poem, "Entropy":

The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.

And his poem FINAL CONNECTION is over at Gaiman's in a post from 2003. It ends this way:

Up ahead, can you see, we've stopped for Emily,
There will be more as we pass.
Savor the journey, however you're going,
It's been your whole life to get there,
Someday I'll travel, without reservations,
I hope I've two coins for my fare.

Fitting, huh?

I own a hardcover copy of MASTERPIECES OF FANTASY AND WONDER, compiled by David G. Hartwell, a magnificent anthology from 1989 that you should immediately buy used. Amazon has some copies starting at a one cent. Ginormous bargain, that.

The first story is "Green is the Color", and it happens to be my favorite John M. Ford fantasy tale. It's gorgeously written. It's dark. It's romantic. It's mesmerizing.

Every year or so, I get an urge to reread it. So, I keep it in the bookshelf in the living room. That way, it's at hand when the craving strikes.

This is not fantasy for children, though a child figures prominently in it. There is a Phantom of the Opera quality to the dangerous male character. It's got the flavor of fairy tale, full of magic and dread, and it has a touch of paranormal romance woven in. The ending is as dark as its heart. It's, as I said, one that I feel compelled to read again and again over the years.

And I wonder if J.K. Rowling had a go at this story, because Wizard's Row is a street very reminiscent of Diagon Alley, only not as cute.

In honor of Mr. Ford's creative light--now extinguished--I think I'll reread it later today, after the errands are run and emails returned and blogs updated. Yes, it's best saved for when I can sit with a fresh cup of Italian coffee from the gourmet shop, and an almond cookie, and just be amazed all over again.

And then try very, very hard to write 1/100th as well.

Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.


Elliot said...

Congratulations on winning the Genesis Contest!

Mirtika said...

Thanks, Clawmeister! :)