August 2nd, 2007

Curiouser and Curiouser

Bob Morales first twigged me to the double suicide of artists Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, and I was immediately hooked — there were uncanny similarities between their story and a book I'm getting started on, and their lives touched on the things I love to write about: merged identities, obsessive love, twins, artists, madness, death. Plus the blogosphere latched onto the conspiracy aspect of their deaths with a ferocity and imagination I haven't seen before (I don't delve that deeply into the worldwide well). The echoes between real life and the work of William Gibson, for one, are uncanny, especially when filtered through the bravura performance at

http://dreamsend.wordpress.com/

Dreamsend posted this morning that there's nothing to his ARG theory. I never thought there was, but that seemed to me beside the point. While obviously these are real lives and terrible deaths, I was (and am) fascinated by how readily those lives can be adapted to the cause of art (and blogging can be an art form); how frighteningly malleable our notions of self and identity can become, and how quickly. This is something Theresa Duncan dealt with in her work; tragically, it also seems to have been part of what destroyed her.

The LA Weekly nails this story best, I think --

http://www.laweekly.com/news/news/the-theresa-duncan-tragedy/16942/

Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, RIP.
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Kids love comics!






Tragedy occasionally trails in its wake a few glimmers of joy.

When Deborah and I went to pay our respects at the memorial ceremony for Mike Bishop's slain son Jamie, we finally got to meet Jamie's sister Stephanie Loftin, her husband Bridger, and their two kids, Annabel (eight years old) and Joel (six years old). Talking with these bright grandkids of my pal Mike, I learned that although they were big readers, they remained unaware of the great medium of comics.

Such a deficiency could not stand!

I'm a big proselytizer of comics for kids. As we lament the waning of comics-reading among a new generation, it's up to all of us to encourage such practices where we can. I've hooked three nieces and the children of my publisher on this artform. And besides, it's just plain fun to see kids light up with excitement at encountering comics.

So off went shipments of books to the Loftin household.

Yesterday in the mail came back the lovingly hand-accented vase you see depicted above.

I am rewarded far beyond measure.
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Robert Heinlein Centennial

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of RAH's birth. Of course you need to go read or re-read some of his fiction. I just enjoyed THE DOOR INTO SUMMER again. But meanwhile, here're a few video clips in his honor:

COMPUTER ANIMATION OF RAH'S TESSERACT HOUSE
Exterior: http://youtube.com/watch?v=OEUDoQCECgA
Interior: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ubk4Mq8d5Rk

FILKSONG PERFORMANCE OF "THE GREEN HILLS OF EARTH"
http://youtube.com/watch?v=bdjYkBeTDac

SF AUTHOR BRAD LINAWEAVER ON RAH
http://youtube.com/watch?v=iZVauT_rZdk

A CLIP FROM THE FILM OF STARSHIP TROOPERS--REPURPOSED
http://youtube.com/watch?v=FaeYTwiLrFo

Posted by Paul DiFi.