To absent friends.

June 2, 2019 | By | Reply More

Yours truly was in London the other day dropping the kids off to a cinema excursion in Leicester Square while I got some quality writing time in at Pret around the corner – a couple of quid for a coffee, seat and free wifi for three hours.

After I did the drop-off, I stumbled over the world premiere for Amazon Prime’s Good Omens being hosted at one of the cinemas on the square, Neil Gaiman and David Tennant in front of the theatre being interviewed for a live-stream. I snapped a few photos on the phone which I’ll post on my blog, but it seems that being on the wrong side of the makeshift security hedge only produces papped shots of Neil which look like, well, a hedge!

Neil did mention how much he misses Terry Pratchett and how they had set an empty reserved place in the cinema for him, which brought a tear to my eye.

It got me thinking of the SFF authors I’ve been lucky enough to know over the years who have passed away. Some too soon, like Terry Pratchett (67) and Iain Banks (59). Others who reached respectable innings like Jack Williamson (98) and Harry Harrison (87).

I wonder in a hundred years’ time if there will be readers who still read and love Terry, Harry, Iain, and Jack, or if they’ll be the equivalent of Irving Bacheller – the best-selling author of the 1900s with such mega-blockbusters of the time as ‘Ben Holden’. Who, you ask? Exactly.

All our novels, it seems, are written in disappearing ink.

Here’s a story Terry told me, the last every time I saw him, at a joint book signing we did together at Waterstones Piccadilly. I’d just asked him how he was doing.

A black stallion appeared galloping desperately down the road, carrying a rider apparently charged with an immensely vital mission to carry out. A farmer standing alongside the road, yelled, “Where are you off to?” and the rider called back, “I’m not sure … ask the horse!”

Category: Time-wasting

About the Author ()

I am an author of various fantasy, science fiction, crime and other genre books from Gollancz, Hachette and HarperCollins. Some day I hope to grow up and be an astronaut. Exploring Mars would be nice.

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