Sunday, June 20, 2010

In Memoriam: Jeanne Robinson: 1948 - 2010

Spider Robinson was the first author I cared to recall, way back in my early teens. I got right into the Callahan series with ‘Lady Slings the Booze’. His writing spoke to me in new and interesting ways. He wrote logically, especially for someone so eccentric. He turned the improbable into the possible. He wrote about women, my greatest weakness at the time. He used puns, my greatest weakness right now.
And he wrote about hopeful futures, justifying his optimism.

Just as there are Laws of Conservation of Matter and Energy, so there are in fact Laws of Conservation of Pain and Joy. Neither can ever be created or destroyed. But one can be converted into the other.
- Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (1977)

Somewhere between leaving the States to briefly become Haligonian, he began the Stardance saga, co-written with his wife Jeanne. A dancer, choreographer (formerly of Halifax's Nova Dance Theatre, Dance Co-Op, Halcyon Dance Theatre, DancExchange Studio), and Soto Zen Buddhist-in-training, Jeanne Robinson expertise helped develop the movements necessary to describe the novel’s infamous zero-gravity dance.

The book is set in space, after all. It won a Hugo and a Nebula, so you know it worked out. They headed West and settled in B.C.; the rest of the trilogy appeared shortly thereafter. (Stardance, 1979, Starseed, 1991, and Starmind, 1995)

This impossible dance was almost filmed, if you can believe it, with the aid of the Zero G Corporation and low orbital flights. Will it still be made? As Spider might pun, it is up in the air.
More information here:

You see, on May 30, 2010, Jeanne Robinson died following a long battle with cancer.

"Shared pain is lessened; shared joy is increased (and bad puns are appreciated)."
-Callahan’s Legacy (1996)

In recognition of his impact on me, and her impact on him, I recommend the following titles. They’re touching, engrossing, and even educational. Mostly though, they're happy endings.

Stardance Trilogy: Stardance, Starseed, & Starmind
Callahan’s Cross-Time Saloon
Lady Slings the Booze
The Callahan Touch
Callahan’s Legacy
Callahan’s Key
Callahan’s Con
The Crazy Years

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