Saturday, July 20, 2013

Man Walks on the Moon for the First Time 44 Years Ago Today

On this day, July 20, in 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on the Moon.  Armstrong, who left us last year, uttered the now immortal words, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."  He was the first of only 12 to do so.  I pray there will be more, preferably within my lifetime.

Rest in peace, Mr. Armstrong.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Big Changes Coming to the Blog

This is the same post I ran yesterday at Adventures Fantastic.  The readership of the two blogs overlaps quite a bit but isn't identical.  I'm reposting the announcement here in case anyone missed it.  If you saw it yesterday, it's the same thing, verbatim.

Traffic the last few days has been up quite a bit, so when traffic today was down, I wasn't too worried.  I've noticed that trend before, a drop in hits on the day following higher than usual traffic, even thought the traffic drop today is greater than usual.

Then I noticed something in my inbox.  It was from Google.  It had come in overnight, and at first glance I thought it was spam that had slipped through the filter.  Instead it was accusing this blog of being spam.  The second line read, in part, "As a result of your site having pure spam, Google has applied a manual spam action..."

Excuse me!?!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, James Gunn

James Edwin Gunn was born this day in 1923.  He's still with us, and I  hope he will be for many years to come.  His best known works include The Listeners (1972), Starbridge (with Jack Williamson, 1955), The Immortals (1964), and Kampus (1977).  He edited the six volume historical anthology, The Road to Science Fiction (1977, 1979, 1982, 1998). This is one of the best overviews of the field.  Nearly every story in it is a classic.  Gunn was a Professor of English at the University of Kansas and is currently Professor Emeritus and director of The Center for the Study of Science Fiction.  This is the organization that gives out the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which is not the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer) and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award at the Campbell Conference.  He was awarded a Grand Master Nebula by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2007.

I only met him once, in 1989 if memory serves.  There was some sort of gathering at the UNT in which a number of science fiction authors were present.  I think it was a meeting of the Science Fiction Research Association.  Among the other attendees were Fred Pohl, Jack Williamson, L. Sprague and Catherine de Camp, James Frenkel, and Brad Denton.  I remember Gunn as being a quiet and pleasant man.

Happy birthday, Dr. Gunn, and many happy returns!