Wednesday Kipple.

One of the realizations one gets when one is forced away from work is that you miss the work. This can happen by Covid Mandate. It can happen by illness.

I rarely cross the streams like this, but it seems important to note that one of the great SF and fantasy writers of my generation is hanging up the keyboard. David Drake, who I have been reading since my high school days fifty years ago when the late Jim Baen published “Under The Hammer” in Galaxy magazine, has been having some issues lately with concentration, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s impossible for him to write novels any more. So he’s calling it a career. Hopefully he’ll visit a few conventions in his retirement and enjoy some much-deserved adulation from his fans.

It will happen by death, and death comes to us all.

When Earth’s Last Picture Is Painted

L’Envoi To “The Seven Seas”

When Earth’s last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it — lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew.
And those that were good shall be happy; they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets’ hair.
They shall find real saints to draw from — Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!

And only The Master shall praise us, and only The Master shall blame;
Andd no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They are!

Rudyard Kipling, 1892

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10 days ago

This is an especially apt poem to use with reference to Drake, whose career was launched with a series of military SF stories that were brutally truthful about war as he (and others in the Blackhorse Regiment) saw it during Vietnam. There were no stainless heroes or starry-eyed idealists among the ranks of his protagonists, just men and women doing their best to get (often dirty & thankless) jobs done.