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Jeffrey J. Lyons
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 11:16 am:   

Any memories about the late Robert Sheckley to share? He passed away today at 77.
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Jeffrey J. Lyons
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 11:19 am:   

I meant, over the weekend. Not today. I read about it today.
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Thomas R.
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 11:05 pm:   

I was surprised this didn't get more coverage here when it happened. At Asimov's it was a healthy sized thread, but he never published anything there. He had several stories here though.

Maybe it was too soon for some. I think some here knew him so I'll let them speak.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 04:40 am:   

I was out of town this past weekend when the news broke and I've been getting caught up since. It's terrible about Bob. He was a terrific writer and a good guy and I'll certainly miss him.

There were a lot of panels about Bob at the Glasgow Worldcon so I feel a bit talked-out about him, but here's one anecdote:

In the fall of 2000, Bob told me a story about when he was editing Omni. His old friend Michael Shaara knew that Omni was paying top dollar and he submitted a story. Bob read it and said, "I can't use this story, Mike, it's not science fiction."

Shaara replied, "Well, after all our years of friendship, if you can't bend your rules a little, I'm not sure what good our friendship is." And according to Sheckley, the two never spoke again.

Six months later, at the Nebulas where Bob was honored with the Author Emeritus status, I saw someone (can't remember who: Brad Linaweaver maybe?) come up to Bob and say, "Mr. Sheckley, I was a friend of Michael Shaara's and I just wanted to let you know how much he valued your friendship. He was always talking about you and I know he'd be the first to congratulate you now if only he were still around."

Having just heard Sheckley tell that anecdote about Michael Shaara a few months earlier, I was curious to see how Bob responded. And he was a complete gentleman: I don't remember exactly what he said, but the gist of it was that Mike Shaara was a good friend and he appreciated this man's passing along the good word, etc. If any thought of their disagreement crossed Bob's mind, he certainly didn't let on.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 07:02 am:   

Gordon,
I was there when the incident with Shaara occurred. Bob was very upset. I can't recall if the story was sf or not, but it just wasn't for OMNI. I'm glad to hear the follow-up, which I never knew.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 07:19 am:   

Ellen---

The anecdote came up because we were talking about inappropriate submissions and Bob said that Shaara's story wasn't SF.

I wouldn't have named Shaara in this public forum, but at Readercon when I told this anecdote in a more veiled form, someone in the audience said, "Oh, just come out and say it was Michael Shaara," so I think this anecdote has been told in public before.
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Alexander
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2005 - 11:27 pm:   

I never knew him really, haven't read a word of his, but am sorry that he passed away. I've been so out of touch - doing this and that - that I didn't even know until just now.

RIP
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Martin Olson
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 04:22 pm:   

Hi Ellen and all--

I worked with Bob a lot over the past 15 years. During that time we became good friends. I was unable to go to the funeral, but wrote a eulogy.

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/007078.html

I just found you folks on google and thought I'd chime in with some good thoughts on Bob.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 07:16 pm:   

Martin,
That's a lovely eulogy for Bob.
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E Thomas
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 10:21 pm:   

That is a very nice eulogy for him, and that poem is a beautiful closing to it. Thanks for sharing it with this board.
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Will
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 09:42 am:   

Gordon, you have to tell us you have just one more story from him sitting on your desk. Please?
His stories were incredible.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 04:11 pm:   

Sorry, I can't say that we've got any Sheckley stories in inventory. But I haven't heard anything from his estate. It may well turn out that there are some goodies in his files.

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