On Loss – The Ninety Day Cycle People

When today’s guest, David Perlmutter, pitched his idea to me, I confess I was skeptical. Then I read his piece and remembered all the fictional characters and stories whose endings have left me grieving. Loss, I was reminded, can take any form.   In the late 1970s, the underrated and underexposed rhythm and blues music ensemble Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band recorded a song called “Ninety Day Cycle People” for ABC Records. Unusually for the time and the artist, it was a high concept science fiction piece involving an advanced race of human beings capable of…

Continue reading

On Loss – Footprints on the Grass

Those of you who spent most of your childhood in the same home may know how it feels to revisit that home years later, as an adult. But what if the story is more complicated than that? What if you not only miss your childhood home but also plan to live there again? Today’s guest, Jasmine Georget–one of that treasured group of friends from my own former home–talks about what happened when she tried to reclaim the home she had lost. I came across my childhood home on a realtor’s website. The owner, a friend of a friend, had died…

Continue reading

On Loss – Thoughts on the Death of a Bird

If you’re wondering how a zoologist looks at the cycle of life and death, today’s guest may enlighten you. H. Leighton Dickson discovers that there is more to loss than despair. It is a sad thing to wake up and look to the nest outside your window, only to find it overturned and empty. I am surprised, actually, at how sad it is. Last summer, a pair of robins built a nest in the beams of our pergola. It was just above our deck table, and it was just high enough to avoid our two cats who sat eagerly below,…

Continue reading

On Loss – Memory Loss

Who owns our memories and what happens when we lose them? Our guest today, Aurora Award winner and fellow SF Canada member, Robert Runte, explores the loss of memory in some of its many forms. Increasingly, I’ve had to cope with memory loss. Well, yes, that, but not just that. Everyone has had the experience of forgetting where they left their keys…. As we age, we tend to blame our failing memories on aging, but the truth is I have always been absent minded: I just used to blame forgetting on being too busy or too tired from trying to…

Continue reading

On Loss – The Fear of Loss

Today’s guest has been an online friend of mine for several years. Charlie Hersman and his late partner Randy were two of our first Warpworld cheerleaders, and always a source of good cheer and inspiration. There really is no introduction I can pen that would capture Charlie’s journey, so I’ll step aside with much love and my humble thanks to my friend for sharing. It seems like we can never quite recapture the shameless abandon of childhood once we become adults. Somehow, between the expectations of those around us and the insistence of conformity thrust upon us by society, we…

Continue reading

On Loss – Giving Fear a Face

“You’ve got to meet this woman, you’ll love her.” Those were the words of my friend, author Griffin Barber, as he extolled the virtues of our first guest. I did meet her–online and then face-to-face at the Creative Ink Festival–and, what can I say? Griffin was right.  Does writing have a role to play in coping with loss? Warrior poet Setsu Uzume thinks so. If anyone tells you not to use writing as therapy, kick them in the shin. Felt good to think about that, didn’t it? At BayCon 2016, I was asked to be on a panel about death,…

Continue reading

On Loss – How we go on

“You go on. You just go on. There’s nothing more to it, and there’s no trick to make it easier. You just go on.” ~ Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory When we think of loss, we usually think of death—“Sorry for your loss”. But loss can be the end of a friendship, moving away from home, divorce, illness, changing schools, growing older, losing a job, even something as simple as losing our innocence and naivety. Sometimes loss carves a hole in our lives and marks us with the absence of something we love but it can also create a space for…

Continue reading

Culture and Conflict: Just Results

It can be easy to see only the negative connotations of culture clash–fear, hatred, violence–but are there times when our cultural differences cease to matter? Times when our differences are beneficial? Today’s guest, author Alistair Kimble, has some answers to those questions and much more. What I’m writing about today is culture clash. When I first received the topic, Boy George fronting The Clash cluttered my eyes and ears with discordant images and sounds. And while I don’t think Boy George and The Clash would have ever worked, the truth is, well, maybe they would have found a way if…

Continue reading

Culture and Conflict: The Morality of Culture

In an attempt to accept diversity, we will often defend behaviour we find strange or unacceptable as a difference of culture. And while it’s generally good to embrace cultural differences, is there a line where culture ceases to be a valid defense? Today’s guest blogger, author Nathan Elberg, discusses culture and morality. Some things are disgusting.  Pedophilia for instance is considered intolerable, despite its being promoted by writers such as William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.  Their advocacy for evil did nothing to harm their positions as cultural icons.  There are grey areas as to what constitutes a child.  Loretta…

Continue reading

Culture and Conflict: Literature and Culture Clash

Most stories, fiction or non-fiction, contain some kind of conflict–cultural or otherwise–but what about the actual medium itself? Author Nowick Gray considers the culture clash between corporate media and literature and what that means to society. In my recently published novel of the Arctic, Hunter’s Daughter (Five Rivers, 2015) the very basis of the plot, themes and character development is the clash of cultures. The era depicted (1964) is one of Inuit transition from traditional life on the land into settlements; and the story’s tension is driven by pressure from the bureaucracy of the South to conclude justice on its…

Continue reading