Appreciations for Jeanne Robinson, George Ewing, and Everett F. Bleiler

The following appreciations could not be included in the July print edition of Locus for reasons of space. We are pleased to present them here.

Appreciation for Jeanne Robinson
by Jim Frenkel

I first met Jeanne Robinson in 1974. She and Spider had not been together very long at that point. They were living in Nova Scotia in a house with electricity but fewer other utilities than some houses. She was then, as she seemed to be whenever I saw her after that, warm, friendly, generous of spirit, enormously creative in her dance, and very much in love with Spider. I’ll never forget when she and Spider came to New York to talk with editors and such, and stayed with me in my Brooklyn apartment – their very young baby slept in a sock drawer!

Jeanne was always supportive of Spider, and Spider responded by being a loving, caring life-partner who grew in their relationship as I don’t think he knew he could. Such was the power of Jeanne’s compassion and love that everyone around her couldn’t help but be warmed by the light of her loving presense.

When Spider and Jeanne wrote Stardance, Jeanne realized that she had more talents than she had previously known, contributing not only her knowledge of dance, but also much of the spirit of the piece.

Over the last couple decades I haven’t seen Jeanne and Spider as much as I would have liked. With them in Vancouver and me in the Midwest our meetings have been limited to the occasional convention. But whenever we have been in the same place, I have always felt the bond of those early years. It is terribly sad that she has passed from this world to the next. she will be missed by all of us privileged to have spent time with her.

Jim Frenkel

Appreciation for George Ewing
by Darrell Schweitzer

I was one of George’s classmates in 1973. I did not know him well, but I can offer one anecdote. In addition to being a pleasant and helpful person, he was the quintessential techie tinkerer, sort of like a real-life Analog character. He was heavily into ham radio. This was a little before there were personal computers. I can just imagine he would have been in his glory with home-made computers.

One night during that Clarion term there was a power failure. Carter Scholz wanted to write a story anyway. So George rummaged around the massive accumulation of stuff in his room, got out some electrical apparatus and a car battery and rigged up a light, which he set up in the corridor outside our dorm rooms. Carter squatted down on the floor and pounded away on a manual typewriter for a little while, until the car battery or the light (I forget which) overheated and burned a hole in the carpet. But even though this was a dormatory, where George would be staying for only a short time, and he presumably had to haul everything in there deliberately, he was the kind of guy who would inevitably have, among the junk in his room, a spare car battery, some wire, parts of a lamp, and tools, and be able to assemble them into something useful, not to show off, but because someone else needed it.

Darrell Schweitzer

Appreciation for Everett F. Bleiler
by Joe Wrzos

Although I never met him personally, I’ve always managed to keep up with his unparalleled bibliographical and editing works. Not just with the choice Dover editions he selected and astutely introduced, but with all of his

major reference volumes. Beginning with the ground-breaking Checklist of Fantasy Literature, his earliest, I believe. And staying with him all the way up to recent times, when his remarkably informative Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years first appeared.

Bleiler seemed to know, in detail, almost “everything” about our genre(s), and much else about many other related (and unrelated) fields. Over the years, from what I’d heard from others, though obviously very busy himself, he always found time, when asked, to help other “serious” researchers. A  heart-warming kind of generosity I myself can attest to. For on a couple of occasions, when I’d written to him (the old-fashioned way, via snail-mail; he answered in pen and ink!)about Jacque Morgan and Clement Fezandie (even obscurer today than when I had first inquired), I was delighted to receive prompt and bibliographically helpful replies. And when I couldn’t locate a copy of  the Emile Gaboriau’s Monsieur Lecoqu, in the then out-of-print Dover edition he’d edited and introduced, immediately upon hearing from me, he shot off an extra copy of the trade paperback edition to me, apparently quite cheerful about helping yet another young researcher still toiling in library reference rooms and (early) online.

That’s the kind of gent and scholar Everett Bleiler was. The field will miss his encyclopedic efforts, and so will I.

Joe Wrzos

2 thoughts on “Appreciations for Jeanne Robinson, George Ewing, and Everett F. Bleiler

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Wunnaful story, Darrell!

  • July 16, 2010 at 11:43 am

    E.F. Bleiler guided my reading from very nearly the beginnings of my interest in the fantastic more than fifty years ago, starting with the anthologies he did with Ted Dikty. Later, the Checklist was the ur-bibliographic tool, and in grad school the Dover reprints of ghost stories and other fantastika fed into my dissertation research. I was tickled to finally work for him (if at a slight distance) when I snagged a tiny part of the Supernatural Fiction Writers project. His editorial and scholarly work threads through the whole history of modern SF and fantasy.


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