Thursday, February 26, 2009

Philip Jose Farmer

has died at the age of 91.

No doubt other people knew him far better than I did, but I did meet him and have dinner with him once.

That was at MidAmeriCon, the 34th World Science Fiction Convention, in Kansas City in 1976. My first novel was scheduled for publication by Pocket Books the following spring, and my editor, Adele Leone, took Leonore and me out for dinner with Farmer and his wife. (She also took us out for dinner with Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm at the same convention. It was all quite thrilling.)

Farmer was charming and indulgent to a somewhat bumptious young man - nicer than I would have been, I think in retrospect. He seemed genuinely interested in my upcoming novel. His behavior provided a lesson I have yet to learn but must try to.

I had been a fan of his for years and was both awed at being treated like an equal and astonished that he was such an ordinary and nice guy. Based on his novels, I had expected a wild man. How silly of me!

Now he's dead and I never had any contact with him again. Foolish boy.

No comments: