Spider Robinson Cannot Attend Westercon

Spider Robinson

Spider Robinson

Spider Robinson has withdrawn as one of Westercon 68’s guests of honor. Chair Ron Oakes released this statement from Spider:

Tell folks I had to tap out due to recent undisclosed health problems. That’s the shortest and truest I can say it. If anybody argues, tell ‘em I’m 66, I’ve been hospitalized six times in the last six months, and we’re working on it. And tell them I apologize.

Oakes responded, “Our thoughts and best wishes go with Spider for a speedy diagnosis and complete recovery.”

Westercon 68 takes place July 2-5 in San Diego.

Bring “God is an Iron” to Worldcon

god is an iron posterBlack Box Montreal, an independent theatre company that produces and adapts classic science fiction stories for the stage, wants to perform its version of Spider Robinson’s story God is an Iron at this year’s Worldcon in Spokane.

Money would help.

They’re lining up donors and seeking grants, and they’ve also turned to Indiegogo to find another $2,000 for travel expenses and publicity, as well as costume and prop building and sourcing.  The Indiegogo appeal is here.

Robert J. Sawyer backs the fundraiser:

I saw the Montreal Fringe version of this play in 2014, and it blew my socks off. Seeing it again at Worldcon will be fabulous.

Matthew David Surridge outlines the basic story in his Black Gate review of the 2014 Montreal production:

In the near future, a young man, Joe, enters an apartment and finds a woman, Karen, near death. She’s plugged into a machine stimulating the pleasure centre of her brain, an addictive high common in this future, and one that often leads to death as the addict comes to prefer the ongoing pleasure to food or drink. Joe gets Karen out of the machine and tries to lead her back to health. Who is she? Why did she plug herself into pleasure, knowing it could lead to her own death? Who is he, and why does he care? The set-up gives us questions, and over the course of the story we come to find out the answers. Some are profound, and the last is almost a punch-line: like a punch-line, it collapses all the pathos of the story and the themes into a sudden and surprising realisation.

The tale’s a meditation on empathy and pleasure; more precisely, on empathy and hedonism. Living for pleasure is self-directed. So what drives us — as human beings seem to be driven — to be social animals? Is there some merit to living for others beyond pleasure? Cano’s script, a faithful adaptation of the story using much of the original text, tries to probe these questions.

Donors are offered an escalating series of perks. If someone ponies up $500 —

We can offer one very lucky person the opportunity to be a part of the show! In addition to all the above perks, we’ll cast you in a high-visibility non-speaking role in one of the longer video segments. You’d be credited in the program amongst the cast as “Wireheading Patient”, and you’d have our eternal thanks. Also, we’ll buy you dinner.

They have raised $545 of the $2000 goal as of this writing.

Terri Luanna Mountainborne Robinson da Silva (1974-2014)

By David K. M. Klaus: Terri Luanna Mountainborne Robinson da Silva, daughter of Spider and the late Jeanne Robinson, is now in The Undiscovered Country, occurring Friday, December 5, at the age of 40 years, due to Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (which she described as “the most common form of breast cancer”). Waiting for their time to greet her again are her father Spider Robinson, her husband Heron da Silva, her daughter Marissa (“Miss M”), and a huge extended family of relatives and intimate friends, as well as many, many more distant friends around the world.

The announcement came from Laurie O’Neal (“Auntie L”) on Terri’s WordPress weblog about her life with cancer, gracefulwomanwarrior.com, and on her Facebook page.

With the name Luanna Mountainborne, she was depicted as dancing on Luna in 1/6 gravity in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein.

A crowdfunding request for her medical expenses is at https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/terri-s-stage-4-cancer-fight/269274.

A crowdfunding request for her memorial is at http://www.gofundme.com/icqknk

This information comes from openly accessible web pages and public announcements, no confidences are being violated.

Jeanne Robinson (1948-2010)

Jeanne Robinson, co-author with her husband Spider of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award winning novella “Stardance,” died May 30 after a long struggle with cancer. Doctors had ended Jeanne’s chemotherapy on April 5.

Jeanne was a talented dancer who studied at several major dance schools, performed with the Beverly Brown Dance Ensemble in New York and served as the artistic director of Halifax’s Nova Dance Theatre, where she choreographed more than thirty original works.

Jeanne Robinson Update

Spider Robinson gave friends and fans the latest distressing information about Jeanne’s cancer treatment on April 5:

Jeanne’s doctors have ended her chemotherapy. There’s nothing more chemistry can do for/to her. Radiation was never an option. She is therefore now in Palliative Care Phase. We asked roughly how long this stage might last—repeatedly—and the only answer we got was, “somewhere between a month and a year—more or less.”

Click the link for more of Spider’s thoughts about the short-term and the best ways to support them at this time.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]

Jeanne Robinson Needs Help

Jeanne Robinson is being treated for life-threatening cancer. An article on Spider Robinson’s website explains the situation:

Earlier his year a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Andresz Busczowski, helped Jeanne Robinson beat back a rare and virulent form of biliary cancer. But it’s so rare even he can’t say how much time he‘s bought her, how soon it might recur-and her latest blood tests have been so discouraging they’ve now decided she needs to start chemotherapy as soon as possible.

The Robinson’s don’t have the resources for all that’s needed, so Jeanne’s friends and neighbors have stepped in to help raise the funds. They’re staging a benefit concert September 18 at Cates Hill Chapel on Bowen Island in British Columbia. And people can send PayPal donations to http://wedreamforjeanne.blogspot.com/.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the link.]

Spider’s Her Own Grandpaw!

Marisa held by Terri 

Spider and Jeannie Robinson are grandparents:

Marisa Alegria da Silva arrived on planet Earth on May 28th at 1:56 PM Eastern Standard Time, weighing 8 pounds 5, long and lean and hairy and impeccably beautiful in all respects. Mother and child are both in good health, save for a minor fever that showed up at the last possible second, controlled easily by antibiotics.

I briefly considered leading this item by saying that the baby arrived in “the Usual Way” then decided, no, it’s too identified with Harry Chapin’s downer song “Cat’s in the Cradle”. The line is on my mind because early this morning I read aloud to Sierra the Winnie-the-Pooh story that introduces the characters Kanga and Roo. The line begins that story, but I never made the connection before despite mumble-cough years as a fan of the song. With all the other kiddy lit references in the lyrics it seems entirely possible Chapin intended that connection.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]