[Northkeep] I warn you, this post totally sucks.
peterschorn at pdq.net
Mon May 26 19:24:42 PDT 2008
I heard Yang died a few days ago.
That's Yang the Nauseating, Great Khan Yang, founder of the Dark Horde,
bard and minstrel, aka Robert Lynn Aspirin, founder of the Dorsai
Irregulars, filksinger, science fiction author, founder of Starblaze
In 1978 I was 18, and that summer I attended my first ever WorldCon:
Iguanacon in Phoenix, Arizona. In the atrium lobby of the convention
hotel, I stayed up all night Friday evening drinking Irish whiskey and
listening to Robert Aspirin enthrall a huge and ever-changing audience
with song after song about wonder after wonder: gods, heroes, mighty
battles among the stars; history, fantasy, myth and legend; love, hate,
vengeance, laughter, parody and satire and abominable puns.
At dawn we raised our glasses to the glowing east and joined in a
rousing chorus of "To Dream the Impossible Dream." And I wandered back
to my bed with one firm resolve in mind: that I wanted to be that guy.
Him. The Bard.
Last year, or maybe the year before, he came up to a little convention
in North Dallas. I happened to be there, and I gathered up my courage
to offer him a glass of Johnny Walker Blue Label, to thank him for that
evening and all that it had inspired.
I felt like a total fanboy. But then that's what I was. And there are
worse things and worse people to be boyishly fanatical about.
There's an old Welsh elegy, written by one bard for another. It
concludes with the lines: "Now that he's dead, Earth's a sadder
place--but Heaven is nine times happier!"
I'll drink to that. Tully, please.
--Cadfan ap Morgan, Bard of Gilwell
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