Thursday, February 5, 2009

Who Now?

"What was that name again?"
"Edgar Allen Poe."
"There is no such author listed in our files."
"Will you please check?"
She checked. "Oh, yes. There's a red mark on the file card. He was one of the authors in the Great Burning of 2265."
"How ignorant of me."
"That's all right," she said. "Have you heard much of him?"
"He had some interesting barbarian ideas on death," said Lantry.
"Horrible ones," she said, wrinkling her nose. "Ghastly."
"Yes. Ghastly. Abominable, in fact. Good thing he was burned. Unclean. By the way, do you have any of Lovecraft?"
"Is that a sex book?"

Excerpted from "Pillar of Fire," collected in Ray Bradbury's S is for Space.

I was kind of startled to be reminded that Ray Bradbury is still alive. Most of his contemporaries (Asimov and Heinlein come to mind) have been gone for a decade or so now, and Arthur C. Clarke finally kicked the bucket last year, so he and Anne McCaffrey are just about the last ones now.

As a sort-of-fan of Lovecraft, this passage amuses me horribly. What makes it even better is that the first time I read it, I had no clue just who this "Lovecraft" guy was. "Sex book" would probably have been my first guess, too.

-Signing off.

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