Thursday, May 26, 2005

Science Fiction Writer

Originally uploaded by Marinade Dave.
This is my uncle, David A. Kyle. He is recognized in the science fiction community as the elder statesman, certainly to the older generation. I don't know about present day fans. He still goes to many sci-fi conventions around the world. He is now 86 and to this day, has no trouble hopping in his car and driving down to Orlando from Potsdam, NY. Way upstate. He is married to my mother's sister, Ruth. His mind is as sharp as it was 50 years ago. Back in 1980, he was authorized by the late E.E. 'Doc' Smith estate to write further adventures in the 'Dragon Lensmen' series. He has written other books and many years ago, was an author and illustrator for detective, fantasy and sci-fi pulp fiction magazines, such as Analog, and was the founder of Gnome Press. Years ago, he and my aunt owned a radio station up there, WPDM.

I remember, when I was four, going to their wedding in New York City. I sat with my grandmother and great aunt in the front row. During the ceremony, I looked up at the stained glass windows. It was an Episcopal church, The Little Church Around the Corner in midtown Manhattan. Quite ornate and somewhat gothic, if I recall. The moment was very silent. Pointing upward, I blurted out, "Is that God?" And I meant 'was that really God?' It reverberated throughout the whole church. The congregation roared in laughter. I guess I had my 15 minutes of fame rather early in life.

When I was young, probably from around nine to fifteen, they used to fly me up to spend summers with them. Mohawk Airlines. DC-3s back then. Sometimes, they'd entertain guests for dinner. Earlier on, it meant nothing to me to dine with Isaac Asomov or Robert Heinlein. A close friend is Forrest J. Ackerman and not far behind is some guy named Arthur C. Clarke, like anyone would know who he is. Being famous was not part of my vocabulary back then. About the same age, my father took me to a midget or sprint car race in Flemington, NJ, where I'm from. "See that guy out there?" he asked. "That's A.J. Foyt." "So?" I responded. I knew who Superman was.

My uncle has always had a very vibrant and creative mind and a keen, dry sense of humor. He still does.

Every winter, he and my Aunt Ruthie try to come down, to escape the brutal and long winters of the north country.

If you are familiar with him, would you drop me a line? I'd love to pass along any stories to him, especially since he can be the consummate storyteller, himself.

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