Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Respect The Dead

I’ve borrowed the title from an Otis Taylor blues album for this note I meant to put up this past weekend (but couldn’t, due to illness). Saturday was November 11th. Whether you call it Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Poppy Day, or Veterans Day, it marks the date that saw the end of the First World War and has since become a time for people to remember the sacrifices of those who fought in WWI, WWII and other wars and peacekeeping actions. If you didn’t attend a ceremony or you weren’t able to take the time to reflect this past weekend, I’m asking you to please take a minute or two now. Leave personal politics at the door. Just think about the freedoms you have which were paid for by these heroic efforts and terrible losses. And remember the living as well. If you know a veteran, take the time to thank them.
What does this have to do with speculative fiction? The number of alternate history, horror, fantasy and sci-fi stories that are set against the backdrop of the wars and peacekeeping actions are legion. Some of the tales that stick out in my mind are John Brunner’s short story “In the Season of the Dressing of the Wells”, Christopher Priest’s “The Seperation”, Harry Turtledove’s “Worldwar” series, and Dave Whittier’s short story “Coming Back to Kabul”.
But ultimately, I’ve gotta yield the ol’ soapbox here for a minute of silence to honour this time because it’s about being human. Showing respect is the right thing to do.

Lest we forget.
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