Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lloyd Alexander

One of the perks working for the magazine is meeting so many authors I would never meet otherwise. I'm usually not intimidated by meeting famous folks and rarely find myself feeling nervous, but last year when I was conscripting people to write essays for the YA issue, I called up Lloyd Alexander to ask him for a piece and found myself completely fluttery before I called. Discovering his Prydain series at age 11 was my entry into genre reading, my transition from my early mainstay of all the mythology and "real ghost" stories I could get my hands on to fantasy, horror, and then the final inevitable plunge into science fiction. When I spoke to him, he was completely charming, though apologetic that he could not write something for me as he had recently taken a spill and broken his leg (or maybe his hip? can't remember). We chatted for about ten minutes, and at the end of the call, I blurted out something about how his books were the reason I love SF today. He was very sweet.

It's a strange thing, when an author who's writing had a strong effect on you passes away, it feels like something irreplacable has been lost.