The music world lost an incredible talent yesterday. John Mann, from the band Spirit of the West, died at the age of 57. My life has many memories related to this band. The Winnipeg Folk Festival, where I was first introduced to them, rubber boots, mud and all, remains engraved into my soul. Friends and future relationships were forged with a soundtrack that continues to play. Each song, like a private video, reminds me of times past that forever will not be able to erase.
I am grateful that I was able to see them at their final concert at the Commodore in Vancouver with the person that I loved. Unknown to me at the time, this would be one of my last good memories.
Spirit of the West represents a wonderful part of my life and at the same time brings me sadness because by no one's fault but my own, I threw what I had away, the ashes of an previous existence taken by the winds to be forever scattered.
Thank you, John, for your talent. You will be fondly remembered.
When I was growing up, my father would read or make up science fiction stories when I went to bed. As I got older, I began to read short story anthologies and novels from some of the pioneers of science fiction writing. I was filled with wonder at the fantastic visions of the future. Just like a child’s imagination is unfettered by boundaries, these writers were able to make the unknown their own.
I grew with the writers, following the up and comers with their new approaches, styles, and understandings. More discoveries made for more scientifically accurate writing, and gave the next generation of authors the opportunity to stretch the boundaries of belief even farther. The advances in science however, revealed the folly in some of the earlier ideas that were put forward, making some of the stories that I was so fond of just a little more absurd. While the new technical knowledge gave credibility and possibility to the stories, I missed the early days when any idea was considered fair game.
I decided to write a series of short stories in the style of the early years of science fiction, where scientific knowledge wasn’t king and imagination drove the author to create something that a young boy could read and dream about travelling to the stars and having fantastical adventures, while falling asleep to the voice of his father…