realjanetkagan (1946-2008) March 2, 2008 4:20 AM   Subscribe

Science fiction writer Janet Kagan, who posted here as realjanetkagan, died Friday after a long illness (COPD).
posted by mcwetboy to MetaFilter-Related at 4:20 AM (67 comments total)

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posted by popechunk at 4:55 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by Slithy_Tove at 4:59 AM on March 2, 2008


My sincere condolences to her family and friends. I will miss her.
posted by Dizzy at 5:09 AM on March 2, 2008


How sad. I loved Hellspark and Mirabile. I didn't know she was a Mefite.
posted by lleachie at 5:26 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by sciurus at 5:38 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by dismas at 6:04 AM on March 2, 2008


I wasn't familiar with her work, but browsing through her comment/posting history just now, she came across as a very considerate and kind, intelligent person (and a fellow cat lover to boot).

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posted by Devils Slide at 6:11 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by pjern at 6:12 AM on March 2, 2008


I recognize her name, but I didn't know she was an author. Either way, it is sad. Condolences to her friends and family.
posted by yhbc at 6:28 AM on March 2, 2008


(Friends and family of Ms. Kagan who may be reading this thread: the . that a lot of people are posting is our way of showing respect for the departed. It stands for "a moment of silence.")
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:39 AM on March 2, 2008


Aw, I'm sorry to hear that. I also didn't know about her life outside of MeFi but I do know that we fixed her computer and she was very good natured about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:44 AM on March 2, 2008


Sorry to hear that.
posted by languagehat at 6:52 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:01 AM on March 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by sveskemus at 7:23 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by doctor_negative at 8:07 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by briank at 8:14 AM on March 2, 2008




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posted by Smart Dalek at 8:29 AM on March 2, 2008


My condolences.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:35 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by pearlybob at 8:37 AM on March 2, 2008


She was nice to me from the very beginning of my posting to Metafilter from my old science-fiction bookstore, and after I found out who she was, I walked upstairs and found one of her books. I've wondered where she was for quite awhile.

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posted by interrobang at 8:47 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by moonbird at 9:03 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by cashman at 9:11 AM on March 2, 2008


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Hellspark is one of my favourite books. My condolences.
posted by dipping_sauce at 9:17 AM on March 2, 2008


Very sad.

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posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:31 AM on March 2, 2008


Our loss is heaven's gain. We'll miss you, Janet!
posted by Lynsey at 9:47 AM on March 2, 2008


Wow, I had no idea she was an author and a Hugo award winner to boot. A sad loss.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:03 AM on March 2, 2008


That is sad. And she was too young, and I've adjusted standards of age as I myself get creakier (she was younger than my mom, anyway). Condolences to anyone here who knew her.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:19 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by Mitheral at 10:21 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by Skorgu at 10:24 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by onalark at 10:36 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by flashboy at 10:59 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by kbanas at 11:19 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by LeeJay at 11:26 AM on March 2, 2008


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posted by Salmonberry at 12:01 PM on March 2, 2008


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I'll keep an eye out for a copy of Hellspark.
posted by Tehanu at 12:08 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by -t at 12:15 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by brain cloud at 12:20 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by Bookhouse at 12:41 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by Wilder at 12:45 PM on March 2, 2008


When people say "My condolences, etc." in a thread in which the intended recipient is not present, what does that mean, exactly? Actually sending a note offering condolences to grieving family and friends is a noble--or at least civilized-- gesture, but just making general condolences sort of atmospherically available on the off-chance anyone swings through to collect them seems incredibly empty and pointless to me. This may seem unnecessarily pedantic in a memorial thread, but I find it distracting.

Perhaps that's why the "." has become the default, as much as it seems to bother some people. There's nothing really to say, and no one appropriate to say it to, but here we all are.

Janet seemed like a classy lady, it's good to know her suffering has ended.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 1:50 PM on March 2, 2008


This may seem unnecessarily pedantic in a memorial thread

Why yes, yes it does.
posted by languagehat at 2:00 PM on March 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


This may seem unnecessarily pedantic in a memorial thread

Yes, it does.

I think the assumption, and one that has been true in the past, is that the loved ones of members may come through and it's nice to know (I'd think) that someone is thinking about the people who are still around in addition to those who we've lost.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:03 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by iamkimiam at 2:12 PM on March 2, 2008


Feel free to delete my comment then; obit threads are usually in the blue, so in this case bringing it up in MeTa wasn't exactly an alternate option.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 2:12 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by wendell at 2:17 PM on March 2, 2008


I would say that obit threads of a member are special cases. One, they do belong more properly on the grey than the blue, and two, it is more proper to express personal condolences on them than on obit threads of someone famous that you didn't know, and whose friends and family are not likely to be reading MetaFilter to find those personal expressions.
posted by yhbc at 2:30 PM on March 2, 2008


Yes, I remember more than one case when friends and family members either posted in an obit thread to express their appreciation or asked a member to pass on their thanks. This isn't some hidden cul-de-sac no outsiders know about.
posted by languagehat at 2:48 PM on March 2, 2008


I loved Hellspark too.

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posted by gemmy at 2:54 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by roll truck roll at 4:08 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by gomichild at 4:09 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by stagewhisper at 4:26 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by MythMaker at 4:34 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by headspace at 4:45 PM on March 2, 2008


Two of her FPPs were about the Food Timeline and Book-A-Minute Scifi/Fantasy. The first is made of awesome. The second is made of awesome and snark. This is my favorite.
posted by Tehanu at 4:46 PM on March 2, 2008


Holy cow - I met Janet Kagan in 1987 through a college friend. She and her husband were very friendly, very genial people. When I met her she shot me with a red pop gun called a "K-Gun". Her husband used them instead of business cards. The reason she shot me is that she and her husband had a policy - people were more willing to accept the gun if they had been shot first, but if you shot an unarmed person, the Kagans would arm them. Consequently, they had to buy the guns by the case. I left my gun behind and sent her a letter asking if I might get a replacement. She sent me one with a letter with a simple note that said, "What would Robert Heinlein have said?"

Godspeed.
posted by plinth at 6:10 PM on March 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by jtron at 7:18 PM on March 2, 2008


oh, I am sorry! Janet was one of the first people from mefi to write to me with encouraging words about my posts ... she sent a few emails over time - maybe 3 or 4, always very kind, supportive, and flattering. I was tickled because she said she liked to read blort. But that was years ago, and she hadn't been around mefi much. I do remember she was active in NaNoWriMo.

Here are a few posts from around the web that give some little vignettes - she was highly regarded by many and apparently touched a lot of lives:

She was funny, and modest; she had a red-headed temper, and she wrote one of my favorite books ever.

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She was one of the first real authors to offer advice and support. She was also one of the warmest, kindest people I know in this business.

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They would attract the most wonderful diversity of people. Janet and Ricky also fit in easily and comfortably at parties at my home, even though most of the attendees were of my generation, not theirs. They were remarkably easy to be with, and had an incredible range of interests and experiences.

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Janet, I am sorry you died. My mom died on Friday too - maybe you could both look out for each other because she was a very kind person too. I think there's a good chance you might be on the same star.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:11 PM on March 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Damn. RIP, Janet.
posted by holgate at 8:43 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by cerebus19 at 9:16 PM on March 2, 2008


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posted by juv3nal at 12:27 AM on March 3, 2008


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posted by hjo3 at 4:47 AM on March 3, 2008


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posted by LeLiLo at 10:21 AM on March 3, 2008


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posted by rooftop secrets at 11:29 AM on March 3, 2008


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A major Star Trek geek, I read all those "Classic" Star Trek books when they came out 20 some years ago. Uhuru's Song was one of the best, and one of my favorites. A great talent.
posted by FfejL at 2:34 PM on March 3, 2008


We exchanged emails a few times a while back. About what, I can't really remember, but I do remember that she was really nice. I'm sorry to hear that she's gone.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:18 AM on March 4, 2008


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posted by unrepentanthippie at 8:12 AM on March 22, 2008


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