Premature Burial

by wjw on May 21, 2010

A few days ago, all Twitter was aglow with the information that Harlan Ellison had died.

Last night, I received email that Normal Spinrad had died during an operation.

As it happens, Harlan is very much alive, and Norman survived his operation perfectly well.

So there seems to be a “prankster” working the science fiction social networks. I put “prankster” in quotes because, speaking only for myself, I think pranks should actually be funny, and if possible witty and imaginative, and these aren’t. These are just, I dunno, dumb. If I were an Internet prankster, I could think of scads of pranks that would be a lot more intelligent and funny than these.

So if you hear that some well-known science fiction writer has died, please check with a third party before reposting. Thank you.

Ken Houghton May 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Ah! NOW I understand the ire over the Spinrad rumor (which I originally took as just a mishearing of someone who heard he was having stomach cancer surgery yesterday).

Error is one thing; malice quite another.

The "only" reported current death at is Rod Serling's older brother. However, Frank Frazetta and Generalissimo Francisco Franco remain dead.

Ralf the Dog May 21, 2010 at 9:15 pm

I am glad to know that you and the others are fine. I thought it was strange a large air crash at a Taos resort would not make the news. It is sick that people would start that kind of rumor.

Question, is starting a rumor that a rumor exists sick?

Oz May 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm

And I saw a tweet that Snow Bear was buried by an avalanche and completely destroyed, thereby eliminating my need to finish writing my submission.

You're on twitter? Who knew.


Dave Bishop May 22, 2010 at 9:34 am

To spread such rumours is not only sick but rather pointless. Both authors are well known for being outspoken, and have probably made enemies as a result, but how does anyone gain by claiming that they're dead? I suppose that it just comes down to childish spite.

The Great and Powerful Oz May 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Lime Jello was a funny prank.

Putting "Bob Tucker slept here" signs on every hotel room door except his was a funny prank.

Spreading rumors that famous, but no longer young authors have died is not a funny prank.

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