distal muse

observations, opinions, ephemera, and views


January 31, 2010

Kage Baker, A Fine Writer, Gone

Following upon the previous post, Kage Baker has passed away.

A few years back she was guest of honor at ConQuest, in Kansas City.  Here in St. Louis some folks at the public library contacted me to see if I could get her to come here to do a presentation.  In my office at the time as president of the Missouri Center for the Book I made inquiries, set up a venue, and actually made arrangements.  A couple of local fans who were at the Kansas City convention volunteered to drive Kage and her sister to St. Louis.  They said they had a marvelous time with her and were pleased to take Kage around the city on tour.

I’d expected more from the library.  Of course I sent around a notice that Kage would be in town, doing a reading, but book events are notoriously hard to get people, even dedicated readers, to attend, and we ended up with a very small gathering in a hall much too large.

Kage was gracious.  We huddled around and she read a pirate story to us and we had a terrific conversation.  It was a fun evening and I came away very impressed by her wit and charm.  That’s kind of a cliched expression, but it was true.  I liked her very much.  I’d already been quite taken by her books, which are the kind of treasures you find from time to time that you come to feel a special warmth for.  Great characters, wonderful storylines, and a terrific premise.

She actually published quite a bit.  There’s plenty there to read and reread.  Nevertheless, there doubtless was much more we will never now discover.  She will be missed by some of us.  She should be remembered.

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