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05 August 2015 @ 11:55 am
O grave, where is thy conquest  
Robert Conquest, gone at 98. To the sf tribe, he was one of our respectable defenders when we didn't have many. Along with his pal Kingsley Amis, he compiled anthologies and wrote,
SF's NO GOOD!
They bellow 'til we're deaf
But =this= is good
Well, then, it's not SF!
I'm tempted to call him a major minor poet; he wrote great little things like:
Seven Ages: first puking and mewling
Then very pissed-off with your schooling
Then fucks, and then fights
Next judging chaps' rights
Then sitting in slippers: then drooling
But of course he was best known for The Great Terror, his merciless expose of the horrors of Soviet Communism. He lived to be vindicated and enjoyed it. As the Times puts it,
In a moment of gleeful malice, Mr. Conquest told friends that his suggested title for the new edition was “I Told You So, You Fools”—with a vulgar adjective inserted between the last two words.
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Kalimac: puzzlekalimac on August 5th, 2015 07:43 pm (UTC)
I met him once, nearly 20 years ago. He was a fellow of the Hoover Institution; I was working in its library; we connected at the Christmas party. We talked about fanzines.