Inspriring farewell letter by a sci-fi author
December 9, 2008 1:36 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a Sci-fi writers farewell letter. Could be Asimov, could be someone else.

As a kid I burned through all the Swedish translations of sci-fi I could find in my local library. In one anthology of novelettes – I'm assuming it was one of Sam J Lundvalls collections – there was a farewell letter from a sci-fi writer. It wasn't a suicide note, but rather written by someone old and grateful for a life well spent.

It was atheist in sentiment, and very well written. I still recall this as the attitude one would like to have when on a death bed. (Not sure if it was actually written on a death bed or earlier)

Anyway, I haven't been able to find a copy of the collection, nor any mentions of such a letter. If it is Asimov the letter might well be included in It's Been a Good Life, but I haven't seen that.

Suggestions? Links?
posted by monocultured to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It has been a very long time since I read it, but could you be thinking of Robert Heinlein's posthumously-published Grumbles from the Grave?
posted by trip and a half at 4:35 AM on December 9, 2008

I recall reading a short piece by Asimov about death being the end of consciousness, and his being fine with that. It was in a collection of his essays, but don't remember which one.
posted by DarkForest at 5:20 AM on December 9, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke's 90th Birthday Reflections. (He died a few months later). A hopeful and realistic look at science, technology, and the future of humanity. This video made me tear up a bit, after spending many inspiring hours reading his work over the years.
Here's a transcript of the video.
posted by wundermint at 1:56 PM on December 9, 2008

In reading your question again, sorry I could not provide the Asimov link. I thought you might be looking for farewell letters in general :)
posted by wundermint at 1:58 PM on December 9, 2008

Response by poster: @trip and a half: Grumbles from the Grave doesn't seem to fit my memories bill – there is no mention of such a letter in the brief outline of the book for example – but I'll take a look. Cheers.

@DarkForest: So I might be right about it being Asimov after all… Maybe I ought to check back-issues of sci-fi mags from the time of his death. If it's indeed Asimov, I must have read the letter later than I remember, since he died in -92 when I was 14.

@wundermint: Well, inspiring farewell letters in general are welcome. I would add that as a rider to the original if I may.

As to Clarke, this might be an instance of "oh, I'm getting older" since it seems just the other day that Clarke died, and IIRC I read the text as a young teen, some 13 years ago. Thanks for the transcript though – I remember reading it when it came out, and it is in the same vein as the one I remember, and very touching.
posted by monocultured at 3:57 PM on December 9, 2008

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