Scifi suicide story id help
August 13, 2010 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Story ID: An aging, eminent composer decides it's time to end his life in an orderly manner. Probably from the 70's or 80's, and quite possibly in a collection of science fiction, although the only scifi element is that the story takes places in a time when the act isn't stigmatized. All clues appreciated.
posted by spasm to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know the name of this story, but it sounds familiar. Does the composer find a child to train as his successor, only killing himself once the kid has developed his/her abilities to the composer's satisfaction?
posted by enn at 2:44 PM on August 13, 2010

Is his suicide due to the composer finding out that his most famous work was actually based on a latent memory of something he heard as a child?
posted by mkb at 2:48 PM on August 13, 2010

Response by poster: enn: No, I don't think so. The story is really only about his decision to die, and how he presents it to his friends; at least, as far as I can remember.

mkb: No, he's getting old, his inspiration is flagging, and he just feels it's time.

both: But, it's been 30 or 40 years, and I'm getting on myself, so maybe I just forgot.
posted by spasm at 2:52 PM on August 13, 2010

Best answer: Robert Silverberg's Going, perhaps?
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:10 PM on August 13, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, cybercoitus interruptus, that's it. Thanks!
posted by spasm at 3:20 PM on August 13, 2010

I first read it at age 13 or so. It's stayed with me, especially as I became conscious of moving through different life stages. What a great, moving meditation on mortality and what the hell is it we're here for anyway...

Happy re-reading!
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:33 PM on August 13, 2010

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