Email I tried to send to Spider Robinson via his website under the Subject “Spider’s Impact”:
I was first introduced to Spider via the copy of Telempath that I borrowed from my cousin Bud. I was likely 10 years old at the time and an avid science fiction fan. I was scandalized/delighted by the references to smoking pot (I was already partaking at that point) and the fact that the protagonist was black. I thought it was awesome and then started to read everything that Spider had written and would write.I love the Callahan’s books. I love the puns (when they’re good) 🙂 . I loved Callahan’s Lady and the brothel setting. I loved Antinomy and most especially The Magnificent Conspiracy, a story that I have probably read 30 times. Antinomy was such an eclectic mix of pure Spiderness, it was maybe the first time that I really felt a strong bond with the writer as a person. I’ve loved so may of Spider’s works, and Spider’s uniquely human authorial voice. Mindkiller, Night of Power, Lifehouse, The Free Lunch, Variable Star. I love those books and they have all had a major impact on my life.I read Helnlein because Spider told me I should.I am a fairly typical nerd, probably. I’m the IT director for my county. I love Robert Heinlein, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Robert E. Howard, Tolkien, etc. Of all of them, except for maybe Heinlein, only Spider has helped me to be a better human. Reading SF can help make you smarter. Reading Spider can help make you more compassionate.I remember in “Rah Rah RAH” Spider writing “this is who and what I love.” That’s exactly how I feel about Spider.