I’m not a very good Spider Robinson fan. By that I mean that I love his books — I’m not an idiot — but I don’t keep on top of events in authors’ personal lives, even my favorites. It’s none of my business, and I’ve never felt that public performances (textual included) were an invitation into an artist’s personal life. Spider (“Do you mind if I call you Spider?”) comes closer than most, though, because he just seems like such a nice guy, and all logic to the contrary I can’t help but play a mental game of Pascal’s Wager where he’s concerned: if I DID see him in a bar, and DID buy him a drink, maybe he’d tell me where Callahan’s has moved to. So, I was honestly upset to learn that he had had a heart attack (back in August — I’m REALLY not a good fan) but is doing really well, and similarly happy to learn that his daughter’s health is wonderfully improved.
Writing this reminds me of his old essay on religion, which can be read HERE. I certainly don’t agree with everything he says — there’s entirely too much essentializing of world religions down to theological points, both positive and negative, for example — but it’s a good read, and a great insight into a latter-day Golden Age author’s perspective on religion. (Imagine if Heinlein was reborn as an optimist … )
On the other hand, if you’ve no idea who Spider is, you could do worse than spend a few minutes reading this: Melancholy Elephants.