A Sad Day
Bill Quick

Daniel Keyes, author of the classic book ‘Flowers for Algernon,’ dies at 86 – The Washington Post

Daniel Keyes, the author of the enduring classic “Flowers for Algernon,” the fictional account of a mouse and a man whose IQs are artificially, temporarily and tragically increased, died June 15 at his home in southern Florida. He was 86.

I first read “Flowers for Algernon” as a short story when I was 13 or 14, at the recommendation of Ted Cogswell, the husband of my Social Studies teacher Tracy, and a professional SF writer who first pointed me toward my eventual writing career (note the dedication on Dreams of Flesh and Sand…).

It still stands in my mind as one of the finest SF stories ever written.  Most of the PC crap being currently regurgitated by progtard SF writes can’t even sit in the same room with it.  Most people prefer the novel, but the short story is the one I remember best.

 

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Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

A Sad Day — 8 Comments

      • Sure. I’ll tune in and respond to comments on this one too.

        The one book the QandO commenters pounded on as missing from the list was To Kill a Mockingbird.

        SF/fantasy folks had the usual personal faves – Dune, Lord of the Rings, Lord of Light, etc. – that I like OK but don’t happen to be my own favorites. But in general the QandO commenters found the list helpful, and several of them bought books off of it.

  1. I thought the short story version packed more of a punch than the novel, personally, but you won’t go wrong reading any version of the tale. The short story is easily one of the five best I’ve ever read. Brilliant premise, perfect execution and an ending you’ll never forget.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Keyes. You did well.

  2. I remember reading the short story for the first time in my Hugo Winners Vol. 1 & 2. The stories were compiled by Asimov and he introduced each one with some amusing anecdote. I’ll paraphrase (it’s been many years) what he said about “Flowers For Algernon”:

    The story was so amazing that I expected Keyes to be a giant of a man. I was presenting the award and all I could say in an amazed voice was “How did he do it?” I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see a smallish, nondescript man (Keyes) wearing glasses coming to accept the award. He replied “If you figure it, let me know. I want to do it again.”

    When I married my wife, I found that her scifi and fantasy background was sorely lacking. “Flowers for Algernon” was the first story I gave to her to read. I cannot wait to introduce it to my children.

  3. Probably the best acting job that Cliff Robertson ever did.
    Never saw it, and never cared for Cliff Robertson since his PT109 portrayal of that failed boat-driver who should have been court-martialed and convicted of negligence.

    However, he was brilliant in the Twilight Zone episode “A Hundred Yards Over The Rim”.