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(December 1998) [Printed in "Reality Module No.7."]
*This is a short article I wrote in 1998 after hearing of the death of Ian Gunn.
I heard the news at the MSFC on November 6th 1998, that Ian and Karen were getting married and that Ian Gunn had gotten very much worse in the last few days and had only a few days to live.
I was despondent. I'd known he was ill, but I'd held a vain hope that he might get better or at least remain with us for a longer time.
I signed the big card with "Congratulations on your wedding," not knowing what else to say. Wanting them to have more happinesses - but being far too acutely aware of what would soon follow the wedding.
I was surprised at how upset I was at the news, cast in despondency. I left the club not long afterwards - shadowed, unable to smile.
My earliest memories of Ian Gunn were of him handing out copies of his fanzine "Stun Gunn" at the MSFC maybe ten years ago. I loved his "Russ L. Street C.O.P." comic strip, and often wish I had the whole story to know how it began and how it ended. I loved how it was set in a future Melbourne, close to home, and had splendidly wicked humour and satiric barbs.
His fanzines had humour, but they had serious and intelligent thought- provoking stuff too. He wrote well about serious matters - but showed a keen sense of humour as well. The combination was irresistible! "Ethel the Aardvark" was always fun when he was editor - and I greatly enjoyed his "Gunn Shots!" column. "Space Time Buccaneers" in "Thyme" was a splendidly inventive tale.
I was always rather in awe of Ian Gunn. I was very much aware of his talent and of how interesting a fellow he was, and never quite knew what to say to him - though he certainly knew me. Beside him I felt I was anaemic, pale, uninteresting. I never became part of his inner circle, I never got to know him as well as I would have liked. This is my short-coming: most of what I know about Ian Gunn comes from his writings.
I know Karen Pender-Gunn, but we are very different people, and can interact only on superficial levels.
Now Ian Gunn is gone. I'll miss him. I will miss reading new works from him. Time will pass, new things will come along - and I won't have Ian Gunn's comments on them. His fanzines will fall back into a niche in history, the new world will have no Gunny in it - this makes me very sad.
I miss him - I was not ready for this loss.
Copyright © 1998 by Michael F. Green. All rights reserved.
Last Updated: 29 June 2005