(The most recent items are first)
September 14th, 2006:
(Someone tagged Jack’s Wikipedia page for cleanup at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_L._Chalker even though it looks like it doesn’t need to be cleaned)
We still have Jack’s ashes still available if you want to throw them out a ferryboat or someplace famous. After the 2nd move, we were actually searching for Jack’s remains in the storage/basement and panicking.
Finally, I’m going to be a judge (maybe?) in the Jack L. Chalker Memorial Young Writers Contest and so is my best friend who is a read-aholic. If anybody wants to enter their young writer, contact Balticon and when I get to judging I’ll be sure to mark the best ones.
If you need a Jack Chalker news archive, that is what this wordpress blog is about, and if you want to comment on any, don’t hesitate to do so. We’ll be posting on our LiveJournals (Eva’s LiveJournal located here and her newly designed website as well as mine and Dave’s blog) from now on, unless of course, something serious comes up involving Jack.
April 17th, 2006:
writes: “The Science Fiction young writers’ contest sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society for Maryland high-school-aged students has been renamed ‘The Jack L. Chalker Young Writers Contest sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’ effective April 8, 2006. BSFS believes that given Jack’s early entry into SF fandom, history of teaching, body of written work and close association with BSFS this renaming of the young writers contest creates an ideal memorial as part of his legacy.”
February 11th, 2006: Well, unfortunately, today is the day that marks 1 year since Jack died. I was discussing about his death at my therapist appointment (with Boomer, looking sad eyed and hoping Dad was in the room I was) and the snow started coming down heavy. The chinese buffet plan, the BSFS meeting, and seeing my cousin whose Dad has died also has all been put off for two weeks. Andrea suggests this: This evening, if it’s not snowing in your area like it is here, go out and buy a candle and light it in honor of Jack.
December 27th, 2005:
I had almost forgotten about this. We are planning to give out Jack’s ashes to anybody who wants to throw them where Jack wanted to go. Marian had already done hers off the Qiongzhou Straits and Dave had already spread Jack’s ashes on H.P. Lovecraft’s grave. Just email Eva at eva.whitley AT https://florafox.com/ru/moskva-43
December 18th, 2005: If Jack were still alive, yesterday, December 17th, 2005, would have been his 61st birthday. If only he were still alive.
December 18th, 2005:
� Halfway across the Qiongzhou Straits on the Shuangtai San. The lights of the Chinese Mainland had completely vanished but we couldn’t yet see Hainan Island.
It was time: Midnight on the Sea of Dreams.
Closer to 3am really.
I hadn’t figured on the bus from Guangzhou spending an hour stuck in traffic. Or the dinner stop at around 8pm. Or how long it would take to load the ferry.
So it wasn’t really midnight. Not in the precise 12:01 AM sense of the word.
But, in all of the ways that really mattered, it was close enough to midnight.
I left the bright lights, instant noodle soup smells, and Hong Kong cop flicks of the main cabin for the dark silence of the deck and I promised myself that one of these days I’d take the ferry during the daytime. But this time I had a different sort of promise to keep.
The envelope I threw overboard skipped twice before sinking.
Jack had been in the hospital for over a month when I heard that he was sick. It was a sidenote at the end of a long email from my mother which included, among other things, local politics, what they’d eaten for dinner recently and amusing stories of stupid things the cat had done. The important things that take center stage are so obvious and so important that she doesn’t realize no-one has told me about them.
I didn’t hear about his death for a few days. But that was because remote mountain monasteries on holy Buddhist mountains in Sichuan don’t have internet connections. Or indoor plumbing. Or central heating. However, as Jack was one of the first people I knew to have a dish he’d have been pleased to know the did have nearly 150 channels of satellite tv.
I don’t remember when I first met Jack Chalker. Probably because I wasn’t speaking yet and had only recently learned to focus on and even control those waving blobs which I would later discover to be my arms and legs.
I always knew he was an author but it wasn’t until after I’d gotten out of the Piers Anthony phase of every young fan’s life that I actually read a book he’d written.. He was Davy’s father. Eva’s husband. The guy with the neat tv. The hot tub. The swimming pool. That blue light thing that zzzaaaaped icky bugs.
For my bat-mitzvah when other friends of the family gave me money or clothing or jewelry or other things that young girls are supposed to like, Eva gave me books and Jack signed them. My first ‘real’ job was reading galley proofs for him. I think the books were “Horrors of the Dancing Gods” and “The Cybernetic Walrus”. Eva would know. I was paid with a chocolate cake from Ms.Desserts. There may have also been money involved but the cake was the important part. I would do that as occasional work until my studies at university interfered.
I’ve got one more envelope to deliver. From the deck of the Kowloon-Hong Kong Blue Star Ferry. In memory of one of the people who fostered my love for books. And whose hate for icky raw fish things meant going out for sushi with Eva and my Dad.
Eva here: Marian gave me permission to re-post this from her Yahoo Group, Marian In China. (P.S. to Marian: Not all icky raw fish. He adored oysters on the half shell.)
May 29th, 2005:Argh, it’s a Balticon without Dad, however we did have a panel talking about him called “Midnight at the Wake of Chalker”. It was really great, and a lot of people came and told their true tales about Dad, for instance, somebody mentioned he wanted something to eat at 1am, so he saw something wrapped in foil and thought it was left-overs, so he picked it up, ate it, then realized it was doggy treats!! Everybody cracked up at that one.
The news is all complete now; I’ve recovered the last two news articles missing from this website. (Thanks guys!) Now to backup the site. (By the way, take it from me, the Wyndham Hotel on the Inner Harbor is just the worst hotel ever! I’m glad Balticon 40 and probably beyond is going to be in the Hunt Valley Inn out of Baltimore City.) We know of our new place now, and Mom and me are planning to visit the new townhouse tommorrow.
March 29th, 2005:
Steven again– It’s been rough not having dad around lately. My little beagle, Boomer, is getting lonelier(sp?) every day and missing someone else to hang around while boo sleeps. Though Mom is convinced that Dad’s death was probably a Malpractice– that this could have been avoided! This might be debatable(another sp?) and I’m just guessing that maybe something in the liquid food or medication made his kidneys fail but I don’t think that’s true. I truely think this could have been avoided and they could have saved Dad’s life. I saved him once but he only lived a year ahead. (on the day Hurricane Isabel’s eye came ashore.) We should be speaking with the Malpractice lawyers sooner or later, but we are seeing them.
February 22nd, 2005:
The Memorial Service was beautiful. We had around 120-130 people there (the funeral director’s estimate) and a HUGE turnout at the reception afterwards. My older brother flew in from Chicago, and one of Jack’s Internet buddies flew in from Detroit (I was gobsmacked), and there were a few people from Philly/New Jersey (as well as cousins from Norfolk) but most folks were Baltiwash fandom. Or gafiated fandom.
I didn’t see anyone from work other than the minister, who did a great job. My former coworker from Computer Sciences, Warren, showed up but I only saw him briefly. I’m so happy he was there. It’s possible since I went and sat down with the mourners several minutes before the ceremony (and before my sibs got there!)(And I never want to hear another family joke about Eva being late ever again) and there were huge crowds around me all evening, that people WERE there and I never saw them.
I especially want to thank my coworker, Rev. Reginald Pouncy, his crew, my friend of a friend Sherry, who sings like an angel and who I now consider my friend, Mike Walsh, Chuck Miller, Mark Owings, my nephew Chris (father to the 4 most adorable children in the world), and to my wonderful sons, David and Steven. The smartest thing I ever did was have children.
We had a miscommunication with the funeral director on the internment, and Jack won’t actually be buried for several days and when the Roaring Bull starts running in the spring I’ll organize a little trip to Liverpool to toss part of Jack’s ashes off the ferry to make their way, eventually, to the Chesapeake Bay. Email me if you’d like to be a part of either of these events.
For now, the ashes are going to be stored in Jack’s office, under the photo montage Dave and his Kinko cronies made for the funeral (which was just breathtaking). Dave did a fabulous job with the programs, and we may have some left over. If you’d like one, send an SASE to Box 1689, Westminster, MD 21158 and we’ll send you one.
February 11th, 2005:
As of 11:12AM Friday, February 11th, 2005, Jack Lawrence Chalker has now passed away and is now in a greater place. He died of Kidney Failure at age 60 in Baltimore, MD. He was born December 17th, 1944. Thank you for praying for us. Funeral services will be held at Marzullo’s Funeral Chapel at 6009 Harford Rd, Baltimore, MD on February 21st, 2005 7-9pm.
February 9th, 2005: Sorry we haven't updated lately. Wish I had better news.
Jack was sent to University Specialty Hospital at the beginning of this month but last month got moved back to the hospital (Bon Secours, not University of Maryland, which was on Red Alert and not accepting emergencies). The situation is not good for Jack, with very low blood pressure, some bleeding problems, and kidney failure.
Jack has been in a vegetative state since late December. One nurse at UMD said he was responding to yes/no questions with head shakes and nods but we never saw that after late December. He has not been responding to requests to blink, squeeze hands, etc.
Dave and I went in today and told him we loved him. Tomorrow both boys and I will be going in.
January 19th, 2005: Today has been flip-flopped. Dad went from UMD to University Specialty and then back to UMD again. Apparently dad had gone from the 4th Floor (Intensive Care Unit) to the 7th Floor (Which isn't as intensive), transferred to Deaton, then developed a Fever, then went back to the 4th Floor. A later scan showed Dad had brain damage because not enough oxygen went into dad's brain. So when dad's fever goes down under 100�F, he will be transferred to Deaton again.
January 19th, 2005: Steven Chalker again... We've narrowed down the choices of nursing homes. It's either going to be University Specialty (aka Deaton) or a nursing home that begins with "Ft. " and it's in Southern Baltimore. Lorien in Mt. Airy, MD has it's beds full even though the Adelphia Advertising Center still allows them to advertise here and they say they still have beds. Whatever the case, the next news statements will probably have where he's going.
Due to a greedy "someone", I've been forced to unplug my Ethernet and shutdown my computer until late February. That "someone" wants to shut down the project I have up called B7P Hosting. The money from there also helps pay the bills. He also wants to shutdown my web-log, Meteorologist Life, which gives everyone a closer view of Dad. This guy is a deluded jerk.
January 15th, 2005: Eva Whitley here: We went into the hospital today. Jack's eyes opened from time to time but he wasn't particularly responsive and he kept drifting off. We stayed on the idea he was hearing us and appreciating his company. We also talked to the resident for about 10 minutes who wanted to know about Jack's mental state before he was admitted to the emergency room.
They are concerned that the sedation has been off for several days now (probably not that long, because didn't he have to be sedated for the surgery?) but he's still asleep most of the time.
We're planning on going back tomorrow morning, and maybe Monday. They plan to move him to the nursing home for vent weaning after that, and after that, who knows? We'd like him to come home, but that's not going to happen if he stays in this state.
Jack has a Guest Book now at http://www2.caringbridge.org/md/jacklchalker/ if you want to leave a get well message.
Oh, and the cardiologist who they consulted on Jack's heart asked if he was the same Jack Chalker "who wrote all those books." You never know when you're going to find another fan!
January 3rd, 2005: This morning I was awoken with breaking news: Dad was being moved to University of Maryland, and not Deaton. The problem was that around 2am his trach started having him bleed a lot and CHC could not fix it and moved him to UMD. So they had to send the police around 3am to our house just to tell us to answer the phone because we were sleeping. When I went in there a few hours ago, they did not reinsert the trach. Instead, he's back on the ventilator and sedated, in Critical Condition. If your in Baltimore and want to go see him, go to UMD in Downtown Baltimore, 4th floor and just ask for Jack Chalker.
January 1st, 2005: This is going to be the final news post on www.JackChalker.com unless a big emergency or something really exciting happens. Mom & I came up with an idea if you want to help instead of donating. You can contribute a present or a get well card to:
The Mirage Press
P.O. Box 1689
Westminster, MD 21158-1689
I've also removed the live conditions thing because for the past 10 days now he has been Stable and looks like the rest of this month it will still be Stable. For all Dad's update, please visit Jack Chalker's Wife's Blog or My blog. �Felices fiestas! (P.S. I did not take German [or... Latin?]. I got that line from Babel Fish.)
December 30th, 2004: I don't know how to start off, but Dad is going from Carroll Hospital Center to University Speciality(? [which was formerly Deaton]). The doctors expect him to be out of the nursing home in several months, and his car is being sold. (I get dibs on his cell phone! No, just kidding.) I know that Dad's book, Chameleon, will not be published, however that could be proved wrong. We are also moving to a one-story house with no stairs for Jack's comfort. So, just a summary: He is permanently disabled but not fully retired. However I think Chameleon might be cancelled and his latest book published will be his last published. Care to sign the guestbook?
December 18th, 2004: Click here to donate to the Chalker Family Emergency Fund
December 15th, 2004: Jack is awake! (Click here to learn more)
December 10th, 2004: How Jack Chalker's Surgery Went, and Click here if you still want to leave Jack a "Get Well Message", because Mom or Dave is reading all of them (except mine) tomorrow at 12pm. Please do it before 11:45am EST, thank you!
December 9th, 2004: Taken from Mom's (Eva Whitley) LiveJournal:
We went in to visit Jack today and talk to the doctor about the trach. (This would be doctor number 4, in as many days.) This guy was very optimistic. Basically, if we agree to the trach, it would NOT be permanent, it could be pulled out when Jack was better, Jack might be transferred to a nursing home about 15 miles away but it would be a short-term thing and he'd be coming home. The gastric bypass surgery could wait until Jack is recovered and could give his consent and it would be his decision at that point. I am more wildly optimistic at this point than I have been in days, I feel like I have been given a great gift. We also had a consultation with the hospital social worker who had information for use on the choices in nursing homes for post-op trach weaning, a range of services for Jack (physical therapy, occupational therapy, maybe even counseling) to help him. There are risks to the surgery, but then I had similar risks when I had my hysterectomy last year and that went swimmingly. (In at 6 am Monday, out by 2 pm on Wednesday, I could have stayed another day but ugh! ick! hospitals!)
The surgery is tomorrow morning at 11AM so keep your prayers/good wishes/thoughts coming!
December 7th, 2004, some important information: This is not Jack Chalker, this is his son Steven. Dad has had problems lately with his leg and yesterday he went into the hospital. This evening Mom (Eva Whitley) and me went into his room and he was sleeping. He is in Fair Condition according to the nurse, but I have bad news: He has congested heart failure. His heartbeat has been moderating between 50 bpm and 90 bpm but mostly in between 50 and 65. This does mean that his new book will be delayed but I have the feeling he will not die. Everyday I will be updating his condition and keep you posted. Click here to leave a "Get Well Soon" message/comment for Jack and I'll see to it he'll get all the messages from his fans. I've already got two.
July 29, 2004: Now you see why I don't do a blog. They'd throw me out for inactivity. I'm spending from now through the end of August finishing a book that's long overdue so I can go to the World SF Convention in Boston with a relatively clear conscience. Health wire, I've been better but I'm getting older, and I really think I don't have a lot of problems that winning the lottery and losing 90 pounds wouldn't go a lot to curing.
Those who know me and those who have followed my comments here and elsewhere probably know that I'd love to spend some time here commenting on politics, but until I get ahead on my other writing there's only a little that I can spare the time to cover. I do note that I was pretty well right on Iraq, and I have no idea how the heck the folks in Washington are going to get us out now that they've gotten us in and used up the entire army (I sure hope we don't need them elsewhere), blown up the place, caused over 900 casualties of some of our best and brightest young people and permanently crippled over 3000 more with no end in sight (and let's not even discuss how many "liberated" Iraqis are going) while making us hated and reviled even in countries that are our theoretical friends. I can understand attacking those who attack you, but we get created by folks in Afghanistan and we respond by declaring war on Iraq? Sure, Saddam was a Hitler-like scuzzball, but I'm afraid he wasn't alone in this and in fact he was a good buddy of Bush Sr. and Dick Cheney until he misunderstood some signals and attacked oil supplies in Kuwait. And Osama was a good guy to the Reaganites so long as our mutual enemy was the USSR. So while Iraq is a crippled hole, Iran is building nuclear bombs, North Korea has both the bombs and the missles, and we're slammed by the Wassabis in exile in Afghanistan and so we attack Iraq? Uh huh. All because the neocons in Washington have this weird theory of how to make the world in our image in a view as rigid and as wrong as the old communists. In fact, they remind me of that mind-set; every time the world view is proven wrong, you just come up with an alternate universe that says it's not really wrong. In the meantime, it's not their kids who die. Like Cheney in the Vietnam era, they have "better things to do." Those who have followed me all these years know I can respect conservatives, liberals, you name it, but I can't abide hypocrites.
So, see why I haven't done much here with this? Remember, I had a heart attack last year. I need to keep things from blowing up inside.
But I have a prediction. We are not only not safer than we were before this war, we're in a much more dangerous position. We are already giving up our liberties in the name of security, and we'll have neither. And, at this point, it won't matter who wins in November....
And the worst part is, I haven't been wrong on this stuff yet.
See you in Boston, or here when something awful happens or the book is done.
March 31, 2004: Yes, you're right, it's been a very long time since I updated this site, but in addition to the health problems is that I have lost two to three months and I haven't been able to recover them no matter how hard I try. I need to catch up on all my business activities, my commitments, and my family, and I have to do that while somehow finally getting through the overdue books and starting new projects. You can understand that this means that I've wound up having to prioritize just about all I do, and updating the web site isn't something that comes near the top of the list no matter how much I want to do it.
And yet between the previous entry here and this one I have gone to several conventions, including one in Burbank, California, have, alas, gone to at least one major funeral of an old friend of many decades, playing computer mechanic, internet guru, and Dad to not only Steve, my youngest son, but also Dave again, who is back from Ohio and again living in house while trying to work off his bills and get finished with college while Eva is full time with Lockheed Martin, if not quite Rosie the Riveter but at least Rosie the Microsoft Office guru for those folks who do the Medicare and Medicaid stuff for your federal government. She is also vice chair of this year's Balticon, the Baltimore SF Convention over Memorial Day weekend, which also makes her the chair of said con in 2005.
I think I'm finally at the point where, if nothing else goes wrong, I may actually be able to finish Chemeleon in April and start on one or two other projects as well. At this point, the writing comes first. I need to refill the money coffers bad.
Locally, our little Pekingese who inexplicably ran away in September is vanished for good, and Steve insisted on getting a new dog for him. He picked one, all right, and it really is his dog, but it's a hound, much larger than any dog we've had here and larger than any dog I've ever had except my first one when I was a kid, which takes some getting used to. As to what kind it is, well, it's a hound and I mean all hound, although probably of several types in one. He looks pretty much like a cross between a beagle and a foxhound, and he has a fear of being left alone and insists on being around one or another of us. He came from a rescue shelter so he already had a name we're saddled with because he knows and answers to it. So, we have a dog named Boomer. The tomcat, by the way, has already taught Boomer who's boss here. And I guess I must mention Ixty, the third pet, which is Dave's—and, from the name, you might guess that it's a very large female iguana. It's in a huge terraformed cage, which protects her from the cat, but I do think Ixty is lonely and always planning for a breakout. We'll see.
Well, it's spring, everybody's home and reasonably healthy, the weather's breaking and I'm back at work, so maybe, just maybe, we can get a break. Don't expect me to update too frequently, but I'm going to try and get back at least to my habit of appending things here once a month whether there's anything to say or not, and at any time when there's breaking news. Until I write more and catch up, though, that news is going to be more folksy than professional unless Hollywood finally decides to make one of those movies. --jlc
October 23, 2003: Yes, it's been a while since these pages were updated, but that's due to a lot of things happening within the past couple of months. I'll try and bring you briefly up to date.
Through August, 2003, things were pretty normal, if hectic. Eva had a serious operation and had to take off work for a long recovery, but somehow Lockheed Martin still launched everybody's Medicare and Medicaid so the world was safe, even though it meant I was basically doing all the housework as well as trying to work as much as possible. Mark Owings and I managed to get over to Horrorfind and talk with the horror small press folks, but otherwise it was a hot and wet but routine August. At the end of it, Eva, Steve, and I packed into the car and drove north to Toronto for the World Science Fiction Convention. It was a typical worldcon, the 38th that I've attended, and it was great talking with readers, fans, and old friends and colleagues. During this time, however, my long term physical problems with breathing and energy had been increasing, but one of those rent a scooters gave me full freedom. I'd been trying to find the cause of the problems for a year and a half and had been in and out of outpatient testing trying to find the cause and get help, but up to that point nobody had found any cause that showed up long enough to say, "Aha! That's it!" I was beginning to think that I was just going to have to learn to live with it.
We also had a bizarre return. Our little dog, Mavra Chang, was picked up at the kennel but when brought home she ran off into the farms beyond like a shot. It was the last time we saw here after 15+ years and cast a real pall on the homecoming. She certainly wouldn't have lived too much longer, but this remains a shock and inexplicable.
By early September Steve was back in school, Eva was back at work, and I was back working on Chemeleon, but that wasn't to last. I was still drained in energy. In mid-September one of the nastiest hurricanes in recent decades roared up the boast, and we began to board up the place and hold tight. They almost always miss us, but every once in a while they don't, and this one was to be one of the worst. This one was so mean that, for the only time in my memory, they announced that schools would close early the day it was due in order to insure that everybody could get home.
That morning, I woke up to go to the bathroom, went into the bath off the bedroom, and the next thing I knew I was lying on the bathroom floor, unable to get up, my speech slurred, totally confused and with hallucinogenic flashes. After all sorts of attempts at getting anywhere, even sitting up, I knew I just had to hold on. Steve was due in early from school, and although I had no idea what time it was I knew it was in the morning and that meant he'd have to arrive soon. Eva was at work and I had no way to communicate with anybody. It was certainly a shock for a 12 year old to come home and find his father in such a condition, but Steve called 911 and then his mother, and within several minutes I was being loaded into an ambulance. Whatever they did brought back feelings of normalcy and control and the ability to speak clearly, and soon I was being wheeled directly into Emergency. The ER physician on duty happened to be one who knew me (he had been in Seattle SF fandom while growing up) and I was in the hands of experts poking, probing, analyzing, etc. very quickly. He also called in a top cardiologist who in turn called in a lung man just on his way out to beat the hurricaine. Together they were able to establish that I had suffered a heart attack with blockages in three of the four main passages. The cardiology OR at the county hospital was shut down–not enough experts with the storm coming–so they transferred me to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, which is next to Pimlico race track and not far from where I grew up, and by late night I was having two primary stints installed and a third cleaned out. It was now clear to one and all that I had actually had a small attack almost two years earlier and that this was the cause of my earlier problems; this one was considerably meaner. The burden lifted off me by the heart surgery is dramatic, although getting some energy back is slow and must be done carefully. I am also currently on 15 pills a day (no kidding) and carry nitro with me at all times. Recovery is noticeable but very slow, so if you see me at a con and I'm tired out, you know why. Still, I made it to World Fantasy Con and will hopefully make it to Loscon if they get me plane tickets, and I'm due for a couple more yet (see Conventions) so we'll see. In the meantime, bear with these pages if they are not updated quickly or completely. Lots of work, so little energy and no time to make up the losses....
So, that's why I've been way behind (2004 may be the first year since 1981 with no new book, but I am back working) and why even the internet pages haven't been updated. At the moment, if all goes well, I still intend to be at Conclave in DC in mid-November at least for a day or so, Loscon in LA around Thansgiving weekend, as well as Philcon, and I'll also be in Indianapolis for a new con in mid-January 2004, but cross your fingers. Once you've had an attack like this, nothing's ever confident again.... jlc
Miss old News items? If you're curious, and also to see my more elaborate comments on the serious problems in the book biz today and tomorrow, click on OLDNEWS. Read it? Go back to the home page....