Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Coincidence and Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials

Some of you are aware that my new job keeps me very much on the move. I found out on Wednesday that I needed to fly out to New Jersey on Thursday for an all day meeting on Friday (today). Everything was going fine, at the airport on time, a good parking place, short security lines followed by a quick train ride to my concourse. 

I boarded and found my seat, I was in the aisle seat (my preference, although when I booked the flight I was in the dreaded middle seat) and boarded before the other two passengers in my row so I knew I would be standing. My seatmates this time were a 93 year old mother and her 74 year old daughter heading out to the wedding of the 52 year old daughter/granddaughter (I'm guessing that this was a second marriage but didn't ask). Very chatty, which I usually abhor, but it was more than chatter, it was genuinely intelligent conversation and made for a fast flight.

At one point the grandmother, by the window, leans over and asks me if I know anything about science fiction, and if I had read Wayne Barlowe. Well, to be honest, it took me a moment to place the name and then I blurted out the title of the book "Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials" she smiled and said that's the guy. I was a bit stunned, that book was required reading amongst my group of friends back in '79 when it was released.

They insisted that I walk with them back towards baggage claim where the daughter and Wayne were suppose to pick them up. They happily introduced me to Wayne and I was able to shake hands with one of the idols from my teenage years (apparently he was only 21 when he wrote that book, he's only 5 years older than me). It made a long day of travel very enjoyable. What I didn't know is that he has written more books but didn't really publish again until the '90s, so now I have some catching up to do.

I can't post without a picture so I managed to find one of the cover of the edition I have, which I think I purchased through the Science Fiction Book Club.


  1. Replies
    1. I don't usually share stuff like that but it was such an odd thing to happen I figured folks would enjoy it.

  2. Is it coincidence or is it synchronicity . . . . . .?


    1. I think I need more caffeine before I can process that! Good Question :D

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