In Memoriam

As regular readers of Wordcandy may have noticed, we took a break from blogging last week. This was due to the unexpected death of Wordcandy staff member Megan’s dad, Dr. Henry Drygas. We’ll go back to our normal posting schedule tomorrow, but first I wanted to write something about Dr. Drygas, who was a great guy—and a huge fan of genre fiction.

Meg and I have been friends since kindergarten, so I knew her dad for a very long time. Dr. Drygas was a man who took his hobbies seriously, devoting vast amounts of time, energy, and money to whatever his ruling interest was at the time. Over the years, his attention shifted from camping to fly-fishing to hybrid cars, but his love for sci-fi/fantasy books was constant. He had an entire shed devoted to his book collection, and could always be counted on for an enthusiastic story recommendation when I was feeling uninspired. We didn’t always see eye to eye on questions of literary merit, but it was pretty cool, growing up, to know an adult who was just as likely as I was to get mega-excited over a new release from David Eddings.

The last time I spoke with Dr. Drygas was two weeks ago. I’d called their house looking for Megan, and he answered, so I told him about the upcoming film adaptation of Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World. (Dr. Drygas was still mourning the fact that Jordan had died without finishing the twelfth and final book in his Wheel of Time series. No mere co-writer, he felt, could do Jordan justice.) This news led to another installment of our ongoing debate about the entertainment value of Tolkien, and then we spent an enjoyable few minutes making fun of Eragon. It was a fun—and insanely geeky—conversation, and I’m really, really sorry it was our last.

So... ‘bye, Dr. Drygas. I’ll miss you. I’m glad you were around for that final Harry Potter book (although I wish it had been more worthy of sticking around for). I’m sorry you won’t see Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of The Hobbit, and that I never had a chance to ask you about the James Blish references in Diana Wynne Jones’s A Sudden Wild Magic. And I really hope that you’ve found Robert Jordan, and gotten all the details of that last book straight from the horse’s mouth.
Posted by: Julianka


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