Monday, July 5, 2021

Google Search: Don Sakers

Another quality post brought to you by Steve!

Hey, everybody.

It's my turn to do a Google Search report, and this month I'm going to encourage you all to search for author, reviewer, and all-around good guy Don Sakers.

I was sorry to hear that Don passed away recently of a heart attack.  My deepest sympathies go out to his husband and family.  This is one of those instances, I suppose, of not really appreciating what you have until it's gone.

I knew Don for about eight years.  We met at the final Darkover Convention in 2013, and I've seen him four or five times a year at conventions ever since.  I had the pleasure of sitting on many, many panels with him and he was always a warm, intelligent, and thoughtful contributor.  I wouldn't say we were close friends.  I'm not sure we ever had dinner together.  But Don was always a bright spot in my life.  Every time I saw him I immediately felt better about whatever convention I was at.  "At least Don's here," I've thought to myself on many, many occasions.

Don did not suffer foolishness easily.  I always admired that while he was kind, friendly, and jovial in real life, he was a true intellectual, and routinely eviscerated every dumb idea or opinion he came across on Facebook or his blog.  It was that quality, probably, which made the organizers of Chessiecon assign him to the Turkey Awards, where he and I for eight years evaluated the most deliberately terrible samples of writing humanity could produce.  And Don inevitably and immediately rose to Shakespearean levels of criticism on even the most Randian bit of prose.

Don did a lot for me personally.  He reviewed two of my novels in "Analog," which has always been a career highlight for me.  And he did quite a bit for me personally.  I remember, for instance, sitting on a panel alongside Don and a particularly self-important jackass of an author.  After suffering an hour of abuse at this person's hands, Don immediately came up to me afterwards to make sure if I was all right.

I guess I'll close with one of my favorite memories of Don.  We were on a panel together once discussing canonicity.  To illustrate a point, I went around the room and asked everyone who their favorite Batman actor was.  (I think this was around the time Ben Affleck had just been cast.)  There were Christian Bales, Michael Keatons, even a stray Kevin Conroy.  When I got to Don he, of course, replied, "I still love the '60s version with Adam West."  And that was Don all over: knowledgeable, kooky, humorous, unexpected.  I will miss him sorely on the convention circuit.  But I'm going to try to get to know Don a little better now that he's passed by digging into his massive body of work, and I highly recommend you all do the same.

Take care, everybody.  Hug your loved ones tonight.

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