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HUGO Winning Author Daniel Keyes Has Died 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-am-afraid-not-of-life-or-death-or-nothingness-but-of-wasting-it-as-if-I-had-never-been dept.
camperdave writes Author Daniel Keyes has died at 86. Keyes is best known for his Hugo Award winning classic SF story Flowers for Algernon and the film version Charly. Keyes was born August 9, 1927 in New York. He worked variously as an editor, comics writer, fashion photographer, and teacher before joining the faculty of Ohio University in 1966, where he taught as a professor of English and creative writing, becoming professor emeritus in 2000. He married Aurea Georgina Vaquez in 1952, who predeceased him in 2013; they had two daughters.
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HUGO Winning Author Daniel Keyes Has Died

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  • Sad, but... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by able1234au (995975)

    Sad, but he was 86. I am just not sure of the "News for Nerds" angle here...

    • Re:Sad, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:08PM (#47268841)

      Its perhaps not as newsworthy as the passing of Asimov, but its in the same general category.

      Flowers for Algernon is easily one of the best and most influential short SF stories I've ever read.

      The movie on the other hand, is pretty forgettable... its very much a 70s movie.

      • by iggymanz (596061)

        I only read the short story in an anthology sometime in early 70s, didn't know there was a novel nor any other work by Keyes.

      • by antdude (79039)

        Yeah that (19)70s movie (VHS tape) was awful as a teen(ager) during my high school days. I don't remember it being science fiction?

      • Re:Sad, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by postglock (917809) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @11:52PM (#47269497)

        The movie on the other hand, is pretty forgettable... its very much a 70s movie.

        It's all taste, I suppose, but the '70s was a fantastic film era IMO. It was the era where Hollywood embraced subversion to government and corporations, encapsulated by such films as Network, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Godfather, The Deer Hunter, A Clockwork Orange, MASH, Dog Day Afternoon, and, of course, The Life Of Brian.

        I haven't seen Charly, but calling it "very much a 70s movie" is high praise indeed!

        • by vux984 (928602)

          I was going to reply to try and explain what I meant, but I started by looking up the movie and found it was released in 68, so by calling it a 70s movie I've inadvertently credited it with being ahead of its time.

          I guess it was a bad 60s movie. :)

          -sigh-

          But I still maintain it was bad movie, it doesn't follow the novel well at all, and they crowbar in scenes that just don't fit, and it all seems very cliche... its like a director read the script and said its too boring, add a motorcycle ride, and some sex s

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He was a Hugo Award winner, whose fiction reflected technology, the effects of technology on human lives, and the nature of the human heart and human mind. I think it fits very well into Slashdot's stated goals.

    • Don't worry. No one will post on Slashdot when YOU die.

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      News that interests the Slashdot editors.

      It's really been that way from the start.
    • by ET3D (1169851)

      I do think it's news for nerds, but I'm more saddened by the death of Jay Lake this month, just before his 50th birthday.

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      "Sad, but he was 86. I am just not sure of the "News for Nerds" angle here..."

      It means we're still waiting for the Immortality 0.86 Beta version.

  • At first I thought this was about Daniel Keys Moran
  • Great Author (Score:5, Interesting)

    by relisher (2955441) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:06PM (#47268827)
    I remember reading this book in 8th grade. In all honesty, this is the only book I remember reading middle school. This may have been the first book to physically effect an emotion in me, and I loved it. And now, I feel an emotion again, a feeling of sadness because the author has passed away. Daniel Keyes will truly be missed, may he Rest in Peace.
  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:19PM (#47268885)

    I have to admit that I haven't read any of his other stories, but Flowers was certainly an important one.

    When I first read it, I was a smart/nerdy kid, and I thought that being smart was the most important thing in the world; naturally, something that could make you smarter would be the best thing imaginable, and then having that blessing taken back would be the worst. Flowers planted a seed of the idea that increased intelligence (whatever that means, really) wouldn't necessarily be an unalloyed blessing.

    • by Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @11:09PM (#47269329)

      I got much the same out of Flowers when I first read it in middle school, and also learned a little about what sorts of things can make a good book. It was the first book I ever enjoyed in which the protagonist made questionable decisions, experienced things that never got explained, and didn't save the world. Charlie was the first character I encountered that I can recall who acted like a person and had nuances. It really broadened my horizons.

  • Still have it on my shelves

  • Rest in peace you inspiration of mankind.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's a little ironic; this post:

    http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/06/17/1746223/century-old-drug-reverses-signs-of-autism-in-mice

    describes a drug that might produce just the sort of short-term brain boost that he described.

    • by OakDragon (885217)

      More like serendipitous, but yeah, nice catch.

      I think the story affected me most as Charlie was on the downhill side, after his intelligence peaked. He could recognize what was happening to him, struggling desperately to find an answer that would stop the degradation. It was profoundly upsetting.

  • by ZeroSerenity (923363) <gormac05@ya h o o.com> on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:36PM (#47268931) Homepage Journal
    Go in peace friend.
  • Flowers for Algernon (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Oligonicella (659917) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @10:02PM (#47269017)

    That has been my all time favorite story from the first reading.

  • I had a mini project looking for other variants of the same idea because Keyes got there first and hit an important theme.

    Some other entries:

    The Six Million Dollar Man - Burning Bright (1974) William Shatner ... Josh Lang
    Phenomenon (1996) - George Malley - John Travolta

    And a couple of newer movies that I am out of energy to track down.

    • by kcwhitta (232438)

      And a couple of newer movies that I am out of energy to track down.

      Limitless would likely be one.

    • Hey may have hit it best, but he was far from first. Poul Anderson's Brain Wave [wikipedia.org], for example, came out in 1953-54. I think there were a lot of even earlier examples, but I don't have them at my fingertips.

      • "Hey may have hit it best, but he was far from first. Poul Anderson's Brain Wave [wikipedia.org], for example, came out in 1953-54. I think there were a lot of even earlier examples, but I don't have them at my fingertips."

        Okay, fair. I might have slipped up on my wording.

        It's been decades since my old days as a young'un reading all the old Pre/Gold/Silver age stuff. I certainly know who Poul Anderson is, but that exact story is the kind of thing that used to be really tough to find. It's still a little tri

      • Really hated Brain Wave.

        As I recall, the novel centers around a group of scientists who are supposed to be unusually intelligent to begin with-- at one point Anderson proudly declares that their average IQ is about 165, or something-- and who become freakishly intelligent as the novel progresses. The problem is that we have a not-terribly-intelligent author trying to portray characters who are freakishly intelligent, and he fails spectacularly. He has them engage in witty repartee which isn't even as witt

        • Yep, that's the great barrier to intelligence-enhancement stories -- it's nearly impossible for an author to write a convincing character who's smarter than the author. Vernor Vinge quoted a rejection letter from John W. Campbell on the topic: "You can't write this story. Neither can anyone else."

          Having said that, I'll admit that as a child I enjoyed Brain Wave. But, yes, it was full of holes. It's nearly impossible to retain your willing suspension of disbelief when the super-intelligent protagonists are

    • by _merlin (160982)

      The 1992 Lawnmower Man film is about increasing intelligence (but not the short story it shares a title with)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    For your life has enriched mine.

  • Perhaps one of the more important works in the geek lexicon of art. The book and the film were very inspirational for me. For the first time as a child, I understood and could relate to that thing we have called pattern recognition. The moment in the film at the chalkboard was etched into my mind -- that that is is that that that is not is not is that it it is. Understanding the differences between people, and understanding them in their depths without glorification, is such a positive thing.

    We are lucky

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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