Life is Fun, Death is Peaceful.

It’s the Transition that’s Troubling

For this title I thank the late Isaac Asimov, one of my all-time favourite authors. Problem is, the transition can trouble some of us more than others.

Some people get cancer and get cured, while the rest of us have to fight ‘holding actions’. Some of those fighting holding actions can make the fight last for many years… The rest of us well… that has abruptly become the troubling part. I just got back from my latest visit to the oncologist. For those of you who care, I’ll just be blunt and worry about amusing us all later.

It seems that the chemotherapy protocol I am on has stopped working (they all, eventually, do) and my troubling little oncs are not as little any more. In fact they have doubled in size since December. There is one more chemo-protocol left, but it is given only a 10% chance of success.

Surgery is unlikely to actually ‘lengthen’ my life although we are looking around to see if there is a surgeon who would even be willing to even try… (I’m troublingly complicated and knotted up inside). Last time I had surgery the troubling oncs went away for ten months :).

First stage studies are available but the chance that one of them will do me any good is given at about one in a thousand (and they often raise troubling quality of life issues).

Radiation is completely ruled out; the oncs are so widespread that they would have to radiate my whole abdomen and that would be immediately fatal… troubling.

I expect I’ll try the last chemo-therapy protocol, but this, of course is the kind of thing you have to discuss with your family.

If anything changes, I’ll write another blog. I expect I’ll keep on writing them as long as I can :)

Last time I ended my blog by saying, ‘Pretty soon I’m going to have to start saying some of the stuff that’s important.’ Some people found this a bit ominous, thinking that I was going to say stuff like the stuff just above here… like I just said… dire life and death stuff. Actually that’s not what I meant. This stuff here is a bit of a surprise. I actually thought that my oncs were shrinking and that the chemotherapy was working. I seem to be wrong about this all the time. When I think I’m getting better, I’m actually getting worse, and vice versa. What I should do, is envision myself at death’s door, and my illness will miraculously disappear :).

Well, in a sense, I did mean I was going to have to start talking about dire, life and death stuff, but I was thinking about the environment, politics, overpopulation and stuff like that... stuff that seems a bit more serious to more people than just me. I’m going to talk about the kind of stuff that is going to make me unpopular in some quarters. I’m going to express my opinions, and I’m not always going to even say they are my opinions. I’m going to state them as facts.

Our Environment

Let’s start with a matter that’s been worrying me since the seventies, the world and our stewardship thereof.

We’re not doing it right.

We have never done it right. We’re not even close.

If we don’t do it right, and soon, we are all doomed.

The longer we wait to do it right, the more draconian we are going to have to be.

Yesterday, our provincial government delivered what it called a ‘green budget’. Two of the measures it introduced were a ‘carbon tax’ on automobiles and a $0.10 cent increase in gasoline (petrol) tax. (Brining our average fuel price to around $1.15/litre). Sounds like a step in the right direction, but the fuel increase might have been more effective at $1.00/litre, and the carbon tax only amounts to $28-$68 per vehicle per year. I can’t help thinking that what we really need to do is to at least stop adding more ‘gas guzzlers’ to the ‘fleet’. What we really need to do is prohibit the sale of vehicles of less than a given fuel economy. This, more than any other move we could make, might force the development of zero emission replacements for the worst of the worst.

In Eastern Canada they are manufacturing a car called the Zen. It is a full electric four seat sedan that is good for local work, commuting, going shopping etc. It is selling for $12,000 and is quite popular in Europe and the US, but it has not been approved for sale in Canada. What we need to do is approve it immediately, and subsidise and promote its adoption by as many people as possible. Then, the company might be able to make electric mini-vans and pickups. Why not?

Well, I’m a bit tired for some reason, so I’ll stop here. I will try to make more blogs, but probably smaller ones, in the immediate future.
Since nothing in here has anything to do with Kèthîra, please keep the comments on the blog itself…

KP alive and doing very well…

Oh hey… here’s something to do with Keléstia Productions, anyway…

I notice that our membership has topped 150, and thanks to Jan’s excellent and improving security measures, these are all legitimate members (there are probably another few hundred bots who have been unable to spam the site and are not included in our membership list). Congratulations on making Keléstia Productions a remarkable success and a genuine community.

Over the past five years, I have to confess that the reaction by a few Hârn fans has been rather disappointing. I have never quite understood the possibility that anyone could love my work yet have no respect for its creator. It is only the steadfast support, loyalty and understanding of the rest of the Hârn audience, who are decent, thoughtful folk that has kept me going. Without you, there would be no point in my continuing with my work.

I will continue. And when it emerges, in the fullness of time that I have to stop, others will take up the ‘cause’. Thank you from the bottom of my rapidly evolving abdomen :).

Until next time…

Severin's picture

Robin, Well that is just


Well that is just rotten news. I hope that something changes to improve your diagnosis.

I, for one, have purchased many Harn products over the years. They have inspired me and led to endless conversations with friends. And, despite the fact that we all have busy lives and precious little free time, we still talk about Harn today. In some ways Harn seems more real than the real world. Perhaps you have done your work too well. So thank you for that.

People are always going to complain and argue about small things. You should not let it disappoint you. That means they care. I have had many ideas for Harn adventures, but you have set the bar for quality and realism very high and I can only hope to show them to you and the Harnic community some day. When they are more polished.

In the mean time, keep writing. We will keep reading. Do the important things. Let us know if we can help.

Fight the Good Fight,


scarbrow's picture

Life is Fun, Death is Peaceful


I'm sorry to hear that your current treatments have stopped working. Chemo is a mixed bag and can usually only help for so long. Here's hoping that you roll a critical success on your remaining treatment options.

I truly appreciate the work that you have done over the years. I discovered Harn in the mid 80s and loved what I saw. There are many FRP worlds on the market but none come close to the detail and realism of Harnworld. Thanks for creating worlds for us to play in. Looking forward to more!


Sigurd's picture

I don't know you but I love Harn

Good Luck.

Good Luck.

Good Luck.

Creativity, especially giving people joy, is a force for good. I hope you get more of that coming around.

_When_ you're better, I'm going to pester you with every annoying Newbie question about Harn...


TheAncientOne's picture

I'm not Dead Yet...

It's my favorite comment when things go badly, please feel free to use it.

You're work has been a beacon of light in an all too often dark world. I must admit I have been one of the collectors; admiring it for beautiful maps, interesting historical footnotes, and completeness of form. The richness of the details and the way the piecies fit together (with their surprising junctures) is always a joy.

As for the enviroment... The world will survive, even if man makes it uninhabitable for man. It is the lesser beings I most feel sorry for. Ironically the rising price of oil maybe mankind's best hope for salvation, we simply won't be able to afford to kill ourselves off.

With best wishes for recovery,
(Hint: Miracles do happen, usually when we need them most.)

The Ancient One
(Ten Grandchildren and counting)

Dan Bell
Dan Bell's picture

Robin, My sincere

My sincere condolences on this horrible news about your nasty, brutish oncs. Sending you good thoughts/prayers.

talkitron's picture

My thoughts are with you

I have been a fan of the world of Kelestia for 10 years. I am very sorry to hear about your health issues and wish you the best possible outcome given the situation you outlined.

Knight's picture

Bugger. . .

Well, bugger. It grieves me to hear about your health tribulations. Keep your pecker up and give it your best fight.

I would just like to say that since 1983 Harn has given me hundreds of hours of pleasure. . .such a gift is priceless. Thank you!

May you soon be hale and whole.


Steffen's picture

Sad news

My thoughts go to you and your family.

Your world will live.
And I hope you to will. There are still hope.

sageryne's picture

Wishing You All The Best

Dear Robin,

Sorry to hear those Nasty, Brutish and Short Oncs have bypassed the outer defences. My thoughts, prayers and hopes are with you.

Stay strong, stay positive and keep up the fight.

I look forward to seeing you at HarnCon IV to express my support in person.

You friend,

Kerry Mould

Peter the skald
Peter the skald's picture

Always look on the bright

Always look on the bright side of death..da..da..da..da..da.da.da.da.

May the joke have a very long punchline.

If that fails Kerry seems to have a time machine at his disposal; as he is is looking forward to Harncon IV apparrently. Either that or he is stuck in time.....

sageryne's picture


Gosh darn, ricket-fricket, bloody roman numerals...

Make that HarnCon VI.

Plan to see you there. I owe you a beer...


- Kerry

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