June 12, 2016. Michael Blumlein read this essay/memoir called “Unrestrained and Indiscreet” at the SF in SF series in San Francisco, during an event I shared with him. Blumlein’s deep and courageous piece begins with a light-hearted account of naming a minor Sierra peak after the author Henry David Thoreau. The talk progresses to an increasingly agitated discussion of Thoreau’s eventual death by tuberculosis—and Thoreau’s relative silence on this topic. And then all at once Blumlein switches to a harrowing personal account. He tells about learning that he himself has lung cancer, about having large sections of his lungs removed, and about learning that the treatments have failed and that he’s approaching death. Blumlein is a doctor as well as as science-fiction author, and he ends with a profound meditation on the process and experience of death. Press the arrow below to play Michael Blumlein’s reading. This talk is like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
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