I'm not sure when Arthur C. Clarke, one of the greatest bastions of the sci-fi genre, stopped being a British author, similarly so Iain M. Banks, Brian Aldiss, Douglas Adams, Grant/Naylor, Tanith Lee, and Aldous Huxley.

Or, indeed, when some of the most prominent and respected of fantasy authors (Anne McCaffrey, Diana Wynne Joans, Joan Vinge, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Robert Jordan, Mercedes Lackey, C.J. Cherryh, Lois McMaster Bujold) gave up their American citizenship, but I've not been watching the news lately and so may have just missed the relevant announcement.

Laurie Sage
Stockport, England

Beyond politics

My compliments to Wayne Barrett on "Twin Twisters" [September 8–14]. I nearly retched as I listened to our former mayor's words "Thank God George Bush is our president!" as if by some miracle that day could have possibly been any worse if Al Gore were sitting in the Oval Office.

I don't live in the city, but have lived just north in the Hudson Valley all of my life. I went to the East Village on September 15, but didn't go to the Trade Center until I decided to take a drive down late one night early that November. I'll never forget what I saw as I drove along Vesey Street—it was like a nightmare. One person I knew from high school died in the north tower. Another managed to leave his office on the 90th floor of the south tower, thanks to an uneasy boss, even though they weren't exactly sure what had happened next door, and was in a stairwell about 10 floors below where the second plane hit—he was able to escape with his life, while some he worked with did not.

It bothers me that both parties would attempt to politicize what happened that day during their conventions, but Bush's chest-beating seems more odious given that it is the only thing he has to talk about. He has no record to speak of—only a war that appears to have no clear resolution.

What happened on that day is beyond the politics of both parties. It remains in the hearts of everyone in this nation, and should not be trivialized.

Marc T. Jaeger
Newburgh, New York

Remembering Ray Charles

Greg Tate's review of Ray Charles's Genius Loves Company was music in itself ["The Resurrection and the Light: Ray Charles Compels 12 Disciples to Tell Us Just Exactly Who They Are," September 8–14]. He captured the flavor and essence of Charles with insightful language.

I was fortunate to have met Charles in the mid 1990s, with my good friend Don MacLemore.

Charles was a hardworking man. He was the consummate artist, and he was always precise about his music. My daughter traveled with him for a while as one of his youngest Raelettes. Her journey taught her many wonderful things that enabled her to reach some of her personal goals.

Charles employed many people and his music crossed over and influenced countless humans regardless of age, race, religion, culture, or sex. His music lends itself to interpretation in all musical genres.

When I met Charles, we pitched a festival to him that would include just that idea: the meeting of musicians of all music genres to sing with him on one stage and be presented to the world via satellite. The idea never came to fruition, but he did later celebrate his birthday in a television special with the flavor of that pitch.

Charles festivals will happen for a long time, alas without him in the flesh, as all will sing his songs to celebrate and honor him. It is wonderful that he never stopped creating with his music and his work ethic. How honored the 12 must feel to be immortalized with him on that fabulous new CD. Ray Charles, we can't stop loving you . . . you made up our minds. R.I.P.

Xennia Long
Wake, Virginia

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