George Potter, RIP

Those of you who used to hang at the old TCF forum will remember a mercurial soul – and fantastic writer – called George Potter. He was a natural master of the short story form, and we used to have the most wonderful arguments about Heinlein. He sort of came and went without notice as he pleased, so I’d lost sight of him in the past few years. Now I learn from Bill St. Clair that he has died quite young.

Looking back through TUAK archives I find shockingly little mention of him, almost nothing except this quote:

“Truth is, I’m not specifically interested in an armed society. What I want is a free society.”
– George Potter

ETA: Here’s a forum post with links to a whole bunch of older George Potter writing. I don’t promise all the links work. His blog Market Theology is long gone.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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24 Responses to George Potter, RIP

  1. Pat says:

    Oh, noooo… I am so sorry to hear this.

    I re-read his “Symbols Flow” a couple of months ago, and was thinking about him this a.m., wondering if anyone had heard from him lately. This has NOT made my day.

  2. UnReconstructed says:

    OMG. That is really weird……I had been thinking about him quite a lot last week. So much so that I went over to Bill St Clairs pages and reread some of this work.

    Lord, I *loved* his writing. He had a gift. He wrote like a razor blade on a train track.

    Where can I find ‘Symbols Flow’? I went looking for it, but no joy.

  3. coloradohermit says:

    What a waste to die so young! If I recall correctly from the TCF days, GP was not only a hell of a writer, but he could pitch quite a good flame war, too. RIP George.

  4. Claire says:

    OMG — I was just wondering about George, too. Yesterday I stumbled upon one of his old comments on my blog and realized I hadn’t heard from (or of) him for years.

    Mercurial is the word for him, for sure. He was a world-class talent, a cosmically great writer, but one who seemed not able to live easily in the world. I’m shocked and very sad to learn he’s dead. Yet not surprised. God, what a loss. George could have been one of the great ones had he let himself be.

  5. Pat says:

    “Symbols Flow” was “self-published” by lulu.com (and Outlaw Trail Media through TCF) in 2006, but I can’t find it at lulu.com now, and I think George was so discouraged at one point a couple of years later that he may have just removed it entirely. I don’t have an extra copy, and I’m not sure if there are any extra copies.

  6. Joel says:

    Pat, that unfortunately does sound like the sort of thing George would do, since by “mercurial soul” I mean “he could be an impulsively destructive ass.”

    I’m sorely tempted to do something unethical, of which George would probably approve now that he’s all corpsified. I have a .pdf of Symbols Flow

    Certainly more people should read it.

  7. Joel says:

    And here’s the blurb I wrote for it back then…

    What a selfish bastard. The rest of us hacks are content with some
    believable action, a coherent plot, maybe some snappy dialogue. If we
    accomplish two or more of the above in a single session it’s a morning
    well spent, say we. “Feh!” to this, says Potter. Oh, he can do all that
    shit too. But is he content with that? Will he leave us mortals a little
    self respect, the illusion of a few laurels? He will not. No, he’s also got
    to be the most insightful of observers, the most discerning of the
    subtleties of the human universe even while he’s clocking you over the
    head with those very subtleties. Damn him to hell. Just try to read
    micropiece without simultaneously weeping over the stupidities of
    humanity and rejoicing over its transcendent heroism. Try reading
    Roberta-especially if you’re up on your Heinlein-without glorying in
    your membership in the Master Species. Try reading the short poem
    An Enemy of the People without wanting to strangle Potter with his
    own intestines because he wrote it and, goddammit, you didn’t. Just
    try. I double dare you.

    George deserves all the rewards a literary career could ever
    bring, and he deserves to get them good and hard.

  8. Pat says:

    Go for it! I’d like to see it out there again. (Am not sure where Lulu fits in, but it’s not their property, so…)

  9. Joel says:

    Lulu can go straight to hell. My books are on Lulu because I haven’t bothered to remove them, not because of my great love for Lulu.

    I’m just not sure whose property it is now, or whether somewhere someone he’d approve of is profiting from them.

  10. UnReconstructed says:

    Joel,

    He had a daughter…Lily? I wonder where she is……I’d be more than willing to send $20 or so to wherever she is….I would really like a copy of that Ms.

  11. Pat says:

    Joel (and UnReconstructed),

    I have emailed someone who MIGHT know if there are any printed copies of “Symbols Flow” still available – and I hope would know how to reach George’s family, or at least his last address. Am waiting to hear back.

  12. UnReconstructed says:

    Pat,

    Thanks, I really love to have a paper copy, but I’d be quite happy to have a pdf. I *should* pay for it, if there is anyone left that he would approve of…..

    Did ‘Bad Patterns’ ever make it into reality?

    God, what a loss. you’re right, Claire, he had it in him to be one of the truly great authors.

  13. Pat says:

    UnReconstructed – Yes, “Bad Patterns” did make it into reality, but I don’t know how many copies or where they are now. I believe George funded it (possibly family or friends helped) and printed it himself; am not sure who actually did the printing, it may have been a local printer where he lived.

    Actually I would like a pdf of “Symbols” also. Although I do have a print copy, I’ve needed a back-up since an old computer imploded a couple of years ago, and I lost that file (among several others).

    Haven’t heard anything yet about where George’s family may be reached.

  14. Joel says:

    If we decide there’s nobody who should be getting paid, I’ll make the copy of Symbols Flow I have available. I never did see Bad Patterns, and sure would like to.

    J

  15. Buck. says:

    Um…… wow. You can add me to the list of people who found themselves wondering about him out of the blue very recently, like yesterday. I wonder if in death his energy gave a few of us who had corresponded with him one final slap. I enjoyed conversations with him on TCF.
    Heart attack. Shit.

  16. greg says:

    Ya know I’m 71 and haven’t written a dang thing, but “Symbols” was a favorite or mine. Ole George, yeah he could spout some vile on TCF one moment then write something beautiful the next.

    Rest in Peace George.

    Well if someone has a pdf, I can quickly make it into a .epub for the newer eReaders although the quality does suffer. Given time I could make really good. Drop me a note if you want. – webmaster at the3006cafe dot org.

    As I have mentioned to Joel before, I would convert all his books for free if he wanted. I mean I don’t have all that many days left myself so I could spend the time doing somethin for the old gang.

    F42@TCF

  17. Kyle Miller says:

    Some of the best stuff I ever read came out of they guy’s mind.

    Blog is still up: http://markettheocracy.wordpress.com/

    kel

  18. Joel says:

    No, that’s the new Market Theology which never really went anywhere. The one before that (there have been at least three) was bloody awesome.

  19. Kyle Miller says:

    Ah, I should have looked closer.

    I remember the days of “Area X” too.

    Now I have to go back and read a bunch.

  20. gooch says:

    scarmig has reopened the George’s Place segment of Area X in case anyone would like to wander back over there for some of George’s writing in his own “voice”.

    I am not a writer nor do I play one on TV but I do know good writing when I read it. George was a writer.

    Let us know if there is a way to “chip-in” to his daughter for copies of the PDF will you Joel?

    stay safe,

    g

  21. Joel says:

    Gooch, there’s a little bit of “trying to find out who to pay” going on in the background. But we’re getting nowhere.

  22. liz says:

    I am the mother of Georges daughter Lily whathappened? Any information please email me elizb44@yahoo.com this is terrible news

  23. I met Gloryroad at Franky’s Mixed Bag BB, with RF and other really good conversationalists.
    i Purchase Bad Patters from George and he autographed it for me. My heart is sad to learn that he has passed. He was a brilliant writer and unique man. I miss him already.

  24. RF says:

    5 years and I still miss you Bro.

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