I participated in the SA4QE this year, in Melbourne, Australia. Russell Hoban's work picked up my little life and threw it into a satisfyingly confused and scared dimension, so I had to jump on board this tribute. I left a piece of yellow A4 bearing a quote from The Medusa Frequency in my uni library. It was the beginning of Herman's first chat with the Head of Orpheus -- I chose it mostly because it represents so much of what I love about Russell Hoban's work, but also because anybody who came across it would have to be made of stone to not want more.
It was an eyeless and bloated human head, sodden, covered with green slime and heavy with barnacles. I took it in my hands; where the flesh had been eaten away I could feel the ancient skull.
I could feel the head humming and buzzing in my hands, then it began to speak. Its voice was more elemental, more profound than human voices are; the way it spoke seemed more animal than human; it was as if speech had suddenly become possible for an animal, as if the creature were for the first time putting thoughts into words. 'Who are you?' said the head.
'Nobody, really. Nobody you'd know.'
'You wouldn't be seeing me if I didn't know you. What's your name?'
I didn't want to tell it my name.
'Speak up!' said the head. 'What are you afraid of?'
from The Medusa Frequency
Unfortunately I couldn't take a photo because my camera insists on making a loud digital shutter noise and I was 4qating in a library.
Thanks for doing this, it adds yet another twist to the twistedness of Hoban fandom.