His Hour Upon the Stage

by Grant Carrington

    "His Hour upon the Stage" was published in the March 1976 Amazing Science Fiction. This is the only one of my stories to make the final Nebula ballot: It ran against winner Isaac Asimov, Ursula LeGuin, and Steve Utley and Howard Waldrop for the best novelette.
    It was originally written at the 1968 or 1969 Clarion workshop. At the time, my protagonist used punched cards to feed cues into his lightboard. Later this was changed to a cassette tape. I thought I knew what I was doing. (snicker, snicker) I also misspelled Leko in the story. (I spelled it Leico.) Now they're just called ellipsoidals. I like Leko better, even if it is a brand name.
    It was reprinted in Spinnenmusik, edited by Wolfgang Jeschke in May 1979 in Germany as "Sein Stundchen auf der Buhne."

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AMAZING Cover copyright 1976 by BARBER

    Grant Carrington has been involved with the stage for years and it's a theme which has surfaced in his work before, but never with the power and perception he has brought to this story about one of the last live actors.

    Stuart sat in the pool of light, motionless. Then the tape recorder began again with the final lines of Krapp's Last Tape. I irised down to a pinspot on Stuart's face, held it for a second, then shuttered the spotlight out and kicked off the last dimmer.