This is topic "An Ending" (Our Final Landmark) in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by JanitorBlade (Member # 12343) on :
"At last he came to a door, with these words in glowing emeralds:


He did not hesitate. He opened the door and stepped through."

Hello, everyone. I plan on leaving some parting thoughts here at the end of the thread, but for now I wanted to update all of you.Hatrack's gate will be down effective this coming September. After that, the forum will become archived, and be only readable; until it isn't.

Entropy is unstoppable neh?

In the meantime, kick back, relax, feel free to make threads, and talk to each other in them. Catch up, makes jokes, you can even post spam so long as it isn't malicious and you don't mind me destroying the links if they go anywhere bad. But I ask only two things from you reading this right now. Yes, you. Think of it as a favor to your friendly neighborhood moderator.

1: If you can, remember only if you can, write something here for the Cards to read that's true, and is intended to bring them joy.

2:Go and find people you know who might want to do #1.

I'd like to fill this thread up with joy we can come back to whenever we wish. I'd like to make this thread something pure. Something fine, and funny, and sweet, and everything good that is compatible with any good that got here first.

I want to read some things where if I couldn't see the username I'd know who said it, so those words can remind me of you again and again.If it's goodbye or farewell, if it's a memory, a joke, something you're into nowadays, it's all welcome here. If you want to come back to your post and edit it down or expand on it, go ahead! If you want to chat amongst yourselves here, that's fine too. Post once, post twice, post as many times as you'd like. Just don't forget to do #1.

More to come from me later. But the race to be first in this thread is officially open. I look forward to hearing from you all.

I love you, yes you.

[ July 30, 2021, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]
Posted by DustinDopps (Member # 12640) on :
In 1998, I believe, I won a copy of a book signed by OSC. It wasn't one of his books, oddly enough, but a book titled "Lucky That Way" by the creator of computer solitaire. Since OSC wrote the forward for the book, he gave away a signed copy. And I won it. Yay!

I was already a fan, of course, otherwise I wouldn't have known there was a chance to win the signed book, but from that point on I started visiting almost daily. The forums have changed over the years, as you all know, and for a while the posters were almost unbearably smug and political. Yet I kept coming back, day after day, and still continue to do so.

This forum closing is the ending of something. I'm not sure exactly what. But it will be missed in my daily reading list, I know that for sure.

To Mr. Card: thank you!!! Your books continue to inspire, amaze, and amuse me. I will keep buying them until you stop writing them. You are the best author I have read at letting readers see the inner thoughts of the characters - the inner monologues, the ethical/moral quandries, the thoughts that can't be said out loud - your characters shine because we see who they are and how they think. Kudos on your insight into the human condition.

The rest of the Card family: thank you for sharing your dad/husband/sibling/whatever with the rest of us. I know OSC has spent thousands of hours doing interviews, guest columns, online Q&As, etc. I also know that it has technically been part of his job. But we, the fans, appreciate your support while he did these things for us. Thank you for being an invisible extended family for us.

To the posters in the forum I liked: bye! It was nice getting to know you! To the ones who annoyed me: bye! Smell you later!

Grace and peace to all of you.
Posted by kacard (Member # 200) on :
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the Hatrack Forum for so many years. We have great memories of so many long-time posters. Scott loved being able to post a question when he was writing something and get great input from the forum. We will never forget "Hobbes" getting out of his high school English class in order to do some quick research for the Alvin Maker books. As public conversations have moved to new platforms, we decided now was the time to close this one. Our special thanks to the moderators who have helped keep this place positive for so long. Best wishes to all, Scott & Kristine Card
Posted by Papa Moose (Member # 1992) on :
I expect to write a longer entry on this thread, but before too much time goes by I want to say a big "Thank you!" to Mr. and Mrs. Card, the late Kathryn Kidd, Scott Allen, and JanitorBlade, and all you did to birth this place and keep it running.

Thank you to all the many members and contributors over the years, new and old alike, friends who became like family, the bright threads running across the top of the tapestry, and the lesser seen ones that add strength to the weave.

I ended up writing and giving my dad's eulogy a couple weeks ago. I'm no Speaker for the Dead, nor did I want to be. Although the ceremony was a time of shared grief, it was also a celebration of life. Though a great man and lifelong servant, my dad wasn't perfect. And due to some medical issues, the man he really was kinda stopped *being* - some time before his actual passing. Hatrack feels a little the same way - it isn't what it had been, and despite still being here, in a way it was already gone.

I never stopped loving my dad (and never will) - he held and holds a special place in my heart that nobody could ever replace, just as Hatrack held and holds a place in my life that will continue to remain, and the people I've known and experiences I've had, online and otherwise, will continue to affect my future in myriad ways - some will my full awareness, and probably far more without.

Anyway, I do intend to add more later, but I encourage folks - Hatrackers, Jatraqueros, Ratraquenhos, prolific and ethereal (lurkers) alike - don't let this time pass by without saying something, and something kind.

Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
This forum stopped feeling like home a long time ago, partly because of changes in who participated here and partly because of changes in me as I, well, grew up (even though I came as a young adult with a child.)

But just as I no longer call my mother's house "home" but appreciate the security of a home I had growing up, I will always appreciate the things I learned here, the friends I made (many of whom I'm still in touch with in one way or another), the support provided to me when hard things happened, the joy we shared when we had fun together. I truly learned to love others better, to understand people I would never have otherwise come in contact with, and to communicate in a more thoughtful and helpful manner here more than anywhere else, through the influence of wise and kind people I sought to emulate.

I don't have much more to say, this is truly the first I've been back here in years. But I leave you with my customary toast- to all of you, sláinte.
Posted by millernumber1 (Member # 9894) on :
I first joined these boards in the early 2000s, and though I didn't enjoy all the political fights, I loved the discussions about books, particularly the Ender books (still wish more people wanted to talk about Enchantment [Smile] ). The Ender series, though it wasn't my introduction to scifi (probably the Asimov couple Norby series, Madeleine L'Engle, or even, shock horror, Star Wars tie-in fiction), is probably my absolute favorite single-author series in both scifi and military scifi. I've searched a long time through the genres, and though I find many to love, none have matched the sheer power of the Ender series, particularly the Shadow books and Children of the Mind (I have a huge affinity for Bean and Jane for perhaps obvious reasons). I'm in the middle of my reread of Ender's Game in the leadup to The Last Shadow's release (I was originally planning this for September, but the On the Fly serialization has moved it up a lot for me), and just finished listening to the Lake Scene again,'s still just as amazingly powerful as it was when I first read it at 14 years old, 20 years ago.

I was always more of a lurker than a poster, though I did try to get some conversations going in the On the Fly forums once they started, but I've always loved reading the posts by Mr. and Mrs. Card, and look forward to at least two more books, and hopefully many more, which will continue to deeply move and shape my life. I do miss the columns, though the serialized novels have been a really great gift (not to mention the lovely A Town Divided by Christmas, which is the best Hallmark movie I've ever not watched, especially when read by Emily Rankin [Smile] ). I've been introduced to so many amazing stories in Uncle Orson Reviews Everything, from Firefly, Peter Pan (2003), to Burn Notice. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks to all, but especially the Cards.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
One of my favorite Hatrack memories was accessing the short story Homeless in Hell which was just the right balance of cynical and courageous to bring me some closure about Christmas.
Another is learning about epistemology from one of the folks who wanted to spring fully formed from the head of Zeus as a god of wisdom. This marked my first few forays here.
Then, when I found my persona burnt down in 2003, this was a place I could sweep away the debris and find my footings.
Posted by steven (Member # 8099) on :
This was not my first forum, I was on Usenet in September of 1994. But it is the one I have (sporadically) participated in the longest.
Posted by hawser (Member # 13415) on :
Originally posted by kacard:
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the Hatrack Forum for so many years. We have great memories of so many long-time posters. Scott loved being able to post a question when he was writing something and get great input from the forum. We will never forget "Hobbes" getting out of his high school English class in order to do some quick research for the Alvin Maker books. As public conversations have moved to new platforms, we decided now was the time to close this one. Our special thanks to the moderators who have helped keep this place positive for so long. Best wishes to all, Scott & Kristine Card

So sad to hear about this news after a long hiatus.
Posted by Bokonon (Member # 480) on :
I mean, it's hard to put into words how this forum was a part of me. I used to visit it daily. It's a part of the internet that my kids don't believe ever existed, and most people have forgotten.

Simply posting here made me a better writer than I was.

I remember Ender's game movie speculation, political sparring, though not quite in the way it has evolved today, thank goodness.

I remember the "cons", and being so glad to be part of the New England/Boston Cons. To find that as I suspected (or hoped) everyone that seemed so decent here were also decent in real life,

So thank you to the Cards for keeping this place around, and thank you to all the posters that made this place a pleasure over 2+ decades.

Posted by matt1618 (Member # 13643) on :
I'm 41 years old today and I first read Ender's Game when I was in the 8th grade. Three friends and I bought the book with money from our parents, at our school's book fair. Man, we loved book fairs! My friends and I were so into the book that we would check in with each other each day to see who had made it the furthest.

After that year, I read every novel in the Ender and Shadow series as they were released. I loved being a part of this world that so many were falling in love with at the same time I was.

I don't remember when I first became aware of this forum, but it was around the time when rumors first started to swirl about a film adaptation of Ender's Game. I gobbled up every bit of news and rumor I could find for several years until the film was finally released.

One of the things, of many, that I love about the Ender/Shadow series is that it takes children seriously. I love the point Mr. Card made in an article once about this: that children take themselves seriously, why can't we take them seriously? They don't think that what they're experiencing or thinking is trivial or superficial compared to the whole world of adult-level problems. To them, their "world" IS serious business. Why can't we let them be who they are, and take them seriously on their own terms, and let their true genius be revealed?

If I may make a comparison, Mr. Card's treatment of the young heros in the Ender/Shadow series reminds me a lot of Hayao Miyazaki's films. In these films, he movingly highlights the great potential, courage, resiliency, and heroism of children! They are capable of great things, now!

I've learned from Mr. Miyazaki and from Mr. Card that we shouldn't set the bar so low for "today's youth." We shouldn't expect so little of or from them. We should set the bar high and marvel at what they're capable of. Then we should examine our own hearts and ask, "Where did that courage go in me? Why can't I be young at heart?" Children and adults, both, need these books.

I'm looking forward to the last Shadow book and the last Second Formic War book too!

God bless you all
Fr. Matthew Hardesty
New Haven, KY
Posted by vonk.2 (Member # 14746) on :
Reading these posts from names I haven't seen in over a decade is getting me right in the feels. I was most active here in the early aughts. This was a place of great respite in my tumultuous early 20's. I learned a lot here, things I can't readily put into words, and I will be eternally grateful. And I will always be a little sad that I never became Real.

As for OSC's books, they were the start of my love of reading. My cousin gave me Ender's Game in the third grade and I ate it up. The next three, especially CoM, taught me what it means to be human, and what it means to be almost human. Getting lost in the Homecoming and Alvin series was a refuge in an unhappy middle and high school. Not to mention the early stand alones Songmaster and Wyrms: words escape me but the effect is held to this day. Mr. Card, you have had a profound and personal effect on who I am as a person and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you for letting me hang out in your living room for a while. It's a nice place.
Posted by Kauai Coop (Member # 14294) on :
None will recognize my name, but I still wanted to post that I am saddened to learn that Hatrack’s Gate will be ending in September.

I look forward to reading all the remaining OSC books I have been accumulating. I expect them to continue to enlighten and entertain me as I avoid ‘current events’ more and more...

Best wishes to the entire Card family on your future endeavors and adventures.

Many thanks for all you have created and shared. ~ Kathy
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
This forum introduced me to a lot of wonderful people, many of whom are still in my life today. I will always be thankful for that.

The shared language, the in-jokes, the word-play: there was a lot of good that happened here.
Posted by The White Whale (Member # 6594) on :
This is the only forum that I've really ever participated in, and I have many fond memories of this place. Some bad ones too. But it was a place I came to time and again, and it provided a largely constant community to chat with. I'm thankful for that and that I had the opportunity to meet and interact (virtually) with many of the members of this community.
Posted by Jay (Member # 5786) on :
Wow! It has been a while since I logged in. Almost didn't remember my password.....

Saw OSC has some books coming this year. Pretty exciting!

Hope all is well. Remember, the enemy's gate is down!
Posted by Icarus (Member # 3162) on :
Whoa. I don't know what made me decide to load up Hatrack today. I think work avoidance. [Wink] But what an announcement to stumble across!

When I joined Hatrack, nearly two decades ago, I was in my early thirties, but in so many ways I feel that Hatrack was a huge part of my growing up. I had never experienced anything like this place, back when it was hopping. The fast-moving conversations with witty people who challenged what I thought I knew. The fun, silly, fluffy games. The late night chats in the built-in chat room before AIM came along. Traveling to Iowa and to Nevada to meet up with Jatraqueros, and welcoming many of them to the Orlando area.

It's no hyperbole to say I have made many of the most important, enduring friendships of my life here.

And I probably would not be a published author today if not for this place. I was always an aspiring writer, and I will always appreciate Scott's words of encouragement in a Borders in Winter Park at the signing that led to me joining the forum here. But by this point, lightning hadn't struck and there was no reason to believe it was ever going to. Publishing was one of those things that didn't happen to regular people like me. But watching so many of my brilliant friends from here start selling work, folks like Scott Roberts and Ty Franck and David Bowles, made me believe that I could too.

Nothing lasts forever; as soon as I post this I'll take a peak to see how long it's been since my last post here. A lot of us eventually went our own ways and moved our friendships to other spaces. But I can't overstate how important Hatrack was in pointing me in the directions that made me who I am. My experience here will always be special and valuable to me. Thank you so much for the gift of this community.

-José Iriarte
Posted by Theaca2 (Member # 14754) on :
My mind was blown when I read Ender's Game in the summer before high school. It was a just released book at the time.

I joined Hatrack years later and made some friends. I learned a lot about people who were different from myself. I love seeing the old names and people pop back up. And I have great memories of the 2 Cons I went to.

After I left rather loudly and made sure I could never find my password again I would still come back in at times just to look if a new book came out, or some huge current event or disaster occurred, to see what people were saying and feeling. I came in here just a month ago and felt that the end must be coming, and I'm sad to see that it is here.

I appreciate so much having had the opportunity to grow and learn from the people on this site, and the Cards for being good hosts. I'm behind in my book reading and will be rectifying that but it will be sad not to be able to come here and look for conversations about the books. My love to every one.

Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
There are two people in the world who would, arguably, not exist without this forum. Dana and I met here. Courted (in a way). Became a couple. Our sons are now 14 and 13!!

…And yeah…we have the Dragon Army onesie and a lovely wedding present present to show that the Cards are wonderful and gracious people. I will be ever grateful for their example of kindness and generosity and I remain in awe of the success of this experiment.

I know many will reflect on why they left…how this home changed. What they will miss. But I want to think more about what we all took from here and planted as seeds elsewhere…knowing from this example what could be. And taking ideas on how to keep it thriving, if possible. None of those duplicated the magic of Hatrack’s Forum, but some are also wonderful homes that have fostered lifelong friendships too. So, seeds planted and things grow.

I hope my many old friends see this and get a warm feeling. I hope that feeling isn’t something related to digestive issues. A good number of you are still active friends and we have transitioned across many platforms, and many years, and often even taken the daring leap of meeting in person. Some of us have lost touch almost entirely. Lava lamp and Poseable Man…I hope you are both well and aren’t taking a back seat to anyone (unless it’s in a limo, of course). (Write if you get work).

Until we meet again, please just keep planting seeds and, when you think of it, remember the tree we took a cutting from!

And remember…
God will win the last post thread
Posted by dkw2 (Member # 14755) on :
New account, because I couldn’t remember my password, and when I tried to reset it the forum didn’t recognize my email address. “Huh.” I thought, “I must have registered at Hatrack before I started using this address.”

Oh right — I would have had to because my current address includes my last name and I didn’t have this last name before I met my now-husband on Hatrack.

So many wonderful people are in my life because I met them on this forum. Plus two teenagers who are in my life because I met their father here. (Teenagers! A whole bunch of Hatrack babies are teenagers!)

Two years ago I was teaching a college ethics class and one of the options for the first paper assignment was to choose a work of fiction with a discernible moral universe and write about the moral norms of that universe. One of my students stopped me after class to ask about the assignment and started with “This is probably a long shot, but have you ever read Ender’s Game?” I think I laughed for a week.

I will always be grateful to the Cards for hosting this forum, the admins and moderators who kept it functioning, and the delightful people who made up the community during the years I was active here. (I’m sure the people in other eras were delightful too, and hope there were other cohorts who formed lasting friendships like we did.)

-dkw <—- took Bob’s last name. Kept my initials.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
I started posting here just after my 20th birthday. Hard to believe that was 17 years ago. For a long time, this was home. I would check it every day when I got home, throughout the evening, in the morning before I left for school or work, and would be up late at night typing out multi-paragraph essay posts for what must have been hours.

I put a lot into Hatrack, and I got so much more back. I learned how to be a better writer here, how to think better, how to listen, how to accept, grow, and change when confronted with opinions different than mine, and when to stand firm. Hatrack was here for me during some very, very difficult times. I poured my soul out, and people poured love back in to fill the empty spaces.

In many ways I grew up here. This place evolved over time, and as it quieted down and familiar faces started to drift away, I drifted away as well. But a part of my heart is here, just as a part of Hatrack is always with me, quantum entangled forever.

I'm sorry to see the lights being turned out. But wow, what a hell of a ride it was.

Thanks for everything!
Posted by Kwea (Member # 2199) on :
This forum is a part of me, and always will be. I met a ton of new people here, and I still interact with at least 15-20 of them even now. Sometimes daily.

From the first month, I posted here, when I was mistaken for a name-switching troll who had just caused a scene and vanished, to moving to FL and finding I already had friends here, this has been an amazing place. I literally used this place as a catch-all...whenever I had a question, no matter esoteric, I knew I could find an answer here, or at least we would discover it together. I have never been a part of a community like this, full of intelligent arguments, debates, and a ton of well-read people to discuss things with and to disagree with. Sure, we had trolls (Hi Jay), but overall it was, and is, impressive.

I remember meeting OSC and his wife in Boston at a con, the very first con I ever attended. I remember finding out after 4 months that Geoff was OSC's son, something I honestly didn't know (even though apparently everyone else did) and that he had to convince me of when I found out. LOL.

I remember being asked to participate in an online written campaign in space, which involved signing a wavier as if it would be used to write books. I passed because I remembered every DnD campaign in the 90's I played in, where every single DM wanted to write a book. They were all BS, and tiresome, and never went anywhere. I figured this would be the same.

That game eventually became a part of The Expanse, so boy was I wrong about that! LOL.

I got my girlfriend (who became my wife) to post here, and we posted here on our honeymoon. When we moved to FL, zgator, Icarus, and Cor (and several others) were here in the Orlando area.

I held a Hatrack Picnic, and my parents were very skeptical but came and ended up being very impressed with everyone they met. I went to a shindig at Elizabeth's house and met Ela and her children there, and met Kama from Poland at my picnic.

It continues to this day, no joke,. After DECADES of writing back and forth, both here and on FB, I met Lyrhawn this summer in Traverse City and we spent the evening walking around getting to know each other IRL. Turns out he is just as cool in person, and we plan on meeting up with him again next time we are in MI. Icarus and Cor ended up being 2 of our closest friends.

OSC (and family), thank you SO much for starting this, advertising this, and keeping it running for so long. I literally wouldn't be the person I am today without it. Although all faults are my own. [Big Grin]

[ August 08, 2021, 12:36 AM: Message edited by: Kwea ]
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
A few months after Christy agreed to marry me, I printed and shredded a number of our favorite emails to each other, then mixed those shreds with the dried, ground-up petals of the dozens of roses I'd given her over the years we'd been dating. We used that pulp to make the paper for our wedding invitations. A couple weeks after I printed those emails, the hard drive on which they had been saved crashed and they were collectively wiped from the universe. After two decades of marriage, I no longer remember a single specific phrase or bon mot in them; I don't even remember the general gist. Collectively, I suppose they said, "I'm here and you're there and I'm thinking of you," and the mechanisms that mattered so much back then have been made irrelevant with time.

But they brought us together and bound us together, and we chose to commemorate them as we passed into a new reality where they were no longer as useful -- one where we were living adjacent, day-by-day, and didn't require the same assurances.

To be honest, much of it has become hazy memory.

And it's amazing to me to think that all of that -- all of it -- actually happened after I first stumbled across Hatrack. It's almost impossible to overstate how remarkable the population of this forum was in its heyday; you need only to look at its alumni (numerous award-winning writers; the host of her own morning news show; a celebrated fashion designer; four doctors; two artists; five professors of varying infamy; two successful professional bloggers; two game designers; several published scientists; the world's first space lawyer; three farmers; and three decorated soldiers) to recognize that even being a small fish in this particular pond was exhilarating and eye-opening.

I made lifelong, dear friends here, and am glad to report that some of those friends went on to have kids that are friends with my kids; there are generations of memories and connections that owe their genesis to this place of opportunity. I will always be deeply grateful to the Cards for letting us play in their "living room," and making that living room a place that other people desiring similar connections could find and might find welcoming. There was something wild and beautiful and pregnant with potential in the early years of the Internet, and I think Hatrack River embodied that spirit better than most.

So I'll hate to see this forum go, and it's genuinely sad to think that in its closing I'll lose any hope of getting back in touch with some of the members who didn't manage (or didn't choose) to follow the colonists and caravans. But it's still very comforting to me to think that, graciously given this place, we played with it and grew with it and then, when ready, blended it up with a little water and some rose petals and made of it new invitations.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
Here I found family, wisdom, humor, and adventure.

For me, Hatrack holds the place that high school does in our popular culture - a small(ish), safe(ish) place to grow up and make friends, where you can't stay but you'll always remember, life-changing and life-shaping, but inherently ephemeral. I have loved this place so much. I still do. Thank you.

My life is five billion times happier now than it was during the storms of grief and trauma that characterized the years that I was on and needed Hatrack. I cannot even express my gratitude for the lighthouse and community that it has been. Thank you. So much.
Posted by MyrddinFyre (Member # 2576) on :
This feels weird, posting to a forum from a tiny phone screen, how times have changed!.....

I am forever grateful for this space, a place where 16-year-old me discovered that there were other people like me in the world, that there were places where those parts of you which made you Different in the day-to-days of life were actually shared and celebrated. Where I discovered just how wonderful the connectivity the internet affords us was. How wonderful a community can be. How wonderful PEOPLE can be. I'm 36 now but will always and forever be Myr. I love you all!
Posted by Kama (Member # 3022) on :
I “met” people from across the world. I travelled across the world to meet them in person! I stayed in people’s homes. I had crushes [Wink] And while my current husband is not a jatraquero, I don’t think I would meet him if it wasn’t for a number of coincidences which started with Hatrack.
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
I think it was twenty-five years ago when I first found Hatrack. It was such a lovely place. "We speak with passion. We listen with respect." It all seemed to matter so much. I made many lifelong friends here. My life has been quite a lot better, richer and more filled with love and joy, because this place existed, and I'm grateful.
Posted by T_Smith (Member # 3734) on :
Good times, bad times, best times, regrets. Traveling and cons, friends and acquaintances. Marriage and a kid, AIM and parachat. Last posts and landmarks and orange tights and somewhere along the way, Josh Groban.


Mackillian says “huh? What? I can’t take this pressure! —|— *tackle hugs*”
Posted by saxon75 (Member # 4589) on :
I can say for sure that the Sakeriver forum would never have existed if not for my time here. Certainly I would never have met so many friends whom I still treasure. This one isn't mine but it's quite possible that The Expanse wouldn't have existed without the friendships that formed here first—at least, it wouldn't have existed in the form it does now. This place brought a lot of good things into my life that I value, and for that I'm grateful.
Posted by Megan (Member # 5290) on :
I have many, many friends now who I wouldn't know if it hadn't been for Hatrack. It changed my life for the better in a lot of ways, during a time in my life when I really needed it. I haven't been active here for a *very* long time, but the connections I found here and later at Sakeriver are still a vital part of my life. I wish all of you well.
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
I'm glad I found out the forum was closing before it was too late to say anything.

And then, when the moment comes, I find I don't know what to say.

Goodbye to an era. I think Hatrack was always on the cutting edge of culture in some ways. There was a time where it was possible to say what one was thinking and have rational, thoughtful discourse in this forum. The same holds true for the country. But in a world where the boundaries around concepts such as family and culture and corporation are so vague that no one can tell whether or not they're progressing toward a higher level of consciousness, where all we have left are egos to defend, it should not surprise us that we destroy first that which we most hold dear.

I'm thankful to the Cards, and to the members of this community who invested their hearts, their ideas, and their vulnerabilities into Hatrack. Let us not forget those times that we laughed at ourselves when we got triggered, and when we strived to be both clear and courteous. Let's remember that trolls were once converted into contributing citizens and long-time enemies still managed to be kind to each other at gatherings. Let's remember that spirit of generosity and do our best to live it out in our real lives.

Thank you to everyone.

-MJ Fanta
Posted by Ela (Member # 1365) on :
Just wanted to make sure I said hi to Kristine. I still remember meeting you and Scott at Endercon when I was there with my two kids. That was a fun weekend.

I appreciate all the friends that I met here and the discussions we had. I am still friends with many I met here, others have gone their separate ways, and some I have lost track of. I am sad about the ones I'm no longer in touch with but happy about the good friends I made here and with whom I continue to interact.

Thank you to the Cards for providing a place for us to meet and have both fun and serious conversations.

All the best for the future.
Posted by Bokonon (Member # 480) on :
Originally posted by Kama:
I “met” people from across the world. I travelled across the world to meet them in person! I stayed in people’s homes. I had crushes [Wink] And while my current husband is not a jatraquero, I don’t think I would meet him if it wasn’t for a number of coincidences which started with Hatrack.

Nice try, Kama, computer AIs don't have crushes. [Wink] [Razz]
Posted by Nick (Member # 4311) on :
I don't know what made me check this forum today but I'm saddened to see this; though I do understand.

This place was very much a part of my growth as a person in my teenage years. I remember thinking how cool it was to communicate with people with common interests(like OSC novels). I can't even remember how I found this place, but I'm certainly glad that I did.

Ender's Game was required reading for my freshman year of English classl(1999 at the time) and it was one the most influential things that happened to me in those years. I still reread it at times for the nostalgia and to examine it through an adult lens rather than a teen who felt picked on and isolated in much the same way Ender must have felt. If you're reading this Mr Card, please know that I will always be grateful to you for the insights into human nature that Ender's story provided me.

I do have regrets for some of the juvenile things I wrote here in years past as a ignorant teen(sorry to anyone who held a grudge haha). I will always be grateful to this community for challenging that ignorance and helping me examine my own perspective of the world, even if I didn't properly appreciate those challenges at the time. I see things much differently now at 36 haha.

Anyone remember AIM "hatrack chat"? I was a regular there and I have very fond memories of some of the conversations there. I had some life challenges(which seemed big at the time, little did I know haha) at the time and I remember some kind people that helped me process some of the decisions that needed to be made. I'll always be grateful for that.

I wanted to say thank you for providing this forum and for your collective works(most of which I have read more than once). I will always have fond memories of this place, especially in it's heyday. Best wishes to you, Card family.
Posted by MyrddinFyre (Member # 2576) on :
Originally posted by Nick:
Anyone remember AIM "hatrack chat"?

Hatchat was a HUGE part of my life and I still think of it fondly / miss it on a regular basis. Such wonderful things grew out of the connections on this forum [Smile] [Group Hug]
Posted by Nick (Member # 4311) on :
I still remember the black background with the orange papyrus font you would use. Oh the things we used to think that made us edgy. [Big Grin]
Posted by Piefka (Member # 13216) on :
I never posted a lot, but I have been lurking a long time, well before I even made an account. I have a couple memories to share that had a big impact on my life.

First, while I was in USMC boot camp, I almost died. I was hospitalized for a month then entered a rehab platoon. To pass the time we were allowed to read books from the "Commandant's Reading List". Ender's Game was on it. I had read the book years previously, but as I read through it this time it had new meaning to me with the troop movements and troop morale. After leaving boot camp I devoured the rest of the series and eventually read every other OSC release.

Fast forward to 2013, my wife and I decide to make our son's middle name "Ender" (His first name is another literary reference). Then we find out the 'Ender's Game' movie was actually set to be released on his due date. It was a complete coincidence as we had already decided to name him that. It definitely felt like we had made a good decision with that coincidence. He was born a few days after the movie was released.

At one point I took advantage of the holiday signed copies and obtained a signed/personalized copy of the book he was named after. I'm so happy these were offered and I was able to do that for him. Since he is older now, we have been working on reading my copy of the book together.

I just want to thank OSC and crew for everything they've given to the literary world. I've thoroughly enjoyed the Enderverse and all of the other universes. Thanks!
Posted by Irish Snake (Member # 6336) on :
Originally posted by MyrddinFyre:
Originally posted by Nick:
Anyone remember AIM "hatrack chat"?

Hatchat was a HUGE part of my life and I still think of it fondly / miss it on a regular basis. Such wonderful things grew out of the connections on this forum [Smile] [Group Hug]
Posted by Marek (Member # 5404) on :
i completely understand this event, but it makes me very sad
Posted by HellerThriller (Member # 14505) on :
Farewell, to all people here!
Posted by neron king (Member # 14763) on :
Hello, how are you guys? I am new. I would like to know more about this forum and I hope to make friends. It is a pleasure to belong to this community.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
In the spirit of Taylors’ request, I’d like to say that Hatrack River Forums were pivotal for me and instrumental in my personal development. Aside from having a place to express myself, to hear and to be heard by people I came to love and respect, I also formed relationships that have lasted to this day and I hope will last until my last day. Hatrack Forums was a huge part of my life for a decade and since I left the absence has been difficult to adequately fill. I can truthfully say that I am immensely grateful to have been a part of the community at one time, and that I am grateful I can count much of that community as my own, still. Thank you OSC and family for your role(s) in that.

If anyone reading this, who cares about our time together on this forum, and isn't already my friend on facebook or twiiter or some other venue, please reach out (and remind me who you are). I'm Karl Jennings, in Utah, and you can text me at 41 oh, nine 6 free, oh seven 9 7. (I don't answer calls from numbers I don't recognize, but I do check voicemails and texts. I already get too many spam calls for me to care too much about making that number semi- public.)
Posted by JanitorBlade (Member # 12343) on :
Originally posted by neron king:
Hello, how are you guys? I am new. I would like to know more about this forum and I hope to make friends. It is a pleasure to belong to this community.

You my friend picked the wrong time to become a forum newbie.

The music is about to stop, the lights are dimming, and we're full of goodbyes, but hello for now!
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Can you really, after all this time, not recognize a spambot?
Posted by dabbler (Member # 6443) on :
Whew, my profile says that I was last active in 2013. Just happened to check hatrack today and saw that it's going inactive in a couple weeks. I think I also posted as suneun, before I became dabbler. Started posting in my college years, that's around the year 2000.

Glad to have returned in time, and amazed at how many names I remember. I still have the moose from Papa Moose from a Santa exchange from probably 10 years ago. Met many of you at Jake's. I've updated my profile to an actual e-mail address if anyone wants to send me a message and keep in touch. We've all grown so much over the years. Take care.
Posted by sarcasticmuppet (Member # 5035) on :
Good lord, I can't believe my login still works. Or that the graemlins are still here. [Monkeys]

This forum was such an intrinsic part of my late teens and early adulthood. I was a painfully introverted teen who spent years wolfing down my mom's considerable OSC collection (even some of the weird stuff from the 70s) until I found a group of fellow nerds that gave me at least some social outlet while I figured myself out in college and as I started living out on my own. I'm now a slightly less introverted adult and parent of two little girls who, if the oldest is any indication, are proving to be every bit as clever and sarcastically funny as I ever imagined myself to be.

Thanks all.
Posted by firebird (Member # 1971) on :
In an astonishing moment of serendipity, I was watching the new Spock documentary and I was thinking about other characters and universes that have shaped me and thought of the Enderverse.

Quick google - Hatrack River still exists.
Quick read. OMG it's closing soon!

I must have first logged in 20 years ago. And stopped logging in probably 15 years ago. And still, there are names that I recognise in this thread (Papa Moose, Sarcastc Muppet, Tom Davidson, Karl Ed, Bob and many more). Even after 15 year, your names resonate. So this is not just a love letter to OSC, but also the forum.

To OSC - Your books shaped me. There's a line in Speaker for the Dead about choosing your work and choosing to be a parent. That's stuck with me. It's not a big part of the book. Really it's a throw-away line, but I thought you'd like to know that even those small ideas have found an audience.

Another idea in your writing that has stayed with me is about being careful what you put into your mind. In popular culture, this is captured in the fable of the good and bad wolf. (Google it if you don't know it!)

But perhaps more importantly the message in your writing is that being alive MATTERS. And my life is richer for that.

Thank you for your writing. And thank you for this community. And thank you to the community too!

(PS - has the community moved to Facebook or Twitter or SOMETHING? I'd love to keep in touch.)
Posted by illrede (Member # 14771) on :
I have been dropping by this place for years and years, never registered. It was an online village I'd pass through every now and then, breathe the air, and smile. I'm a stranger, and I'll miss you.
Posted by millernumber1 (Member # 9894) on :
(PS - has the community moved to Facebook or Twitter or SOMETHING? I'd love to keep in touch.) [/QB]
A few of the younger members and many non-members but Ender's Game and OSC fans have made communities on Discord - similar to IRC chat, people tell me ( and Reddit (

[ August 22, 2021, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: millernumber1 ]
Posted by tern (Member # 7429) on :
Not sure what to say . . . forums like this were such a big part of the Internet experience for me, and watching them slowly disappear is such a strange feeling.

My father was in the theater program with Scott at BYU, and thus I grew up with his books. When I started dating my now-wife, I gave her a copy of Ender's Game. When she cried at the end, I knew that she was the right one. We bonded further through our love of Enchantment and Pastwatch.

When our second daughter was born, we named her Valentine. Nine months later, doctors confirmed that she had severe cerebral palsy and told us that she would never walk, never talk, never even sit up and that her life expectancy would be less than twenty years.

Through good fortune and modern therapy, none of that came to pass - but she remains profoundly limited. She is also the center of our family; her strong personality and fierce, loving nature fills our home with joy.

Though Scott's books have often moved my wife and I, his most powerful words for us are from his review of Arrival, when he spoke of his son:

Of course we thought of our son, Charlie Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy and who died of complications from that condition when he was 17. If we had known, before Charlie was conceived, how limited his life would be, and how painful his death would be to us, would we have given him such a life?

Our answer -- of which we became more certain the more we talked -- was that we would not have evaded that hard part of our lives. Because Charlie -- not just his disability, but his kindness, his patience, his frequent happiness and occasional sorrow -- he made a good life of it, and our family would not be what it is if he had not been such an influential part of it.

As one of our children said to us, years after his passing, "I always thought that we were special because we were Charlie's family."

So - Scott, from the parents of a teenage girl with global cerebral palsy, a young lady named after our favorite character in your books, thank you. Your words have given us much strength and comfort in this indescribably difficult yet precious part of our lives.

As for this forum, I began posting when I was a young and somewhat bitter Marine; I'm more . . . diplomatic now. Life took me in directions I could never have foreseen, and as I grew out of that bitterness and many of the opinions I held, I also grew out of the desire to keep posting. But Hatrack was a regular part of my life for some time, and I'm glad to see it sent off like this. It deserved more than to vanish quietly. さよなら, 皆さん
Posted by 777 (Member # 9506) on :
Orson Scott Card was the first author that I took seriously, that I really approached as an author to read as much of as possible. Sure, I had read Harry Potter, and Redwall, and the Hobbit, but those were scattered experiences over a period of four to five years.

I didn't learn to read series from book to book, cover to cover, until one day when I decided to pull a worn copy of Ender's Game off my family's bookshelf.

I read it. I devoured it. And then I went to the library and began tracking down everything I could get my hands on. Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind came next. Maps in a Mirror and its heartbreaking and stirring tales. The Ender's Shadow series. A Planet Called Treason. Seventh Son and all of its sequels.

I learned that he had writing resources. I still have my cherished copies of How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy and Character and Viewpoint--both of them signed, I'm pretty sure. I found this website. I got onto the Writer's Workshop forums when I was sixteen. And of course I wandered over into this colorful part of the forums shortly thereafter.

So many hours spent perusing these discussion topics. So many lively characters. The text games. The poetry. The interactions and sense of community. I didn't post much, but this place was my first real foray into the internet, and really the only forum that I kept coming back to, again and again.

I was so persuaded by OSC's influence that I attended SVU to try to take classes from him. Unfortunately, those stars never aligned--I was either on my mission, or he was out of commission (I am glad that he recovered from his stroke!). I did manage to attend a workshop or two of his, though. And I've since attended and involved myself with LTUE in Utah. OSC, your legacy is vibrant and ever-evolving.

Seeing this forum close is seeing a large chapter of my life close. But I am glad that, through rain and shine, I still have OSC's influence and resources on hand. I have him to thank for a huge part of my creative outlook. He equipped me with the tools needed to write and to think about writing. I still have his books, and I still have so much more to read, to write, and to learn.

Thank you so much for being what you were in my life.
Posted by Trimegistus (Member # 12663) on :
I have been a long time lurker both here and at Nauvoo- when it was still up. Think I only had one or 2 comments on a few posts over the years. But like most, drifted away to other venues. So this shutting down likely doesn't sting me as much as it does many others. But I did think that this might be the best avenue for me to express my thanks.

I just re-read Lost Boys for the umpteenth time. While I have appreciated every book written by our host (Feels presumptuous of me to refer to him as Scott), this one resonates the most with me. As a child of the '80s, a computer programmer, a father of a disabled child, and a Mormon raised in the American South, how could it not?

Thank you for providing this space. Thank you for your engagement and thoughts over the years. Thank you most of all for having told and continuing to tell engaging stories of imperfect people trying their best to do to good and to love.
Posted by hawser (Member # 13415) on :
My heart refuses to say goodbye but I guess this is the way it has to be. I’ll always cherish our memories together here in the hatrack community. The only reason I am happy to say goodbye is that I know that life will find a way to bring us back together again. It’s hard to accept that the crossroads of destiny are making us part. I will miss you all mates! Take care.
Posted by matt (Member # 236) on :
When I saw the email in my inbox (of my much-cherished "pastwatch" hotmail account, no less [ROFL] ), I thought "Oh, an update to Hatrack...wonder what's going on with that."

I am surprised at the strength of the emotions that welled up when I read that this board is closing. While I was always a lurker, and only participated actively in a couple of handfuls of posts, my memories of both the internet & of truly falling in love with reading are tied up in this place. I met Mr. Card in Friendly shopping center at an independent bookstore that I can't even remember the name of now, when I was preparing to leave home for a residential high school - he was doing a signing, and on his advice my mom bought me Ender's Game. He was so kind and interesting...and his book! The next day I went back to that store, and I used my savings to buy every book of his that they had.

I went to every signing I could for years after that (in NC, anyway) - his books never failed to bring me into a universe, and while I loved some more than others (Pastwatch and Stone Tables both especially impacted me), I was grateful for all of them! To find out he was also so gracious with his time, well...I knew I had a favorite author for life. I then found this site...and learned how people could truly form a community even across vast geographic distances. I learned so much about various viewpoints in all kinds of topics from watching everyone interact here, and (I hope) learned to try to remember lots of good people could hold lots of diametrically opposed viewpoints at the same time...and still be good people.

I also enjoyed meeting a few folks from here...while I wasn't lucky enough to form any lifelong friendships like so many of you were, I met several others from here at the back of signing lines where we all waited with our bags full of books that Mr. Card was always so willing to sign. And he & Mrs. Card always took a few minutes to speak to us, too...and to our families. This made it so much easier to recruit my mom & my little brother to being fans, too... [Smile]

I know the board has changed over active posters dwindled, I began to find other ways to spend my time, too. I got married, and made her family my own, too...but I always carried with me my memories of this place. And even the end is largely good - it is allowing folks to come back to something from years/decades ago that made us all happy, and revisit it. And then we move on, and continue experiencing all of the new joys life hopefully has for us.

To all the members, old and new, thank you for being here, and for teaching me even when you didn't know you were.

And most of all, thank you to the Cards for sharing with us. You are good people, and our lives been much enriched by this place and your works. I will always be looking forward to your next book, article, or whatever else you choose to entertain us with.
Posted by Jarhead (Member # 11631) on :
I feel like I missed out on so much that was to be had here as a community, but I did catch some. I lurked around for a few years before finally deciding to make an account of my own in 2008. Still I found myself visiting much more than ever posting. Even when the posts became far fewer over the years, I still have found myself visiting at least once a month or so, sometimes more. And my life has been a bit brighter through these years thanks to it.

I greatly appreciate that a place such as this has existed, and I’m sad to see it move to the archive phase. Thanks to everyone for your contributions to this forum (what a great word).

Thanks to Orson Scott Card for his many wonderful books, and for what is yet to come.

To quote another author
“ For a great many people, the evening is the most enjoyable part of the day. Perhaps, then, there is something to his advice that I should cease looking back so much, that I should adopt a more positive outlook and try to make the best of what remains of my day.”

Posted by Troubadour (Member # 83) on :
Whoa, so many memories, so much time spent here... my first forum ever. Haven't been here in a while, but I still recognise a few of the names floating about.

Hatrack is a cherished memory for me, and I'm glad I got to stop in one last time.
Posted by Fourier Analyst (Member # 14785) on :
I was one of the first subscribers to OMNI magazine and encountered OSC's writings there starting in early 1979. I loved Ender's Game when it first came out, but it really wasn't until many years later when I had kids that it took on a new meaning for me. My adolescent daughter showed me the book she had "discovered" and was telling me how she really identified with various aspects of it. I had to dig thru shelves of books I had read to find my own copy and she was amazed! I reread it and realized I had not been taking time to read anything other than magazines and online stuff for years. OSC got me back into reading, and not only his stuff (still waiting on Master Alvin and The Queens BTW!), but other SF writers and genres. I've known about hatrack for years (I read the author's notes!) but never joined until I saw this was the last opportunity. I hope OSC and his family read this and know that OSC's writings and sharing of his own experiences has touch our lives along with so many others. While the opportunity to post here may be gone, the posts and the writings will still be around for others who follow breadcrumbs on the Interwebs and dive down rabbitholes to seek out buried treasure. Across time and space, connections will still be made, comfort will still be given, ideas and values shared, and we will all know that we really are not alone, no matter where we are in our individual journeys. Fare thee well.
Posted by plaid (Member # 2393) on :
I lived at an intentional community in Missouri from ’96-’04. There were a *lot* of OSC fans there – the communal library had almost all of OSC’s books – good fiction that addressed the relationship of the individual and their community? Yes please!

I lurked for a few years before joining Hatrack in 2001. The range of folks on Hatrack was fascinating. As much as I liked living in my community, I liked reading what folks elsewhere were thinking. And being on Hatrack after 9/11, as folks tried to make sense of it, was helpful.

The early 2000s were hard for me – health problems, my girlfriend in a bad accident, my mom’s sudden death. Hatrack offered a lot of comfort in difficult times. And later it was great to meet jatraqueros on travels. Going to Bob and Dana’s wedding – going to the wedding of folks I only knew from the internet? I loved the surrealism of the idea – back at that time, it was novel to tell people, yeah, I’m going to the wedding of these folks I only know through the internet! But there wasn’t anything surreal to actually being there, just a wonderful gathering of good folks.

I miss the exuberance of those days. I’d be awed at times to see a topic go several pages in a single day. They weren’t always happy topics – feelings got hurt sometimes – but I was impressed by how many folks had good intentions to try to understand each other and learn from each other.

I hope that forums, in some form or another, will become as good against as they were back then. I’ve never joined the toxic mess that is Facebook or Twitter. But I’m so happy to have been on Hatrack back in the day.
Posted by Zotto! (Member # 4689) on :
I think I found Hatrack around 1999 or so, probably sometime after Ender’s Shadow was published in September. I had been reading OSC books since I was 13 years old, and I officially joined the forums in February 2003, when I was 17. This place was one of my few bits of stability after I graduated High School, left my home in Hawaii to work with my Dad in Alaska, then spent the next few years wandering down through Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii, working odd jobs, occasionally taking college courses, and generally trying to figure out what I was doing with my life.

I was terribly lonely, and because my own life was not well-rooted, it meant a lot to me to be able to return here and find discussions about literature, politics, science, religion, philosophy, art, you name it. As a teenager, I got to listen in on smart grown-ups talking about issues that mattered. I still remember everyone’s names, and all our conversations and debates feel like they happened yesterday.

In fact, this place — the people here — was an integral part of my education. I learned that there could be smart people on every conceivable side of every conceivable issue, and even people I disagreed with could be good, well-intentioned folk of integrity. This place taught me how to reason in an adult way; to this day, I still think in terms of a good discussion here. That is, I approach topics trying to extrapolate the entire spectrum of opinion, seeing people as individuals with their own life stories that inform their beliefs. And on that note, the “Landmark” threads here were especially poignant; incredibly intimate portraits of a wonderful variety of unique people, from whom I learned a great deal.

I met lifelong friends here — Narnia, Annie, aka, tt&t, many others. And others, like Tom and Geoff, feel like old friends even though we’ve barely interacted in decades and they probably don’t even know who I am, haha. And of course, it was wonderful to meet OSC and Kristine at the Crystal City signing tour here in Oregon in 2003 with a bunch of Hatrackers.

Meanwhile, I loved looking through the old threads from before my time, digging up little tidbits and behind-the-scenes comments OSC had posted about this or that novel. The Q&As and writing advice sections were also very educational. I was more of a lurker than a regular poster, really, but I do remember some highlights such as talking with OSC about “consensus reality” around 2005, and having fun seeing him post in a sleep-deprived state while he was traveling in New Zealand, haha. It was so cool to be able to interact with my favorite author; in one thread, I even had the audacity to jokingly address OSC as “dude,” to which he responded that he had never felt so included, which was also a highlight. *grin*

It was always great discussing a new OSC book as they were released; I remember going through a period of depression, and my sweet Mom bought Magic Street for me, unasked, peeking into my room and tossing it next to me on my bed. And in 2007, when I was 21, Kristine contacted me and I was hired to write a sci-fi book review column for Intergalactic Medicine Show; that lasted a full year, and to this day, it is still one of the best, happiest jobs I’ve had.

And even though our esteemed host has made it clear he isn’t much of a hugger in real life, I will always be grateful he was tolerant enough to allow us young ‘uns space for the infamous Hug Thread, wherein schmaltz reigned supreme and we sappy over-emotional teenage geeks had a place to bond long-distance, me being one of the cheesiest curators/offenders. [Smile]

I have been sad to see the forum slow down over the years, and I had a feeling this was coming. I will miss this place more than I can express, and there’s an aching wistful melancholy in my chest right now, but it also feels like a good time to say goodbye and close this chapter. Onward!

I love you folk; you were part of what made me into me.

One more hug for the road?

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Hi everyone. I'm an obnoxious kid who some of you met when I was 15 in 1996, and I'd like to apologize for being an insufferable idiot then, and also when I was 20, and also when I was 25, and possibly in successive years since then.

The cool part is how many of you I've since met either in real life or else in enough other online places to know that you're real-real, and how cool is that? Maybe if I could go back in time I would tell my younger self how I would end up selling KarlEd a bunch of flans and delivering them to his house or how I'd end up on Jeopardy and while I was out in LA to film, Rivka would take me to dinner at a really nice Thai place or how KetchupQueen would leave a bunch of Lithuanian food leftovers at my house.

I'm certainly a lot less sure about the world than I was when I was a young idiot who read some cool books and was like "oh hey, I'm the cool, interesting type of person who likes sci-fi, I should go look up others online and talk to them like they should take my hot takes seriously." But I'm also grateful for all the love and grace I'd find along the way and all the cool, legitimate, real people I've met as a part of it all.

A lot of you know me online in other places now. Some of you I know so well on Facebook now that I forgot what your fake names were here. But if there's anyone who still wants to connect, find me on FB if you're an old fart like me, or follow me on Twitter @AnnekeM or look me up on TikTok where all the real fun happens.

Take care, and someone let me know if they get Jake Lloyd to play Ender.
Posted by Marek (Member # 5404) on :
Originally posted by Annie:
Take care, and someone let me know if they get Jake Lloyd to play Ender.

It's gonna be the kid from sixth sense
Posted by Mr. Y (Member # 11590) on :
I am going to miss this place. Though I wasn't really much of an active member during it's heyday, I really enjoyed the breadth of topics that were discussed. And the fact that the online community spilled over into real life, made it all the more precious. Connecting with other people is important and allows a person to grow in ways unforeseen.
Thanks to this forum I have grown to be a slightly better version of myself, a journey that I hope to continue in years to come. So, thank you to all of you whose posts have entertained and inspired me.
Thanks to Mr. Card for creating and maintaining this beautiful space on the net.

May you find knowledge and the wisdom to apply it in ways that will enhance your life.
Posted by millernumber1 (Member # 9894) on :
Last day. Feeling kind of sad. And if anyone does want to join the reddit or discord communities I linked on the first page, you will receive a very warm welcome. At least from me!
Posted by ricree101 (Member # 7749) on :
Hatrack has been a big - if sporadic - part of my life. I didn't make it here quite soon enough to be one of the truly early members, but I'd like to think that I've seen a sizeable chunk of this forum's history. I chose that word, "forum" deliberately. Before I ever arrived there were other places on other services. An AOL group, I know of, and perhaps others. It may be that some of the splinter groups of the community continue on other media even once forums themselves finally dwindle away. That would be nice to imagine, at any rate.

Like many, I came across Card's stories in my early adolescence. One of my middle school teachers used to start some of her classes with a period of silent reading. No assignments, nothing you would ever be tested or quizzed on, just a quiet period where a bunch of young students could read only for the sheer love of it. It never really crossed my mind back then how rare or precious that attitude was in a teacher, but it is retroactively appreciated.

More often than not I brought my own book, but for those that didn't she had a small rack of shelves stocked with fiction. As the year went on, the days where I brought my own book grew less and less frequent, because it turned out she had pretty good taste in what she stocked. That year I was introduced to a lot of authors who would go on to become favorites, including Tolkein and Dan Simmons. Most importantly, at least for this post, this is when I first came across Card. Speaker for the Dead, specifically. I had never read Ender's Game, never even heard of it, but the book resonated strongly, in ways that probably don't require explanation for the audience here. It would be another few years before I found my way here. Years where I devoured most everything written by him.

There's been a lot of ink spilled both good and bad about Card, and in interest of this goodbye thread I'll limit myself to speaking about what Card's work and this forum meant to me. There are few books, even when read young, that can truly impact a worldview. Speaker for the Dead is one of these. Its message of understanding the other had a powerful impact, and despite everything else that power has remained all these years later.

Coming to Hatrack, being able to meet a group of people who had that curious mix of similarity in mindset and difference in life experience that made for a rich and vibrant place to be. There have been other forums and communities I've been part of before and since, but this was the first place online that ever felt like a "home".

I wasn't always the most outgoing here (though I did manage over 2000 posts somehow), but that doesn't didn't in any way stop me from enjoying my time spent here. Even if I rarely talked about it here, Hatrack has been around for some of the best and worst parts of my life so far, and I've always been glad for that.

Above all else, I'm happy and grateful that I had a chance to be part of this wonderful community while it lasted.

Goodbye, and my fondest wishes to everyone.
Posted by Eisenoxyde (Member # 7289) on :
I've had a life long love affair with all of Mr. Card's works and own all his books. I first read Ender's Game while I was in 5th grade and it had a profound impact on my life.

I've lurked here more than anything (I didn't even register for the first 4-5 years) but Hatrack will always have a special place in my heart - especially the gift exchange. I want the Cards to know how grateful I am for providing this forum.
Posted by JanitorBlade (Member # 12343) on :
Hey, everybody. I confess that I'm afraid that this post won't be what this forum deserves. That I'm not up to the task of giving it a proper send-off. I'm not, that's the truth. And now that I can accept that, here's my farewell to all of you.

I'm not a man of few words. Often it feels like I'm desperately grasping at every word in the English language in a sometimes desperate attempt to be understood by those I'm speaking to.

I have ADHD, and sometimes I think I'm deeply attracted to the feeling of thoughts becoming words because I think, I speak, that makes me think. It's like perpetual motion. And talking about one thing usually pings my thoughts about something related, and I want to share that thought as well, and on and on it goes. Even this post is like that, and I'm trying very hard to guard against going on and on. Talking about myself is particularly deadly because on some level I always feel like if people only understood me more, I wouldn't be so awkward and annoying. I mean, after all, I like me a lot; and I'm an excellent judge of character. And there's nothing I know about more than me.

I'm rambling about me. So I'm going to try to full stop.

Papa_Moose was overwhelmed. I could see it. There were many posts expressing dismay, anger, frustration, concern over the community going to him, so I reached out and asked if he needed help, and volunteered to assist if need be. I can't remember if he responded initially but not very long after that he sent message saying Kristine Card would like to speak to me, as he'd be stepping down as moderator, and had recommended me as a replacement. I still smile at how excited I was that day.

And that's how I became moderator over 11 years ago.

Before even that day, this place had been slowly dying and continued to ever since. It's hard to describe what it feels like to attain something that feels like a crazy awesome dream come true. Then watch what felt like a country, become a city then a town, then a neighborhood, then a block of houses, and now a ghost-town.

But maybe a ghost-town is such an apt comparison. Something drew all those people to that location in the first place, usually proximity to commerce, natural resources, strategic value. So they built a town to live in since they'd found it.

In this case I'd like to think Hatrack drew people who wanted many of the same things, and found them here. We became a community. And we stayed until we couldn't get them here anymore, or because we found other things more compelling somewhere else. The idea that Hatrack by itself could perpetually remain a growing community as forum indexes like Reddit and Social Media platforms sprung up and drew people in ways no forum could ever replicate in retrospect seems naive.

From its early years, people have remarked that Hatrack as a community has undergone quite a few changes. I joined in 2005, which is considerably late for many people. I remember being in absolute awe at some of the massive post-counts already accumulated. By the time I joined, some of *those* natives had decided Hatrack was too different from what they'd wanted when they first joined.

Learning that relationships endings is OK, and that people move on and away from you is something I've always struggled with. In a way it's tender mercy that when people left Hatrack you'd rarely know it, other than they stopped posting. If it was standard practice for people to make a big deal about leaving and why they'd never be back, I'm sure it would have been my personal hell.

What a blessing this place was for me. I had no idea on that typical day at college, in the upstairs computer lab that my life was going to change forever. I know that's a cliche phrase, but it's absolutely true. I could never recount everything connected to this place that exerted an impact on me small or even huge.

That's part of what makes me sad to see it end. I wish everybody could have what I had here for a time. Hatrack was so many amazing things at once. But it was also treacherous. Many good people, had their hearts broken by the behavior of others in the community. The hosts were responsible for some of that hurt. I too bear some of the blame and responsibility. I'm so sorry for those who came here with good hearts, seeking something good, and instead found contention, fear, pain, anger, and enmity. To the extent I failed in my responsibility to prevent those outcomes, I feel regret, and will do better where I can; but not here obviously, not all wrongs can be righted. I hope you all find a way forward from this.

So what now? Well, that's up to you, my friend. One day this will all be gone, but the words we all said (some mundane, some incredible) still live.

I hope that something you take away from this post is that this place was amazing, because ordinary people made it that way. The power yet exists in all of us to build new communities around us. Some of us have already been doing so long after leaving Hatrack. Make Hatrack wherever you go.

I want to express my profound gratitude that this place existed, and I was fortunate enough to find it. My expression of that gratitude will be in trying to be the sort of person I found here, and who made it so beautiful for the rest of my life. Much of that transformation in me can be found by searching my posting history (Particularly as BlackBlade).

I'm sad to see this place go. But I also know that just as I had no idea such an incredible place existed out in the world - until I did, trust that there are yet even better places out there in the world, being built up, thriving, just getting started, and they're waiting for you to discover them. And with Hatrack being gone, there's space for you to fill it with something better, and you should! I want that for you.

Hopefully all this me going on and on communicates how much I care about you, the reader. I cared, and still do, about all of you who were a part of this place.

It is one of the greatest honors of my life to have been entrusted by the Cards with moderating this community. They will never fully comprehend what this place has meant to all of us. But you all know for yourselves. I can never repay them the kindness they've shown me over the years.

To us all, I hope our remaining days are well-filled. With what? Whatever would make us most happy is as unique as each of us. But I wouldn't have you get anything else.

Now, *looking around*.

I'd say - we did it! From start to finish, our forum is complete. The posts are written, all of them.

I like to think somewhere billions of years ago some microorganism devoured another microorganism and irreversibly set the path to Hatrack in motion. And now at the close, I wish I knew all the incredible things this place has set into motion.

I also wanted to thank all of those who took the time to share themselves in this thread. It was so kind of you to respond to my requests. I haven't given myself permission to read all of them yet, but I promise you I will.

Best of fortunes to all of us. My heart is full right now. What a gift it is here at the end of it all, to one last time feel a deep affection, and love for all of you as I write this.

I'll keep my memory of you all, and this place safe for as long as I can. I promise.

I love you. Yes - you. Most definitely you too.


[ September 02, 2021, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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