They called you a pessimist in your Times obit. Fifth paragraph, first page, impossible to miss. Is that some bullshit? A pessimist is someone who has given up on the whole situation. Most folks, I'd guess, would probably give up after dragging a score of burnt up corpses out of a city's worth of rubble. Or if they then went on to watch their country dragged by its nose into Korea and Viet Nam to do some more burning, maybe that's when they'd give up.
You never did. You kept on believing that we, we the population of this planet, might actually learn something if the lesson was presented well. And you presented it pretty goddamn well when you put your mind to the task. Your actions define optimism.
So I submit this note of appreciation, now that it is too late, from myself and every other ex- high school science fiction nerd. Thank you for showing us how to laugh in the face of horror. Thank you for teaching us that it is never really the end of the world, even though it seems like it is all the time. If I had the grant money I'd put your books in every library in the world.