Vale Mac Tonnies

Today I am the bearer of absolute, absolute, crap news: Our good friend Mac Tonnies has passed away. I’m gutted. Mac was a deep thinker, an outstanding writer, and a wonderful artist – but most of all, he was a great guy. I felt a real kinship with him as someone who was able to be both analytical and logical, but also able to ‘let go’ and bathe in the weird glow of Forteana and speculative thinking (not to mention we shared a deep and abiding love of coffee). Mac contributed an article to Darklore Volume 2, and had tentatively agreed to write some entries on TDG once I sorted out the new layout of the site. We also discussed putting together a science-fiction ‘concept’ anthology a few times – I thought he would be the perfect person to organize and edit the collection – but it was a project that we just ‘never got around to’. And now sadly never will.

Greg Bishop has posted a note about Mac’s passing on UFO Mystic and Nick Redfern also, as has Paul Kimball of Redstar Films – Nick, Greg and Paul were some of his best buddies. Transhumanist George Dvorsky has also posted a tribute, pointing out his and Mac’s turbulent 3 year friendship.

If you’d like to take a moment to reflect on Mac’s writing, thoughts, and love of the ‘back-and-forth’ of the web, here’s some links:

Here’s one of my favourites vids:

This is such a terrible loss on so many levels. I know Mac wasn’t much for thoughts of an afterlife, but I for one hope he’s up there, pleasantly surprised (or at least, gasping as he emerges from his total-immersion virtual reality pod). Please post your thoughts if you knew or were touched in some way by the man, I’d love to hear your memories and musings.

Mac Tonnies was 34.

Editor
  1. Hi Greg,
    Mac’s passing is a

    Hi Greg,

    Mac’s passing is a huge loss, both personally for me and those who were lucky enough to be his friends, but also for all the people who had been inspired by his writing, and the many, many more who would have been inspired in the years to come.

    I too hope he’s found out what the truth is about being “posthuman” and that he’s enjoying his new reality.

    Paul

    1. So true
      [quote=Paul Kimball]Mac’s passing is a huge loss, both personally for me and those who were lucky enough to be his friends, but also for all the people who had been inspired by his writing, and the many, many more who would have been inspired in the years to come.[/quote]

      I agree Paul – there are very few people in ‘the scene’ who inspire me; Mac was one of those few. At the moment I just feel like stopping everything I’m doing.

      Beyond the ideas he transmitted, I think his writing ability hasn’t been acknowledged as much as it should. Stunning turn of phrase.

  2. Mac’s star was rising on the
    Mac’s star was rising on the fortean stage, it’s so sad to see it dim so soon. I’m shocked. My condolences to friends and family. I shouldn’t worry because I’m sure Mac’s friends are looking after them, but I hope his cats are okay too.

    Very sad news.

  3. Something nice
    I was very pleased to see that one of Mac’s favourite authors, William Gibson (Neuromancer), noted his passing on Twitter:

    Very sad to learn of the death of @mactonnies. Whip-smart young Fortean surrealist dudes are too thin on the ground to begin with.

    I’m sure Mac would have been pleased as punch to hear Gibson describe him in those terms.

  4. Chingada madre!
    What a terrible shocking news!

    Mac Tonnies was a great intellectual, and the world will miss the wonder of his much-anticipated book on cryptoterrestrials he was just finishing. [Greg Bishop informs that the manuscript was complete and ready to be delivered to the publisher, which is comforting amid this sad loss.]

    His blog Post-Human Blues was a great site full of wonderful things and thought-provoking things.

    Descanse en Paz, Mac. And thank you.

    1. Truly horrible news, and so
      Truly horrible news, and so sad. Life really is a bitch on times. RIP, Mac, you’ve left a huge hole in many lives, and will be greatly missed.

  5. Condolences to all…
    I never knew… or knew of this man myself but from my own experience with loss like this… and from the personal eulogies seen here so far, I feel I truly missed out.

    I am tempted to mention just what a tenuous situation we each have with life. Each moment that we draw a breath should be a rarefied moment that comes with some more complete understanding of our existence.

    But I guess, in the end, it is true that many of us not only don’t know what we have until it is gone, some of us won’t get to know what we missed along the way… until we find that it is no longer there to be known.

  6. My Condolences
    My condolences go out to Mac Tonnies family and friends and may Allah (God) be please with his work on earth. Did not know him, but listening to his YouTube clip on UFOs; I can feel that he was a true Free Thinker.

    My Condolences,
    Fahim A. Knight-El

  7. Bewildered
    Mac was one of the few people in the whole scene that I’d ever been able to connect with on a personal level — it was only a few tweets here and some replies to his blog there, but just those tiny points of connection meant a lot to me.

    I don’t have the words to describe what I feel at the moment. Wherever he is now, I hope he’s enjoying himself.

  8. A great loss
    It has been hours now and Mac’s passing still hasn’t properly sunken in. His passing is a great loss on so many different levels and I’ll keep his friends and families in my thoughts through this difficult time.

    It is good to hear his book was largely complete – I have followed his thoughts on this for a while and it always struck me as an important contribution to the debate, a reminder that there are a lot more theories out there we should be looking at. It should underline his legacy as one of this generation’s Fortean free-thinkers.

  9. we must all accept death. we
    we must all accept death. we must all accept that the future has no causal place for us in how it unfolds – except as as decaying molecules. he understood that. it would be nice if we all had longer than we really had. the truth, which we all try to find, is just not the way we all would like it to be.

    rip

  10. I’m so, so sorry.
    I’m so, so sorry. Condolences to us all, for whom the bell indeed tolls. I hope that he’s finding out about now that posthumanity is actually pretty uptempo.

    R.R.

  11. Momento mori.
    It’s not like serious forteans with serious writing chops are thick on the ground. Looks like Charlie was right: the divine mind isn’t sane – otherwise It would have left him alone for a bit longer.

    I know I never knew him but when I read Nick Redfern’s piece yesterday morning, it took the wind out of me. It’s guys like him that reinvented the fortean for this transhuman age and give it a cyberpunk edge (so reading William Gibson’s tribute finally made me smile).

    And also because I’m 35. What do I have to show for it? He’s done more than twice as much as I probably ever will be able to. But our generation of forteans, his generation, now need to step up and do their best to fill the oversized void left behind. While we still can.

    Life is so brief and I’m always forgetting. We are as mortal as the world is strange.

  12. Goodbye, Mac
    I’ve been misting up since I heard the news. Posthuman Blues was a regular stop on my daily journey. The mix of musings, Forteana, art, music, videos (so mucch a reflection of a curious and interesting mind) was always eagerly anticipated. We never met, just exchanged a few comments via the blog, but I genuinely liked and respected him.

    Now that I’m getting a bit long in the tooth, when I see younger people of Mac’s calabre I always feel the future is safe. Today, the future seems a little more at risk.

  13. Too soon
    Not up to speed on much of his work. But I will now. The clip on UFO’s is brilliant. UFO have shaped us. And we aren’t much closer to knowing what they are. At least the general public is not. Hate it when someone dies so young, with such a keen mind.

  14. Coincidences…
    After Mac’s passing, I was interested to see a comment on Paul’s blog from someone who dreamt of Morrisey during the week, and who took it as a sign of sorts (Mac was a huge fan of Morrisey and The Smiths). Raised my eyebrows then after seeing this on the weekend:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/8324492.stm

    Strangely (and unfortunately) befitting of the circumstance of the passing of a Fortean investigator.

  15. Oh no!
    Oh my! I only came to know about Mac’s passing last week! Can you imagine?! Last week! I was a regular follower of his Posthuman Blues Blog and read his book “After the Martian Apocalypse”. I even spoke to him a couple of times and chatted via email several times. I am still in shock to hear this sad news. My heart goes out to his family. He was such a brilliant character, brilliant mind and an overall awesome guy. I was going to meet him this year (I’m from Australia). Mac..you will be missed. RIP mate!

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