This was WAY up and down... I liked some of the shorts, though I had already read a number of them.
The convention speeches really gave me insight into the FAR RIGHT MCCARTHY-ISM this guy had going on - at least earlier in his life, and in fairness, it was kind of a sign of the times.
It just caught me by surprise as I have an idea where this author ends up on the left / right scale - IE: dial pointing slightly to the left of the L - think analog dial if that one stumps you...
And though his change is quite dramatic, I cant think it should be too surprising, we all change as we grow, as long as we keep growing as people that is. I hate to meet people in their 30's or 40's who think all the same things they did in their teen's and 20's. If your life experience dont mold you at least SOME you need better life experiences or something...
Anyway, the personal stories were worth the price of admission in my book. I dont think anything really means more in getting a sense of a person - short of actually talking to them - than hearing a bunch of rambling goodbyes from people who loved the decedent.
All in all this is a worthwhile read, and mostly as coherent as this type of collection / tribute can be - I didnt really think much of Larry Niven's alt timeline short story, which in itself is surprising, as I have LOVED most of what he has written without Jerry Pournelle (Footfall & Oath of Fealty just didnt do much for me - Maybe just a letdown after things like The Integral Trees, Smoke Ring, Destiny's Road, & assorted tales of Known Space)
Not that it wasnt well written or thought out - it just felt out of place to me in this otherwise pretty homogeneous amalgam.
All in all this is a must read for fans of RAH - you may just want to save it for last.