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Port Starboard
No.11 - January 1994

It Goes On The Shelf
Published at The Sign of the Purple Mouth by Ned Brooks
713 Paul Street, Newport News, Virginia - 23605

Cover art by Sheryl Birkhead (somewhat inferior in clarity to the print version!)

Will It Goes On The Shelf go the way of It Comes In The Mail and die of over-inflation? It is only December 4, and already the box where stuff accumulates (or breeds, perhaps?) is full - including covers from three artists. So I will get out more than one issue in 1994, but the deadwood on the mailing list will be severely pruned - if you don't get this, that's why.

Art from Orphia by Emil Vulev

Curt Phillips sends a mint copy of the 1990 Bulgarian sf magazine Orphia - I have a vague notion that I once went to the trouble of getting an International Money Order or some such thing and sent it to an address in Switzerland for a copy of this. But I never got it. It's quite a production - about the size of a digest-size prozine here, but all on coated paper with lots of color art. The cover price is $4.50, but there is also a tiny silver stamp saying `Free Copy', so perhaps it was given away at some convention.

The text is all in good English - they credit both an English Editor and an English Sub-Editor - but the enormous staff seems to be all Bulgarian. There are some 15 editors under an Editor In Chief, Atanas Slavov, and an Art Director. In addition, they have both International and Bulgarian `Literary Boards' - the only name I recognize is Boris Strugatzky.

The art is quite spectacular, if to some extent what we would call surrealist rather than fantasy/sf, though I don't know that any firm line could ever be drawn between the genres. There is some beautifully printed white-on-black art as well. There are two stories by the famous Karl Capek, and a brief description of a movie to be made of Strugatzky's Hard To Be A God, and a story by the Strugatzkys.

The typesetting is excellent, though without ligatures, apart from occasional booboos like a missing hyphen and a line-break hyphenation of blon-des.

The small presses seem to have started sending me more review copies - unfortunately most of it is stuff I am incapable of reviewing. Perhaps I will make a separate list at the end, though I somewhat doubt if I should waste paper on New-Age psychobabble that isn't even bizarre enough to be funny.

Daniel Quinn, whose novel Ishmael I wrote about last issue, says that he enjoyed IGOTS but that I was wrong to assume that the title was a reference to the protagonist of Moby Dick; and that I should not attribute the ignorance of the narrator of his novel to him. Well, I think anyone could be forgiven for assuming, from the format of Ishmael, that Quinn wished to be identified with the narrator... Quinn says he has another novel in the works, already accepted by Bantam, called A Newcomer's Guide to the Afterlife.

Richard Dalby sends a card and three neat books - Tedious Brief Tales of Granta and Grammarye by Ingulphus (so that I now have two), and Dance and Skylark and Man and Bird and Beast by John Moore. I have been reading this last, and like all of Moore's books, it is great. There is a bullfrog that could be called out of the pond by its owner; and Moore explains how in `Fifth Form' (whatever grade that is) he learned to make nitrogen tri-iodide, which only explodes when it is dry, and put the dust on a floor where the cockroaches ran - probably better than boric acid, if a bit noisier...

Walt Willis sends the usual page of blarney...

"That was fascinating about the answer to the question `Why is a mouse when it spins'. As I remember it the question was `How high is a mouse when it spins' which in the light of your explanation makes a lot more sense. {I think it was How high now that you mention it. Anyone who didn't read the previous issue will only be more confused to know that the correct answer is The higher, the fewer !}

Yes, I too wish you had been around in the Fifties. You'd have fitted in well. I see you as a sort of American George Charters, who also had a weakness for unusual books. I remember one he told me about was by a local author who had his book printed by a firm of vanity publishers and kept all 800 copies in a seaside bungalow he owned. One of the peculiarities of this bungalow is that all the furniture was coated by tar by way of a preservative, which also applied to the parcels containing the books. George had actually read the book, which contains an episode in which the hero was kidnapped and held in a disused cottage on an uninhabited group of islands called the Skerries, off Portrush in County Antrim. His life was saved by his pet cat, which swam across from the mainland with a potato in its mouth. {When I was a child I had a book about a boy and his cat who were both starving, and the cat ate a dictionary and was then able to speak.}

`Beaded bubbles' {I had mentioned being addressed as `icy beaded bubbles' by the late lamented Avram Davidson} comes from Keats' Ode to Psyche -

Oh for a beakerful of the warm South
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim

Art from Tedious Brief Tales of Granta and Grammarye
by E Joyce Shillington Scales

The mention of the book on how to exaggerate and fabricate your resume reminds me of an article by Francis Towner Laney in the Insurgent issue of Spacewarp called


{At this point in the typing (about 8:40 the night of Sunday, December 5) a sound like a large power drill was heard and the lights went off and on and then stayed off. The fuse box was found to be in flames and the closet shelf and assorted rubbish burning. I beat it out with a wet towel and called the fire department. They sent five trucks and an ambulance, but all they actually did was put a little water on the box and set up a fan to clear the smoke. Two days and $1000 later, I am running off a new breaker panel - and the insurance paid the $1000. The new computer does not appear to have suffered from the disturbance - perhaps because it is still hooked up through the Variac transformer that I had to put in for the old Osborne, which would bomb because it didn't like the high voltage - up to 126 as compared to the nominal 115. We now return to the regularly scheduled letter...


Art by Bok? or Knight?

I Am A Great Big Man. This was a special issue of Arthur Rapp's fanzine which was one of the best issues of any fanzine ever published. As well as a Rog Phillips article called Christ, An Autobiography, it had this article by Laney in which he presents an account of himself which is based on nothing really but which looks really imposing. It reminds me of Bob Shaw's version of sf fandom which he gave to a prospective employer and which made fandom seem like an ideal proving ground for technical journalists. I wish I could remember his exact words, but they were something like `writing articles for limited circulation magazines dealing with imaginative extrapolation of current scientific developments'.

I loved the idea of someone trying to convert the Pope to Anglicanism.

I remember well the story about the anti-war activist who leaves a loaded gun with the inventor's son, but I can't remember who wrote it. It was not long after the time I gave up my subscription to Analog, which would put it in the late Sixties or early Seventies." {See below - it's The Weapon by Fredric Brown}

Tom Cockcroft says that he thinks that the picture on p.77 of A Hannes Bok Treasury (from Underwood/Miller, ed. by Steve Korshak, reviewed lastish) is not by Bok at all, but perhaps by Damon Knight. There is a `K' in the lower left-hand corner, which, judging from the upper left-hand corner, has not been cropped. This `K' looks a lot like the final K in BOK, but of course if Knight did it, he meant for it to look like a Bok...

Chester Cuthbert sends a fine photocopy of the Wallace Smith story from the 1952 Fantastic Science Fiction #2 - Curt Phillips had previously sent me a copy of the Wallace Smith story from the first issue of this pulp - which only had those two issues. But Chester has both issues and checked them carefully, and found no mention of how the magazine came to be publishing these stories 15 years after the author's death. Wallace Smith was noted as the illustrator of Ben Hecht's Fantazius Mallare, and I have been trying to compile a bibliography to his work, both art and literature - I have yet to discover why all of his art in the spectacularly grotesque style of the Hecht book appears only in a handful of books from 1923-24. I have found nothing before 1923, and the work after 1924 is in an entirely different style.

Chester also sends a page on Canadian/US Customs at that previously open border, by a small book distributor named Inland - Inland claims that their shipments have been held up, while the larger operators like Ingram and Baker & Taylor have no delays. I still have no answer from the Conadian committee about how a small amateur US dealer like myself would get stuff to Winnipeg, though I have written them twice.

Robert Whitaker Sirignano writes to say that my account of the R. A. Lafferty cassette tape from United Mythologies that I mentioned lastish is incorrect - this is a tape of his interview with Lafferty in at the 1977 Birmingham DeepSouthCon, not the GoH speech from the 1979 New Orleans DeepSouthCon that I was thinking of - this GoH speech has been published, but not released as a tape.

Robert also sents a listing for the 1971 film version of David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus. This was the work of a B. J. Holloway at Antioch College, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, an 85-minute low-budget feature with a cast drawn from the student body. And yet it reached a rental catalog - if anyone has a video copy I would certainly like to see it!

Stewart Sayah has traded me some Bok material, including the rather lewd unsigned 1946 artfolio that the late Gerry de la Ree did from the original - not very good, but of great historical interest. Stewart may let me have a copy of the Engels artfolio too, I've never see that; and he suggests that I reprint the old Bok Index that I did back in the '70s. Well, I don't have the time or energy to retype the thing, but if I could get it scanned in, I could `reprint' it, with corrections, in the sense of making a copy for whoever wanted one. I have gotten a page scanner from TigerSoft, but as of the end of 1993, I have not been able to get it to work - there seems to be software missing. I have written them about it, but have had no reply.

Art by Hannes Bok, design and calligraphy by Alpajpuri

George Scithers notes a COA to 123 Crooked Lane, King of Prussia PA 19406-2570, and writes a page and a half about my comment in #10 on the matter of the contention by Justice Rehnquist that federal habeas courts must rule only on procedural claims, not errors of fact - thus resulting in the execution of Lionel Herrera by the state of Texas, in spite of evidence that he was innocent. "Actual innocence", says `Justice' Rehnquist, "is not itself a constitutional claim". George, who must have been a lawyer before he went into publishing, contends that this is the only practical approach. The trouble is, Texas (and Virginia and other states who are hot for the barbarism of capital punishment, mostly for political reasons) have set up their procedures so that there is only a very limited opportunity for appeal based on errors of fact at the state court level. As a result, poor defendants will inevitably be executed unfairly except for the unlikely event of a review by the governor, as was done in Virginia in the case of Joe Garragiano. And in some states the governor does not have the power to stop even an obviously unjust execution. My opinion is that there should not be any executions whatsoever - The US shares with South Africa and a handful of third-world dictatorships the honor of being the last countries on the planet to slaughter helpless citizens in this way.

On another aspect of the justice business, George says that the Exclusionary Rule, which forbids the use in criminal trial evidence of illegally obtained evidence, is a benefit only to people who did commit a crime, and does nothing for innocent people whose property was illegally searched or seized. I do not agree. I think the record shows that the Exclusionary Rule did prevent quite a lot of illegal search and seizure - until the force of it was gutted by the `drug war' procedures, which apparently allow anything to be searched or seized at any time with no practical recourse by the victim.

George also says (on November 10) that Weird Tales 308 will be out in `about a month' - I'm looking forward to it, as always. The two Avram Davidson books from Owlswick, designed as a matched set, are out:

Adventures in Unhistory by Avram Davidson, Owlswick Press, Philadelphia, 1993, 307pp, index, illus. in b&w by George Barr, $24.75.
Or $50 for the boxed, signed, numbered edition. The art for the d/w, reused as the frontispiece, is a wonderful drawing showing Avram as a medieval mage in his den. Some of the book titles are legible - I particularly like `Lunacy as Solace' and `The Frigid Phoenix'! The remaining art consists of little page-corner pastiches, one for each chapter. This material appeared in Asimov's, Weird Tales, Amazing, and Amra, mostly in the early '80s; and consists of erudite speculations on legends such as the werewolf, the unicorn, the phoenix, and Aleister Crowley. Wonderful stuff!

Cover art for Adventures in Unhistory by George Barr

The Adventures of Doctor Eszterhazy, as above, 1990, 366pp, foreword by Gene Wolfe, d/w in color by George Barr and interior decorations by Todd Cameron Hamilton, $24.50.
Or $50 for the boxed, signed, numbered edition. The 13 Dr. Eszterhazy tales appeared from 1975 to 1989 in a halfdozen prozines and a pb collection, and I always enjoyed them. They take place in an alternate history that was much happier for the region now in the news as the remnants of Yugoslavia - Bosnia, Serbia, etc. Avram called it the Triple Kingdom of Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania, and had it ruled by King-Emperor Ignats Louis and a comic-opera bureaucracy - but it was a mostly peaceful place in which Dr Eszterhazy could conduct his enquiries into the supernatural.

Prince Valiant, An American Epic, Vol.III by Hal Foster, Manuscript Press (Box 336, Mountain Home TN 37684), $100.
This from a set of flyers sent me by the publisher, Rick Norwood - I wonder if he would have sent me a review copy if I hadn't mentioned in SFPA that I couldn't really see why this color comic strip reprint is called `An American Epic'. It takes place mostly in a sort of medieval Europe, I think. I remember reading it as a child in the Sunday paper, and there are a lot of castles, swords, knights in armor, kings and queens, etc. The Vols.I and II are available at the same price (these three volumes consist of the strips for 1937, 1938, and 1939, respectively), or you can get a leatherbound goldstamped omnibus volume for $850. Even I wasn't old enough to read the funny papers when this stuff came out - I was born in 1938 - but it was still running in the mid-forties. Well-drawn, as I remember, but I don't have any strong nostalgic longing to read it again.

...In a World Not of His Own Making by Stephen Papson, Blue Canary Pub. (Box 754), Canton (NY), 1993, 197pp, wraps, $7.95.
This unsolicited review copy of a trade pb has a ghastly awful cover credited to a Mary Powers. The author teaches `cultural studies' at St.Lawrence University. It is sf set 25 years in a future that is really unbelievably bad - I don't think things will fall apart that quickly, there is a lot of inertia involved.

Relatively well written, but the expository lumps need stirring and the style is plebian. Calling a car a `road mobile' just uses extra ink and I don't believe that will happen in the next 25 years either.

I wonder why the order form is to `The Conservatory of American Letters, % Debbie Benner' in Waldoboro, Maine? I have not noticed either whether the abuse of `%' for c/o is very common.

The Russians are publishing a lots of translations of English fantasy and sf - Fiodor Eremeyev at Kubin Ltd in Ekaterinburg notes that they have done a set of Arthur Machen and some Lovecraft and are working on Sherlock Holmes. He also inclosed their Holmes flyer with a fancy silhouette cover; and a Newsletter from the UNESCO Club of Ural State University. This last is 32pp of small print, all in English. The Lev Kosheev column is almost as funny as Dave Barry!

John Lennon In Heaven by Linda Keen, Pan (Box 1286), Ashland (OR-97520), 291pp, wraps, $16.95.
I think I returned a postcard to ask for a review copy of this book, just because of the title. The author is a medium (I use the common word based on her description of the process, she doesn't seem to call herself a channeler or any of the other terms) who has been in contact with the famous Beatle since his death in 1980. She admits having read all of the available material about him in advance, and quotes where Lennon said that his own spirit guide was a Dr Winston O'Boogie.

The conversations with Lennon are interesting and rational. Keen tries to represent his Liverpudlian accent in the text, but doesn't overdo it. The only graphic is a handwritten song - both words and music - that Lennon sings.

Robo Frog ed. by Janet Fox, Scavenger's Newsletter (519 Ellinwood), Osage City (KS-66523-1329), 36pp, wraps, illus, $3.
Can't find the art credits. Janet publishes this yearly - it consists of the winning entries in the Killer Frog Contest. One entry may have made it just on the title - Gregory Nicoll's Hitler's VampireElephant Girls Are Coming To Suck Your Peanuts.

The Century of the Typewriter by Wilfred A. Beeching, British Typewriter Museum Publishing, Bournemouth (England), 1990, 280pp, wraps, illus. photos & diagrams, $25.
This is a trade pb revision of the 1974 book of the same title. The author, who is Director of the British Typewriter Museum, has added some photos - one shows Margaret Owen, who typed 125 words/minute for an hour on an Underwood 125 in 1913, a record that is said never to have been equalled; and another is of Beeching and his wife in 1939 (in his WWII uniform), and again in 1989. For the typewriter collector, this book is indispensible, as it is the only one even to attempt to relate the machine serial numbers to the date of manufacture.

1873 Sholes & Glidden typewriter

Another photo added since the earlier edition is of a letter to his wife typed in 1830 by the inventor, William A. Burt - obviously ahead of his time, as the first machine built for sale didn't appear until 1875.

I just bought in a local thrift store for $15 an old black Triumph portable typewriter - judging from the photo in this book, it must be a 1929 or later `Perfekt'. It is in excellent condition, and has a Russian keyboard. I haven't been able to find the serial number, but Beeching was only able to get the post-war production statistics for Triumph, so it won't help date it anyway.

I cannot resist mentioning the camping tent offered in a recent DAK catalog. It comes in 2 to 6 man models (at $100-200), and all you do it take it out of the case and throw it in the air and it falls to the ground fully erected and ready to use - what a skiffy idea!

Chester Cuthbert notes that Charlotte Armstrong's suspense novel Mischief was included in Marshall Tymn's American Fantasy and Science Fiction index - someone wasn't paying attention, as this novel has no sf or fantasy content whatsoever. I remember reading it as a child (as a Reader's Digest Condensed Book, I think) and Chester sends a full summary. Chester says I was credited in this index, but apparently that did not earn me a copy - at least I don't find it here. Perhaps the indexer was thinking of Josephine Pinckney's Great Mischief, which I think has a slight fantasy content.

Chester says he also enjoyed The Undying Monster mentioned in #10, and recommends that I read the Sacherverell Sitwell Poltergeists, and says that he thinks the diary mentioned in #10, The Boy Who Saw True (by a boy who could see ghosts and auras) is authentic.

Mr. J. Harrison in Blackpool England sents a form letter suggesting that I send 10 pounds (about $16) for his catalog of `fine collectable books'. The cost of the catalog is deductible from an order - but he does not mention what field these books are in!

In Coils Of Earthen Hold by Steve Sneyd, Mammon Press (12 Dartmouth Avenue), Bath (England), 1994, 239pp, 6.50.
This collection of Steve's poetry from the 70s on includes, he says, many sf poems. The price is in pounds and does not include shipping. I have not seen this book, which mysteriously enough is part of a University of Salzburg series on Studies in English Poetics edited by Dr. James Hogg and Holger Klein - but even if I had I would hesitate to give an opinion on it. I can seldom think of anything to say about a poem, even if I like it.

Roger Sheppard offers to trade me the International Directory of Book Collectors for IGOTS. I have something like this from some years ago, long out of date.

Art by Daragnes for On Board The Morning Star

On Board The Morning Star by Pierre Mac Orlan (trans. from the French by Malcolm Cowley), A&C Boni, New York, 1924, 120pp, illus in woodcuts by Daragnes.
No indication of to what extent this is supposed to be factual. It is told as straight narrative, very episodic, by one of the `gentlemen of fortune' on a large (70 men) pirate ship, the Morning Star (Captain George Merry), that raided from the Caribbean to Newfoundland in the early 1700s. Some names and places that could be checked are mentioned, such as Blackbeard and the governor of North Carolina, Charles Edin. But then again, the author seemed to believe the legend of the Flying Dutchman, and mentions Captain Flint (who was supposed to have buried the treasure on Stevenson's Treasure Island) and his ship The Walrus. True or false, it is interesting and beautifully written.

The Book Thief by Philip Weiss, Harper's Magazine, January 1994 - an account of the bibliomaniac Stephen Blumberg, who was arrested in March of 1990 for stealing thousands of rare books from libraries all over the country. There were garbled accounts of the affair in the newpapers - the books were exaggeratedly said to be worth $40 million. Weiss says $3 million would be more like it. But Blumberg, from a wealthy family and well provided for, apparently had no interest in them for their monetary value. He just wanted to have them, and also seems to have enjoyed outwitting the security systems. Weiss interviewed him and people who knew him, and visited and photographed the house he filled with bookcases to hold his loot. He also had some 50,000 doorknobs stolen from condemned buildings that he liked to break into. Of the 18,900 books that the FBI seized, 11,500 were sent to Blumberg's father because no evidence that they were stolen could be found; and only 3000 could be returned to libraries. No explanation of what happened to the other 4400 is given.

There is a photo of Blumberg - he looks a bit like Edgar Allan Poe. He will be out of jail in 1996.

Noriega's Monologue and other poems of Bushwhacking by Mark Rich, MSP Press, Beloit (Wisconsin), 1990, wraps.
Mark sent me this collection of poems on the Panama mess. I think it is a bit too deep for me. I told him I hoped he sent Noriega a copy - I wonder if it is possible to send Noriega anything? I can't even remember if the powers that be - the people with the most guns - ever agreed exactly what his status is.

George Locke at Ferret Fantasy (27 Beechcroft Road, Upper Tooting, London SW17 7BX, England) sends a fascinating catalog of sf and mystery titles, some very old and obscure. I think I once met Locke some 25 years ago, at the worldcon in St.Louis.

Art by Vinnie Ream Goode for The Winged Ship

The Winged Ship by Solon L. Goode, American Farmer Co., Indianapolis, 1897, 79pp, illus by Vinnie Ream Goode.
Is it science fiction or fantasy? This story in verse, beautifully printed and bound in a maroon cloth with gold stamping, was written, according to the preface, for Goode's son Jamie, who was ill with `scarlatina'. Goode admits to borrowing Palmer Cox's Brownies for his characters, but then has them build a `winged ship'. In the illustrations, this ship, rather than being a sailing ship like the vessel of The Ship That Sailed To Mars, looks more like very early notions of airships. It has a cylindrical body with conical ends and airfoils rather like a lady's fan on both ends and the middle.

In bright Elfin Land,
far o'er the Shetland lea,
Four Sprites of renown
new worlds set out to see.
They built a weird ship
which would sail through the air,
But whence would they go?
O, they did not care where.
They had most queer names,
these dear frolicsome boys;
They were Yinks and Blucks,
little Blinks and Samois.

They waved to sweet Venus,
the Goddess of Love;
Said Blucks to the boys,
"she's as sweet as a dove;
Her face is so fair
and her teeth are so white,
A prize would she prove
to any loved sprite.
If Cupid would shoot her,
I'd marry the dear;
But then, folks at home
might think it was queer.
No, I'll be true to my duckie
I left on the strand,
Like Gideon of old
with his toes in the sand."

and so on. The pages are printed recto only, and all numbered odd.

The three artists that sent covers are Sheryl Birkhead, Alexis Gilliland, and Brad Foster - leaving me with a relative embarassment of riches in cover art. Sheryl asks when Vaughn Bode died (July 18, 1975) and notes that she used my mention of the recent Virgil Finlay books in her column in Astromancers Quarterly, which is fine - except she spelled it Findlay five places. I take no responsibility for that! Alexis, of all people, got one of the bad copies where half of one page was printed off the edge of the paper. I found a half-dozen or so of these and fixed them - I sent Alexis a replacement. The big machine that prints both sides, collates, and staples is better at Kinko's but cheaper at OfficeMax - and OfficeMax is closer... Alexis notes that he has married Lee Uba, and indeed I met her at the SciCon here in November where they were Guest of Honor. Brad says he appreciates it when I mention some really odd title that he has a copy of! Brad also seems to be having trouble with the current desk-top publishing software - I can't do anything with it. I have something that is supposed to work through Windows, but I can't make anything work very well through Windows. This zine is produced from the old bit-mapped FancyFont typesetter in DOS, using the simplest possible editor, Norton Editor.

Mark Owings, the Electric Bibliographer, was actually the first to respond to the previous issue. He says he read that the Wallace Smith story She Was A Creature of Fire and Death in Fantastic Science Fiction was a retitled reprint - but Chester Cuthbert actually has both the zines and could not find any mention of the source, so where did this information appear? Mark also mentions some details I had not heard before about the Hubbard/Crowley connection - it seems that right at the end of his long life, Crowley put all his occultest secrets in Merlin's Sword, which circulated in manuscript among his closest followers, one of whom was also involved in the beginning of Dianetics; and then Hubbard is supposed to have put all his secrets in a manuscript called Excalibur. The two books are said to be identical - that is, Hubbard plagiarized Crowley but never published it! Mark notes that the animated anti-war film Where The Wind Blows mentioned last time was released in 1986, and is on video. Mark also mentions my note that the US is the main arms supplier to the world's tyrants - and says that he monitered accounts showing that many of these arms sales were paid for by the US taxpayer through the Defense Security Assistance Agency by means of `loans' that were never repaid and probably never intended to be repaid. The doings of the `black budget' part of the US government would make a pig puke - in my opinion the only hope of an honorable government is the scrutiny of a free press.

Bob Bloch writes to say that he appreciates the material lastish on the Salem witch trials, as it explains the mysterious note at the end of Cotton Mather's last book - `I must go now. I have a pressing engagement with Giles Corey'.

My sister says that she and Mom have been reading IGOTS to each other - ghad, I'll have to watch what I say... She says that it's Abbey Road, not The White Album, that has Paul of The Beatles barefooted on the cover. Dave Hall also caught this error. The mistake was from the silly `backwards masking' book by Aranza - it would never occur to me to try to remember record album art. My sister likes to acquire literature from audio books, and says Mark Childress is very good.

Gene Wolfe sends what he says is the weirdest thing he could find - an autographed 16-page booklet called A Wolfe Family Album printed for him by United Mythologies for distribution with Letters Home. It's mostly photos, some of his family and some of fans and pros at various cons. Much thanks!

Kip Williams, too lazy to write, called on that devilish device inflicted on humanity by Alexander Graham Bell and said that the story about the anti-war activist who gives the scientist's idiot son a pistol is The Weapon by Fredric Brown. I see from Norm Metcalf's index that this appeared in Astounding in April 1951, and from Tuck that it was reprinted in the collection Honeymoon in Hell, which was translated into Spanish, French, and Japanese. I have the pb of the collection, and the story is pretty much as I remembered it - the activist gives the name `Niemand' (which is German for `no one', I think) and when the scientist (who was about to give the government an `ultimate weapon') retrieves the pistol from his son (a 15-year-old with the mind of a 4-year-old), he thinks to himself in italics only a madman would give an idiot a loaded pistol.

Roger Dobson sends a copy of a column about Arthur Machen that he wrote for the Antiquarian Book Monthly of Sept'93 - says that a copy of the very rare poem Eleusinia recently sold for only $150 in Chicago. Roger thinks that Ben Hecht's Fantazius Mallare and the sequel Kingdom of Evil may have been inspired by Machen, and notes that the make-up for the elderly Kane (played by Orson Welles) in Citizen Kane was inspired by a description in the latter book. He notes that Hecht visited Machen in London in 1919. He says Hecht later ghosted the life story of Marilyn Monroe, and that he likes to think of Hecht introducing Marilyn to Machen in heaven! My mention of the European firm that demanded my VAT number reminded Roger of the story of the US publisher who ran across Christina Rossetti in a poetry anthology and was so impressed that he asked for her address, fax, and phone number... Maybe he wanted a date!

Michael & Sally Phillips (Box 1402, Findlay OH 45840) send a sample copy of their monthly newspaper The Printer ($20/year). A little techical for me, but I like the quote Time spent in the print shop is not deducted from one's lifespan - maybe I should go back to printing IGOTS myself. Maybe the computer typesetting counts... This paper is full of remarkable information that I would never use, like how to print on napkins with a Kluge. A Val Iengo in Florida has a long column claiming that OSHA (the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is declaring presses called Heidelberg Windmill and Kluge unsafe so that they will be sold cheap to Mexico - and he seems to be sure that this is a communist plot. And I see they have an ad for Mergenthaler parts - probably never hear from them again now that they know I print from a computer!

We also heard from, even if only a Christmas card (CC) -

David Bates (CC) sends a supernatural ballad by Stan Jones, the same composer that wrote Ghost Riders In The Sky. This one is called The Soul O' Big Jack Dunn.
Ruth Berman writes that her father met Josef Holbrooke during WWII and bought a good many of his scores, including the Bogey Beasts with the Sidney Sime art that I reprinted several years ago. Ruth also notes that she is typing up her notes on fantasy fiction and fantasy criticism in Victorian periodicals. On the back of her letter is a xerox of a poem by Ruth Plumly Thompson with art by Charles J. Coll (was he related to the Joseph Clement Coll who did art for Haggard and other adventure writers?).

Bill Bridget (CC) - and the card is attached to the front of one of his hardcover mimeo productions on ancient SFPA feuds and the Book of Thoth and even more arcane matters.

Margaret Cubberly (CC) has started collecting Angela Carter.

Hank Davis (CC)

Eric Ferguson III (CC) says that being poor `sucks', not an original observation - apparently he feels he retired from the AF too soon.

Al Fitzpatrick (CC), a fan I first met in Australia in 1975, sends a long list of the books he has gotten through - he must read faster than I do...

Diane Fox (CC), who got the use of her husband John's computer and was immediately infected with logorrhea... But she promises to send me some strange books from Down Under in Oz!

John & Serena Fusek (CC)

Jim Goldfrank (CC)

John Francis Haines, who collects poetry and likes the camel library idea mentioned in #10.

Mary Gray (CC)

Dave Hall, who writes me all the time anyway, notes that Giles Corey is in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible.

George Hoak at Memorable Books in Stone Mt. Georgia, where I usually find something good when I'm down there, says there is a new series of Book Fairs in the Atlanta area - probably never when I am there!

Arthur & Bernadette Hlavaty (CC)

The Revd John Howard writes to approve Avram Davidson's comments on the proper use of the `Reverend' or `Rev.' (as it is usually abbreviated here), saying that it is a description, not a title. He publishes as The House of Moonlight, and incloses a 4-page leaflet with a poem by a Martin Randall that reminds me of Shakespeare's "tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" - though the words are poetically assembled. But if we don't agree about poetry, I expect we agree about other matters, as I see he uses a mailing label from a local (British) chapter of Amnesty International - opposes the death penalty and torture. How did we come to have a government that is in favor of the death penalty and torture? What are governments for if not to prevent such barbarism?

Kim Huett (CC) and homade at that.

Binker Hughes (CC)

Ben Indick (CC) says not to mention that he is writing a... Oh yeah... He says he has a Tim Kirk cartoon for sale, but doesn't say how much; and that he has a copy of the Introduction to Islandia mentioned in #10, in paper-covered boards, that sold for $1 new.

Roger Jackson, whose monstrous bibliography of Henry Miller was mentioned last time, sends a packet of photoprints from the book and a sheet of reviewers praises. Any Miller fan interested in this material let me know.

Herman Stowell King (CC), an old fan who had a good book review in the local paper.

Steve Korshak, who wrote on his law firm stationary - always gives one a chill to hear from lawyers - but just to say he appreciated the review of the Hannes Bok Treasury. I suspect that the pieces on pp.59 and 77 may not be by Bok at all - but I don't plan to sue for false advertising!

Regina Krummel, who is my age (56 by the time this appears) and still teaching 8th Grade - there are still heroes in the world...

George `Lan' Laskowski of Lan's Lantern fame notes a COA to 1306 Cherokee, Royal Oak MI 48067-3386, says he and Maia Cowan have bought a house - congratulations (or condolences, as the case may be)!

Eric Long-Mayer (since his marriage to Mary Long) says that he still uses a typewriter but ribbons are getting hard to find - the only current source I know of is the `universal' ribbon sold at OfficeMax and such places.

Dave McClintock sends the Roger Zelazny & Gahan Wilson A Night In The Lonesome October and a very silly Far Side cartoon and an Edgar Wallace catalog of over 100 items subtitled A Celebration of Literary Fecundity. He suggests that I pass this on if not interested - alas, he does not note anything else with Mahlon Blaine art - Blaine did illustrate a magazine appearance of one of the Sanders stories.

J R `Mad Dog' Madden writes that he enjoys IGOTS and asks whatever happened to the Southern Fandom Confederation. I thought (as did he) that Sue Francis had taken it over, but Madden says his letters to her are unanswered. But just before I finished editing this issue a new SFC Bulletin from Sue appeared with JR's name and address prominently displayed so I guess that's ok.

Frances Needham, who says she enjoyed #10 even if she didn't like my review of her psychology book that I recieved as an unsolicited review copy. I have recieved similar tomes since, but I don't think I will mention them unless they are spectacularly psychobabblish.

Dale Nelson writes that the first story he wrote on his new word-processor was accepted by Rosemary Pardoe for a 1995 Ghosts & Scholars.

The New York Public Library Acquisitions Division, who requested a sample issue...

Rick Norwood, who liked the William Blake quote that I screwed up the typesetting of, and quotes Kenneth Rexroth on Blake.

Sue Orr from the wind-tunnel, who used to make us bourbon balls at Christmas.

Tony Pizzini asks if I know anything about a 1951 Peter Pauper book called Cooking To Kill, The Poison Cookbook by Ebenezer Murgatroyd, illustrated by Herb Roth - I have heard of Roth, but I suspect the author's name is a pseudonym.

Andy Porter, who sent a bundle of issues of SF Chronicle, which I enjoyed and sent on to Tom Cockcroft.

Jessica Salmonson, who insists that Orson Scott Card is a `monster' - and even worse, she sold the zines I wanted to Forry Ackerman... Jessica quotes Card from a Mormon magazine called Sunstone to the effect that `the laws against homosexuality' should be maintained and enforced - but it isn't clear from her mention whether he was talking about state laws, military regulations, or Mormon religious precepts.

Nick Shears, who once sent me a fanzine from South Africa, and now lives in England. His Christmas Newsletter includes a photo of a cute daughter with the remarkable name of Thembi.

Ken Slater writes that the word attendee that I used in a previous issue and drew complaints from Bill Danner is in the 1991 Oxford Encyclopaedic Dictionary but not the 1966 Concise Oxford Dictionary - I guess Oxford, at least, accepted it in the last 25 years! Ken also noticed that I typoed `foot taster' for `food taster' in retyping a letter from Walt Willis - if Walt noticed it, he was kind enough to say nothing!

Steve Sneyd, who says that gallowsglass (the word is a transliteration from the Gaelic and has nothing to do with either gallows or glass) was a general term for a Celtic chieftain's bodyguard rather than specifically a food-taster; and that the name Granta is used for the section of the river Cam adjacent to Cambridge University. Steve also claims that Space Train by Terence Hailes (probably Lionel Fanthorpe) is the world's worst sf novel.

Rita Tait at the Arthur Machen Society in Caerleon, Wales, sends a card agreeing to accept copies of my latest Machen book, Guinevere and Lancelot in lieu of dues. The card shows Ye Olde Bull Inn in Caerleon.

John Wright (CC)

Joel Zakem

Typing completed January 15, 1994

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