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Interior art by Winter from Can It Be Done?, and other bits identified in adjacent text.
Chris Drumm in his book catalog #91 questioned whether the Dave Hall condensation of The Night Land is the same as Hodgson's own short version The Dream of X, published by Don Grant in 1977. It is not - Hall worked from the Ballantine 2-vol. paperback of 1972, presumably almost identical in text to the 1st edition of 1912. Chris ran a correction in the next catalog, which I appreciate.
The booklet mentioned previously, Quest for the Green Hills of Earth, with the C L Moore story Quest of the Starstone, all known verses of the filksong, and two pages of music, has now been published by the Purple Mouth Press at $5.
Phone Cards - I don't mean phone credit cards, but cards that are sold with some amount of phone-use value in them and then discarded when it's used up - if you use such things, perhaps you could send the empties. Alan Hunter, the British fan who did the Green Hills of Earth art, wants them for his son. If you know any US collectors, he sent some British samples I could trade. Frank Dietz kindly sent two issues of a magazine devoted to such things!
Lost Fan Alert - I would like to get addresses for Cindy Heap, Elliott Shorter, and Chuck (Jason) Rein so I can send them copies of the Green Hills of Earth booklet published in August.
Boomer Flats Gazette is a Ray Lafferty fanzine published by Dan Knight of United Mythologies Press (Box 79777, 1995 Weston Road, Weston, Ontario M9N 3W9, Canada) who also publishes Ray's books. Dan is looking for material for the zine (personal anecdotes, convention stories, etc.); and for archival copies of Lafferty correspondence (Dan will pay the copying and postage costs). Write for his catalog if you are interested in Lafferty.
Brief Candle by Emil Petaja, illustrated by Hannes Bok, privately
printed c.1938, 25 pages.
Bob Chambers kindly sent me a photocopy of this very rare booklet of poetry. Would Steve Sneyd consider it sf poetry? Well, there is a poem about Conan...
In the same package was a full-page illo (p.28) from the March 1942 issue of Stirring Science Stories, apparently contained within the text of the story Blind Flight by Millard Gordon, which has Bok art on the title page. But is p.28 by Bok? It doesn't look like his work to me, and has no signature.
Century (Box 9270, Madison WI 53715-0270) sends their 16pp `special preview issue', hinting that I should subscribe ($27/6 issues a year). The editor is a Robert Killheffer, and he says they intend to publish literary material in the genre. The four fragments given as samples are not bad, though I never heard of any of the authors. The only art is an atrocious collage cover.
Undaunted by the nasty remarks above (recycled from lastish), Meg Hamel (the publisher) sent me the first two regular issues of the magazine. Alas, the cover art (which is the only art there is) on these is not likely to provide any hint that the stories are sf. If there are to be no newstand sales perhaps this is irrelevant. I don't like them anyway - they are not offensive, just dull modern art that `means' (if anything) something about the artist's digestion that day but doesn't illustrate anything.
The fiction, on the other hand, is quite good on average. Much like F&SF before Rusch perhaps - a mix of good stories and stories that have ideas and characters and atmosphere but seem to end in the middle. I hear that the third issue has an Avram Davidson story, so the zine might amount to something yet!
Curio is another new magazine trying to get a foot in the door - they got Seth Freidman's Factsheet Five mailing list and want recipients of their ad to copy and pass it along for them. I can't make out from these pages just what M Teresa Lawrence plans to include in her magazine other than `artistic and cultural expression' of some sort, but she doesn't think small - the first issue is have 50,000 copies. She wants subs (4/$12), advertisers ($50 for a 1x2-inch ad), submissions, and letters; and even wants to know which national advertisers the readers find unbearable - I myself certainly would not miss the tobacco ads. If you are interested, the address is Box 522, Bronxville NY 10708-0522.
This Olde Office (68-845 Perez Road, Suite 30, Cathedral City CA 92234) sends a slick color catalog to Warnell Brooks, proclaiming that he had ordered it - well not really, a cover letter explains that they sent it to the mailing list of a typewriter collector's magazine called ETCetera. Oddly enough, the letter is addressed to Cuyler Brooks. I am glad to have it, the pictures of restored vintage typewriters are beautiful. Not that I could afford any of them - the 1896 Williams is $1250. They even show two antique staplers and a 1909 Rotary Neostyle mimeo.
The Man in the Tree by Damon Knight, Berkley, New York, 1984, 246pp,
Odd that I don't remember ever hearing of this book, and only got around to reading it ten years after publication. It is an excellent blend of theological and parallel-world sf, well plotted with strong, interesting characters - reminded me a bit of the early Sturgeon I liked so much. Perhaps it wasn't published in this time-line at all, but slipped over from the universe next door.
Taral Wayne, whose art I had admired in fanzines since the 60s, is another of the old fans who had slipped off my mailing list. Now he has sent some art that will appear on the next issue, and a flyer on his current publications as Kiddelidivee Books (245 Dunn Ave, #2111, Toronto, Ontario M6K 1S6, Canada). He even offers a $12 computer disk with 30 .GIF files of his fuzzy critters.
Going Home and Other Amateur Writings by Edith Miniter, Moshassuck
Press (2311 Swainwood), Glenview (IL 60025), 1994, illus photos, 950pp, $65.
This small press belongs to Kenneth W. Faig Jr. I met him at some cons in the 70s, but had lost track of him - Gavin Smith sent me the flyer. The book is in an edition of only 100 copies. Edith May (Dowe) Miniter was a major figure in the apas of the late 1800s and early 1900s, and a correspondent of H P Lovecraft - one of the items in this book is a parody of HPL. But I never got a copy - By the time Ken got my letter the edition was exhausted.
Death Stalks the Night by Hugh B. Cave, Fedogan & Bremer,
Minneapolis, 1995, 574pp, illus by Lee Brown Coye, $29.
This is edited by the late Karl Edward Wagner, and was to have been a Carcosa book. Cave originally wrote these stories for pulps of the 30s (the original appearances are listed). I am not sorry I got the book, what with the Wagner connection and the Coye art, but I rather doubt I will ever read all the stories. The few I have read are about enough - they seem to consist entirely of a cardboard hero rescuing his cardboard girlfriend from some demented fiend, with as much gruesome torture and violence as can be gotten into the ridiculous plots. Since the stories were not written for fantasy pulps, there was apparently a requirement that the plots turn out in the end to have a rational explanation - farfetched though it might be.
Master of Fallen Years by Vincent O'Sullivan, ed. by Jessica Amanda
Salmonson, Ghost Story Press, London, 1995, 273pp.
I got this directly from Jessica's Violet Books (Box 20610, Seattle WA 98102) and have forgotten what it cost - only 400 copies were made. The only art is the nightmarish d/w by Steven Stapleton and the Beardsley art in the front of the binding. I had never heard of Vincent O'Sullivan (1868-1940), but Jessica brings him to life in her introduction. The stories and the eight poems put me somewhat in mind of Poe, except that O'Sullivan was Irish, and one of the stories is a fable in dialect. And he was not as insistent as Poe on having an ending. Well worth Jessica's having resurrected from oblivion!
The Sea Ape by Frank Crisp, Coward-McCann, New York, 1959, illus by R.
M. Powers, 255pp.
This adventure novel, one of a series probably intended for the `young adult' market, showed up used in Lebanon TN, site of the annual DeepSouthCon. The illustrator (called `Dick Powers' on the title page, later became famous for his abstract covers on sf paperbacks. When I glanced through it and found the hero being fired on by an ape with an underwater rifle, I thought perhaps I had found a fantasy to rival Werewolf vs the Vampire Woman or A Perfect World - but this is just a competent adventure novel with lots of technical jargon, set in the China Sea.
Who Goes Here? / Dimensions by Bob Shaw, VGSF, London,
1988/1993, 219/217pp, 3.99/4.99.
I am told that these British pbs (the prices are in pounds) will probably never be published in the US because our stuffy publishers think they have too much fannish jargon. The packaging is a bit confusing - the name of the hero, Warren Peace, appears at the top of each cover in letters larger than the title at the bottom, so that I had some amusing sessions with bookstore clerks in this country who wanted to sell me the Tolstoi novel, before I learned that the books were only available in England and ordered them from Ken Slater (Fantast (Medway) Ltd, Box 23, Upwell, Wisbech, Cambs. PE14 9BU, England), who knows what's what. Excellent comic sf, with some philosophy lurking behind the loony plot and demented puns.
The Printer's Devil by Chico Kidd, Baen Books, New York, 1995, 280pp,
A gift from Toni Weisskopf, the Duchess of Baen... I find the author's name unlikely - chico is Spanish slang for kid as used to mean a child. The cover art is extraordinarily good, and is attributed to two artists, Newell Convers and Courtney Skinner. It seems to be from an oil painting, and yet has that peculiar `feel' (like the art in the Japanese reprint of The Ship That Sailed To Mars) apparently induced by computer manipulation of the image.
An excellent fantasy built around Italian opera music and the British hobby of `change ringing' church bells that many readers are familiar with from Dorothy Sayer's The Nine Tailors. The chapter heading verse is well-chosen too, especially a fragment of Kipling's The Old Issue, a great poem I wasn't familiar with. It may be a first novel - there is some slight clumsiness in the characterization and details of the plot. If so I hope the author does many another. I would love to know whether there really was a Fabian Stedman who extended the notation of change ringing during the reign of Oliver Cromwell.
The Lost Frankenstein Pages by Bernie Wrightson, Apple Press (Box
610), Greencastle (PA 17225), illus, 50pp, wraps, $8.95.
Well, I doubt any of them were lost, but most of these did not appear in the 1983 Marvel edition. A few pages from the Marvel edition are reproduced for comparison with a sketch or variant. Well worth having if you like Wrightson's work, which at its best reminds me very much of Franklin Booth.
Space Train by Terence Haile, Eclipse Books, Dee Why West (Australia),
nd, 160pp, wraps, 0.65.
I recently discovered that I owned a battered copy of this skiffy epic, which Steve Sneyd and Ken Ozanne claim is the world's worst sf novel. It does have a lot going for it in that direction - the cover, to start with, seems to be a jumble of bits from color photos of marine crustaceans with a machinist's scribe stuck in for contrast. But it's not in a class with A Perfect World or Werewolf vs The Vampire Woman. Except for the 3000 mph train which uses both rockets and a magnetic effect to keep it on the track but somehow is immune to inertial effects, it is just a mildly silly soap opera - at least so far. I have not yet reached the giant crabs (`as large as buses') promised by the back cover blurb. On p.104 the train, which has just gone into passenger service from London to Glasgow, has suddenly left the tracks and headed off into space instead of making the planned stop at Birmingham - thus justifying the title at last. The Prime Minister and his entire cabinet are on board, along with a horde of VIPs. On p.115, our hero is found in the cab - the Earth looking like `a football, with great undulations and cracks spreading over it' and finally buckling his seat belt and fixing his tie as an extra precaution ! On p.117 we see that the author's notions of a vacuum are as deficient as his feel for gravitation and inertia - the hero injects oxygen from a pressure bottle into the air system of the train, and sees a cloud of `foul air' appear from the exhaust:
"The cloud of foul air hung in space, and Mike wondered, idly, if some future generation of space adventurers would find that tiny air pocket in the gigantic vacuum of the universe. It might even be the means of saving someone's life!"On p.142 the giant crabs from the blurb finally appear, and, the author having run short of idiocies, the typesetter is forced to increase the interline spacing about 16% to make the book come out the right number of pages...
Return to Sender / The Secret Son of Elvis Presley by Les &
Sue Fox, Western Highlands Pub. (Box 4206), Tequesta (FL), 1996, 339pp, illus
This is a review copy of a book scheduled for release January 8, and the publishers rushed it to me as part of a kit that includes a b&w photoprint of the d/w art, a `reward poster' offering `up to $100,000' for the discovery of the son of Elvis Presley, and an oval badge with the d/w art (which I can add to my collection of sf convention badges).
Frankly, this is a piece of crap - or maybe it's just that I never cared for Elvis. The characters are cardboard, the plot (Elvis arranges to have several blonde sons by in-vitro fertilization of unsuspecting married women) is silly, and the book wouldn't be half the length if the authors didn't feel they had to give up the full brand-name details of everyone's clothes, jewelry, furniture, and automobiles.
Peculiar People by Augustus Hare, edited by Anita Miller & James
Papp, Academy Chicago, Chicago, 1995, 303pp, illus. by the author, index,
This autobiography of one of the great British eccentrics was edited down from an earlier 6-vol. edition. Hare lived from 1834 to 1903 and was famed in society as a story-teller. He spent most of his life traveling about visiting his innumerable relatives and collecting weird stories. He was a good writer too - I don't think he was more than mildly neurotic himself, but his mother and the aunts that raised him seem to have been quite insane. The illustrations consist of a painting used in the d/w and numerous sketches in the text, including a signature mouse used as a section divider.
WFMU Catalog of Curiosities, Summer 1995 - As you might suspect, WFMU is a radio station (91.1 FM in East Orange NJ). Why do they have a catalog and why did they send it to me? They have the address right, but the name as `Cuyler Jr' - my full legal name is Cuyler Warnell Brooks Jr (no secret, it's on my return-address stamp). Some fan on the staff perhaps, but I don't recognize any of the names listed as writers. Anyway, their address is Box 1568, Montclair NJ 07042. They offer a wide selection of lunacy in this 56pp catalog - David Koresh on CD, Anton Szandor LaVey on 10-inch LP, Quayle T-shirts, Clinton saxophone playing, Nixon (ptui!) speeches, Mongolian cowboy music from Tuva, an instruction manual on how to be invisible, etc. Apparently they have a catalog because they lost their main source of support when Upsala College went out of business.
Chedworth and Other Sites by Annabel Thomas, Arbor Vitae Press (BM
Spellbound), London (WC1N 3XX), 1995, 63pp, illus. by Althea D. Wood, wraps,
This book of verse is edited by Johnathan Wood, who is also the publisher. The price is in pounds, it would be about $8 in US funds.
The poems are inspired partly by country life in the Cotswolds, an area of Gloucestershire and partly by the Roman and prehistoric remnants discovered there. Alas, my taste in verse is primitive and limited to much older efforts that have some rhyme and rhythm to them, I don't know what to say about this sort of poetry.
Dunkiton Press #1-3 published by Ruth Berman, 2809 Drew Ave S, Minneapolis MN 55416, $4 the three issues. These fanzines are loosely based on interest in L Frank Baum's Oz books and related literature. The first is about the work of Ruth Plumly Thompson in the Philadelphia Bugle in 1915, the second about gnomes (with some of John R. Neill's wonderful artwork), and the third about mermaids, with a reprint from a 1903 Minneapolis Tribune of an account by `The Only Boy Who Ever Saw a Real Live Mermaid' - he married her and they lived happily ever after, in San Jacopo. Really.
A Rare Company, 521pp, $12.
Monster Green, 307pp, $8.50.
Mac, 245pp, $8.
The Mineral Kings, 152pp, $6.
An End, 100pp, $6.
All written and printed and published by Bradford M. Day (206 Water Street, Hillsville VA 24343. Brad Day is one of the great sf bibliographers, from the days before computers made it so much easier. He is currently revising his Index to the Weird and Fantastica in Magazines. These xerox-printed books, all in double-column on 8.5 by 11 paper, are sf novels, except for the last, which is a collection of stories and essays.
Most interesting to me were the essays, especially the one on constructing very large parabolic mirrors and the one proposing that voting should be compulsory from the age of 5.
The Frightened Giant by Cedric Belfrage, Secker & Warburg, London,
1957, 235pp, appendices, d/w, $3.95.
In spite of the British imprint, made for US distribution by Weekly Guardian Associates. The author was one of the victims of the `anti-communist' witch hunt led by Senator Joe McCarthy, but he did not go quietly. The title refers to the US of that time, and the d/w shows a shaky Lady Liberty about to drop her torch. Belfrage was jailed twice and then deported in 1955 for editing a newspaper that the MacCarthyites didn't like, The National Guardian.
The Vampire in Literature by Margaret L. Carter, UMI Research Press,
I don't have this, but someone asked me for it several years ago and I never could find a listing. Here it is for 14.95 (sterling) in a catalog from Delectus Books (27 Old Gloucester St., London WC1N 3XX, they take MasterCard & VISA), who also offer at 14.99 (sterling) a 1995 reprint of Charles Nodier's 1820 Lord Ruthven and the Vampires, said to be the first vampire novel (predating Dracula by 80 years). I mentioned Nodier's Trilby, the Fairy of Argyll in IGOTS 9.
The Bleary Eyes vol.4, selected by John Berry, Guinea Pig Press (Berry
and Ken Cheslin), 1995, 52pp, illus. by ATom and others, no price noted.
The fourth volume of reprints from the 50s - Berry notes that chronologically the action of the seven stories falls between that of TBE 1 and TBE 2, so this is really TBE 1.5... The stories about the demented misadventures of the Goon Detective Agency are by Berry himself, Walt Willis, Bob Shaw, James White, and one by the artist Arthur Thomson (ATom). Willis also contributes an introduction to The Goon (Ireland's Pekinese Drummond) whose title will be a dead loss to those who never heard of Bulldog Drummond... Great stuff, especially the wonderful ATom cartoons.
The Unknown Prophet Jakob Lorber by Kurt Eggenstein, Merkur Pub. (Box
171306), Holladay (UT 84117), 1994, 79pp, wraps.
One of two trade pbs that came to me as unsolicited review copies. This smaller one carries no price, but the larger, The Lord's Book of Life and Health by Lorber himself, is $24.95. Holladay must be a suburb of Salt Lake City, as this book has that as the city but the same Zip code.
This book tells an odd tale I had never heard before. In 1840 in Graz, Austria, a 40-year-old music teacher named Jakob Lorber is said to have recieved a divine revelation, which he was to write down - and he wrote several hours every day for the next 24 years, producing in the end some 10,000 pages. The entire 25-volume opus is kept in print in German by Lorber-Verlag in Bietigheim, Germany, but was not available in English until Violet Ozols of Boronia, Australia, began to to translate it in 1979.
Lorber's books were a sort of slow-motion best seller - in the 100 years between publication in Dresden in 1879 and this first bit in English in 1979, a million copies are said to have been sold.
This booklet undertakes to `prove' the validity of Lorber's revelation by comparing it to later scientific developments in cosmology, sub-atomic physics, paleontology, technology, and so on. As you might expect, such claims are difficult to evaluate because Lorber did not have the words used in current explanations. He does seem to insist on the existence of the `ether' (which most physicists now have discarded) and of enormous impenetrable shells around certain galaxies. This last is physically impossible, but could be taken to refer to the closed sub-universes predicted by Einstein's physics. Someone has done a lot of work here - there is a bibliography of works consulted, including the 1971 German translation of I. Asimov's article on the neutrino!
Should we all rush out and buy the English translations as they become available, or learn German so that we can read the original? Alas, wherever Lorber is quoted directly (in English translation) he seems to be quite as dense and mystifying as Swedenborg (who is said to have predicted him).
Brainstorm by Walter Dean Myers, Dell/LaurelLeaf, New York, 1979,
illus photos, 90pp, wraps, $1.25.
Behind the dull color photo that is used for a cover on this mass market pb is an even duller book... Can a human mind actually be stolen? asks the blurb - I doubt that all of the minds involved in this production would add up to a good halfwit. The text is oversize, double spaced, and consists mostly of inane dialog; while nearly half the pages are badly staged and badly lit b&w photographs. The first photo is just a fragment of a high-speed photograph of a lightning bolt, an eighth-inch wide white line wandering across an otherwise black page!
The characters are referred to only by first names, mostly of one syllable (Karen is as exotic as it gets); but the alien planet Suffes is inhabited by Suffessians... Here is a sample of prose from p.32, one of the few with almost no dialog: What was the sweep ray? What had attacked Mano and Greg? The machine had no answers. Finally Helen asked the computer for a table of equals. The table had just been finished. Karl gave the sign. Helen turned off the machine.
Karen and Ron went over the printouts. They stopped short at the table of equals. Here the chapter ends with a fuzzy photo of `printout' on which is superimposed the image of some text in OCR font in which the word `equals' appears often. The following chapter goes on about the `sweep ray', but the significance of the `table of equals' is never mentioned again.
This book is said to be aimed at the `young adult' market and must be part of a conspiracy to destroy science fiction - anyone who got the impression that this is typical sf would certainly avoid the stuff like the plague!
American Ghosts & Old World Wonders by Angela Carter, Chatto &
Windus, London, 1993, 146pp, 13.99.
The price is sterling, I got it from Hamilton for $7. Angela Carter died in February 1992, and this posthumous collection is mostly from magazine appearances 1988-92. I have most of her books (Margaret Cubberly says she has them all!) and I am currently reading The War of Dreams (published in England as The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman).
Angela Carter knew she was dying (she had lung cancer) and left instructions on a number of books in hopes they would make money for her family. So far I have read only the first story in this one, a wonderful story about a small girl at the circus.
An Index on the Weird & Fantastica in Magazines by Bradford M. Day
(206 Water Street), Hillsville (VA 24343), 1995, 258pp, $10.
This is an updating of the same title from 1953, a 400-copy mimeo volume of 162 pages with an elegant art deco binding. The new one is xerox, and not as elegant - but where else will you find an index to both Eeries; or Radio News and Practical Electrics (which became The Experimenter) and contained early sf based on those inventions. Some 65 magazine titles are covered, and a dozen of the old publishers, and paperbacks. There is a 3-page bibliography on witches, and another on Atlantis, also Big Little Books and Monster magazines. The price includes domestic book-rate postage.
Tales from Tartarus edited by R. B. Russell and Rosalie Parker,
Tartarus Press, Horam, 1995, 202pp, 14.95.
A Ramsey Campbell story, one by our own Dale Nelson, one by Russell himself - 15 in all. The other names I am not familiar with. Russell says in the introduction that these are weird tales, and they certainly are, each in its own way. The price is in sterling, the equivalent in $US would be about $25.
Worming the Harpy by Rhys Hughes is also from Tartarus Press, in a matching gold-on-black d/w, at the same price. This is a collection of weird stories subtitled and other Bitter Pills. The rich poetic style is rather like that of R. A. Lafferty, with every name a pun or a literary reference and little regard for our consensus reality - but the images are much darker than Lafferty's. On the other hand, there are also lines that seem to have escaped from a skit by the Goons or the Pythons...
The full address is 5 Birch Terrace, Hangingbirch Lane, Horam, East Sussex, England.
Tales of the Lovecraft Collectors by Kenneth W. Faig Jr., Necronomicon
Press (Box 1304), West Warwick (RI-02893), 46pp, wraps, $5.95.
Four pieces that Faig did for the Esoteric Order of Dagon apa. I enjoyed them, just the right level of obsessive documentation of the non-existent - or is it?
Bare-Faced Messiah by Russell Miller, Henry Holt, 1987, 390pp, illus
photos, index, $19.95.
This is subtitled `The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard'. I had heard of it but didn't have a copy until I got one in trade from Wilson in Norfolk - he had the mint 1st edition for $9.50. I have been asked about Hubbard's connection with Aleister Crowley - there are 11 page references in the index. I think both men suffered from delusions of grandeur and were trapped by their own legends! Hubbard got a lot richer at the `create your own religion' con game than Crowley did.
Hubbard's connection to Crowley was through a LASFAn named John `Jack' Whitesides Parsons, said to be both a scientist with expertise in explosives and a sorcerer who ran the LA branch of Crowley's O.T.O. in the 40s. Jack Williamson knew Parsons, and Alva Rogers moved into the mansion that Parsons had inherited but had to rent rooms out for the income. Lou Goldstone introduced Hubbard into the Parsons circle, and Hubbard became Parsons' assistant in an attempt to perform sexual magic in a ritual devised by Crowley that would lead to the birth of a `moonchild'. Hubbard had already seduced Parsons' girlfriend Sara, and another woman was found to be the mother. The ritual was performed (apparently no child was ever born) but while awaiting developments, Parsons and Hubbbard noticed how broke they were. Parsons, Hubbard and the girlfriend formed a company to buy yachts on the east coast and sell them on the west coast, and Hubbard and Sara took off for the east coast with $10,000 of Parson's money. They bought three yachts (mortgaged) and were having a high old time when Parsons caught up with them. The partnership was dissolved and Parsons took two of the yachts and left them with one. Then Hubbard married Sara without bothering to divorce his first wife, and Parsons got careless with nitroglycerin and blew himself up. As far as the Miller book goes, Hubbard had no further contact with Crowley. It would all make a great movie!
The Chronicles of Krystonia by Beau Dix and Mark Scott, Beau Dix, np
(England), 1987, 166pp, illus in color with 10 plates and a 2-page map by Mark
Newman, no price.
Can't resist a fantasy with a map, especially since it is mint and only cost $2 at a thrift store. Apparently self-published, all on heavy coated stock and bound in simulated leather, gold-stamped - but no place of publication or price - the d/w flaps are blank. The story involves the usual wizards and dragons and the artwork is rather Disneyish. Perhaps it was originally part of some sort of board game.
Twisted Clay by Frank Walford, Horwitz, London, Melbourne and Sydney,
1966, 224pp, wraps, $1.
Diane Fox sent me this from Down Under. It is a reprint from 1933, and the first edition was allegedly banned. A sort of `bad seed' story, quite well-written and certainly sexually explicit for 1933. I have only read about 40% of it and the heroine, still a teenager, has already seduced three men and murdered her father...
The Iron Man & The Tin Woman, by Stephen Leacock, John Lane,
London, 1929, 307pp.
Also from Diane, this is subtitled `And Other Futurities'. It consists of about 50 short lunacies by a master of the genre. Reading it is a little like listening to Firesign Theatre.
Can It Be Done? by Ray Gross, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1933,
136pp, illus by Winter.
Each page of this book is a sort of cartoon showing some proposed invention. I think they will reduce well to serve as art in this issue. I see that there is a copyright by Famous Features Syndicate, so they may well have been a newspaper or magazine series. Fascinating to look through - some of the proposed inventions have since been accomplished and others look impractical to me, but they all address a real need.
Foulois and the U S Army Air Corps 1931-1935 by John F. Shiner, United
States Air Force, Washington DC, 1983, 346pp, illus photos, index.
Another thrift-store item, perhaps Terry Jeeves will want it. Maj. Gen. Benjamin Foulois was a WWI veteran who ran the Army Air Corps in the early 30s. This period was noted for the advance from wooden to all-metal planes, and an ill-fated scheme for the Air Corps to carry the mail (there being no war handy). Heavy sucker, all on coated stock.
Science Fiction Fandom ed. by Joe Sanders, Greenwood, Westport (CT)
and London, 1994, 293pp, bibliography, index, glossary.
Greenwood books come with no d/w to put the price on and I mercifully forget what I paid for it. I got it from Bob Madle, one of the contributors, who kindly inscribed his long chapter on pre-WWII paleo-fandom for me.
There are 24 chapters by assorted BNFs - the Coulsons, Terry Jeeves, Harry Warner, even the late Jack Gaughan (must be a reprint), Sam Moskowitz; and they got a chapter each by fans from China and Japan. I appear in the bibliography as compiler of the Bok index, and so does Tom Cockcroft for his indexes - as usual, they omit the third `c' in his name. Very sercon, though Howard DeVore's chapter on collecting has some life to it. Joe Siclari did the very extensive bibliography, and Sanders and rich brown did the Glossary, which oddly enough includes mimeo but not ditto or hecto.
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible by James Strong, Royal
Publishers, Nashville, n.d., 1218pp.
The publishers note that it took Dr. Strong 35 years to compile this massive tome, but the only hint as to when he did it is that The Christian Herald called it `the old classic' in 1947. This copy, however, is a modern book, probably no more than 10 years old, looks like a facsimile text. Another reference reveals that James Strong (1822-1894) first published his Concordance in 1890.
Royal's edition is not quite as massive as the original - they note that they have lessened the bulk somewhat by dropping Strong's listing of the appearances of a, he, that, the and two dozen other common articles and pronouns! It is said that Cruden went mad while compiling his concordance - Strong must have been mad to start with to include in a concordance to the King James version all the English pronouns and articles that were created for the most part by the translators.
A Gale-Borne Seed by Donna Saunders, Wild Seed Pub.(664A Freeman
Lane), Grass Valley (CA), 1994, 158pp, illus photos, wraps, $11.95.
Someone asked what the work `wraps' in my book descriptions means - it means a paperbound book where the cover is one piece of stiff paper that wraps all the way around the book. This particular trade pb is about her late husband, Capt. David Saunders (1906-1990), who had a long and colorful career in the Merchant Marine. Hard to say how she came to send me a review copy, I must be on a list somewhere. Capt. Saunders was on a list kept by the FBI, dating back to some involvement in the labor problems of the 30s, and it was a benefit to him when there was some question as to whether he was a US citizen...
This is a well-written biography of a man who lived through some interesting times. I may read some of it before I give it to a friend who is interested in tales of the sea. I might mention that if this story were filmed, it would have to be X-rated - not that there is anything offensive in it, but the rating system (like many of those who insisted that there be one) has no way to distinguish between what is frank and what is lewd.
The Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne, Octopus Books, London, 1979
(from Constable, 1858), 240pp, 6 b&w illus by Geoff Taylor, d/w.
I ran across this in Atlanta for $3.95. The book also contains The Young Fur Traders by the same author, both `complete and unabridged', but no price is given. The illustrations are new. As Walt Willis noted, the narrative is in the first person. This in not true of The Young Fur Traders (originally called Snowflakes and Sunbeams), which was Ballantyne's first book, and is in the more common third person. Richard Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894) actually was a fur trader with the Hudson Bay Company before becoming a writer.
Ballantyne was no Robert Louis Stevenson or Mark Twain - his style is much more verbose and the dialogue attributed to his shipwrecked schoolboys seems unlikely to me. I don't think I could get used to it enough to enjoy the story. The modern illustrations are excellent.Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1988 (from 1922), 2 quarto vols., 188/179 pp, 51 illus in color by Michael Hague, d/ws, $19.95 each.
The sky shook a rain down one Saturday night over the people, the post office, and the peanut-stand in the Village of Liver-and- Onions.
And after the rain, the sky shook loose a moon so a moon- shine came with gold on the rainpools.
And a west wind came out of the west sky and shook the moonshine gold on the tops of the rainpools.
Dippy the Wisp and Slip Me Liz came, two tough pony girls, two limber prairie girls, in the moonshine humming little humpty dumpty songs.
They came to the post office corner where the Potato Face Blind Man sat hugging his accordion, wondering what was next and who and why.
Star Whores by Richard Geis, Portland, 1995, 38pp, wraps, $6.
The price includes postage. This self-published novel is a revision of the mimeo version published in 1980. A very high-tech sf thriller set on a mining spaceship. The heroine is a `Star Whore' or Companion, one of three whose job it is to keep the large crew sexually satisfied. Sexually explicit, with a number of gruesome murders (Geis advises that he only sells it to people over 21). Quite well-written, though with the occasional expository lump as to history and technology, and set up in triple-column with ragged right margin.
A Wanderer in Woodcuts by H. Glintenkamp, Farrar & Rinehart, New
York, 1932, 250pp, illus.
A curious account of a tour of Europe - every right-hand page is a woodcut, with very minimal text facing on the left. Alas, there is something inherently depressing in woodcuts, to me. Perhaps I will trade it to woodcut fan Ed Ripp! Plate 85 shows Venice, and notes that Mussolini has `regulated the gondoliers' - I hear he also made the trains run on time.
A Traveller in Little Things by W. H. Hudson, Dutton, New York, 1921, 339pp.
A series of 37 short accounts, by the author of Green Mansions, of people he happened to meet or hear of in his travels - mostly in England, though one at least is in Argentina, which was the setting of his most famous book.
Noah's Ark: I Touched It by Fernand Navarra, Logos International,
Plainfield (NJ), 1974, 137pp, illus photos & diagrams, wraps, $3.50.
Navarra (who is said to be a noted French industrialist) and his son climbed Mt. Ararat in 1955 and claim to have found the Ark. They brought out a 5-foot beam of wood from it (which they had to chop up to evade the notice of the Turkish police) and according to the account an analysis shows that it is 5000-year-old oak, from a tree with `heart-wood' 2 feet in diameter. A second expedition in 1969 was less successful. The Ark itself is estimated at 150 yards in length. An appendix traces `flood' legends through many other cultures, one of the oldest being the Gilgamesh epic, in which Noah is called Ut-napishtim.
The Cambodunum Chapbook Companion by Steve Sneyd, Hilltop Press,
Huddersfield, 1991, 12pp, handlettered, wraps, 60p.
This is subtitled as a `listing of individual collections by Kirklees Poets' - I originally read that as `kirkless poets', and took it for some sort of theological classification of verse - one of the poets is named Evil Roman. Huddersfield is in the Kirklees area (named after Kirklees Priory, which is not), and is said to be the poetry capital of England. The one poem Steve quotes was put on the ceiling of a church in 1522 by Geoffrey Dayston - both the date and the name are in the poem, which opens `Thou man unkind'. Inspiration for ee cummings, perhaps.
Musrum by Eric Thacker & Anthony Earnshaw, Grove Press, New York,
1968, 160pp, illus in line.
Dainis Bisenieks says he was looking for reprints of this very strange book in Glasgow - seems he would be more likely to find it in Philadelphia! This copy was with my duplicate books, but it is not a reprint - and in any case I don't know if it really is a duplicate. Doesn't have a d/w, and I can't recall if I have ever seen one. The art by Thacker and Earnshaw is in two different styles - Thacker's is rather like Mahlon Blaine, while Earnshaw's is a bit like a bad imitation of Glen Baxter. The text is a demented surrealist account of the doings of a demi-urge gypsy mouse, full of ghastly word-play - perhaps Grove forgot they were supposed to do pornography and did this punography instead.
Aesthetic Realism is apparently an ancient form of psychobabble that I never heard of before - the newsletter they sent is #1164. That would be over 20 years at an issue a week! This cult is said to have been founded by Eli Siegel, and the section headings are mysterious to say the least - `It is well for something to be known', `The World Is in Your Sister', `Byron, Too, Was Confused', and so on. One can hardly argue with the first sentiment, but I cannot make out from these two pages whether they have achieved that goal... They do seem to have `coordinators', as someone with initials `JJ' has issued me the following `for the Coordinators' - What can have family members everywhere be truly respectful and happy with one another?. Not a typo on my part, I have checked several times and that's what it says, followed by a reference to the main title of this piece of lunacy: Contempt Causes Insanity / Wideness, Byron, and the Family. If you just have to know more about all this, their address is Aesthetic Realism Foundation, 141 Greene St, NY 10012. A six-month subscription is only $9, but no frequency is stated.
Crass Commercial Comments - A few copies remain of the condensed edition of The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson ($10), and plenty of the other Purple Mouth Press publications - Quest For The Green Hills of Earth ($5), The Hannes Bok Illustration Index ($5), Guinevere and Lancelot by Arthur Machen ($10), Bogey Beasts by Sidney Sime and Josef Holbrooke ($10); and the Heresy Press book about Tim Kirk, Kirk's Works ($10). A 40% discount is available on orders of five or more books. Prices include domestic bookrate postage.
I am also working on a list of duplicate books for sale, now up to about 150 titles, which may be had for a SASE. This is not a catalog - only one line is alloted to each title, with very abbreviated descriptions. The list is ordered by book title, and may eventually reach 300-400 items.
We also heard from (`CC' denoting a Xmas card):
Dave & Su Bates (CC) - Dave says he liked the Green Hills of Earth booklet, and sent me in trade a second copy of Captain Murderer, which I gave my sister for Christmas. Dave also says that G. Peyton Wertenbaker's most famous story was The Man From The Atom.
George Beahm, who says he is proofreading the revised edition of his Stephen King Companion and finishing up his new Supernatural World of Anne Rice.
John Berry, who as a long-time editor of Fingerprint Whorld was
particularly interested in the C. G. Cooke Blue Book of Crime mentioned
last time and has sent me a copy of the magazine in trade for a xerox of the
Cooke book. He's also one of the fans responsible for the Goon Detective Agency
- see review of The Bleary Eyes vol.4 above. John has sent me five issues
of Fingerprint Whorld and admits to being responsible for the ghastly
Wendy Bett, who publishes The Web, would like to know if Apanage is still in business and how to contact the apa.
Sheryl Birkhead (CC), who says she is looking forward to Eisenstein's book on Emsh; and has opened her new business, The Cat's Me-Ouch.
Dainis Bisenieks, who points out that the story A Logic Named Joe by Will Jenkins (as Murray Leinster) in the March 1946 Astounding does a pretty good job of predicting the Internet. Dainis also says he once read something about the pirate song quatrain from Treasure Island mentioned lastish, but can't retrieve it. He also sent me a postcard from the worldcon in Glasgow say he was disappointed in searching for reprints of Musrum and trade pbs by Ella Young; and another saying he couldn't find any of the John Moore books I wanted.
Margaret Boothroyd, who sends a Christmas card with a picture of a burro and a Siamese cat, and says the burro reminds her of Chile, where a man in Iquique sold asses milk in the street, fresh from the burro, who pulled a little cart with her foal in it. She also sends a beautiful picture of llamas in their natural habitat on the Chilean altiplano.
Bill Bridget, who says the Flory art reminds him of Little Nemo.
Chuck Broerman, who sends a clipping on Robert Crumb from the Washington Post.
P.L.Caruthers-Montgomery, who notes that she is co-sysop of two BBS in the Anniston AL area, while husband Larry is doing genealogy and comic book indexes - and to think they used to be fans...
Nick Certo, who inclosed with my order of some Mahlon Blaine photocopies a curious one of a sex magazine cover based on a tracing of a Bok bookplate.
Vincent Clarke, who notes that some psychologist wrote that analysis of The Night Land shows that Hodgson was a foot-fetishist; and also accuses Lancelot Hogben of having been a 'left-wing zoologist' - does this mean he was a Lysenkoist?. Vince also worries that I won't live long enough to reread all the books I have. Hell, I probably won't live long enough to read them all even once - but I will be able to decide which one to read next as long as I have them available!
Tom Cockcroft in New Zealand, about having had a phone call from Bradbury guru Donn Albright in NJ; and incloses a xerox from a 1943 Weird Tales showing an ad from Arkham House advising that there were only 87 copies left of The Outsider and Others - ah, for a time machine...
Chuck Connor (CC) - of Santa stuck on the Interstate. I didn't know England had such things, looks just like the spaghetti junction where I-85 crosses I-285 NE of Atlanta.
Margaret Cubberly, one of the founders of the local sf club, who sends some of her columns for a local paper - she says she got a lot of flack for a spoof on how 'pornographic' the CNN description of the docking of MIR and Space Shuttle Atlantis was! Margaret also liked the Woman Between The Worlds by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre mentioned in a previous issue.
Chester Cuthbert, who reminds me that according to Bleiler, the books by John Buchan that are fantasy are The Blanket of the Dark, The Dancing Floor, The Gap in the Curtain, The Magic Walking Stick, The Moon Endureth, The Watcher by the Threshold, and Witch Wood - I have only the last two titles, and have discussed them both in IGOTS - I would like very much to have copies of any of the others. Chester says he has read the other novel by Ella Scrymsour (The Bridge of Distances) and that it is a reincarnation story, but doesn't say if it is as bizarre as A Perfect World.
Bill Danner, who refers to our edition of The Night Land as `the Red Thing' and says he finds it unreadable both as to content and typography! He fears I will 'hate him forever' - but of course not. Dave Hall and Mr Hodgson are responsible for the admittedly bizarre content, and the typography is all I can manage with this antique typesetter software. Bill also asks if there's a computer glitch in my first paragraph about Peake on p.8 of #14 - no, the that in `to that Benjamin Britten' is my own personal brain glitch. The phrase should have read `to interest Benjamin Britten' or somesuch. Bill is quite right about the irregular word spacing - it is induced by the font (the smallest I have with matching italics) being a bit too large for double-column, and by my failure to give the computer as many conditional hyphens as I might.
Hank Davis (CC) - a Mr.Peabody card from the old Bullwinkle show!
Brad Day, who sends a sheet indicating that the prices on his sf novels (self-published, 50 copies each) mentioned last time are A Rare Company, 521pp, $12; The Mineral Kings, 152pp, $6; Monster Green, 307pp, $8.50 - address 206 Water Street, Hillsville VA 24343. His excellent Bibliography of Adventure (Mundy, Burroughs, Rohmer, and Haggard) is available again at $8.50, as well.
Frank Dietz, who let me photograph his Bok tattoo, and sent two issues of a magazine about phone-card collecting that I sent on to Alan Hunter for his son Chris.
Mike Dobson (CC), actually a 12pp computer made booklet that includes a notice of the birth of a son to Mike and wife Deborah.
Ed, the anonymous editor of Wild Surmise (Box 217, Largo FL),
who says that he remembers The Coral Island and asks if anyone has a copy
of Poo Poo and the Dragons, which he has been seeking for 40
Holger Eliasson, who says he has seen Queen Christina's tiny crossbow mentioned last time, and that it was not for shooting at fleas but for shooting at stuffed parrots - a stuffed parrot would certainly be a lot easier to hit than a flea!
Chuck Ermatinger, who sent a color illo inspired by SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Of course I cannot afford to publish in color - one color page would double the cost of printing - but I promised Chuck to show it to any millionaires that drop by.
Ken Faig, who sends his fascinating EOD apazine, The Moshassuck Review - I especially liked the article on Montague Summers.
Alistair J. R. Ferguson, secretary of the Robert Louis Stevenson Club (5 Albyn Place, Edinburgh Scotland), who says he has someone looking into the odd verse of the Pirate Song from Treasure Island mentioned last issue.
Al Fitzpatrick (CC), who seems to be playing `Dilbert' in the chemical industry, where a booboo can be a lot more serious than in computer software.
George Flynn, who sends an address for Elliot Shorter and says that the G. Peyton Wertenbaker mentioned last time was a `moderately prominent SF writer in the 20s and 30s'.
John & Diane Fox (CC), who thought Twisted Clay much worse than I did.
Don Franson, who claims that Rhysling was a poet, not a folk singer - read the story again, Don: At Venusburg he (Rhysling) sang his new songs and some of the old, in the bars (The Green Hills of Earth, Shasta, 1951, p.187).
Meade & Penny Frierson (CC), who say they will publish the Frierson genealogy in 1996 and then move on to a book about SF of the radio.
Thomas Gary, who sends an clipping and cartoon on the much touted demise of the typewriter.
Robert Gilbert, who writes to insist that the fragment of Gothic melodrama The Invisibles in George Locke's SpectreRoom of Fantasy is not a modern imitation (as I suspected) but by Arthur Machen's friend A. E. Waite and was printed from the page proofs where it had been set up for an issue of Horlick's Magazine that never appeared - and he should know, as he has published both a bibliography and a biography of Waite.
Steven Gilder, who was so eager for a copy of the condensed Night Land that he sent FedEx for it. Mr. Gilder represents Dark Horse Entertainment in Universal City CA - Sylvester Stallone as the anonymous hero and Winona Ryder as Naani? I inclosed a copy of #14 and suggested that A Perfect World would make a better movie.
Jim Goldfrank (CC), getting a bit twee in his dotage, with a car named Maus and a Miniature Schnauzer named Pamina.
Mary & Terry Gray (CC) - an utterly idiotic one showing two Christmas trees emerging from a toaster!
Dave Hall, who sends the lyrics to Thunder Road from the Robert Mitchum movie.
Thomas Hall, who notes that Aleister Crowley's Book of the Law contains an instruction that the reader should destroy the book after reading - perhaps Crowley hoped to thus boost sales! Hall once showed a copy to a friend, who promptly ripped it in half... I had a copy before I sold my Crowley collection, but never got as far as that instruction! Hall also mentions finding a curious book called The Way To Bliss with an introduction by Elias Ashmole - I thought this might be an earlier translation of Beroalde de Verville's Moyen de Parvenir than Arthur Machen's, but if so the text is arranged differently.
Kathleen Hawks, 320 First St.NW, Washington DC 20534 (though only indirectly) - she is the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons who is fitting prisoners with 50,000-volt shock belts so that the prison staff can torture them at their leisure, without even bothering to get out of their chairs - and the prisoner is required to sign a release form acknowledging that he has informed that such a voltage may be lethal. Did we lose WWII and the Nazis are in charge and no one noticed?
Lynn Hickman, another VariTyper fan who asks for Fred Woodworth's address and encloses several apazines. He's looking for VariTyper ribbons.
John Howard (Lime Green Road, Limeside, Oldham OL8 3NG, UK), who is interested in getting some of August Derleth's Sac Prairie or other nonfantasy books.
Alan Hunter (CC), who sends a funny cartoon card from his own hand; and a postcard reproducing the very skiffy cover of the 1950 `scientific novel' The Cosmic Flame by Vargo Statten.
Ben Indick (CC), who sends an account of his visit to Prague and a photo dated 6/30/96 - pity it is a street scene rather than a picture of the stock market... Ben also sent me some odd photocopies of art that Hannes Bok did for a book apparently never published - non-fantasy rather in the style of Thomas Hart Benton. Ben has retired from the pharmacy and taken up a new career writing sf for Barnes & Noble anthologies!
Mary Kay Jackson Kare, a former member of Slanapa, who is now selling music by mail as PreKarious Enterprises (Box 1666, San Ramon CA 94583), who took over from Wail Songs. She sold me an excellent cassette collection of the songs of Manly Wade Wellman, Who Fears The Devil by Joe Bethancourt.
Terry Jeeves, who sent me the Bob Shaw novels about Warren Peace, wonderful stuff. In Atlanta at Christmas I picked up a battered old US pb of one of them, Who Goes Here?.
Herman Stowell King (CC), who now lives in Wicomico.
Michael McKenny, who says he hopes to find a copy of Watcher By The Threshold in Ottawa, as Buchan was Governor General of Canada. I have ordered some of the other Buchan fantasies in pb from Pandora, don't know yet if I will get them.
Pat McMurray, who sends a booklet called Evolution @ Intersection, done by the staff (Pat is their Hotel Liaison) of Britain's Easter convention Evolution to distribute at the recent Glasgow worldcon - beautifully designed and illustrated, and full of ideas, idiocies, and insults.
Ernest Mann, now at 301 SE 11th St, Little Falls MN-56345, sends #118 of his long-running Little Free Press newsletter about his 26-year battle for the Priceless Economic System, where all goods and services would be free. I think he is getting impatient with us Wage Slaves, for the first time he is using X-rated language...
Don Martin, who collaborated with me on the first Bok Index, sends data on the Sam Lundwall Illustrated History; and notes that he is a ship model builder.
Murray Moore, who asks if it is possible to see in Seattle the WPA murals that Hannes Bok is said (in Korshak's Hannes Bok Treasury) to have worked on in the 1930s. I rather doubt that Bok's style could be seen in someone else's design, but perhaps someone in that area knows more about this - Frank, Dave, Jessica? Murray also notes that Hendrik van Loon's Geography had a d/w that unfolded into a double-size map - I've never seen a book done that way.
Dale Nelson, who sends a short story - he has now sold several!
Rick Norwood, who liked the dub of the Gormenghast tapes that I got from Chuck Connor.
Gavin O'Keefe, who sent me his illustrated edition of Alice in trade for some Mahlon Blaine books, and has sent some art for this zine.
Lloyd Penney, who says I should send Walt Willis the extra copy of Years of Light, the book about Leslie Croutch. I have had the vague notion for some time that I was supposed to send it somewhere - see what happens when you get old...
Hector Pessina, an Argentine fan I traded with in the 60s, who translated Hodgson's House on the Borderland into Spanish for publication there and is compiling an encyclopedic guide to Space Opera.
Derek Pickles, who sends his Odds & Sods 46-48 - #48 includes John Clute's obituary of John Brunner, who died at this year's Worldcon, at the age of 60. Clute notes that Brunner's 1975 The Shockwave Rider predicts the computer virus. In a later note, Derek lists 4 books he would like to sell and solicits offers (postage would run about $5/book): The House on the Borderland by Hodgson (Arkham 1946), 1st in mint Bok d/w, `fine plus'; Sleep No More ed. by Derleth with Lee Brown Coye illos (Farrar & Rinehart, 1944) inscribed by Derleth to Alva Rogers, d/w and book have some damage `good minus'; Best of Science Fiction ed. by Groff Conklin (Crown 1946) `reading copy'; Adventures in Time and Space ed. by Healy & McComas (Random House, 1946) `reading copy'. Write him (not me!) if you are interested, at 44 Rooley Lane, Bradford, W.Yorkshire BD5 8LX, England.
Curt Phillips, who wishes someone would reprint Hodgson's stories about the occult detective Carnacki; and asks if the first edition of Donn Byrne's Marco Polo had a d/w - I have two Byrne bibliographies, and neither mentions d/ws, but that type of book at that time almost always had some sort of d/w. Curt is also looking for a color xerox of the d/w to the Ballantine 1st edition of Fahrenheit 451. His address is 23800 Green Springs Rd, Abingdon VA 24211.
Tony Pizzini, who says he would like to trade his copy of the 1980 trade pb Out of the Storm by William Hope Hodgson with Steve Fabian art for anything by Machen - write him at 2504-A Hilliard Road, Richmond VA 23228. He also threatens to visit me some weekend.
Pete Presford, who sends a curious postcard showing the Jackdaw of Rheims finding a subway pass in London. Pete says it reminded him of me or Frank Denton - but Frank's totem is an owl, in spite of the Rogue Raven. The Jackdaw of Rheims is one of the poems in the Ingoldsby Legends, a book made famous by its Arthur Rackham artwork - but this illo is not by Rackham. The artist is not given - apparently the postcard was produced to promote the London Metro.
Steve & Martha Pritchard (CC), who were my fan contacts at the copy shop,
now alas gone to Cincinnati, leaving me at the mercy of mundane nitwits - I asked for
ivory paper yesterday and the guy brought me bright yellow, saying he thought it
was close enough.
Rudi Rubberoid, who writes that he too discovered fandom through one of Seth Johnson's ads offering a stack of fanzines for $2. Rudi's envelope is a startling sight, rubberstamped in several lurid tones and then hand colored in hues for which there is probably no name.
Jessica Amanda Salmonson sends a bizarre postcard with the motto `Death, not spatulas' - but why did she tell Steve Sneyd that Roland Fraser's occult novels had been extensively reprinted in the US as paperbacks? I can find no trace of them.
Ken Slater (CC) - at least I think this card is from him, there's no return address or even a postmark!
Gavin Edward Smith, who sends $5 for the Hannes Bok Illustration Index.
Steve Sneyd, who recalled that someone was looking for a copy of
The Enchanted Duplicator by Walt Willis - this is reprinted periodically
in fandom, and the current reincarnation is from Greg Pickersgill (3 Bethany
Row, Narberth Rd, Haverford West, Pembrokeshire SA61 2XG, England). Steve also
sent a nice review of my Quest for the Green Hills of Earth that appeared
in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner in West Yorkshire, England, and
another from Janet Fox's zine, Scavenger's Newslatter; and his own
home-made Christmas card. And on a Guinea-Pig Press postcard with ATom art he
notes that he succeeded in getting Alan Kaye his copy of Quest for The Green
Hills of Earth - but doesn't say what his new address is. I had Kaye on the
list to get IGOTS.
Mark Valentine, who says that Golding's famous Lord of the Flies was written as a deliberate antithesis to The Coral Island of R. M. Ballantine that Walt Willis remembered liking. Mark also notes that he has joined the Bram Stoker Society, based at Trinity College, Dublin, where Stoker was a student - I have noticed that Bram Stoker keeps turning up as a character in modern fantasy; and the other night on the cable he was the hero of a dramatization of his own story, Burial of the Rats.
Toni Weisskopf (CC), who is compiling a history of southern fandom - from New York. I sent her some photos taken at the 3rd DeepSouthCon, all too many years ago.
Henry Welch, who says that DeCles' War of the Flowers was about the same 'People's Park' altercation discussed in Guy Lillian's Challenger - yes. I knew Jon DeCles (as Don Studebaker) only before that; and Guy Lillian only after!
George Wells, who sends a flyer from the First Edition Library because he knew that I would want to include in my Bok index their reprinting of Campbell's Who Goes There? with the Bok d/w. These facsimile editions are $29.95 each (but you have to sign up to get the set of 12, though you can return and not pay for any you don't want) from them at 88 Long Hill Cross Road, Shelton CT 06484-9864. George also sends some xeroxes from In Search of Schrodinger's Cat by John Gribbin (Little-Brown, 1995), looks like something I ought to get.
G Peter Winnington, who sends the August 1995 V.4#3 of his Peake Studies, which includes a review by Gavin O'Keefe of an Australian book with the amazing title The Vicar of Morbing Vyle - I am trying to get a copy.
Fred Woodworth, who sent #90 of his fascinating anarchist zine The Match! - I'm not sure what 'anarchist' means, it's a complex concept and most of the definitions supplied by those who are against it, but at least in Fred we have a definition by example that we can point to and say that is an anarchist. The Match! is 4/$10 to Box 3488 Tucson AZ 85722, not excessive for the size - #90 is 116 pages.
John Wright (CC), from down in South Africa.
Ray Zorn, who says that IGOTS goes into his family archives.
Franz Zrilich, who is looking for a 1960s Analog story about a society trying to launch chemical rockets into space without having mastered electricity.
Typing concluded Friday, January 5. It looks as though I (and the other myriad federal civil servants) might return to work next week. I spent most of the furlough on my usual two-week holiday in Atlanta. I hope all those who sent me Christmas cards will accept this delayed effort in place of a card.