It Goes On The Shelf
No.23 October 2001
Published at The Sign of the Purple Mouth by Ned Brooks
4817 Dean Lane, Lilburn GA 30047-4720
Website -
Cover art by Taral (from his CD-ROM - see below)
Interior art by Julia Morgan-Scott

Jack Speer says that the quoted line "How will it fare with kingdoms and with kings?" that opens the Lilith Lorraine poem After the Silence reprinted in IGOTS 22 refers to Edwin Markham's The Man With the Hoe (c.1899) - easily found once you know where to look! It's in the last stanza and obviously inspired the later poem.

Jack Chalker tells me that the first Nutmeg Point District Mail book, that I asked about lastish was:
The Last Wizard With a Letter of Explanation by Avram Davidson, 1999, 12pp, $10.
Naturally after I had the zine printed I discovered that I have a copy of the booklet, a very short funny story. Also included is Avram's 1971 cover letter to Eleanor Sullivan at the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Everybody Has Somebody in Heaven, Essential Jewish Tales of the Spirit by Avram Davidson, ed. by Jack Dann and Grania Davidson Davis, Devora Publishing 2000, 285pp, $24.95.
Grania Davis very kindly sent me this as a review copy. It is a collection of some of Avram's short fiction and other writing that appeared mostly in Jewish magazines (two stories from F&SF are included), and two chapters from an unfinished novel. There is also a biography by Eileen Gunn, and appreciations by Jack Dann, Richard Lupoff, Peter Beagle, Lisa Goldstein, Carol Carr, and Barry Malzberg.

The spectacular d/w by Avi Katz - rather like something by Marc Chagall - includes the famous bicycle, coathanger and safety-pin from Or All the Seas with Oysters - even though that story isn't in the book.

I enjoyed this book very much, and learned a lot about Avram that I never knew when he lived not far away in Williamsburg VA in the 70s and during the years afterwards that we corresponded. There are memoirs of his time in Israel in the late 40s, and from when he lived in Brooklyn. I had not known that, although he certainly needed the money, he would never allow his work to be published in Germany; or that while remaining an observant Jew, he was also involved with a mystical Japanese religion (?) called Tenrikyo.

Eileen Gunn is working on a volume of Avram's letters - I sent her copies of what I have, and was inspired in the process to put them in order in protective sleeves in a ringbinder. She gives her e-mail address as and requests that anyone with such letters get in touch with her.

Strange Attractors, ed. by Damien Broderick, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney 1985, 237pp, wraps.
An Australian original anthology sent to me by Diane Fox - the first story at least, Lucy Sussex's The Lipton Village Society, is excellent!
Strange Fruit ed. by Paul Collins, Penguin 1995, 235pp, wraps, $A14.95.
Also from Diane - do we see a pattern emerging here? Perhaps she thinks I'm strange.... This one is a horror reprint anthology by Australian authors. One of the stories plays with Borges' idea of a modern man writing Don Quixote, but from a different angle, very well done.

Oh stars that in the sunless year
With shining hand by her were sown
In windy fields now dark and clear
We see thy silver blossoms blown

Collins Gem Whisky ed. by Carol P. Shaw, Harper/Collins, Glasgow 1995, 237pp, illus in color, wraps, £13.99.
Ken Lake (who will no doubt fall over laughing to learn that I was born in Glasgow [Montana]) sent this tiny tome - it's just 3.25x4.5 inches, well made and on excellent paper. Everything you need to know about Scotch, which as far as these people are concerned is the only whisky.

It is noted here that the word whisky is an English transliteration of the first part of the Gaelic uisge beatha, meaning "water of life". The earliest surviving mention of it is a 1618 account of the wake of a Highland chieftain. One of the primitive tests of the strength of a batch involved mixing a sample with gunpowder and lighting it off.

The Averoigne Chronicles by Clark Ashton Smith - Tom Cockcroft was asking me about this book, which Don Grant announced in 1995. It was to be illustrated by the Brazilian artist Fernando Duval. I found the Don Grant website and asked about it - they said it was their next project, but gave no reason for the delay.

Space Winners by Gordon R. Dickson, The Children's Book Club, London 1967, 186pp.
Sean Russell Friend sent me this book, which I had never seen before. The prose seems as awkward as the title - I know little about Dickson's work, though I remember enjoying the Hoka stories he wrote with Poul Anderson. Before this zine could be published I was sad to hear that Gordy Dickson has passed away.

The Coasts of Bohemia by Edith Miniter, compiled and published by Ken Faig at the Moshassuck Press - no use to give any details of the $100 7-lb paper version of this enormous (1100pp!) collection of early amateur journalism, a sequel to the 1995 Going Home, as it is probably out-of-print - there were two left in December. The text may be had as a file on diskette for $5 - write Ken at 2311 Swainwood Drive, Glenview IL 60025-2741.

The Runagates Club by John Buchan, Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1928, 306pp.
A collection of fantastic tales, as told by the members of a private club - a conceit used by Dunsany and others. I think this was the only important Buchan collection I was missing. The stories are quite varied. Too many of them are pulpish adventures full of the annoying racist twaddle of the time, but there are a couple that might have been by Machen or Lovecraft.

Yellow Rider and Other Fantasy Poems by Steve Eng, Gothic Press, Baton Rouge 1999, 40pp, illus. in color and b&w by divers hands, wraps, $5.
Steve Sneyd told me about this. Excellent color cover by Charles Vess. There is also a Hannes Bok piece in b&w that was given to the Gothic Press by the late Emil Petaja. I bought the booklet over the Net at

Room Enough For All by C. F. Kennedy, Drift Aweigh Press, Scarborough (Ont. Canada) 2000, 32pp, illus, wraps.
A complimentary copy sent because my address appeared in Henry Welch's The Knarley Knews. An interesting if rather surreal story about the end of a nasty future. It lacks any proper title page, and claims to be "naturally copyrighted" - perhaps this involves some provision of Canadian law that I am not familiar with (which wouldn't be at all unlikely); or perhaps it is a pun on "naturally carbonated". There is a recommendation by Rodney Leighton inserted, but even more disturbing, it is scented and makes my eyes itch. I shall have to put it in a plastic bag.

The price is apparently negociable - the author may be reached at 39 Claremore Ave, Scarborough Ont., Canada M1N 3S1.

The Case of the 16 Beans by Harry Stephen Keeler, Ramble House, Shreveport 2000, 281pp, wraps, $19.95.
This is one of 13 Keeler titles reprinted by Ramble House (443 Gladstone Blvd, Shreveport LA 71104), all about 4 by 5 and the same price. In spite of the soft covers, there is a color d/w - and on the back of the d/w and on the cover of the book, a caricature of Keeler by a David Nessle making him look like Alfred E. Newman. In his photographs he looks more like H. P. Lovecraft. His writing falls somewhere in between those literary icons.... I have no copy of the 1944 (British) or 1945 (US) edition to compare, but would guess that the text is reset. The binding is glued rather than sewn (and then glued).

I bought this book over the Net from an offer in the Keeler News published by Richard Polt, and paid $19 for it - the receipt thanks me for a "donation" of $19! Ramble House has an eccentric website at

Vivian and Merlin by Ralph de Tunstall Sneyd (1862-1947), Hilltop Press, Hudderfield 2001, illus in line by Ian Brown, 12pp, wraps, £1.66/$4.50.
An excellent poem about the end of the well-known legend - the aged Merlin was seduced and his spirit imprisoned by Vivian, a fairy queen. He is said by some to sleep on the isle of Lundy, visible from the Tintagel headland.

Warner Bros. - the multinational corporate empire - sends a letter "signed" by Sr. Vice President Gwilym McGrew offering me as a "retailer" some Harry Potter 24 or 48 T-shirt "pre-packs" to tie in with the promotion of the Harry Potter movie. I think I will pass! Any rabid Potter collector who wants this ephemera can have it for the asking.

The Great Taos Bank Robbery by Tony Hillerman, Harper Collins, New York 1997, 178pp, wraps, $5.99.
Doris Beetem sent me this collection of articles on characters and history of the New Mexico area. Fascinating subjects and a pleasant straightforward style. The original edition was a 1973 trade pb from the Univ. of New Mexico Press, but the material is not of the sort that dates badly, though in some cases I would have liked to see an update!

The title story is a Keystone Kops comedy from the 50s. Other stories go a lot further back - the explanation of the discovery and analysis of the Folsom flints, showing that men were hunting bison in the area 11,000 years ago, is excellent. And I am a little too young to have seen the original press accounts of the business about Tijerina and the land grant wars.

Dradin, In Love by Jeff VanderMeer, Buzzcity, Tallahassee 1996, 104pp, illus. b&w collages by Michael Shores, wraps, $9.95.
A short novel set in the city of Ambergris (the 1999 Early History of Ambergris was covered in IGOTS 21). I do not like the artwork here as much as that in the 1999 book (and neither set of collages are in the league of Harry Morris of Nyctalops fame) but the story is well done. The hero Dradin is an irrationally optimistic ex-missionary who against all odds survives - though not unscathed - his love affair with a woman seen in a distant window. The basic plot was used by E. T. A. Hoffman, but the locale and characters and actions are much better done here than in the translations of Hoffman I have read - though the movie version done in England in the 40s is excellent.

The Book of Ambergris City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer, Prime Books, $40.
This is not yet in hand, but is promised for Fall 2001 (the price is for pre-orders). There is an introduction by Michael Moorcock, and art by Scott Eagle. This volume collects the four previously published Ambergris novellas and contains new material as well. Order

The Exchange by Nicholas Sporlender, Hoegbotton & Sons, Ambergris 2001, 32pp, illus by Louis Verden, wraps, 28/100, $20. This boxed limited edition memorial of the annual Ambergris Festival of the Freshwater Squid - a celebration that seems to resemble what might occur if Mardi Gras were held the Rampart district of Los Angeles - was kindly sent me in trade by Jeff VanderMeer for Purple Mouth Press items. In addition to the booklet - an excellent spooky story with elegant Beardsleyesque artwork - the box contains other items essential to anyone planning to attend this event. There is a votive candle made of special fungi and squid fat that can also be used to protect the user against the nocturnal Grey Caps; a memory capsule with paper scroll on which to write your name and next of kin - this can then be swallowed to insure that your remains will eventually be identified; and two sorts of dried mushrooms - one insures a swift and painless death, and the other is an antidote in case you change your mind. All neatly fitted into an elegant black box - one can only complain that there is no explanation as to which mushroom is which.

Either the boxed edition or just the booklet ($7.99) may be ordered from Jeff's website:

Strange Tales by Hans Heinz Ewers, Runa-Raven Press (Box 557), Smithville (TX 78957) 2000, 153pp, frontis portrait, wraps.
No price is given on the book, and I have forgotten what I paid for it - probably the usual for a trade pb these days. Excellent foreword by Don Webb and extensive biography by Stephen E. Flowers.

I became interested in Ewers (1871-1943) because of the American editions of his books from the NY publisher John Day, which are illustrated by Mahlon Blaine. The biography here notes that Ewers, who believed his mother to be a witch, was apparently fascinated with evil, and met both Adolf Hitler and Aleister Crowley. The height of his popularity was in Berlin in 1913, when he had not only bestseller books in the stores, but a successful film as well, and two successful stage plays. He later was part of what might be called the Weird Wing of the Nazi Party, even though he was not anti-Semitic and in fact helped some Jews escape Germany.

These tales are translated by a Wilfried Kugel, and quite readable, but more in the line of madness and horror rather than overt fantasy. I looked in vain for any mention of what Ewers thought of his US editions or their Blaine artwork - and yet, without any attribution, a flower in the distinctive Mahlon Blaine style is found decorating the cover of the book! It can be traced directly to the John Day edition of Alraune (1929).

The Saturday Book 24 ed. by John Hadfield, Hutchinson, London 1964, 256pp, illus b&w and color.
With three issues just received from England, I have all but #2 of this annual, which lasted 34 years under the editorship of Leonard Russell and then John Hadfield.

This issue was most notable for an article on SF art by Brian Aldiss, and for a biography of George Francis Train by Miriam Allen De Ford. I had never heard of Train, but he was a notable character of the 1800s - he owned the clipper Flying Cloud before he was 21, earned and lost several fortunes, gave various inventors such ideas as those of erasers on pencils and postage stamp perforations, and ran for president against Grant. He was also jailed several times (once for quoting "obscene" Bible passages in his newspaper) and committed for lunacy over his management of his money.

Long Live the Dead by Hugh B. Cave, Crippen & Landru, Norfolk 2000, 240pp, frontis photo, wraps, $16.
This collection reprints ten stories that originally appeared in Black Mask from 1934 to 1941. The publisher has a website at

There is also an extensive introduction and interview with the author (who also provides a short preface to each tale), a list of his pseudonyms, and a bibliography. The running head on the verso pages is incorrect on p.120, an odd error.

These tales are in a clear narrative style and easy to read - even though there is a heavy use of dialect and slang (now very dated) - but to me none of the characters seemed sympathetic and the plots seemed unlikely and coincidence-driven.

ASFO 1 (January 1953), Ian Macauley, 22pp.
The Comet 4 (1941), Tom Wright, 30pp.
HKLPLOD 3 (1962), Mike McInerney, 25pp.
Nonce 1 (March 1948), Charles Dye, 7pp.
I do not normally buy old fanzines, but these were in a private auction through one of the SF e-lists and the descriptions looked interesting.

ASFO was the "unofficial organ of the Atlanta Science-Fiction Organization" and is good mimeo with an excellent litho cover by Jerry Burge, not much like his other artwork I have seen which is firmly grounded - here everything but the kitchen sink is afloat in space! This copy was sent to Don Ford in Ohio using a 3-cent NATO stamp on the back cover. In 1953 I had been reading SF for some time but still lived in Chile and had no notion of fandom. There is a pre-publication offer of the hardcover edition of The Immortal Storm ($3.95!), a short story told from the viewpoint of a cold germ, an article by Arthur C. Clarke on his visit to the US, and Walt Willis' column "The Immortal Teacup" - with Francis Arnold substituting for Willis to talk about Ted Carnell of New Worlds. It reads rather like something that had appeared in a Sunday supplement to a newspaper, but is full of facts. There is also a con report by a Betty McCarthy on the 1952 worldcon in Chicago where (among the usual fannish stuff) she reports hearing Ted Sturgeon sing Thunder and Roses - wish I could have have heard that! Twelve lines of the song appear in the famous story of the same title, but I never knew there was a tune, or that Sturgeon sang it.

The Comet has a full-page drawing by Hans Bok, obviously traced onto mimeo stencil by hand but retaining enough of the original to tell that it is by the artist best known as Hannes Bok. This was missing from my Bok index. This zine makes full use of the limited technology available to mimeographers of the time - lettering guides, pattern sheets for mimeo illustration texture, electrostencil. And all of the text has been retyped so as to achieve justified right-hand margins, some of it double-column. The back-cover ad for Walt Daugherty's Shangri-La shamelessly lifts the Disney dwarfs from Snow White!

HKLPLOD has an extensive Kuttner bibliography, and art by Steve Stiles and Terry Jeeves. Oddly enough, though 20 years have passed, the technology looks little different from that in The Comet. But most notable is a page of verse by Avram Davidson and a short story, in his typical bizarre Moderan style, by David R. Bunch.

Nonce is a much less elaborate mimeo production, without art or justified text. It was done in New York for "The Spectator Club", and is notable mostly for a Hannes Bok short story (a sort of nightmare prose poem in pseudo-Biblical style) called "A Psalm of Frustration".

Some time after Bill Danner of Stefantasy fame passed away (in his 90s), I noticed a classified ad in F&SF for an auction of "science fiction books" by the Venango County Historical Society in Pennsylvania. Out of curiosity I sent for the list - and noticed that one item was a copy of Adventures in Unhistory by Avram Davidson, with a note that it was autographed to Bill Danner. Since I had corresponded with both Danner and Davidson for years, I bid on that and three other books. When they appeared I saw that all have Danner's bookplate. So I guess either Danner, or whoever closed out his estate, gave his SF collection to the Venango County (county seat, Franklin) Historical Society. Two relatively rare tomes are:

The Refugee Centaur by antoniorrobles (translated and adapted by Edward & Elizabeth Huberman), Twayne, New York 1952, 245pp, illus. in line by John Resko, $3.00
This curious fantasy opens in Berlin in 1933 with the centaur being forced to "Heil Hitler" in traffic court with both his hand and front hoof!

Humour and Fantasy by F. Anstey, Dutton, New York 1931, 1174pp.
An ordinary-looking book, only a bit over an inch thick - but on very thin paper! In spite of the NY imprint, it was printed in England. It contains six of Anstey's fantasies - Vice Versa, The Tinted Venus, A Fallen Idol, The Talking Horse, Salted Almonds, and The Brass Bottle. "Anstey" is the pseudonym of Thomas Anstey Guthrie (1856-1934). He was a sort of stylistic precursor of Thorne Smith and DeCamp & Pratt. I see that I had only Vice Versa in an undated US edition on very poor paper - which I should get rid of - and a profusely illustrated edition of Baboo Hurry Bungsho Jabberjee BA. Oddly enough, only this edition on bad paper from the International Book Co. puts a "â" for the a in "Vice Versa" - and only on the title page, not on the spine or in the running header.

Dr. Marigold's Prescriptions by Charles Dickens, Dalton, Philadelphia 1960, 48pp, illus. by Rey Abruzzi, 405/1300, slipcased.
And found the other day in a local thrift store. I don't know who Sam Dalton was (something to do with the Dalton book chain?) but a Google search indicates that this is not the only Dickens he had reprinted as a limited edition for Christmas gifts. I had never heard of the title before, and a search in finds only this edition (at a very wide range of prices) and one from 1861. It may well be in the complete edition of Dickens - I once had a 24-vol. one for a short time.

A beautifully made book, with small multicolor vignettes imbedded in the text. I doubt that Dickens would have recognized the three full-page plates as art at all, they are very modern - but properly tissue-guarded in the Victorian manner.

The story is fascinating and easy to read in spite of the heavy use of dialect. The first and third chapters are direct autobiographical narration by Doctor (it is his given name) Marigold, a "Cheap Jack" or what we would call a street peddler. The middle chapter "to be taken with a grain of salt" has nothing whatsoever to do with Doctor Marigold - it's the story of a bank official who is called to serve on the jury in a murder trial and is haunted by the ghost of the murdered man until the murderer is convicted. We never learn the motive of the crime, nor did the narrator know either man personally.

And yet these chapters are called "prescriptions", so this peculiar organization of a novella and a ghost story must have been Dicken's own idea. Perhaps one of my readers knows more about the matter!

Ralph Kristiansen (Box 1309, Boston MA 02117-1309; sends his Catalogue 35 of yacht-type rare books - if you have to ask what they cost, you can't afford them.... He offers the copy of Our Natupski Neighbors that Edith Miniter inscribed to H. P. Lovecraft at $325!

The Devil Is Not Mocked by Manly Wade Wellman, Night Shade Books, San Francisco 2001, 343pp, illus b&w Kenneth Waters, $35.
This is the second volume of the 5-volume set of Wellman from this publisher - there is an introduction by Ramsay Campbell. Well made books in gold-stamped bindings, issued without d/ws. The stories in this volume are mostly from F&SF in the '70s and '80s, and from Weird Tales in the '30s. Wonderful stuff! Address 560 Scott #304, San Francisco CA 94117, or or the website

Arachne Rising, The Search for the Thirteenth Sign of the Zodiac by James Vogh, Dial Press, New York 1977, 242pp, illus diagrams and pictograms, bibliographical notes, index, $7.95.
Arachne (The Spider) is the lost sign of "the psychic, the intuitive, the spiritually gifted" and in Vogh's revised zodiac occupies the slot May 13 through June 10 - he proves statistically that a high percentage of psychics were born under this sign. Uri Geller, Edgar Cayce, and the Tarot come into it too, not to mention Stonehenge, Woodhenge, the Nazis, the ancient Hebrews, and Edgar Allen Poe. I would believe it too, except that, having been born under Aquarius, in Vogh's system I would be a soulless nerd....

Richard Dengrove, who gave me this, says it is meant as a joke - glad to hear it!

Andy Robertson has a website dedicated to William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land at:
and pays for material that he can use. The mind boggles.... He paid me £100 for the use of the maps that Dave Hall drew for a condensation of The Night Land that I published as Purple Mouth Press - a hand-made edition of 126 copies, now out of print. The material is copyright to the estate of Dave Hall, and so most of the money should go there - but I am still trying to discover if Dave left anything that could be called "an estate". If anyone knows, get in touch with me. Although we corresponded for years, I know only that he was the son of the Cabell scholar James Hall, also deceased, and has a brother named Mike who wrote to let me know that Dave had died. In putting old issues of IGOTS into HTML for the website I ran across a letter from Avram Davidson that mentioned how Dave had helped him out - depressing how many of my correspondents are gone!

Since I wrote the above, Mike Hall has appointed me Dave Hall's literary executor!

Congregation of the Damned by Ilya Murometz, self-published, 150pp, illus b&w, wraps, $16.60.
This trade pb was recommended to me by Ben Indick. It is a headlong religious rant that resembles somewhat a verbal analogue of the paintings of Heironymous Bosch. The author is severely addicted to alliteration, despair, and radically gross imagery, to the extent that the reader is stunned by the notion that such vituperation could be sustained through even a relatively short book. The author's motive - beyond the psychic relief afforded as by screaming at a blind umpire or cursing the hammer that busted your thumb - is hard to discern. If it is the zeal for evangelical reform that inspired the Puritan preachers such as Jonathan Edwards, I fear it is doomed to failure.

As of July 2004, I have learned that John Maule, who wrote as "Ilya Murometz", has passed away. The executor of his estate wishes to sell the remaining 460 copies, as a lot, for $2 each plus shipping - contact Wilbert Maule, 3202 Michigan Avenue, Niagara Falls NY 14305-3310.

Taral Off-Colour by Taral Wayne, Kiddelidivee Books, Toronto 2001, CD-ROM, $25.
These are some 300+ computer images of pencil drawings, packaged for the "adult" furry erotica market - only in the current cultural atmosphere of neo-puritanism could this be done other than as a joke, as there is little here more erotic than the Taral cover I used on IGOTS 17 (which OfficeMax refused to print). But I love Taral's artwork for its engaging characters, psychological depth, and elegant line. The CD-ROM may be ordered from him at or 245 Dunn Ave. Apt.2111, Toronto, Ontario M6K 1S6, Canada.

Museum Replicas Limited (1-800-883-8838 or sends their 72-page full-color Catalog 64 of medieval weapons and armor. This particular catalog is not graced with the glowering visage of their notorious erstwhile manager Hank Reinhardt, but I have seen a later one that is - apparently they retain the rights to the images even though Horrible Hank has retired from the job.

A Word in your Eye by Steve Sneyd, Hilltop Press 2000 (4 Nowell Place, Almondbury, Huddersfield, W. Yorkshire HD5 8PB, England), 40pp, illus b&w by divers hands, wraps, $8.
This is subtitled An Introduction to the Graphic Poem. By this he means (the term is traced to a 1994 review) a poem combined with artwork at publication. There are numerous examples, and the Preliminary Bibliography at the back (covering only the 70s-90s) includes several fanzines - Pauline Palmer's Wild Fennel, Mark Manning's Tand, and others.

In the US, Hilltop Press books can be ordered (checks payable to Steve Sneyd) from NSFA, 31192 Paseo Amapola, San Juan Capistrano CA 92675-2227.

Spin by R. L. Barycz & The Star-Seer's Aerial Voyage by William Dearden, Hilltop Press (see previous entry), 2001, 20pp, wraps, $5.50.
This is bound antigoglin in the Ace Double Books style so that librarians will have to buy two copies to shelve it properly.... Excellent covers by Alan Hunter. The Star-Seer is an excerpt from a skiffy book-length poem published in 1837, while Spin is a short modern poem.

Not Sinking But Cruising by Helen Buckingham, KRAX, Yorkshire 2000, 16pp, illus by Alan Hunter, wraps, 12p.
Alan Hunter sent me this poetry booklet - only about 2x3 inches - which also contains a photo-collage and a photo of the author. Clever but rather depressing verses, perhaps meant to be sold on the street.

SF Commentary 76 edited by Bruce Gillespie, October 2000, 120pp, color wraps, illus b@w, $15.
Printed in dense double columns of small print, this fanzine has more content than many books! This issue concentrates on the writing of the Australian SF writer and critic George Turner. I enjoyed the account of how, at the age of 3, he met the famous singer Nellie Melba.

Fat Camp Commandos by Daniel Pinkwater, Scholastic Press, New York 2001, 90pp, illus by Andy Rash, $14.95.
As I am about 5'9" and never weighed over 160 lbs, I was never anywhere near what could be called "fat". The author, judging from the pictures I have seen, is rather short for his weight.... But I still enjoyed this very funny book about the resourceful escape of two kids from "Fat Camp"!

I often correspond with people about the origins of phrases - where does no wife, no horse, no mustache come from (other than the silly Illuminatus books? Ken Lake says it's in George Washington's "Book of Aspirations", but I can't find any other reference to that. And Dainis Bisenieks asks where Home, James comes from - I would guess a play or more likely a movie of the early 1900s, but which one?

Children of the Old Stars by David Lee Summers, Hadrosaur Productions (Box 8468), Las Cruces (NM 88006).
This novel is offered on a leaflet sent by Steve Sneyd, where it is noted that Summers is an astronomer and the founding editor of the "anthology magazine" Hadrosaur Tales. Poetical title anyway!

Only Human Martian Independence by Neil Lee Thompsett, noggin Publishing & Stuff, Beverly Hills 1999, 340pp, wraps, $12.95.
This is a prequel to Becoming Human, mentioned here previously. The author is now 14 (on the cover, 15 in the promo literature sent with it - tempus do fidgit)! Dennis T at noggin ran across my zine on the Net and kindly sent this review copy, a mass-market size pb but on better paper - autographed too.

This book also contains a postcard on which to report typos - they will then list you as an "associate editor" in future printings!

Good typography and I don't spot any typos right off - but the actual story-telling seems to me much more awkward than in the first book. Not surprising that a writer this age would not have a stable style, of course.

The Incomplete Leslie Fish, ed. by Beth Friedman, Rune Press, Minneapolis 2001, 133pp, cover by Kip Williams, spiral-bound.
There is no price on the book - I paid local filker Michael Liebmann $14.50 for it. Over 100 of Leslie Fish's filksongs nicely printed. The tunes are sometimes referenced to traditional tunes, and are also given in a notation that I do not understand (not standard octave bars), but then I am musically illiterate. Great stuff!

The local PBS outlet carried the BBC dramatization of Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan and Gormenghast, a 4-hour miniseries called Gormanghast. I thought it was about as good a dramatic presentation as could be expected from such a book - a bit too Disneyfied to my taste in the gaudiness of the sets and camera work, and some of the casting was weak. Most notably the Countess and Nanny Slagg. The Earl (Ian Richardson) and Flay (Christopher Lee) and Swelter were good, and Steerpike (though I kept thinking Sting would have been better but he's too old). Fuchsia was a bit frantic. Her mad aunts were excellent. I thought Barquentine was too noisy. At the end of the first half Titus is still an infant so little acting was required! The second half was more lively than the first.

The Mystery and Adventure Series Review edited by Fred Woodworth (Box 3012, Tucson AZ 85702), #34, Summer 2001, 92pp.
One of the last magazines set on a Varityper, and a beautiful job too, with color covers and much interior art. This is in the same format as Fred's The Match, mentioned here before. This issue concentrates on the Ken Holt series of boys adventure novels, including their attention to technical detail, but there is also a section on fingerprint technology. And I spotted a couple of old friends in the letter column. Very irregular in schedule and no fixed price.

Jeff VanderMeer kindly sent me these Ministry of Whimsy Press (Box 4248, Tallahassee FL 32315; publications:
Jabberwocky ed. by Jeff VanderMeer, Spring/Summer 1992, 50pp, $3.50
With a memorial to Angela Carter, who died that year; and a rather adverse review of that year's Best Horror Stories edited by Karl Edward Wagner. Five stories and three poems - the poems as usual leave me unelated. The stories are well-written, but more on the surrealist than the SF side of that fuzzy boundary.
Punktown by Jeffrey Thomas, 2000, 118pp, wraps, $11.99
These are a collection of eight short stories, all set in the human colony city Paxton (called Punktown) on some distant planet. High tech and sentient aliens run rife - a gruesome future that few of us would want to live in!
Leviathan Vol.2 ed. by Jeff VanderMeer and Rose Secrest, 1998, 183pp, wraps, $10.99
The second installment of an anthology - four novellas and interviews with the authors. My favorite is Rhys Hughes The Darkling Wheel - its sharp clear air of poetic madness reminds me of Mervyn Peake.

Poems of Moore Vol.2 by Thomas Moore, Collier, New York 1902, pp379-821, color frontis by A. E. Becher.
In poor condition, overpriced, and the art a murky mess. The first 126 pages are taken up with the orientalist epic Lalla Rookh. But the money went to a charity, and I could not resist the titles of the poems that fill out the book - The Fudges in England, The Fudge Family in Paris, Fables for The Holy Alliance (as by the members of the Poco-curante Society), Les Hommes Automates (French for robots - in 1884!), Translation from the Gull Language, Lament for the Loss of Lord Bathurst's Tail, Ode to a Hat.... These are all in a section headed "Satirical and Humorous Poems". If Moore is remembered now I suppose it is for the title "The Harp that Once in Tara's Halls" or the song "The Minstrel Boy".

Michael Hailstone in Australia got a copy of my book about the old filksong Green Hills of Earth and send an excellent cassette tape with piano versions of the George Heap and Joseph Kaye tunes, and copies of The Rebel Song from the old radio show The World in Peril, which uses Heinlein's words in an entirely different plot; and the "Solidarity Hymn" from Brave New World. Much thanks! Michael also sends hand-lettered sheet music for these last two, if any musically literate fan out there wants copies.

At the Sign of Sagittarius by Richard B. Ince, John Day, New York 1927, 255pp.
But actually printed in England. I bought it for $2, perhaps here in Atlanta as it was originally sold by Millers Book Store here. And never got around to reading it until Ince was mentioned in The Lost Club Journal #2 as being a "lost author". The Lost Club Journal is an excellent zine on obscure fantasy, done by Roger Dobson and Mark Valentine.

Alas, I cannot claim to have discovered a lost masterpiece of fantasy literature.... I probably bought the book because of the poetic title and the publisher - John Day published some excellent fantasy. But while it is pleasant enough to read, a sort of mildly satirical medievalism, it hardly lives up to the title, which is based on a quote from Dr. Johnson "...a rebellious sign; a sceptical sign; a rascally Voltairian sign if there be any truth in the claptrap of the astrologers".

The first third of the book is taken up with a series of accounts of the life and death of Dean Ensfrid - by comparison with the improbably saintly Dean, the rest of the clergy look pretty bad. The only supernatural element appears at the end in the form of the demon Tittivillus - Ensfrid exorcizes him with a lemon pip! Somewhere I have a short novel about this demon, but I can't remember the name of the author. The chapter headings are quotations from Caesarius of Heisterbach who, I discovered quite by accident, was a real 13th century demonologist (see below) - so perhaps Ince had done his homework.

The rest of the tales are shorter and involve various fantasy elements - a girl marries her true love by means of dual miracles that endow her with a beard and then remove it. For some reason the heading here, attributed to E. G. Brewer, baldly states that Charles XII had a woman in his army with a beard a yard and a half long - but the woman in the story lived in Provence in the reign of "Good King Rene" and was not in the army. There is a tale of Orphitus, a Greek thief who becomes a saint by accident; and another about an unsuccessful penitent who becomes a holy hermit by sheer contrariness. The Faith of Fanu is set in ancient Egypt, and has to do with the bronze statue of the infant Horus coming to life. The Return stars Apollonius of Tyana, who brings a man back to life just to confound his doctors. In The Limp, the official quacks win - when a faith healer cures the king's bad knee, they exile the king secretly and hire an actor to play him with the limp!

The final tale, The Thanatists, makes no sense at all - an atomic scientist in 1999 pursues his research to the point that he could converse with God face-to-face. God tells him that He is appalled by the funeral customs of Englishmen, and plans to make the spirits of the dead visible to the living. He does this against the advice of the scientist, it turns out badly, and in the end God admits he was wrong!

Sexual Practices and the Medieval Church by Vern L. Bullough & James Brundage, Prometheus Books, Buffalo 1982, 289pp, index, bibliography, notes, wraps.

By sheer coincidence (or synchronicity?), just after writing the bit above about Ince's book, I was idly paging through this one and discovered that Caesarius of Heisterbach was a 13th-century demonologist who got a single mention here for his writings on the gruesome details of the sexual practices of incubi and succubi.

The other interesting thing about this book - otherwise pretty dull - is that the authors have traced a lot of the medieval theories about astrology, determinism, and sexuality to translations of Arabic writers. While Abdul Alhazred is not mentioned, it can be seen where HPL got the basic idea!

A Book of Beauty / A Book of Love ed. by John Hadfield, Hamish Hamilton / Edward Hulton , London 1958 / 1952, 224/256pp, illus color & b&w.
Tom Cockcroft sent me the first of these, and by coincidence I found the second a week later at a local thrift store (not nearly as well preserved as the first, alas). They are selections of art and poetry from a wide range of historical sources by the same man who edited The Saturday Book. I see from the d/w fly that there are at least two other such books, A Book of Britain and A Book of Delights.

The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie by Thomas Fink and Yong Mao, Fourth Estate, London 1999, 144pp, illus color photos and diagrams, appendix, bibliography, index, £10.
This was mentioned on one of the Net lists I'm on, and when I looked it up I found that it is at least partly topological so I ordered one. It turns out that tie knots can equated to 3-D random walks, and the number 85 emerges as a consequence of limiting h, the number of half-turns, to 9.

Of the 85 possible knots under this restriction, only 16 have traditional names. These are pictured in full color - but to my eye they are indistinguishable, and all look idiotic on a man's neck!

Timothy Dexter Revisited by John P. Marquand, Little Brown, Boston 1960, 306pp, illus in line by Philip Kappel.
I learned of this book on a Net list too. I have long had the first Marquand book, Lord Timothy Dexter of Newburyport, Mass (Minton Balch & Co, New York 1925) and thought I had mentioned it in IGOTS, but now that IGOTS 1-22 are online I have collected the texts into a megabyte-size ascii file that can be searched with WordPad (or any ascii editor) and I find I never mentioned it before.

Timothy Dexter (1746-1806) was one of the great American eccentrics. He became a very rich man by import-export, and built a mansion in Newburyport. Even though he was barely literate, he wrote and had published in 1802 the rather Lovecraftian-sounding A Pickle For the Knowing Ones (and it gives instructions on how to see the "Devel"!) - when critics complained that it lacked punctuation, he brought out another edition with a page of punctuation marks and the remark that they could use them to "peper and solt it as they plese"! He assigned himself the title "Lord", and also claimed to be "First in the East, First in the West, and the Greatest Philosopher in the Western World".

The text of the Pickle (from the 1838 edition) is included as an appendix to the 1925 book, or the original can be seen at
a handsome website devoted to Lord Timothy.

At the Thirteenth Hour by Steve Sneyd, Night Visions, Troy (NC) 1996 (2nd ed.), 24pp, illus by Cathy Miller, wraps, $4.
Short poems in short lines of short words.... The titles are in the horror line, beyond that I don't feel qualified to comment! The art is excellent. This was sent to me in June 2001 so it's hard to be sure about the address - Ree Young, Rt.2, Box 357, Troy NC 27371.

Seaports in the Moon by Vincent Starrett, Doubleday Doran, New York 1928, 289pp.
A poetical title, but the tale has little to do with seaports or the Moon. It concerns a vial of water from Ponce de Leon's "Fountain of Youth" on the island of Bimini. The characters are mostly either historical (such as de Leon, Cyrano de Bergerac, Columbus, Poe, Villon) or literary (d'Artagnan, Don Quixote). The characters in the final chapter are obscure contemporaries of Starrett, so it's hard to say who he had in mind. In the end the vial is emptied into - but that would be telling.

Hong Kong Invaded A '97 Nightmare by Gillian Bickley, Hong Kong University Press, 2001, 328pp, wraps, £24.
I do not have this rather pricey book, and have forgotten where I got the advertising flyer, which came from Oxford England. The book, which has a foreword by the famous bibliographer of alternate history, I. F. Clarke, is not about the recent takeover of Hong Kong by the People's Republic of China, but rather concerns an imaginary invasion by France and Russia in 1897. E-mail

Scavenger's Newsletter 200, Janet Fox (833 Main, Osage City KS 66523-1241;, 28pp, $4.
This Oct'00 issue must have just missed IGOTS 22. Mostly reviews, one spooky piece of short fiction.

Fantasy Commentator 52, A. Langley Searles (48 Highland Circle, Bronxville NY 10708-5909), pp.233-304, $5.
And a 10-page "Annex" that also went through FAPA and the E.O.D. Mike Ashley and Ruth Lowndes and Fred Pohl on the late Doc Lowndes, who I remember dimly from parties at Harriett Kolchak's house in the early 1960s. Also articles on A. Merritt, and an interview with Everett Bleiler about his days at Dover Books.

Monk's Magic by Alexander de Comeau, Dutton, New York 1931, 250pp.
Someone on the fictionmags Net list mentioned this book, which I had not heard of before. Not all that rare, but the copies with what is said to be a spectacular d/w are expensive. A merry medieval tale of alchemy and adventure, more Rabelaisian than Lovecraftian, with villainous priests and noblemen, Gypsy witches, and the secret of the Elixir of Life. It would make a great movie.

Uncle Stephen by Forrest Reid, Tartarus Press, North Yorkshire 2001, 282pp, introduction by Colin Cruise, £27.50.
A 350-copy reprint with a new introduction of the 1931 Faber & Faber edition of a spooky complex novel about a Machenesque youth and his mysterious uncle and a sort of time travel. I enjoyed it.

The address for Tartarus Press has changed - Coverley House, Carlton-in-Coverdale, Leyburn, N. Yorkshire, DL8 4AY, U.K. At the bottom of the verso of the title page this book includes the curious legend Maestro de las Reales Prensas en Lengua Inglesa, which means something like "Master of the Royal Presses in English" - a sort of royal patent, but from what king? Something to do with the Kingdom of Redonda, perhaps.

The Lightstone by David Zindell, Voyager / Harper Collins, London 2001, 840pp, maps, appendices, £17.99
And that's just Book One of the Ea Cycle.... After two chapters I am a little let down as compared to my anticipation of this new book by the author of the 4-volume space opera Neverness / The Broken God / The Wild / War in Heaven. We will see....

Life Comes to Seathorpe by Neil Bell, Eyre and Spottiswoode, London 1946, 302pp.
I remember having some notion that Neil Bell wrote sf - and there is an extensive entry in the Clute/Nicholls Encyclopedia - but I had never read one before, and have only this one and the collection Alpha and Omega. A very curious book - well written but only a soap-operaish modern novel about the life of an upperclass British journalist who retires (to the small seaside town of Seathorpe) to write. The protagonist finds that he cannot finish a novel he has worked on for some time and burns the manuscript, deciding it is trivial rubbish. An SF fan might well have decided the same about this novel - but halfway through it suddenly becomes an SF mystery! Strange events and deaths begin to plague Seathorpe, and the original protagonist plays little part in the solution of the mystery, which turns out to have been caused by the very skiffy activities of the local mad scientist, whose journal forms the second half of the book. Reminds me of my feeling - in the middle of some turgid movie or TV drama - that the appearance of a vampire or werewolf would greatly enliven the proceedings.

The House of the Wolfings by William Morris, Reeves and Turner, London 1890, 199pp.
The 2nd edition - the first was 1888. I have had this a long time, but only recently read the whole thing. It is rather like an opera, in that much of the dialog (especially if a character gives a speech) is in verse. It is essentially an account of the successful resistance of a confederation of "Goth" tribes to a Roman invasion, with a tragic love story and some Teutonic gods and magic armor. What impressed me the most was the strong resemblance to the language and plot lines of The Lord of the Rings - the Goths call themselves "Men of the Mark", the magical chain mail is made by the King of the Dwarves and carries a curse, and the love affair is between a mortal hero and an immortal woman. Tolkien, who was born in 1892, could easily have read this book as a child.

Tales from the Tower by Fender Tucker, Short Order Press 2000, 223pp, illus diagrams, wraps.
No price appears on this 4x6 pb, which has a d/w - I think it was about $20. Inquire at Fender Tucker also reprints Harry Stephen Keeler books and sells them there.

I suppose it is not surprising that Murder in the Monastery, the longest piece in this book, owes something to Keeler in its devout lunacy. I enjoyed it, but was disappointed to find careless flaws in the details of the intricate plot. One of the puzzles has multiple solutions, and the map index is wrong.

The other pieces in the book seem to be autobiographical memoirs from Mr. Tucker's checkered and improbable career.

Meade Frierson, a fan I had known since the 1960s, passed away on Monday, September 24. He was long a member of the Southern Fandom Press Alliance; and had published the noted Lovecraft book HPL.

Big Big Space! / Invasion From Planet Vampire / Tread Softly, Bill Lizard by Roger Gregg, Crazy Dog Audio Theatre, CDs.
See for details. I have only a postcard about Big Big Space!, just out in October. I bought the last one over the Net, and the Planet Vampire directly from Gregg himself by e-mail with a check in $US.

These audio theater productions are broadcast on the Irish station "RTE 1" and resemble Firesign Theater albums. The casts are either from all over or are doing very realistic-sounding accents - they don't all sound Irish! Excellent sound quality and imaginative effects. Perhaps a bit less social commentary than in Firesign - but of course I may have missed references to Irish society.

Illustrations to J. R. R. Tolkien by D.West, Bingley Yorkshire 1971, 56pp, handcolored, one of 450 such, wraps.
Greg Pickersgill sent me this saddle-stapled mimeoed booklet. The layout of the illustrations is excellent, but I feel that the detail, in a style influenced by woodcuts, loses something to the mimeo process. The coloring is in yellow, pink, and salmon pastels - watercolors I would guess, though I am no artist.

The introduction notes that vast number of scenes in The Lord of the Rings that call for illustration, and many of the more memorable ones are chosen here - the Bridge at Khazad-Dum, the Pyre of Denethor, Shelob, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Chips & Shavings and Another Writing by Lee Brown Coye, Sidecar Preservation Society, Hamilton NY 2001, 32pp, cover by the author, #77/100, wraps, $7.00.
Edited by Michael Waltz, but no address is given. The cover is classic Coye gothic! These pieces were selected from a column of the same title that Coye wrote for the Mid-York Weekly in the 1960s. The name of the publishing house has nothing whatsoever to do with motorcycles, but refers to a cocktail of that name - the recipe is given on the last page.

An elegantly printed booklet, and the well-written stories are about local eccentrics and strange occurences. I also heard from:
Ondine Aurelia (
, who cussed me out by e-mail for my comments in IGOTS 9 (Oct'92) about Anthony Angarola's art for Ben Hecht's The Kingdom of Evil - I had expressed a preference for Wallace Smith's art in Fantazius Mallare, to which The Kingdom of Evil was a sequel. I had never heard of Angarola otherwise, but apparently he was a famous guy in Chicago.
Dee Beetem
, who kindly sent me photocopies of the two missing bibliography pages torn before sale from most copies of Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent.
Doris Beetem
, who, in addition to the Tony Hillerman book mentioned above, sent me her spare copy of William Goldman's The Princess Bride, a hoax fantasy that I had somehow missed even though it was famous enough to become a hit movie. Doris also sent me a bibliography of John D. MacDonald, abstracted from Other Times, Other Worlds, a book I am not familiar with.
Rose Beetem
, who sent me a copy of The LASFS Album, a booklet of photographs dating back to 1938, published on the occasion of the 1500th meeting of the Los Angeles SF club in 1966. They now appear on
Sheryl Birkhead
, who sends a Christmas card and says she is still trying to recover from moving to a new house.
Mike Blake
, who asks about two lines of verse in Walt Willis' Hyphen #1 that are attributed to Lilith Lorraine - they are two lines (in a different order) from her poem We Are the Poets from Call On the Rocks, included in Let the Patterns Break (Avalon Press, Rogers AR 1947).
Tom Cockcroft
, who sends a photo of his Victorian ancestral manse before the second story was removed and set down next door as a separate house!
Alden Scott Crow
, who sends a copy of his Profanity Debate with Josh Saitz - it is about personal taste in communication rather than censorship, so I found it rather pointless.
Margaret Cubberly
, who sends a clipping of her published interview with Jackie Chan - I suppose it could be debated whether his films are SF or fantasy. Margaret also remembers that the fantasy based on the Melusine legend is The Wandering Unicorn by Manuel Mujica Lainez.
Rich Dengrove
, who sends a copy of the spectacularly asinine book Arachne Rising, see above.
Mike Dobson
, who sends a Millenial Newsletter. He now has his own website at where you can buy his alternate history novel The Fox on the Rhine.
Mike Don
, who notes that the material on Norman Lindsay and Virgil Finlay from lastish attained the notoriety of a mention in Dave Langford's Ansible.
Dale Goble
, who sends a Dinotopia postcard with a dinosaur stamp to thank me for a photocopy of the d/w on Alfred Bester's Tiger! Tiger! - it took the OfficeMax guy some half-dozen tries to make it, but he only charged me for one!
Jim Goldfrank
, who sent a beautiful Christmas card and a zillion e-mail jokes.
Mary & Terry Gray
in Newport News, who sent the Edward Gorey Christmas card about the Great Veiled Bear.
Steve Green
, who asks about the dates of the artists compared on last issue's back cover - Norman Lindsay (1879-1969), Virgil Finlay (1914-1971).
Steve & Suzanne Hughes
, who send a full-color cyber-printed skiffy Christmas card that he designed and printed himself.
Bob Hechler
at the US embassy in Berlin, who thanks me for an offer to re-xerox The Sworn Book of Honourius but says he found this and 27 other grimoires on CD! Perhaps the CIA is getting desperate....
Alan Hunter
, who sends his beautiful self-illustrated Christmas card and a tiny poetry booklet - see above.
Ben Indick
, who says he is writing 250-word reviews for $45 each - sound like easy money to me! He also induced me to get the Ilya Murometz book reviewed above.
Al Kirkpatrick
, who sends a Christmas card.
Herman Stowell King
, who sends a surreal Christmas card showing a dog in a Santa hat embracing a cat in Santa boots.
R'ykandar Korra'ti
at the NorWesCon 24 Fanzine Lending Library, who thanks me for the zines I sent, and incloses a photo of the library and a set of the very silly daily con zine Inevitability.
Ken Lake
, who sends (in addition to the little book mentioned above) clippings of an article from a British paper about the cities of Rome and Athens here in Georgia - the British apparently find endless amusement in our crass colonial recycling of these names. Ken also asked about the psychobabble in the Ivy League college literature departments - I think that is evidence of an alien invasion. Ken's envelopes are always bright with a variety of colorful stamps - here is one with St.Kilda, Medieval Mummers, and a foot painting a rainbow with a brush held in the toes; and another with Par Avion stickers commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first space flight by Yuri Gagarin in the Vostok 1.
Robert Lichtman
, who also mentions The Last Wizard; and says he wants a copy of Avram Davidson's Adventures in Unhistory, a 1993 book that shouldn't be all that scarce - partly my fault I suppose, I seem to have three copies!
Murray MacLachlan
, who e-mails from Melbourne to say that he knows Tom Cockcroft and is compiling a bibliography of New Zealand SF - he can be reached at
Heather McLeod
at Perseus Books, who replies to my e-mail query about their reprint of David Thomson's The People of the Sea that it does not use the Mervyn Peake art of the original edition.
Joseph Major
, who says there is no modern poetry....
Tim Marion
, who offered to frank IGOTS through FAPA - but that would be a lot of extra copies to print, and probably anyone in FAPA who wants it aleady gets it. Tim also asks if I want his old Rex Rotary mimeo, if he can find it! I think I have as much mimeo as I need, but suggested he could send the screen for a spare and junk the rest - I don't think the piston-style ink cans for this machine can be gotten any more.
Thomas Molloy
, who sends a copy of The Annotated Dracula! Tom is also looking for an illusive recording - the Paganini Variations for Violin as recorded by Leonid Kogan.
Richard Newsome
, who complains that he couldn't tell from my review whether Dorothy Litersky's Hawk & Dove was a biography or literary criticism - mostly biography, I would say.
Christopher O'Brien
, who sent a Christmas card and Part VI of Everts rant about the Derleth biography by Dorothy Litersky - this is the one where he starts a rumor that she is dead, though the obituary is obviously of another woman with a similar name.
Mark Owings
, who sent a Christmas card from the "Owings Private Library".
Jack Palmer
, who sent (in the usual spectacularly decorated envelope) a note saying that he had read George Borrow's Gypsy stories as a teenager but hadn't know about the Romano Lavo-Lil; and enclosed a curious non-SF fanzine called Xerox Debt published in Maryland by Davida Gypsy Breier.
Lloyd Penney
, who notes that there is a "Brooks Books" shop in Mississauga (Canada) run by a Jack Brooks. Lloyd notes that the peculiar US postage rate structure for Canada is part of a feud that goes back 15 years, something to do with "offsetting particular non-US company fees and special rates for getting mail trucks and plane across the border". A fan in NY was recently forced to fill out a Customs form to send an apa mailing to a Canadian address by First Class!
Curt Phillips
(, who is compiling a list of all the Western pulp tales published by SF writers - I don't know whether the Western pulps have been as extensively indexed as the SF pulps, but that's only half the problem - most of these stories are under pseudonyms, or different pseudonyms than the SF.
Greg Pickersgill
, who sends 11 Selectric elements for my typewriter collection! And the Tolkien booklet mentioned above.
Derek Pickles
, who notes that J. M. Barrie gave the Peter Pan copyright to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London, and they have received vast sums from it, what with the Disney movie and so on.
Ashley Pomeroy
, who asks if the Ray Gross book Can It Be Done? discussed in IGOTS 15 has been reprinted - apparently not, nor are other copies listed on the Net, or any other books by that author - I thought I found one other, but on seeing it I decided it was probably by another person of the same name.
Pete Presford
, who sends a postcard photo of a gargoyle on the Bell Tower at the New College, Oxford, which seems to be a caricature of Anthony Eden biting his nails.
Jessica Salmonson
, whose alter-ego Paghat the Ratgirl sends a beautiful postcard - alas, the comments seem to consist only of a correspondence between English letters and Egyptian heiroglyphics.
Julia Morgan-Scott
, who kindly sent some excellent artwork. The pieces suited to my needs have been previously published, but not in places that would, at a guess, have a lot of overlap with this zine.
Joe & Edie Siclari
, who note a COA to 661 Hanover Street, Yorktown Heights NY 10598.
Robert Whitaker Sirignano
, who sent an e-mail saying I should search for R.A.Lafferty websites - two I found are

Ken Slater
, who sends the Oct'00 Fantast (Medway) Ltd catalog with a mysterious scribbled note "Did I ever send you a copy of I think this tram turns left?" - I don't think I answered this before putting it in the IGOTS box, alas. Never heard of that item - a zine, a song, an epic poem? E-mail Ken at for anything in the SF line.
Steve Sneyd
, who sent a photocopy of Shelley's The Witch of Atlas - however, the only connection between this and the legend of the Cahena seems to be that both the Manly Wade Wellman story and the Atlas Mountains are in northern Africa. Steve also sent a book of verse about Merlin by an ancestor of his - see above - and a two-page spread on 1950s notions of what we might find on the Moon. I had not heard before of the controversy over a reputable astronomer's insistence that he could see a 12-mile bridge on the Moon, but it is well covered on the WWW. Speaking of the Moon, Steve sends a page from the BBC website about ancient battles affected by an eclipse of the Moon - hard for us to imagine a world that superstitious and with nights that dark! Steve also sends a postcard explaining what Spenser meant by the "Blattant Beast" in The Faerie Queen.
Phil Stephensen-Payne
, who sent me his father's 1938 Corona typewriter from England - it was made in the US for the English market, one of the last of that line of tiny portables, which were made roughly from the start of WWI to the start of WWII. The carriage folds over the keyboard for storage.
Milt Stevens
, who sends an e-loc noting, among other things, that he doesn't think that the social situation in Mary Doria Russell's The Children of God where intelligent herbivores allow themselves to be eaten by intelligent carnivores is at all likely.
Graham Stone
, who quotes the original Aesop's Fable to the effect that "the lion's share" means all of it - not just most of it as often used. Graham also sent some printouts on steam-powered aircraft - the Venn account is totally wrong, but in 1894 Hiram Maxim did build an enormous steam-powered biplane. Whether it can be said to have flown is debatable - it seems to have lifted a foot or so in a tethered test.
Dennis T
, an "Official Unpleasant Person" who nevertheless writes to thank me for the review of Becoming Human in IGOTS 21. He mentioned two interesting ideas - the publishing company for the Thompsett book has discovered it can sell extra copies of the book to "associate editors" who find typos and get their names listed in subsequent editions; and that people with dyslexia find writing by dyslexics easier to read!
Xina Marie Uhl
at "Word of Mouth" offers to send me e-mail book reviews by a David McKinlay, who says he has accumulated 7000 books for cheap interior decorating. The mind boggles...
Jeff VanderMeer
, who read the comments on his Early History of Ambergris and wished to object to Milt Stevens' calling ambergris "whale vomit". He says it is a greyish waxy secretion from the intestines of sperm whales. Ambergris is traced to late 15th Century French by the Oxford English Dictionary and the original form imbre grise (grise meaning grey) predates ambre jaune (jaune meaning yellow) which became our word amber for fossil tree resin. I had wondered about the use of the word for the name of a city, but Jeff points out that it is plainly stated on the first page that the Manzikert clan were originally whalers. There is more about Ambergris that I have not seen, including The Transformation of Martin Lake which won a World Fantasy Award; and four novellas and some new material are to appear in hardcover.
Harry Warner
, who notes that a columnist in his 1940s fanzine Spaceways, Jack Chapman Miske, wrote there of a Virgil Finlay illustration in Weird Tales that appeared to have been copied from a photograph in the Saturday Evening Post.
Toni Weisskopf
, who sends a Christmas card and an invitation to New Year's Eve at Hank Reinhardt's - good food and fireworks were enjoyed by all!
Henry (Knarley) Welch
, who says IGOTS is not a genzine just because it gets "general" distribution. OK....
Linda & H.L. Wilson
, who send a card saying that their BiblioBarn in South Kortright NY is thriving - wish I could see it!
Fred Woodworth
, who can't remember if he ever read Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath - I'm sure I've read it several times, but like most dreams it is hard to remember. Fred also sent me a 2001 calendar advertising his anarchist magazine The Match in iridescent glitter!

Hope you had a Happy Halloween - this issue should make its way to destinations around the world by Christmas, so Merry Christmas too, and a Happy New Year! The world is a bit different than it was when the previous issue got out - odd that none of the psychics claim to have predicted that the World Trade Center towers would be gone from the New York skyline, or that we would be at war in Afghanistan, or worried that our mail might contain anthrax! Except Nostradamus, of course - whatever happens, someone will claim he predicted it.

We used to say that fandom was something that comes in the mail - now the terrorists have polluted that. One of the US scientists who worked on anthrax as a weapon was on 60 Minutes II on October 17, didn't even look ashamed of himself.... Is it now too dangerous to send your friends a letter or a fanzine, for fear that it might carry anthrax from the mail handling system into their homes? I hope not.

The next issue will appear eventually - production is fueled by the acquisition of suitable books, and I don't find as many here as I did in Newport News. There is a Steve Stiles cover on hand for IGOTS 24, however.

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