Cover art by Gavin O'Keefe, based on a carving by an unknown artist, back cover art by unknown artist, taken from a card sent me by Steve Sneyd.
This will be the first issue produced from my new house - I am retired from the federal civil service (NASA). There has been an IGOTS website since July'98, but you will just have to look and see how much has gotten put up - as I begin to type this issue in July, IGOTS 18 is all that's there. I have learned enough HTML to do a legible text conversion, and enough graphics fiddling (thanks mainly to Bill Bridget and Jeff Copeland) to keep the storage per issue below a megabyte.
There seem to be a lot of people on the mailing list whose identity has escaped my leaky brainpan. After this issue I will cut the list radically to save on printing and postage - anyone can look at the last few issues on the Web.
The Really Incompleat Bob Tucker, ed. by Dave Locke and
published by Buck & Juanita Coulson for the Tucker Fund in 1974
- 60 pp mimeo, illustrated by Sheryl Birkhead, Kelly Freas, Bill
Rotsler and others, $10.
I somehow failed to get this in 1974 even though I was on the plane that took Tucker and the rest of us to the first Australian worldcon in 1975. I got this copy for $10 from Bill Bowers (4651 Glenway Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45238). An excellent selection of material by Bob Tucker from fanzines of the 40s through the 60s. The funny introduction is by the late Robert Bloch.
No Hiding Place by William Seabrook, Lippincott, Philadelphia
1942 1st, 406pp.
The first book I bought in a thrift store after moving to the Atlanta area, this is Seabrook's autobiography. I don't think I already have a copy among the 10,000 books I brought from Virginia, but I don't know for sure! Looks very interesting - Seabrook worked for Hearst and lived all over the world. He is probably remembered now mostly for his writing about Haiti and voodoo. On the second page he announces that he hated his younger (4 years) brother all his life.
Ports of Call by Jack Vance, Tor, New York 1998 1st, 300pp,
I read this at night as I packed and moved and began unpacking. Typical Vance and quite enjoyable. It seems to end in the middle, so I guess there will be a sequel!
You know you're in the Bible Belt when... Today's mail had a flyer for a non-profit automated telephone system for accessing Biblical wisdom. You dial 404-292-3223 (so it's only free for local callers) and get any of hundreds of 5-minute Bible readings identified by subject using 3-digit codes. For example, 303 gets you Pornography - Is it Harmful? and 179 gets you What About Marijuana?. My books are still mostly in boxes in the garage, but I am fairly sure that the Bible does not mention marijuana.
Criticism of Amateur Verse: A Selection from the Critical
Department of The National Amateur by Howard P. Lovecraft,
Moshassuck Press, Glenview IL 1998, 50pp, wraps.
Ken Faig sent me these samples (1931-35) of HPL's criticism from the old non-sf apa. Some of it is reset, and some in facsimile from the old zines or manuscript. These are extremely sercon technical discussions of verse that appeared in the amateur press of the time - and most of the poets long forgotten. I did spot the name of Ray Zorn, who I corresponded with for years until his death last summer.
The Ideal Amateur Paper: A Symposium by Ralph W. Babcock, Ernest A. Edkins, Howard P. Lovecraft, and Robie M. Macauley, as above, 14pp, wraps.
These comments were done in 1937, and the participants were still looking back to 1885-1895 as a Golden Age of amateur journalism!
When Grandma Went A-Courting: Ancestral Romance in the Poetry of Jennie E. T. Dowe and Edith Miniter by Kenneth W. Faig Jr, as above, 16pp, wraps, one of 25 signed copies. Jennie Dowe was Edith Miniter's mother.
Other than the limitation notice on the last one, I find nothing with these three papers from Ken Faig to indicate what the price or availability may be - that may have gotten lost in my move from Virginia.
The Ignored by Bentley Little, Signet/Penguin AE9258 1997,
429pp, wraps, $5.99.
A well-developed fantasy based on the paranoid feeling that everyone ignores you. Here the `ignored' are also relentlessly average, and thus useful to the market researchers. Some turns in the plot are weakly supported, but it held my interest enough to finish it. The cover blurb attributed to Stephen King "A master of the macabre!" seems a bit much, but perhaps King has read the previous Bentley Little works, which I have not. The cover `art' consisting of a merry-go-round in silhouette can be ignored...
The Way Things Are by Rachel Maddux, ed. by Nancy Walker,
Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville 1992, 270pp.
Perhaps still available - the price is on the d/w only as a bar-code. Rachel Maddux (1913-1983) was the author of the fantasy The Green Kingdom and gave a wonderful speech as GoH at the 1969 DeepSouthCon. These are 24 stories left unpublished at her death plus 4 that apparently were published, but neither the introduction nor any note reveals where or when. I enjoyed reading them very much even though any fantasy element is in the oblique approach to the material rather than overt. They are rather like Flannery O'Connors stories, but set in the midwest rather than the south; or the recent collection by Shirley Jackson.
The Green Ray by Vance Thompson, Bobbs Merrill,
Indianapolis 1922-24, 310pp.
A curious melange of antique super-science, occultism and Egyptology - Dr. Ira Cree has discovered the N-ray, with which he can turns Negroes white and restore youth to middle-aged bankers. The multiple copyrights must mean that the story was serialized in some magazine. I had never heard of Vance Thompson and don't know if it is even a real name (he also published The Pointed Tower, The Scarlet Iris, and others under this name) but while unpacking stuff in the new house I ran across two issues of a magazine called Truth - the issue for July 1901 contains an article by Vance Thompson, Make the Bed for Attila, a retelling of the story of Honoria, niece of the Roman emperor Honorius. This emperor, who claimed to be a Christian, was apparently as much a toad as the current rulers of the world - he traded his sister Placidia to Attila the Gaul for a peace treaty, and when, after Attila's death she returned to Rome with their daughter Honoria, he traded Honoria to Alaric the Goth for a peace treaty. The twist (in this story anyway) is that Honoria, about 15 at the time, did not care for Rome and had secretly sent a letter (which according to Thompson still exists) with a gold ring to Alaric, asking him to carry her off! The letter was carried to Alaric by Honoria's personal guard, Rufus - and Alaric returned the letter, ring, and Rufus (well, his head anyway) to the emperor, agreeing not to sack Rome in return for Honoria. The line drawings by Albert Levering are quite good, but his four color pieces are awful - the color is bad because it is not process color, but that does not account for the sloppy drawing.
When William Came by Hector H. Munro, 1913
The Monikins by James Fenimore Cooper, 1835
Smith and the Pharoahs and Other Stories by H. Rider Haggard, 1920
Memoirs of the Year 2500 by Louis-Sebastien Mercier, 1795 These are all additions to the library (now up to 25 disks) of old public-domain fantasy works put onto diskette in ascii by Mark Owings (note COA to 3512 Chestnut Avenue, Baltimore MD 21211-2519; email@example.com). Previous disks were 5.25-inch, but these are 3.5. The incredibly low price is $1 per disk plus $1.50 per order. All have excellent introductions by Mark himself. A public-domain editor, list.com, is supplied with the files but any text editor will work.
When William Came, by the man who is most noted for light fantasy under the name `Saki', is about the German invasion of England by Kaiser Wilhelm.
The Monikins was copied to disk from the 1892 Collier edition but the original date of publication puts it back almost with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1819) and Jane Loudon's The Mummy (1827). It seems to be socio/biological sf.
Smith and the Pharoahs is accompanied by Barbara-Who-Came-Back, The Blue Curtains, Magepa the Buck (an Allan Quartermain story), Only a Dream, and Little Flower.
Memoirs of the Year 2500 is from a British edition translated from the French.
The Boss in the Wall by Avram Davidson and Grania Davis,
Tachyon Press (www.tachyonpublications.com), San Francisco
1998, 122pp, $12 (trade pb).
The hardcover (on which the publisher kindly put a d/w cover!) lacks a price. Both Peter Beagle and Michael Swanwick supplied introductions. A wonderful horror story that came to Davidson in a dream - he had not quite finished the novella when he died. In the mean time Grania Davis (his ex-wife) had been working on a novel version. This is the novella, which she completed for publication. As is common with Davidson's work, a mere reader like myself cannot tell whether the monster is based on any earlier folkloric material!
According to a fancy flyer handed me in the parking lot of the local Home Depot store, the Joseph Project 2000 (www.josephproject2000.org) has the Y2K problem well in hand, and wanted me to attend a Community Awareness Seminar about it at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur - and bring all my neighbors too.
The Complete Pegana by Lord Dunsany, Chaosium, 1998, 239pp, introduction by S. T. Joshi, wraps, $12.95. The Pegana stories originally appeared in The Gods of Pegana, Time and the Gods, and three additional stories in Tales of Three Hemispheres. Wonderful fantasies about a pantheon of deities that obviously inspired Lovecraft - so why didn't Chaosium use the Sidney Sime art that enhanced the original publication?
The Silmarillion V.I&II by J. R. R. Tolkien, performed by
Martin Shaw, Bantam/Doubleday/Dell 1998, 2 CD sets, $27 each.
But deeply discounted to $18.90 each at amazon.com. These performances run 277 and 287 minutes each, or nearly 9 hours altogether. I may not get around to listening to them until I have to sit still that long! The cover art of V.I is very odd - mostly trees, which get larger the further back they are from the viewer.
Ken Slater at Fantast (Medway) Limited now accepts orders by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org - I have ordered from him for years by mail, using my MasterCard, which links with the British BarclayCard.
The Science-Fantasy Publishers by Jack Chalker and Mark
Owings, Mirage Press (Box 1689, Westminster MD 21158) 1998,
Jack Chalker gave me this excellent reference work at worldcon in August and said it is best viewed with Abobe 3.0. I have only Adobe 3.1, but it seems to work quite well, though Jack says that on repeated searches for the same phrase it will lose count and begin to display the wrong page. I got the original printed version of this book when it appeared, and told Jack that his account of the name of my Purple Mouth Press is utter twaddle - but harmless enough - and it still appears in this 1998 version. This book covers all of the books of all of the small sf presses from 1923 through 1998. The print version is two inches thick and weighs 5 lbs, an enormous amount of data.
Ape Into Pleiades by Lilith Lorraine, Hilltop Press (4
Nowell Place, Almondbury, Huddersfield, W.Yorkshire HD5 8PB,
England) 1998, 20pp, wraps, $6.
This is Steve Sneyd's collection of 10 of Lilith Lorraine's poems with an excellent biography and bibliography. She was born Mary Maude Dunn in 1894, married a Cleveland Lamar Wright in 1912, and died in 1967. The FBI kept a file on her as an "Aztec-American" - whatever that means. The Aztec civilization vanished before the American one came into being. I have no particular qualification to judge poetry but I like her work.
The Ragnarok Press (Box 140333, Austin TX 78714 or www.ragnarokpress.com) had a table at worldcon and I took one of their flyers - beautiful TrueType fantasy fonts at $7-15 each, including one of Tolkien's angerthas runes.
The Young Guy from Fuggoth by M. M. Moamrath, ed. by
Joseph F. Pumilia and Bill Wallace, Zadok Allen Publisher 1997,
40pp, wraps, $5.
Probably no use to look up Zadok Allen, but you can order this pre-moldered tome from Darrell Schweitzer (6644 Rutland Street, Philadelphia PA 19149). The author's initials are, at long last, revealed to stand for Mortimer Morbius and his ghastly poems are annotated here with illustrated footnotes, which reminds me of Dr. Johnson's comment on women whistling or dogs dancing - since my reference books are not yet unpacked, I will leave you to look that up for yourself.
The Cheetah Girl by Christopher Blayre, Tartarus Press
1998, 71pp, #58/99, frontispiece by David Johnson.
Place and price not noted but a production of R. B. Russell (5 Birch Terrace, Hangingbirch Lane, Horam, Heathfield, East Sussex TN21 0PA, England) - top and fore-edge gilt, marbled endpapers... This startling and bizarre story of human/feline miscenegation was omitted from the old collection The Purple Sapphire as being too erotic. Fred Patten take note!
B. Traven Life and Work ed. by Ernst Schurer and Philip
Jenkins, Penn State Univ. Press, 1987, 368pp, chronology,
A curious anthology about this mysterious author, set in justified typescript. The u in Schurer should have an umlaut. I never heard of any of the authors, most of whom have Teutonic surnames. Traven is noted mostly for having written The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, from which John Huston made the famous film.
In Search of Honor by Adele B. Lynn, BajonHouse 1998,
Ms Lynn gives seminars on how employees should be treated, apparently based on interviews with the actual employees. Since I am neither employed any more nor an employer, what I noticed most about this review copy is that - compared to the usual hideous TQM book - it is attractive. The d/w is printed in black and gold on an unusual mottled paper stock, and the text is nicely set in an easy to read font.
Niekas 45, edited by Ed Meskys et al (RR#2, Box 63,
Center Harbor NH 03226-9708; email@example.com), July 1998,
This issue is a collection of essays about Dark Fantasy edited by Joe Christopher. Much excellent artwork.
After the Blue by Russel Like, Brunswick Galaxy Press (Box
4213), Highland Park NJ (08904), 253pp, wraps, $12.95.
An interesting idea for a comic sf novel - aliens attempt to reconstitute Earth's civilization after having destroyed it accidentally - but the handling seems clumsy, the characters wooden, and the humor rather forced. I couldn't get into it. I can't remember now whether this review copy came in the mail or was given to me at Bucconeer.
Argyll by Theodore Sturgeon, The Sturgeon Project, Pullman
(WA) 1993, 80pp, wraps, $10.
Plus $2 p&h, it says on the back of the title page. I was not familiar with this Project, though I see that Robert Lichtman did the typesetting on this book. For more information write Paul Williams, Box 611, Glen Ellen CA 95442. I think I must have gotten this off a dealer's table at Worldcon.
William "Argyll" Sturgeon was the author's stepfather, and apparently psychotic. Theodore Sturgeon wrote this harrowing memoir while he was in analysis, as an attempt to exorcise the demon from his childhood.
Science Fiction Chronicle 197 and 198, Andrew Porter (Box
022730, Brooklyn NY 11202-0056), 50pp each, $35/yr.
Andy gave me these at Worldcon, an excellent monthly news zine that I am tempted to subscribe to but the overlap with Locus and my lack of interest in most of the minutiae of the publishing business deters me - and I wouldn't be able to throw them out. Great picture of Tanith Lee in #198 in conjunction with news about sale of reprints of three of her earlier books - appropriately the photo must have been taken 20 years ago!
Weird Tales, the magazine that cannot die, is being published yet one more time again by DNA Publications, Box 910, Greenfield MA 01302. The subscription cost is $14 for 4 quarterly issues. George Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer are back as editors. I have gotten one DNA issue and it seems much the same.
The Planet of No Return by Mrs. N. Vardy, Vantage Press,
New York 1998, 221pp, wraps, $15.95.
Mrs. Vardy has previously published Thirty Days on the Planet Thebel. Hard to imagine that this unreadable drek - sent to me as a review copy - is any improvement on her previous effort.
Faunus One, Spring 1998, published by R. B. Russell at the
Tartarus Press for the Friends of Arthur Machen, 58pp, illus
After an internecine squabble mentioned here previously, The Arthur Machen Society has taken on the new name. Subscriptions (15 pounds sterling/yr) should go to Jon Preece, 9 Ridgeway Drive, Newport, South Wales NP9 5AR, UK.
This is a beautiful hardcover book with a green gold-stamped binding and two photos of Arthur Machen - one as a young man in the 1890s with a ferocious beard, and a much later one as an actor playing Dr. Johnson. There are several pieces by Arthur Machen, and others about him and his period. The last is by Thomas Horan, who published five Machen essays in the Dalton Georgia Citizen - he describes how Machen had him send cotton seeds to try planting in Buckinghamshire. Alas, we never learn how the experiment turned out!
I see that this IGOTS is so long delayed that the Spring 1999 Faunus Three is now on hand!
The Final Diary Entry of Kees Huijgens by William R.
Stotler, Necronomicon Press, West Warwick RI 1995, 24pp, art by
Allen Koszowski, wraps, $4.95.
The cover carries only the names of two people who seem to be part of the frame to this Lovecraftian tale of an architect whose house extended into maddening dimensions of time and space - bibliographers beware! A spooky tale, given as having been translated from Dutch.
Typewriting Self Taught by Miriam Allen deFord, Little
Blue Book 1009, Haldeman-Julius, Girard (KS) 1926, 64pp, wraps.
I bought this somewhere for the typewriter interest - but didn't Miriam Allen deFord also write sf? My references in that field are not yet unpacked... Includes two pages of suggestions on how to buy a typewriter, which at the time, she notes, would have cost about $100 for a new office machine or $50-60 for a portable.
Yes - Reginald has a biography of her. She lived from 1888-1975 and published three books of sf, also mysteries and many other non-fiction books and articles.
Bawdy Ballads and Lusty Lyrics edited by John Henry
Johnson, Maxwell Droke, Indianapolis 1935 (17th printing), 80pp.
In an unusual arrangement, the subtitle A Curious Collection of Somewhat Salty Classics Seldom Sung in Sunday School and the editor's name, appear only on the endpapers. The editor apologizes for not being able to include Columbo and The Bastard King of England, saying that these songs could not legally be sent through the mail! I have no idea what Columbo may be, but The Bastard King of England was often sung at conventions in the 60s.
However, the most interesting thing about this little book is that it seems to answer the question as to the source of the extra verse of Stevenson's pirate song from the 1883 Treasure Island, which I found in the 1935 All Giants Wear Yellow Breeches reviewed in It Goes On The Shelf 14:
And there they lay, ay, damn my eyes,
Their lookouts clapped on Paradise,
Their souls bound just the contrawise,
Yo ho ho, and a bottle o' rum!
This does not appear in any edition of Treasure Island that I have seen, but we find something very similar in the Droke book:
And there they lay -
Aye, damn my eyes! -
All lookouts clapped
On Paradise -
All souls bound just contrariwise -
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
This (and five other verses) are attributed to a Louisville newspaper man named Young Ewing Allison. Allison had published three verses of it in 1891, and polished it for the next 40 years before he died in 1932 at the age of 79. According to the note here, Stevenson's single verse:
Fifteen men on the Dead Man's Chest -
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest -
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
(which his stepson Lloyd Osbourne says is Stevenson's own invention and not based on any traditional sea chantey), and the longer Allison poem, are both based on a 17th century legend about a pirate ship that ran aground on a treacherous Caribbean reef called the Dead Man's Chest.
Living Your Dream by Gletta from Holl, Pathfinder (Box 453),
Buellton (CA), 380pp, 24pp color photos, wraps, $18.75.
Gletta is an Icelandic Horse, who includes a personal message on a PostIt stuck to the cover, asking Isn't it about time for another Mr.Ed? The text seems to be some sort of New Age inspirational psychobabble - you can look at it on their website, www.VisionPath.net. I must say she writes well - for a horse. Any reader with a horse-mad child is welcome to this copy on request.
Plastic Twilight by L. A. Marcialis, Vantage Press (516
W.34th St.), New York 1998, 83pp, $12.95.
A what-if novelette in which an asteroid strikes a Hawaiian volcano and releases a gas which destroys all the plastic on Earth. There are 36 very short chapters, so it reads like an outline. Not badly written otherwise, but it is hard to imagine that there could be a substance that would affect all the many different plastics that hold our civilization together.
How To Read Two Books by Erasmus G. Addlepate,
Stokes, New York 1940, 107pp, illus. cartoons by Carl Rose.
A severely and intentionally idiotic book, made even funnier by the fact that someone has apparently taken this copy seriously and gone through it page by page, underlining and annotating it in four different colors.
International Directory of Book Collectors 1998-99
compiled by Roger Sheppard, Trigon Press (117 Kent House Rd),
Beckenham, Kent, 1998, 226pp, $55.
This is a gift from the compiler. I am one of the collectors listed - alas at my defunct Virginia address. A cross-index in the back allows you to see what other collectors are also interested in the same authors or illustrators that you are. Odd that Sidney Sime does not appear at all, or John Moore. I am the only one listed as interested in typewriters, though there are dozens of books on that subject. Beautifully printed and bound.
CLICKSTER CLACKxTER by Anthony Who, Denlinger's Pub.,
Fairfax (VA) 1978, 132pp, illus in line by Patricia
Binker Hughes gave me this in trade for an ex-lib copy of Manly Wade Wellman's Cahena. The very plain 2-color cover has "Complimentary Press Copy" as part of the printing, and a blurb comparing this work to Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Little Prince, and The Hobbit - a closer comparison would be to The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland. But it is drek, and worse, all in verse - basically no worse than Dr Seuss I suppose, except that there is so much more of it. The drawings are not at all bad.
Year 2000: Personal Protection Guide by J. R. Morris,
Sterlingmoor (Box 7477), Abilene (TX) 1998, 221pp, $21.95.
This was an unsolicited review copy - it's a detailed explanation of the Y2K computer glitches and guide to what you should do about them, including such remote consequences as the loss of your pet's rabies shot certification from some official computer. I am not qualified to evaluate all these ideas... One of the recommendations is that you request the IRS form 4506 (they give the IRS website address) that can be used to extract your own tax records from the IRS - but if everyone were to do this, the system would not be able to take the overload. Other chapters discuss the potential problems with leases, mortgages, insurance policies, social security, schools, etc. If you did everything this book recommends, you wouldn't have time for anything else...
Whistling As An Art by Agnes Woodward, Carl Fischer Inc.,
New York 1925, 115pp.
Something I found while unpacking books, I didn't know I had it. Agnes Woodward was the Director of the California School of Artistic Whistling in Los Angeles, and this red-bound quarto explains the theory and notation of their system for teaching whistling. There are two pages giving the symbols for the "tongue strokes in the Woodward Method of Bird Whistling" - the Mordent, the Wave, the Hewie and so on. Not to mention the Derelic and the Took... A number of popular tunes are given in their notation, not one of which I have any idea how it should go - the only one I ever heard of is Fritz Kreisler's Liebesfreud.
The Life and Times of R. Crumb edited by Monte Beauchamp,
St.Martin's/Griffin, New York 1998, 182pp, illus by Crumb,
A collection of commentary on Crumb's work by dozens of people - Will Eisner, Jay Lynch, Terry Gilliam, Ivan Stang, Jay Kinney, Matt Groening, etc., some of which originally appeared in a magazine called Blab. Interesting background material on this artist.
Fables of Irish Fandom vol. I-4, Shoestring Pub.,
1998/1999, 70/73pp, illus by ATom, $5 each.
These were written by John Berry (4 Chilterns, South Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 8JU, England) for various fanzines of the 1950s and are beautifully re-mimeoed with the original ATom art by Ken Cheslin (29 Kestrel Rd, Halesowen, West Midlands B63 2PH, England). Wonderful tales of the demented doings by John and Walt Willis and Bob Shaw and others at Oblique House.
Book by Robert Grudin, Penguin 1992, 251pp, wraps, $10. A curious spoof of literary theory, set at the Univ. of "Washagon", a state obviously meant to resemble Washington and Oregon. Is this the first book with the title Book? The title refers to a novel with the much more exotic title Sovrana Sostrata, which of course is a mythical as the state of Washagon - but excellent quotes from it are used as chapter headings. Clever and easy to read but only marginally fantasy.
Barn of the Blood Llama, Kevin West, maybe gravy films,
Austin TX nd, VHS.
George Wells told me that this was a free video - actually I had to pay $2 shipping. The address is 5400 Waterbrook, Austin TX 78723, or firstname.lastname@example.org. George said it had been mentioned as a candidate for the worst sf film ever made, and having watched some of it I must agree - this guy makes Ed Wood look like Federico Fellini. It seems to be a mix of b&w and color video, but with either the sound comes and goes. Whoever is holding the camera has little idea of how to frame a shot. The plot is indiscernible and the actors can't. There is a barn and there are some llamas and there is some blood...
Diane Fox down in Oz sends four books:
Landscape with Landscape by Gerald Murnane, Norstrilia
Press, Carlton 1985, 267pp.
I had read Murnane's The Plains some time ago, and found it quite spooky, rather in the manner of Borges. This much longer novel seems - perhaps - autobiographical, and with none of the air of surreal fantasy of The Plains. In fact the protagonist leads a dismal, dreary, and pointless life that I really don't want to hear about - nor do I understand why the publisher thought anyone would want to read it. But after an e-mail from Bruce Gillespie, who was at Norstrilia Press when the book was published, I discovered that it is not exactly a novel at all, but a collection of short stories that Murnane insisted be published without a Contents page. Other stories in the book, such as The Battle of Acosta Nu (quite like Borges, if longer and more obsessive) are much more interesting.
The Unicorn and Other Tales by Dal Stivens, Wild &
Woolley, Sydney 1976, 127pp, wraps.
Stivens looks rather like an aged Woody Allen and is said in the blurb to be a comic writer. With 27 tales in this small book, each tale is quite short. They are mildly amusing dream-like fables - the title story is the old virgin-and-the-unicorn plot, but with an odd twist.
Honk If You Are Jesus by Peter Goldsworthy, Angus &
Robertson, 1992, 290pp, wraps, $A14.95.
A satirical novel set in the world of in-vitro fertilization, very strong on technical details but well-written. I already had a copy, like as not from Diane as well!
Lavington Pugh by Jay Bland, Norstrilia Press, Carlton
1982, 178pp, wraps.
Science-fiction in that it is set in the year 2000. The title character has been mad for 35 years and a new drug is to cure him by regressing him to whatever made him mad. Alas, while the style has some spark to it, the characters didn't hold my interest long enough to find out what it was.
Homilies and Recreations by John Buchan, Hodder &
Stoughton, London 1939 (rep. from 1926), 313pp, index, 2
Tom Cockcroft sent me this, a collection of pieces from his non-fiction - I have mostly the fiction. Many of these are speeches that Buchan gave to one distinguished body or another. He would talk about anything it seems - the US Civil War, poetry, literature, journalism - at great length and in the complete sentences that our politicians seem to have forgotten how to make (though Clinton is better at it than Reagan or Bush). What strikes me is what is missing from the index - though he wrote a good bit of fantasy himself, Buchan never mentions Machen or Dunsany.
Franz Miklis (A-5151 Nussdorf 179, Austria) sends Part 2 of his Vance World pictures, "Crystal Cities & Flying Palaces", a series of paintings and drawings based on the fantasy worlds of Jack Vance. The color is by color xerox I think, which has gotten very good in the last few years.
Black Smudge Games by Ernest W. Black, 1938, 13pp.
I don't know how long I've had this odd item. The pages are printed on watermarked "Graphsman" and US government (eagle image) bond paper from typescript, and the title is stamped in gold into to a black Accopress binder. The text concerns the rules for a deck of playing cards "created especially for the amusement and entertainment of our armed forces". The Black Smudge deck consists of 48 cards in 4 suits (red, white, blue, and black) numbered from 1-12, and each card carries a famous quotation except for two - these two carry the images of a Witch and a Devil. There are also three Jokers - the Army Mule Joker, the Navy Goat joker, and the Russian Vodka joker. The games for which rules are given are Black Smudge, Army Rummy, Navy Casino, Russian Vodka, Victory, Skidoo or 23, Hi-Lo the Devil and the Witch, Razzle Dazzle, Whosit, Witchcraft, and Tri-Color Solitaire. The games are designed for as few as 3 players (except, I suppose, the Solitaire!) and as many as 8. I would be curious to know how far this ever got! Has anyone ever seen the Black Smudge deck? Were they issued to the troops in WWII in place of the traditional decks? Why? How did Ernest Black know in 1938 that there would be an alliance with Russia against the Axis, and thus include the Russian Vodka Joker and game? The non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin was signed in 1939 and only broken in 1941 when the Germans invaded Russia.
The Wizard of the Island by F. S. Winger, Winger Pub. Co.,
Chicago 1917, 160pp, illus b&w uncredited.
Subtitled The Vindication of Prof. Waldinger, this has a preface describing itself as "a Pseudo-Scientific Novel, which is merely designed to be the vehicle, by means of which the author endeavors to broach a subject which he realizes full well is too big for him to handle in a thoroughly scientific manner" - not a bad definition of science fiction! Winger also says that he is "sincere in his belief that he is fundamentally correct in his premises concerning Matter and Motion and their relationship to the Dominant Ether of Space even though inadequately conveyed"!
The artwork is barely competent. The characters shown all wear coats and ties, including a Negro cook named Ebony who speaks in vaudeville dialect. The action open in 2015 with a boy selling newspapers in a Cockney accent - poipers - though there is no indication that the action takes place in London. In the first chapter we get the radioscope, which seems to correspond to television; and in the second a long description of the hero's airship America, which seems to have a single propellor, a 350-ft wingspan, and a complex mechanical system that allows people to move about the cabin (which must be quite large) without affecting the equilibrium of the craft. The aircraft of this future seem to be rather slow - 350 mph is quoted as bowling along and cannot carry enough fuel to cross the Pacific - so three floating platforms have been installed in the ocean for them to refuel on.
In spite of the mention of wingspan, the ship is apparently a dirigible. It is blown off course by a storm, and for no other reason than to advance the plot the crew abandon ship in an inflatable boat equipped with a parachute!
By chapter 5 they have landed on the inevitable island of the title - the text is severely padded with long descriptions of the characters and the unlikely landscape - and make the startling discovery that their steel implements are intermittently attracted to the tip of the volcanic peak. They finally meet the Wizard of the title by tying their parachute to a 600-lb boulder and riding it up an air-shaft inside the volcano - the Wizard was, of course, expecting them!
This pulp adventure suffers badly from the lack of a villain or any conflict to speak of. The Wizard turns out to be the Prof. Waldinger who vanished in the first chapter, and he and his daughter Bessie have discovered something like atomic energy - matter is merely ether whose onward motion through space has become arrested - and built an airship that will go 1000 mph. The volcano blows up, the new airship is destroyed, and most of the party return to civilization in the America which, after they abandoned it, had been drawn to the island by the Wizard's magnetic field.
This is one of very few sf novels I have that aren't in the massive checklists compiled by Reginald, or Tuck, or Locke, but the 1978 Bleiler Checklist lists it.
Looking for a Miracle by Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books (59
John Glenn Dr.), Amherst (NY-14228), 1998, 253pp, index, illus photos,
This review copy came to me as Purple Mouth Press - perhaps they want to trade. A skeptical look at reported phenomena such as weeping icons, stigmata, faith healing, and so on - reports that an Italian scientist has duplicated the "liquification" of the supposed blood of St. Januarius with a secular liquid.
The author may have invented a new word to refer to those who believe in miracles - miraculist. The oddest thing about this book however is that the slick paper cover includes the word "NONRETURNABLE" at a 45-degree angle. No great technical feat to insert that into the press run on copies to be sent for review - but why bother? Does anyone return review copies? See website - www.prometheusbooks.com.
The Doll Maker and Other Tales of the Uncanny by
Sarban, Tartarus Press (5 Birch Terrace, Hangingbirch Lane,
Horam, East Sussex TN21 0PA, U.K.), 1999, 225pp, $49.95.
I have only their flyer on this, not the book itself, but I remember enjoying the pb when I read it, and I see I have the old hardcover edition (1953). The author's real name was J. W. Wall. The Tartarus Press (freepages.pavilion.net/users/tartarus) books can be gotten in the US from Firebird Distribution, 1945 P Street, Eureka CA 95501.
The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester, Viking,
London 1998, 207pp.
Price not given except as a barcode - Ken Lake sent me this account of the Civil War surgeon William Chester Minor, who was confined for life as criminally insane in a British asylum and became a major contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary under editor James Murray. This book was published in the US by Harper/Collins as The Professor and the Madman in a different size and d/w with the text completely reset.
Dr. Minor was forced to brand an Irish deserter from the Union forces and after the war became paranoid, imagining that all Irishmen were after him for revenge. He murdered a man in London under sway of this delusion, and because his family had money, spent the rest of his long life in an asylum. He was allowed books (he was assisted in collecting them by the widow of the man he had murdered!) and newspapers, and in fact was allowed to line the floor of his cell with zinc to keep the demons out. When the editor of the OED advertised for entries to the book which was intended to define every word in the English language and trace its source, Minor began sending in slips of paper around 1880. He did so well that Murray finally wished to meet him, and was astounded - so discreet was this asylum - to discover that he had been employing the services of a homicidal maniac. They met in 1891 (discovering that they were quite similar in appearance) and were friends until Murray's death in 1915.
The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P.Lovecraft, in
comic-book form by Jason Thompson, Mock Man Press, San Francisco
1999, 36pp, wraps, $2.95.
This is Part Five and last of this set of books by Thompson. Randolph Carter - who visits Kadath only in his dreams - appears there as a "mock man" in this conception - a very simple figure drawing with minimal features. The art is excellent otherwise.
The Black Lion by Patricia and Lionel Fanthorpe, Greystoke
Mobray, Cardill 1979, map, song with music, 159pp, wraps, $1.95.
A pretty fair sword & sorcery epic - especially since my expectations were not all that high. The cover art, credited on the back in large letters to a Kevin Kingston Walker, is atrocious even by pulp standards. This was to have been followed by The Golden Tiger and Zotala the Priest to form a trilogy, but as far as I can tell these books were never published. Oddly enough, amazon.com attributes The Black Lion to Patricia Fanthorpe alone.
The Word of Teregor by Guy Ridley, Nisbet, London 1914, 125pp.
A curious fantasy where all of the characters are trees except for one nameless man - Teregor is a great Oak - and chapter VI is entitled The Moot of the Trees. One can only wonder if Tolkien might have been inspired by this to invent the Ents! The style is much like that of William Morris.
The Witness Tree by Terry L. Persun, Implosion Press (4975
Comanche Trail), Stow (OH 44224) 1998, 213pp, wraps, $13.95
Like the much older previous entry, The Word of Teregor,
this novel involves a sentient tree - again an oak; and the idea
that all living creatures can tap into a sort of natural
Internet. And there is more of a story here, of a half-mad
artist who forms a psychic link with the tree. The tree serves
as the narrator, and the main character reminds me a little of
Mervyn Peake. The plot is rather thin - our hero grows up,
marries twice, and paints a lot of pictures that sell well - but
the characters might have carried the story. The style, alas, is
modern - flat and colorless - where that in the Ridley book was
turgid Victorian sentimentality.
This is apparently Persun's second novel - an earlier one called The Perceived Darkness is mentioned. Instead of the usual practice of defacing review copies, this one is autographed! A $29.95 signed hardcover of the title is also offered.
The Emerald Tablet by Dennis William Hauck, Penguin/Arkana
1999, 451pp, illus., bibliography, index, wraps, $16.95
This was sent to me as a review copy. The medieval alchemy art is nice, the cover and typography are attractive - but the content is a sort of cross between theosophy and New Age psychobabble. It is subtitled Alchemy for Personal Transformation, and the word alchemy is to be taken is a purely symbolic sense.
I will not give an address - anyone interested can find a Penguin book on amazon.com. The ISBN is 0-14-01.9571-8 and the author has a website www.AlchemyLab.com.
Refugees from an Imaginary Country by Darrell Schweitzer,
Ganley/Owlswick, Buffalo NY / King of Prussia PA 1999, 232pp,
illus by Stephen Fabian, $30.
I am always a little amazed when the people I met in fandom in the 60s turn out to amount to something - I never did, after all... This is an excellent collection, with 10 excellent Fabian plates plus headers. The d/w art seems a little frivolous as compared to the content - Darrell's stories are a bit like Lord Dunsany's (but not as emotionally detached as Dunsany) and a bit like Tanith Lee's (though with considerably less eroticism). I got a kick out of the inscription Darrell put on the title page, comparing this production to the first issue of his fanzine Procrastination for which I dittoed an utterly hideous multicolor cover - and that was the best part of that fanzine!
The Underground Man by Mick Jackson, Penguin 1997, 266pp,
A novel based on the character of the eccentric Duke of Portland - actually the Duke was right out of his gourd, and dies (though at an advanced age) after trepanning himself. And yet, as depicted in the novel, he was a harmless and lovable character. He apparently had essentially unlimited funds, and on a whim has tunnels - large enough for a coach - dug from the dungeons of the ducal mansion to the corners of the estate. These tunnels are brick-lined and lit by both gas and skylights. He is haunted by the ghost of a twin who died young. Jackson has a very poetic and yet easy to read style that would make almost anything he wanted to write pleasant to read.
Civil Serpents by Trinlay Khadro, ShadowLeaf Forest Press,
Brown Deer WI 1998, 22pp handbound, #6/50.
A series of funny cartoon puns based on the various sorts of snake.
The Investigations of Avram Davidson ed. by Grania Davis
and Richard Lupoff, St.Martin's, New York 1999, 246pp, $24.95.
A collection of 13 of Davidson's mystery stories, mostly from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. A very attractive book that I am going to read real soon now!
Lan's Lantern 47, ed. by George Laskowski (2466 Valleyview
Dr, Troy MI 48098), Dec'98, 64pp, $2
The Poul Anderson issue. I suppose it's a sign of my age that I think of this title as a "new" fanzine! Excellent layout (though I don't care for double-column unjustified) and repro. Includes 14 pieces of Anderson's own artwork - not what I would call a great art, but competent and interesting.
Lords of Serpent Land by Alan Connell, Graham Stone,
Sydney 1990, 188pp, US$30.
Graham Stone has reprinted in facsimile several old works of fantasy by Australian authors in beautiful bound editions. This one originally appeared in 1945 in three parts - a lost-race story about a hidden kingdom in South America. It's very much in the anything-goes pulp style and includes a talking serpent. BR>Time Marches Off by J. W. Heming, 1997, 80pp, US$20. This light fantasy was originally published in 1942 and might have been called Time Travel With a Twirp - should have had Cartier art!
The other titles currently available are:
The Burlesque of Frankenstein by George Isaacs, US$17 (reviewed in an earlier IGOTS)
The Inner Domain by Phil Collas, US$17
The Temple of Saehr by William T. Pearson, US$40 (a 328-page lost-race novel from 1932)
- from Graham Stone, GPO Box 4440, Sydney 1044, Australia.
The Complete Quandry ed. by Lee Hoffman, Fanhistorica
Press, Boca Raton 1982/83, in 2 volumes, $5 each.
These are facsimile copies of one of the most famous 1950s fanzines - before my time. The word complete in the title is somewhat tentative. Even though I bought these from the publisher (Joe Siclari, 4599 NW Fifth Avenue, Boca Raton FL 33431-4601), still at the same address after 16 years, I see that Vol.1 contains issues 14-17, and Vol.2 contains issues 18-21. The fact that Joe still has copies after 16 years might indicate that the project did not draw enough interest to justify completing it! A fair price at any rate (there are about 100pp/volume), and 8 more issues than I had before. There were 30 issues in three years and I have 5 of the originals, none of them duplicates of the facsimiles.
Super Brain Power - 28 Minutes to a Supercharged Brain by
Dane Spotts, Lifequest Pub. Group (Issaquah WA 98027;
email@example.com), Seattle 1998, 234pp, diagrams, CD,
Another psychobabble review copy... As soon as I try to read a book that starts with a sentence like "Everything in the universe is made of energy" my brain glazes over and I suddenly think of all the other things I should be doing... The music CD is pleasant enough - it has two tracks, "Super Intelligence" and "Mozart Brain Boost". Alas the Mozart does not include the 40th Symphony that got lost from my collection in the move from Virginia.
The Cell - Three Tales of Horror by David Case, Hill and
Wang, New York 1969, 269pp, $5.00.
I bought this decrepit hardcover somewhere long ago for a quarter and just now got around to reading it. It has a vaguely British air, and the stories all have a pre-WWII feel, so that it is a surprise when a scientist in the third tale begins explaining DNA. It is marked "First American edition", and sure enough Reginald reveals that Case is a British teacher about my age, and that there are British editions of his three books.
These three stories are marked Part One - The Cell, Part Two - The Hunter, and Part Three - The Dead End but share only the common theme of a monster that tears its victims to shreds. In the first the monster is a man who believes he is a werewolf, in the second a homicidal maniac whose weapon is a trained wolverine, and in the third a creature born of genetic manipulation. Variations on a theme, I suppose - they also seem to me to share an air of depression.
Oddly enough, there seems to be some question as to who "David Case" is! Reginald's biographical volume Contemporary Science Fiction Authors II (Gale Research, 1979) insists that Brian David Case, who he lists as the author of this book, was born in London in 1937, served in the RAF 1956-58, received a degree from the University of Hull in 1961, and teaches history in London 1963-date. But the d/w on my copy of this book for "David Case" (no Brian mentioned) has an entirely different biography: born in New York in 1937 and studied at NYSU (no degree mentioned). Both are married, the British Brian David Case to Pamela and the US David Case noted only as having three children. Both sources agree that The Cell is the author's first book. Other sources such as Bleiler, Tuck, Locke, Versins, and Clute do not mention David Case at all. Did Hill & Wang invent a US biography for the US edition?
Transmitters by Damien Broderick, Ebony, Melbourne 1984,
320pp, wraps, $7.95.
A gift from the author, who I met over the Net. I hope he understands that decades sometimes elapse between my getting a book and actually reading it! It seems to be about Australian fandom, but also has a character who marries a dog.
Wild Surmise is an "almost anonymous informal note" made by some crypto-fans in Florida - the very cover is blank, and no return address is given in this Jan'99 29th issue, which devotes most of its 20 typeset pages to a detailed explanation of the musical scale - something that would be useful to a musical illiterate like myself, if I could remember it. There is also a memoir of a visit to Glastonbury Tor. From some previous issue or the envelope I have recorded the address: Box 217, Largo FL 34294-0217. I think they have said they trade with some zines.
Fanorama by Walt Willis, ed. by Robert Lichtman (Box 30,
Glen Ellen CA 95442) 1998, 100pp, illus., wraps, $10.
A collection of Walt's columns from Nebula, #66/150. Still you might get one if you hurry... These are facsimile, and most of the art is by Arthur Thomson. An indispensible document of fannish history!
1999 Calendar with excellent ATom artwork - alas, whoever did it neglected to put any identifying mark on it. Is it a copy of a calendar from some year (before Arthur Thomson's death) that matches the pattern for 1999?
Copies of IGOTS 19 to Stewart Sayah and George Inzer were returned by the USPS, apparently I no longer have correct addresses for them.
We also heard from:
Dave & Su Bates, a Christmas card.
Ruth Berman, who sends Dunkiton Press 7, which reprints a story by Ruth Plumly Thompson from a 1915 Philadelphia Public Ledger.
John Berry, who sends a beautiful Halloween card from England thanking me for alerting him to books he didn't waste money on!
Sheryl Birkhead who sends a Christmas card and says she may be moving soon.
Dainis Bisenieks, who sends a wonderful description of the d/w on the Lithuanian edition of The Two Towers:
There is something that looks like the Tower of Babel from a medieval painting (but complete), and something else like the ruined Coliseum (but several tiers taller), and some winged things that are unlike any winged-steeds-of-Nazgul that I've ever seen. On the back cover is an inset portrait of an old codger that must be meant for Tolkien: the most unflattering portrait I have ever seen. On the borders are bogus runes, mostly mirror-image modified Roman alphabet: I could make out the artist's name and the words for "three", "elves", "seven", and "dwarves".
Ben Bost, who seems to be a wizard cartoonist and likes books about books.
Rick Brooks, who says that his sister had two Edward Gorey Christmas card designs, which reminds me that four of the boxes with six designs each are still available from me for $15 each. Rick says that The Space Willies (Plus X in Astounding and Next of Kin in the UK) was based on the idea of a lie told to aliens by a trapped human, that humans had protective spirits called `willies' - not quite the same sense as the old expression about an eerie sensation, "it gives me the willies".
Ann Cavitt, who sends two postcards about DeepSouthCon 37, to be held August 6-8 1999 at the Best Western Landmark Hotel, 2601 Severn Ave, Metairie LA (504)888-9500. The con committee address is Box 52622, New Orleans LA 70150-2622 or CCCNO@aol.com or the ominously named website www.fatsnake.com/ccc. But I have been at this con every year for 33 years, so I guess I will have to brave the hazards of the bayous - not to mention the doubtful mercies of hotel a/c in New Orleans in August...
Robert W. Chambers, who notes the Bok illos in the Frank Robinson coffee-table book Pulp Culture, and in The Cosmic Horror of H. P. Lovecraft (Glittering Images 1991, $69(!)).
Ken Cheslin, who sends a Christmas card and enormous books of his own demented cartoons, a little like a visual Goon Show.
Tom Cockcroft, who says he has gotten all the anthologies he was looking for except:
Friendly Aliens ed. by Colombo
Windigo ed. by Colombo
Beyond Midnight ed. by Kirby McCauley
Shapes of the Supernatural ed. by Manley & Lewis
Tom also says that he went to an SF convention in Wellington NZ and met George R. R. Martin and Cherry Wilder.
Margaret Cubberly, who insists that her previous remarks about `revolting sexist filth' in IGOTS were meant in jest - but you know what these closet bluenoses are... She also sent a page from a slick linen catalog in which 1950s typewriters are used as decorator objects!
Chester Cuthbert, who sends carbons of his reviews of occult books and also the occasional novel such as Leonard Cline's The Dark Chamber, God Head, and Listen, Moon! - are these all of them?
Bill Danner, who sends the 123rd issue of Stefantasy, now in its 54th year! In a letter Bill undertakes to disabuse me of the notion I had that Linotype operators were subject to lead poisoning from the fumes of the melted lead poured to cast each "line of type" - I'm sure he knows more about it than I do!
Hank Davis, who sent a very silly Christmas card.
Mike Dobson, who sent a Christmas Letter.
Ahrvid Engholm, who sends his fanthology of Swedish fan-writing Swede Ishes #2 (all in English).
Ken Faig, who sends a clipping on the retirement of Russ Brown, whose entire 66-year career was in the typewriter sales and repair business; and a xerox of the frontis (which I had never seen) to the Grant Richards edition of Haldane Macfall's The Wooing of Jezebel Pettyfer that I had mentioned trying to read. In a later letter Ken politely asks permission to reprint my rant against a TQM-like mission statement that HPL helped to write for a mundane apa long ago. Ken also kindly sent a photocopy from an apazine by Alan Gullette describing his recent visit to Castle Dunsany in Ireland.
Al Fitzpatrick, who sent a Christmas card and several pages of microscopic handrot.
Kelly Freas, who has moved to 7933 Quimby Ave, West Hills CA.
Dale Goble, who sends an excellent newspaper clipping about a retired typewriter repairman who has even more typewriters than I do.
Mary & Terry Gray, who sent a birthday card.
Bridget Hardcastle, who sends a fancy medieval postcard with the curious put-down that she prefers reading books to reading about books - and then has the nerve to suggest that I submit a biography and photo to the matchmaking ads in British womens apa called TWP... I might not qualify for the Legion of Nice Guys, after all I am said to publish "revolting sexist filth"...
John Guidry, who sends a xerox of the covers of a "Gold Side" pb called Teacher of the Dead by Samuel Franklin Griffin - very odd cover art shows a badly-drawn teacher at the blackboard and badly-drawn students at their desks - and a skeleton looking on from the back of the room. On the back a blurb by G. S. Conrad announces that the book has "...murder...intrigue...sex..."! I looked Griffin up on abebooks.com and found this and half a dozen other books by him listed. Oddly enough, all were published in 1971 or 1972.
J. F. Haines, who sends his Handshake, Newsletter of the Eight Hand Gang, a poetry zine.
Binker Hughes, who sent a Christmas card and numerous e-mails and might even appear in person someday as she lives only a few suburbs away around the Atlanta megalopolis.
Trinlay Khadro, who wants to trade a zine called Dewachen if I make out the handrot properly; and who, by a strange coincidence, wanted the Seabury Quinn cover story The Living Buddhess from the same Nov'37 Weird Tales that I reprinted Quest of the Starstone from. I got a nice copy from Bob Madle at worldcon and sent her my old one, which was not in the best of shape besides lacking the cover - but I sent her the cover from the better copy as an e-mail graphic. Trinlay also sent me her Civil Serpents, see above.
Dan Knight, who says that Ray Lafferty is in a nursing home run by the Franciscan Brothers in Broken Arrow OK after a severe stroke.
Brant Kresovich, who compared me to a "merchant of Sulawesi" in his fanzine For the Clerisy and explained in a postcard that these merchants are renowned for their diligence and high level of activity.
Ken Lake, who read the Woman Alive mentioned lastish at the age of 11 - about the same age I read Brave New World. Ken notes a COA to 36 Barrington Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 2AY, England. Ken also notes that the latest urban redevelopment idea in England is to build housing on the parking lots... In a later letter, Ken asks if the Civil War was an alien plot, noting that the six presidents starting with Lincoln all had full beards; and incloses an alternate-future story in which the telephone never developed because the mail had been supplanted by letters transferred in pneumatic tubes.
In a later letter Ken explains that the Chilean merlot I like is not a merlot at all, but a carminiere - because Chile still has the old grape stocks that France lost to a fungus in the 1880s.
Robert Lichtman, who notes that there should be a few post-subscription copies of his collection of Walt Willis' Fanorama column - address Box 30, Glen Ellen CA 95442. Robert is also looking for the hardcover edition of Willis' The Improbable Irish (published under the name Walter Bryan), Wertham's World of Fanzines.
Eric Lindsay, who notes that he and Jean Weber are now firmly established at the new address - POBox 640, Airlie Beach, Queensland 4802, Australia.
Ed Meskys, who notes that his address has changed slightly - he's now on RR#2 instead of RR#1; a new Niekas is out after five years; and his e-mail is now firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harry Morris, who sends a fish joke postcard.
Dale Nelson, who sends two xeroxes of very gloomy pictures by Theodor Kittlesen.
Gavin O'Keefe, who sends a review of our William Blake booklet An Island in the Moon from an Australian magazine called FreeXpresSion.
Mark Owings, who sends a Christmas card.
Jack Palmer, who sents cat jokes and a want ad for a dominatrix, and accuses me of occasionally ranting and raving - never both at once!
Lloyd Penney, who sends a nice letter and a flyer for Toronto in 2003 featuring the `Fen in Black', two beavers in dark glasses - see http://torcon3.on.ca or write Box 3, Sta.A, Toronto Ont. M5W 1A2, Canada
Hector Pessina, who sent me some Argentine phonecards but the PO seems to have lost them - in fact I see that I have the empty envelope they were supposed to be in. A document sent by my broker halfway across Atlanta has not arrived after two weeks. Hector wants Edmond Hamilton's Star King novels The Star Kings (readily available) and Kingdoms of the Stars (I have sent him a stack of these). Hector also sent his fanzine (which is in English) called Space Opera Magazine and has a color xerox cover from one of the old Gernsback pulps.
Emil Petaja, who is at 225 Diamond St., San Francisco 94114, as he has been for some time - but he has given up using a POBox. Emil says he is 83 and has disposed of most of his collection but still has some Bok material left!
Derek Pickles, who sends his hilarious Odds&Sods 139-164, a serial compilation of idiocies from the media.
Hank Reinhardt, in the hospital in July'98 but, I hope, swinging his sword again by the time you read this.
Darrell Richardson, who chides me for failing to credit him in the Hannes Bok Illustration Index for his article about Bok in the April'52 Other Worlds. He also incloses a blurb I had not seen before by Associated American Artists about the Bok lithograph Lazy Afternoon. I will not publish the Index again - three times is enough - but have continued to update the file and might get it up on the website sometime. I don't think it would be that hard to convert to HTML.
Jessica Amanda Salmonson, who sends her excellent Violet Books catalogs (Box 20610, Seattle WA 98102) of weird books, in which I usually find a tome or two I cannot do without - though I often have to anyway, as some other loony has beat me to it.
Darrell Schweitzer, who gave me the MMMoamrath book reviewed above at worldcon; and says in an April postcard that many of the books (like The Place Called Dagon reviewed lastish) that Lovecraft recommended in Supernatural Horror in Literature turn out to be similarly dismal.
Joy Smith, who sent to Mr. Turtledove himself Ken Lake's question about why Harry Turtledove, in his WWII novels, attributed the invention of the jet engine to Hipple instead of the actual inventor Whipple - it was because, at the time the books were written, Whipple was still living.
Steve Sneyd, who sent a sheet on the Wordsmyth dictionary website; and says that a new word has appeared in N. England - irritainment. I think it fills a long-felt need for a term to describe things like the Jerry Springer show or the blatherings of politicians. Steve also sent a startling postcard made from a photo of the relics of William Corder, executed for murder in 1828 - his pistols, death mask, scalp, and account of his trial bound in his own personal skin. Later Steve sent a copy of his compendious list of poetry in US fanzines in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Kin to the Far Beyond. And then there was the card congratulating me on my retirement, showing a bold armored knight kicking a dragon in the butt - supposedly me allegorically assaulting TQM. I may reprint this image if the grey paper doesn't defeat me. Steve also mentions a BBCTV biography of Mervyn Peake which we will probably never see here; and asks about the photos of Clark Ashton Smith carvings in Donn Brazier's fanzine Title - anybody have a date? Steve accumulates anything to do with sf poetry for his occasional hand-rot zine Data Dump.
Maureen Kincaid Speller, who sends a sample of the British apa Acnestis - nice, but I'm not up to another apa just now.
Milt Stevens, who sends an e-loc from his new address and says (with regard to the verse in Nekromantikon) that Marion Zimmer Bradley's early fanac was under the name Marion Astra Zimmer. In a later letter Milt says that the strangest item in #19 was The Gas We Pass, a book my sister gave me; and that R. Alain Everts had four pages in FAPA on the Litersky biography of Derleth - I made an effort to obtain this book, but never got it.[I have it now.-Ed.]
Graham Stone, who says that Neville Shute's politics in In The Wet (mentioned in IGOTS 17) are naive.
Mae Strelkov, who sends a 5-page letter about life on the wild NW frontier of Argentina, and says she is studying ancient Hebrew. Mae says she liked the Alan Hunter cover and thinks Willis should know all about the `Space Willies'! A few of Mae's hecto paintings from the 70s are now up on this website:
courtesy of Richard Brandt.
Sherry Thompson, who is looking for data on an old short story or novelette called The Octagon Room, a reincarnation romance; and also on a juvenile in which a town was ruled by the gargoyles from the local buildings. Anybody?
James Van Hise, who says that he will still be interested in "that material" when I get everything unpacked - wish I knew what I told him I had... Ah, I see - he wanted fanzine data from the 60s and 70s.
Keith Walker, who has apparently revived Fanzine Fanatique and sends a card hinting that he would like to trade - address 6 Vine St., Lancaster LA1 4UF, England.
Mike Ward, a name from my misspent youth, who turned up at worldcon and gave me his gaudy card identifying himself as a Cultural Synthesist - aren't we all...
Toni Weisskopf, who sent a Christmas card and the occasional e-mail
Walt Willis, who - like many recipients - thought he was commenting on the Aug'97 IGOTS 18 rather than the Apr'98 IGOTS 19 because I screwed up and failed to reset the colophon properly. Walt denies knowing anything about the Willies...
Linda & H.L.Wilson, who sent a catalog from their book barn in the Catskills (Box 154, South Kortright NY 13842) and say they are opening a second store in a deconsecrated church, to be called St.Jude the Obscure Bookstore - hope the lightning rods on this place are in good repair! They should get up there and sharpen them.
G. Peter Winnington, who kindly sent another copy of his Peake Studies for Apr'98 to replace one badly gnawed by the Post Awful. An excellent zine if you are interested in the writing and art of Mervyn Peake - Les 3 Chasseurs, 1413 Orzens, Switzerland.
John and Carol Wright, who sent a Christmas card and note a COA to Box 216, Hunters Retreat 6016, South Africa.
Only a little over a year since the last issue, published in Virginia... Most of the books are reshelved (and there are 150 or so duplicates sitting in the front hall, in addition to the 13 boxes of duplicates in the garage), the schlock videos and phono albums are in order and indexed, the nearly 200 typewriters are inventoried. Still have to find a place to shelve the digest-size prozines, mostly a complete run of F&SF.
Below is the cartoon from the card that Steve Sneyd sent me in honor of a rant against TQM.