Vol. 8 No. 6

December 2009


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e*I*47 (Vol. 8 No. 6) December 2009, is published and © 2009 by Earl Kemp. All rights reserved.
It is produced and distributed bi-monthly through http://efanzines.com by Bill Burns in an e-edition only.

“Season’s Greetings,” by Steve Stiles

Contents – eI47 – December 2009

Cover: “Season’s Greetings,” by Steve Stiles

…Return to sender, address unknown….37 [eI letter column], by Earl Kemp

Anthem Series Part V: Gnome Press, by Earl Terry Kemp

Back cover: “The First Furball,” by Ditmar [Martin James Ditmar Jenssen]

I can have oodles of charm when I want to.
              --Kurt Vonnegut

THIS ISSUE OF eI is in memory of Martin Greenberg and his delightful Gnome Press.

In the strictly science fiction world, it is also in memory of Rob Holdstock and Ed Valigursky.


As always, everything in this issue of eI beneath my byline is part of my in-progress rough-draft memoirs. As such, I would appreciate any corrections, revisions, extensions, anecdotes, photographs, jpegs, or what have you sent to me at earlkemp@citlink.net and thank you in advance for all your help.

Bill Burns is jefe around here. If it wasn’t for him, nothing would get done. He inspires activity. He deserves some really great rewards. It is a privilege and a pleasure to have him working with me to make eI whatever it is.

Other than Bill Burns, Dave Locke, and Robert Lichtman, these are the people who made this issue of eI possible: Jacques Hamon and Earl Terry Kemp.

ARTWORK: This issue of eI features original artwork by Steve Stiles, and Ditmar, and recycled artwork by William Rotsler.

OF HIS back cover in this issue, Ditmar says: “The first furball” depicts a dinosaur hacking up the ancestral, original, furball. Now, the present-day descendants of dinosaurs are birds. Cats eat birds. So, by Darwinian evolution, with a sprinkling of Lamarckianism, both bound together in irrefutable Dalinian logic, we have the explanation of why cats cough up furballs.

Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.
              --Kurt Vonnegut

…Return to sender, address unknown…. 37
The Official eI Letters to the Editor Column
Artwork recycled William Rotsler

By Earl Kemp

We get letters. Some parts of some of them are printable. Your letter of comment is most wanted via email to earlkemp@citlink.net or by snail mail to P.O. Box 6642, Kingman, AZ 86402-6642 and thank you.

Also, please note, I observe DNQs and make arbitrary and capricious deletions from these letters in order to remain on topic.

This is the official Letter Column of eI, and following are a few quotes from a few of those letters concerning the last issue of eI. All this in an effort to get you to write letters of comment to eI so you can look for them when they appear here.

Saturday October 24, 2009:

Lloyd Penney:  Robert Silverberg’s letter…I spoke with Dave Kyle as well. It was at the Hugos rehearsal, and Yvonne and I were standing, waiting our turn, and Dave was sitting, with a few extra chairs. He bade us sit with him, and Cantor-style smartass that I am, I asked if we were allowed. Dave rolled his eyes, and I said, “You know that will probably follow you the rest of your days.” “And probably longer,” he sagely replied. Yvonne says he told him he couldn’t sit down during the Hugos as well.

In my loc, I comment on seeing Fritz Leiber at a convention in London, Ontario, his last one, I believe. That same convention the year earlier, Robert Bloch was the guest. I’ve never been a horror reader, so what did we talk about? Fanzines. Our conversation only took about five minutes out of his busy day (the convention kept him hopping), but we had a cordial discussion. We also were in charge of a charity auction to raise funds for George Alec Effinger’s mountainous doctor’s bills, and got, as you might expect, a shower curtain signed by the superb Bloch.

It looks like soon, there will be some kind of John Carter of Mars project produced by Disney/Pixar or Paramount, depending on licensing and legalities. Would it be time for the ERB estate to re-issue the full works of a man the world is forgetting, forgetting that he was the creator of Tarzan and John Carter? I wish the world cared enough for this to happen.

Greetings to Dick Lupoff…a couple of weeks ago, I made my usual foray to a used bookstore to see what was SFnal and inexpensive, and I have, on occasion, found treasures. I picked up a copy of Sandworld, and enjoyed it, and it is an autographed copy, too. If you ever wonder how far afield your books go…

Is Ian Young the Canadian grand old man of American gay fiction? I have a number of connections with the local GLBT fannish community; I’m sure they might like to get in touch with Young, if indeed that’s him. So many names were mentioned in that article on gay fiction, I wasn’t sure it was he being referred to.

I remember the intimations of gay relations between characters like Holmes and Watson, and even after the great Lord of the Rings movies, of Frodo and Sam. I have never thought of any vague sexual relationship between these two literary pairs, but knew that the idea of a close male friend seems to be a British one, and I believe that many men secretly wish they had one, any kind of close friend they could spill their hearts to. Many women enjoy this, and I also believe that some men are a little jealous. Great articles on gay fiction and its gradual acceptance in SF and other genres. This has culminated in the annual Gaylaxicon, which this year was held a couple of weeks ago in Minneapolis. It’s been held in Toronto in the past, and will be held in Montréal in 2010 or 2011. Yvonne and I worked the Toronto Gaylaxicon.

Thank you, Earl, for more insights. It’s always interesting and fun to read. Keep them coming, please.

Saturday October 31, 2009:

Robert Lichtman:  I haven’t had time yet to read all of the October eI, but in paging through my printed copy I did pause at Dick Lupoff’s “Bartender, A Case of Reynolds for My Pal!”—a most enjoyable article about how Dick’s Surinam Turtle Press happens to have reissued Mack’s The Case of the Little Green Men after Fender Tucker spotted the original 1951 Phoenix Press hardcover on Dick’s bookshelves during a visit.  However, it contains one dimly glaring error in this paragraph:

Here’s a clue for practitioners of the Higher Criticism. The First World Science Fiction Convention took place in New York City in 1939 in conjunction with the World’s Fair of that year. The convention in The Case of the Little Green Men is called the Annicon, and if I read correctly, it is so named because it takes place on the tenth anniversary of the first Worldcon. Exercising my limited mathematical talents, that would place the Annicon in 1949. The actual Worldcon of that year was the Cinvention, located in Cincinnati. Which dovetails nicely with a book published in 1951.

Actually, the convention in the book is called the “AnnCon,” and as Jim Maddigan explains in an explanation to Police Lieutenant Davis:

“The tenth anniversary of the first World Science Fiction Convention is to be held here in this city in a few days, Lieutenant.  We call it the AnnCon, as an abbreviation of Anniversary Convention.  The Eighth Convention, held in the Northwest, was called the NorWesCon; the one in New Orleans, Louisiana, was the NolaCon, and…”

Chalk it up to sloppy writing and math on Reynolds’ part.  Dick is right that the tenth anniversary in years of the first worldcon took place in 1949, but that was the seventh worldcon because there were none in 1942-45, the WW2 years.  Since Maddigan mentions the NolaCon, which was held in 1951, it’s clear that the Annicon (and by default the time frame of the novel) is being held in 1952. This makes the book not only a mystery, but a “near future” SF novel.

That year’s worldcon was held in Chicago and has been referred to in these latter days as ChiCon II.  However, at the time it was held it was known as the Tenth Annual World Science Fiction Convention, or TASFIC.  I suspect Reynolds may have seen references to the 1952 worldcon under this name and somehow conflated years and anniversaries. And it was somewhat of a stretch on the part of the convention committee to call it the “Tenth Annual,” after all.

But this is a minor cavil in an excellent article, which prods me to get a copy of the Surinam Turtle Press edition of the novel so I can have Earl’s and Emil’s contributions there, not to overlook Steve Leialoha’s wonderful cover. 

Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.
              --Kurt Vonnegut

The Anthem Series: Part V: Gnome Press

 Copyrighted material removed at the request of the author.

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
              --Kurt Vonnegut

“The First Furball,” by Ditmar [Martin James Ditmar Jenssen]

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