My Back Pages
by Rich Lynch

All files are in PDF format

Welcome to my world! My Back Pages is a personal anthology project of my previously published articles and essays. I've been a writer for several decades, so this is a multiple-issue collection.

Click on the cover image or link to read each issue.

Read current issue #23


My Back Pages #1

My Back Pages #2

My Back Pages #3

For the first issue I selected seven pieces which provides an indication of some of my interests—sports, music, travel, fan history, and family.

The second issue, published just before the 2010 Australia worldcon, is book-ended by articles I wrote and co-wrote about two previous epic adventures Down Under.

Issue #3 is a travel-themed issue with essays involving undocumented historical sites, valorous stadium vendors, large bronze bulls, Broadway shows, winged warriors, evening receptions, vicarious interplanetary journeys, notable old buildings, amber jewelry, semi-obscure composers, famous science fiction fans, and snow emergencies.


My Back Pages #4

My Back Pages #5

My Back Pages #6

Issue #4 is a summer-themed issue, with essays involving famous bulls, gargantuan lawn ornaments, favorite buildings, ornery babushkas, unruly sheepdogs, human lemmings, legendary musicians, unusual ceiling fans, memorable conventions, larger-than-life superheroes, different kinds of cathedrals, and absent friends.

Issue #5 is a western-themed issue about conventions and absent friends, with essays involving talented writers, big blue bears, popular aquatic creatures, famous shrines, ceramic teapots, chocolate rockets, legendary fanzines, erroneous street maps, famous fan communities, unusual things to collect, fannish hijinks, language barriers, financial karma, unexpected silver linings, damaged suitcases, and far-reaching results of chance remarks.

Issue #6 has been built to withstand some cold weather and features some of my articles and essays about experiences in (or leading up to) the cold weather months, involving gigantic sand dunes, unusual financial wizardry, wading flamingos, historical museums, fabulous beasts, cape-ified statues, entertaining musicals, deserving authors, notable fans and fan organizations, legendary composers, frightened housepets, historical artifacts, favorite buildings, crocheted sea creatures, thunder snow, and one truly awesome robot.


My Back Pages #7

My Back Pages #8

My Back Pages #9

Issue #7 is structured as a personal journey, with essays involving long walks, barroom brawls, gamma rays, signature screams, album cover recreations, lucrative tourist attractions, singing subway attendants, famous paintings, skyscrapers old and new, conversations with strangers, strawberry shortcake, good and bad karma, foreign visitors, visits with foreigners, movie script ideas, and lots and lots of beer.

Issue #8 was assembled in the dog days of a hot summer, with essays involving award-winning authors, capital cities, unhappy gamblers, excruciating meetings, victory laps, reunited roommates, science fictional road trips, human pinball machines, acrylic rockets, ocean views, famous astronauts, eye-glazing viewgraphs, malevolent-looking handguns, unusual culinary delicacies, aggressive salesladies, popular tourist attractions, good beer, favorite destinations, and absent friends.

Issue #9 pays homage to some of the famous #9s of the world, and has essays involving large and small Chinatowns, magnificent cathedrals, unusual wedding strategies, new kinds of metrics, expert craftsmanship, large sports trophies, tardy commuter buses, hotel lobbies, small fanzines, long road trips, un-dark skies, expensive food, cool breezes, spectacular views, scale models, tourist attractions, dangerous places, good beer, and many, many absent friends.


My Back Pages #10

My Back Pages #11

My Back Pages #12

Issue #10 is an achievement and adventure-themed issue, with essays involving spectacular mountains, healing waters, elderly singers, good appetites, signature images, luncheon seminars, climate models, Washington moments, traumatic events, insect invasions, speeding spaceships, site selections, wedding processions, mistaken identities, wild onions, distinctive buildings, planetarium shows, wobbly tables, and ruminant curses.

Issue #11 is another travel-themed issue, with essays involving oversized pecans, English philosophers, larger-than-life sports trophies, glass pyramids, pain medications, large and small watercraft, total immersion tours, successful marketing strategies, property taxes, strange legacies, failed revolutions, architectural makeovers, famous sculptures, iconic poses, great musicians, entertaining theatre productions, porcelain automatons, film crews, literary researchers, and some unseasonably warm winter weather.

Issue #12 is a late summer issue influenced by the 2014 NASFiC, Detcon 1, with essays involving memorial plaques, painted guitars, aspiring musicians, swarming bats, presidential encounters, giant pecans, boat tours, sporting event recreations, scholarly researchers, dance music, friendly docents, unfinished projects, famous domiciles, violin concertos, protest songs, spectacular meltdowns, car breakdowns, signature images, wild daisies, ancient tombs, city walks, excessive gratuity charges, friends who are instigators, Viagra gelato, and some really good barbecue.


My Back Pages #13

My Back Pages #14

My Back Pages #15

Issue #13 is not at all concerned with triskaidekaphobia and has essays involving long airport layovers, hexagonal pavilions, Korean food, hi-tech toilets, mountain tunnels, picture postcards, ragtime music, group dinners, old photographs, interplanetary missions, government mindsets, space movies, big windstorms, slippery slopes, jazz orchestras, art museums, buried treasure, micro universes, famous actors, and some very cold winter weather.

Issue #14 is a not-quite-ready-for retirement issue, and includes essays involving Norwegian humor, road trips, dinner expeditions, building restoration, coastal waters, mossy trees, spectacular vistas, famous composers, fresco murals, giant fists, famous churches, draconian choices, intimidating views, large ships, baseball stadiums, small superheros, inaccurate road maps, fanzine covers, fannish legends, and lots of old friends.

Issue #15 is an end of the year collection of articles and essays about the end of the year (more or less), and includes essays involving good and bad karma, historic homes, scary tumbles, snowy driving conditions, Broadway celebs, avant-garde art exhibitions, wizened self-portraits, independent bookstores, famous operas, literary war jokes, prescient predictions, unreliable cars, chess tourneys, lost passports, long bus trips, crisis management, large power plants, small souvenirs, entertaining rants, various kinds of statues, and many, many mute swans.


My Back Pages #16

My Back Pages #17

My Back Pages #18

Issue #16 pays homage to some of the famous #16s of the world, and has essays involving desert sunrises, tall buildings, double rainbows, famous songwriters, entertaining sound bites, long climbs, retro TV shows, esoteric collectibles, underground tours, community fairs, movie props, exquisite guitars, cartoon anvils, state capitols, climate zones, public art displays, affordable real estate, long business meetings, digitized fanzines, hazy skies, ornate hotels, and scenic views.

Issue #17 is a year-end collection that starts with a long and at times strange journey, and includes essays involving teetering glass display cases, sweaty dinner expeditions, accusations of spying, protected sanctuaries, icy traverses, well-attired mountain climbs, earthquake epicenters, frigid hitchhikes, altitude-challenged terrain, river confluences, photography challenges, clear skies, city park pow-wows, employment outsourcing, focal-point fanzines, woodland views from on high, Viennese composers, good and bad winter weather, entertaining musicals, minimalist paintings, subway mosaics, and the New York City street grid.  This issue also, for the first time in the run, includes a previously unpublished essay.

Issue #18 notes my absence from both this year’s Worldcon and NASFiC, and has essays involving colonial debates, rescued conventions, curated fanzine collections, golden domes, long escalators, large aquariums, famous domiciles, notable science fiction fans, extinct stadiums, lingering controversies, divine ideas, memorable encounters, autographed books, enigmatic composers, 50-year reunions, fuel-efficient vehicles, personal records, motorcycle rallies, art museums, scenic sunsets, medieval cathedrals, and lots of snow-covered mountainous terrain.


My Back Pages #19

My Back Pages #20

My Back Pages #21

Issue #19 deplores the soon-to-be undearly departed 2017 as one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year, and has essays involving historic mansions, convincing re-enactors, subway cars, Broadway shows, urban renewal, pub food, deadly duels, famous composers, iconic catchphrases, tablet computers, 1930s comic books, noir-ish buildings, foreboding edifices, unpaid interns, jams & singalongs, storm warnings, ancient palace grounds, Buddhist temples, worrisome fortunes, sushi adventures, retirement plans, and lots of Morris Dancers.

Issue #20 is a "getting closer to retirement" issue and has essays involving close-up magic and far-off business destinations, oppressive desert heat and refreshing evaporative cooling, fast cars and slow bicycles, large buildings and small details, Madisonian libertarianism and Rooseveltian progressivism, 1950s space ships and current-day space stations, famous cowboys and famous Missourians, posh hotels and run-down motels, first fans and First Fans, State Capitols and County Courthouses, steamy blues and cool jazz, hot barbecue and the Cold War, bronze statues and scrap metal constructs, large conventions and larger conventions, fan libraries and fanfiction, no reservations and “No Award”.   And colophons... Why did it have to be colophons?

Issue #21, while themeless, still pays its respects to some famous 21s and has essays involving Italian visitors and Greek food, new traditions and decades-old nostalgia, 19th century funicular railways and 20th century space shuttles, large museums and small mummies, famous sculptures and Sisyphean performance art, testing one’s endurance and demonstrating one’s self-sufficiency, newish Broadway shows and oldish Broadway theatres, all-pervasive rush hour traffic and absent friends, old rocks and Classic Rock, sun dogs and shelter cats, alkaline dust and acidic reviews by critics, homeland security and home runs, snow storms and ICE, long day trips and short stories, storm clouds and sunny personalities, whodunit mysteries and he-dun-it one-man shows, ornate structures and simple pleasures…and some really, really jubilant sports fans.

My Back Pages #22

My Back Pages #23


Because of the temporal nearness of the upcoming Irish Worldcon, Issue #22 has a travel-oriented theme and has essays involving Native American culture and Indian food, tall mountains and ocean vistas, ancient computers and modern cell phones, completed walks and works-in-progress, rental cars and water buses, famous writers and somewhat obscure composers, small spittoons and large ash heaps, opened time capsules and preserved brains, strange stories and familiar melodies, glass artifacts and wooden bells, sunny afternoons and inky-dark skies, colorful theories and black & white comics, intense business meetings and serene beach life, fine cheese and a traffic jam, labyrinthine passageways and an expansive convention center, old friends and “old school”...and 15 minutes of media fame – in Estonia!

Issue #23 is a mixed bag, with essays involving everything from a popular 1980s rock opera to an obscure 1960s British pop music group, from a high-resolution IMAX movie screen to grainy B&W television sets, from a short vacation to a long-distance business trip, from frigid outdoor temperatures to searing pyrotechnic performance art, from small clay beads to the Great Ocean Road, from A-list actors/actresses to B-grade sci-fi movies, from no Shazams to NO SHOOTING, from robbing someone’s possessions to Stealing Klimpt, from eccentric stage characters to just this regular guy, from eerie synchronicity to plain old bad luck, from launching rockets to launching baseballs. And also “Baby Shark” – how the heck am I gonna get that earworm out of my head?

Last revised: 24 December, 2019

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