Wandering Through the Public Domain #15

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A regular exploration of public domain genre works available through Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Librivox.

By Colleen McMahon:  E. Everett Evans (1893-1958) is one of those names I had never heard of before getting involved with Librivox. Based in the Los Angeles area, he was a long-time science fiction fan and minor author with a handful of short stories and novels to his name.

I stumbled onto him because one of Librivox’s current recording projects is The Planet Mappers, a YA novel from 1955. In this story, a family of space explorers (mom, dad and two teenage sons) are out in the galaxy attempting to independently map and explore a newly discovered solar system. Dad has taken loans to finance the expedition, so failure is potentially ruinous. Unfortunately, he takes a bad fall on the journey and his injuries put him out of commission. The two boys have to take the lead and complete their mission (Mom, of course, isn’t much use for anything but worrying and making hot meals).

The bits that I skimmed made me curious about Evans’ other public domain books available through Project Gutenberg. It turns out that there are three other novels. Man of Many Minds and Alien Minds star the same protagonist, a psychic secret agent taking part in interplanetary intrigue for the unfortunately-abbreviated S.S. (Secret Service!).

Masters of Space is probably Evan’s best known book, as it was co-written with E.E. “Doc” Smith. Masters of Space is the only Evans book available through Librivox, but The Planet Mappers should wrap up in the next couple of months.

Evans’ writing career only spanned the last decade or so of his life, but he was well-established in fandom through that period. After his death in 1958, Forrest J. Ackerman established the Big Heart award in Evans’ memory. The award is given annually at Worldcon to a fan who “embodies ‘good work and great spirit long contributed’” according to the Fancyclopedia website. Over the years the Big Heart award has been renamed twice, in 2006 in memory of Ackerman and in 2018 in memory of David A. Kyle.

Although it’s an award for fans rather than authors or SFF “celebrities”, there are some well-known names on the list of recipients over the years, including Robert Bloch, Bjo Trimble, and Julius Schwartz. And of course, our own Mike Glyer was recognized with the award in 2018!

Favorite fun fact I discovered while reading up on Mr. Evans: based on his initials, his nickname was Triple-E, or Tripoli. It speaks to my nerdiness that I think that is pretty cool.

Some recent birthday celebrants:

John Russell Fearn (1908-1960) was a British pulp writer who was one of the first to cross over to U.S. publications. He wrote under his own name and various pseudonyms. Most of his stories appeared between the late 1930s and mid 1950s. Unfortunately, Project Gutenberg does not have any of his works, but The Faded Page, based in Canada, has several of Fearn’s stories available through its site. As they note, public domain status outside of Canada is not confirmed. Internet Archive’s Pulp Magazine Archive also has several magazines containing Fearn’s writings, but again, public domain status is uncertain. It’s worth a click just to take a peek at the insanely awesome cover art in this selection, however!

Tom Godwin (1915-1980) has one novel and six stories available on Project Gutenberg:

The last two weeks have produced a bumper crop of new Librivox releases in the realms of science fiction and fantasy:

  • Snowball by Poul Anderson (1926-2001)

    Simon’s new source of power promised a new era for Mankind. But what happens to world economy when anyone can manufacture it in the kitchen oven?… Here’s one answer!

  • Korean Fairy Tales by William Elliot Griffis (1843-1928)

    Everywhere on earth the fairy world of each country is older and perhaps more enduring than the one we see and feel and tread upon. So I tell in this book the folk lore of the Korean people, and of the behavior of the particular kind of fairies that inhabit the Land of Morning Splendor.

  • Studies in Love and in Terror by Marie Belloc Lowndes (1868-1947)

    This is a collection of five stories by Marie Belloc Lowndes. The stories are neither love stories nor ghost and horror stories but they each combine elements of both.

  • The Goddess of Atvatabar by William Richard Bradshaw (1851-1927)

    An accident during a polar expedition leads the crew of the Polar King to the discovery of an entire world within the earth. Within the interior realm lies a vast ocean with continents and civilisations unknown to the outside world. The societies within possess new technologies and magics unknown to the outside world and these are lovingly described in great detail by the author. The crew proceed to explore and in true Victorian fashion then conquer the new world. An extraordinary feat of imagination and inventiveness by this obscure author.

  • The Magic Wand by Tudor Jenks (1857-1922)

    Three short children’s fantasy stories. The stories are light and humorous and can spark a child’s imagination.

Surely You’re Joking

By John Hertz: (reprinted in part from No Direction Home 15)  May 11, 2018, was the hundredth birthday of the great physicist and wise-guy Richard Feynman. The California Institute of Technology, home of his professional life since 1952, mounted an exhibit “The Mind’s Eye” in the Beckman Museum, running through June 14, 2018.

The title was well chosen.  “Visualization in some form or other,” he’d said, “is a vital part of my thinking”; it was on one of the walls.  He had, I said to an exhibit host, a gift for looking from the abstract to the concrete: hence Feynman diagrams; plunging a piece of O-ring material into ice water at a hearing on the Challenger disaster; winning a Nobel Prize and teaching undergraduates.

What a challenge to build a museum exhibit about a master of theoretical physics.  Fortunately it was about Feynman.

There were lots of photographs, including him in a swimsuit on a beach juggling, and in a frilled Havana shirt playing bongos for a 1977 Cal Tech production of Guys and Dolls. He’d managed getting back and forth to drum in a Cal Tech Kismet during the 1986 Challenger hearings.  There were several of his drums.

There was his 1940 notebook “Things I Don’t Know About”.  There was a 1963 curved-space lecture handout.  Figure 55-2 was a bug on a sphere.  “He is also a bug like the others … this time … the temperature is different at different places…. the bug and any rulers he uses are all made of the same material which expands when it is heated.”

Goggles and earphones put me four rows above the floor at one of his lectures.  He told of going around getting into things on the Manhattan Project.

Security had been fierce.  He’d opened weakly-locked file cabinets and reported.  On a scientist’s safe he tried the digits of pi; no go; then e: open.  Edward Teller said “I lock things in my desk; isn’t that better?”  Feynman sneaked away and extracted papers.  Teller said “I’ll show you my desk.” They went to his office.  Teller unlocked the desk.  Bottom drawer empty.  Teller said “Evidently the security of the desk isn’t so good — as you may already have found for yourself.”  Feynman recounting this said “Pulling a stunt on a brilliant man gives no satisfaction.  He sees things too fast.”

Outside in Glanville Courtyard a fountain played over a five-foot dark green granite snub cube. A plaque explained that a snub cube was chosen because its 24 vertices are reminiscent of the iron-storage protein ferritin, which has 24 identical protein subunits; both have 4-3-2 symmetry: fourfold axes, three-fold axes, twofold axes.

Ferritin (the plaque didn’t say this), found in plants and animals, pertains to biology, organic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry, like the Beckman Institute.

Besides, snub cubes are way cool.  Linus Pauling liked them.

A mile and a half away was the Pasadena shop of Denong Tea Co., which opened in 2017.  Denong (Chinese; “virtuous farmer”) specializes in pu-erh tea, grown in Yunnan (left to my own devices I’d spell these Têh-nung and p‘u-êrh).

Ms. Betty Hu brewed me one young raw pu-erh, Sweet Clarity from 2016, and one ripe pu-erh, Millennium Distant Mountains of unknown harvest, brewing the raw pu-erh in a porcelain pot and serving it in glass, the ripe in a clay pot and serving in porcelain.  The shop uses Crystal Geyser water.

While I was drinking Sweet Clarity, a regular customer arrived who liked another young raw pu-erh, Mountain Oasis from 2017; we exchanged cups, and afterward I asked Ms. Hu to pour her some of my Millennium Distant Mountains; we conversed.

Raw pu-erh can be aged a decade or more; young, the tea liquor (I use this term advisedly; its colloquial meaning “distilled alcoholic spirits” is not the whole truth) is bright yellow-green; flavor, crisp.  Ripe pu-erh, a relatively recent development, has been carefully treated to accelerate aging; its liquor is deep maroon, like Madeira wine; flavor, earthy.

Speaking of pots, how are you, Mr. Wilson?

Remembering Jim Burns

Burns and Vertlieb at Sardi’s

By Steve Vertlieb: Just thinking about my dear friend and brother, James H. Burns, who left us on June 2nd, 2016. Jimmy was a wonderful writer, journalist, avid sports fan, and film historian. He was also my friend. No one could make me laugh like Jimmy could. He’d tell me endless stories about his interaction with actors and sports legends. We’d be on the phone for hours. Jimmy’s infinite joy for life was both passionate and infectious. I miss the sound of his voice, and the gift of his friendship every day. Rest well, Jimmy. Thank you for gracing my years with the sweet gift of you.

And Another Thing

By John Hertz: (reprinted from No Direction Home 15)  Galaxy’s Edge, the new Land at Disneyland Park devoted to George Lucas’ Star Wars, has a Milk Stand that sells blue milk.

In the Star Wars story, it comes from banthas.

The Disney version is made of coconut and rice, served frozen.

But it reminds me of an adventure in my checkered youth.

I’d read Howard Fast’s 1959 novelette “The Martian Shop” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November; Robert P. Mills was the editor then).  I must have seen it in A Decade of Fantasy and Science Fiction (Mills ed. 1960), held in that public library yet today.

There was an active s-f community where I was living, but I didn’t find it and it didn’t find me.   I was introduced to fandom years and miles later.

Just now I went and re-read “The Martian Shop”.  It’s a gem.  I recommend it to you.  Howard Fast himself (1914-2003) is worth attention.

What if, I thought back then in those single-digit years, there was for fun here on Earth a make-believe exoplanetary restaurant presenting ingestible Earth substances in extraordinary ways?

Already my reach exceeded my grasp.  Nor had I yet made wide enough acquaintance to have met and loved e.g. nattô (fermented soybeans), so strange that when I went to Japan, years and miles later, most of my Japanese friends recoiled from it, leaving it to me and Shirato Seiichi.

I did know hypotheses should be tested.  What would be within my grasp?  Milk was a daily food in that house.  I studied a box of food-coloring bottles.  What if I made up some blue milk?  Not yet having heard sung “Do not ask your mother.  Who do you think let the demons in?” I asked her.  She said (I paraphrase) Have fun, dear.

Breakfast cereals were a daily food in that house.  I put blue milk on mine and sat at table with everyone else.  They recoiled.  I went to the refrigerator and came back with a glass of blue milk.  It stood at my place.  I drank.  Worse.  I offered some to the rest.  Oh, oh, oh.

Had I not been a child of that house — and, I confess, known — I’d have been ostracized.  They’d have found ostraka even if they had to smash pots into sherds to get them.  I tried to explain.  “It’s just blue with food coloring,” I said.  No.

Years and miles later a great enterprise — oops, wrong star — remember dialing Long Distance and hearing “What star are you calling?” in the Van Vogt story? — realized a pinnacle of strangeness would be blue milk.

I try not to think of vindication.  Vindicators were the wretched bombers in Fail-Safe (E. Burdick & H. Wheeler, 1962).  But still.

Crowdfunding Toward Dublin

A number of Hugo nominees are working to crowdfund their passage to the Dublin 2019 Worldcon. Here are the ones we know about so far —

Best Related Work

Best Fancast

  • Shaun Duke (The Skiffy and Fanty Show)

Best Semiprozine

  • Brandon O’Brien (FIYAH Magazine)
  • FIYAH Magazine’s fundraiser (They’re trying to get their whole team together for the first time in Atlanta, and watch the Hugos together):

Best Editor, Short Form:

[Thanks to ULTRAGOTHA for the story.]

A New Hope

By John Hertz: (reprinted from No Direction Home 14) For me Galaxy’s Edge is Mike Resnick’s prozine (from earliest days we’ve had fans and pros; some people are both; fanzine for the amateur magazines published by fans, for fans, was coined by Russell Chauvenet in the 1940s; in 2013 Galaxy’s Edge magazine joined Analog, Asimov’s, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and like that).

Since May 29th it has also been a new Land at Disneyland Park, devoted to George Lucas’ Star Wars; a Florida version is scheduled to open in August at Walt Disney World.

The front cover of the May-June issue of Westways, the Southern California Automobile Club magazine, shows C-3PO and R2-D2 walking toward Snow White’s Magic Castle, with the Millennium Falcon flying overhead.


In 1977 Lucas could hardly get a producer for Star Wars.  Now Disney has put in fourteen acres, four years, and a billion dollars.  Even this “soft” and you-can-only-have-four-hours opening has drawn people thick and threefold.

Arguably Tomorrowland, which preceded, and remains, is less stfnal (our old adjective, from Hugo Gernsback’s word scientifiction; pronounced “STEF-nal”): it’s a guess at what might come into existence in the future: science fiction is in essence not predictive.

Also Star Wars, which includes the Force, strictly speaking is fantasy – but can that be its main attraction? – when its stfnal elements dominate?  Nor ought we forget it’s set not only “in a galaxy far away”, but “a long time ago” – however, science fiction needn’t be about the future.

I’m still big on the title of Richard Feynman’s book What Do You Care What Other People Think?  I’ve never wrung my hands over whether s-f has other people’s approval.  On another tentacle, as Kelly Freas said Art is about communication.

Nineteen Eighty-Four at Seventy

By James Bacon: Today sees the 70th Anniversary of the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and it is ten years now since Claire Brialey, Chris Garcia, Pete Young and myself published Journey Planet no.3 that focused on that book. Here is my editorial from Journey Planet 3, published Ten Years ago now/:

I am not sure when I fell in love with Julia. I am unsure when I read Nineteen Eighty-Four for the first time, but it left a mark on me as a teenager. There’s a rebellious streak somewhere in me, and I found the book rousing. At the time, I was in a Christian Brothers Catholic school, so the ideas of sexual repression and censorship not only repulsed me, but also were focus of my teenage angster. I hate censorship by the state, I hate the idea of them controlling, not for us, but for protecting the system. Fortunately, the state is rather incompetent; I don’t worry too much, although that incompetence can be fatal to any bystander, here or over there. The book has influenced so many things that I also love dearly. V from V for Vendetta, perhaps my favourite comic ever, is in my mind a  successor to Winston Smith. Moore and Lloyd pay great homage to Orwell’s piece, yet this is still an original take on the concept of what is a super hero. Taking the fight back to “The Leader”. Moore’s recent League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier also beautifully amazing in its homagical setting. The TV series 1990 by the BBC in 1977, dubbed ‘1984 plus six’, was a great and more recent find staring Edward Woodward. Equilibrium and Brazil are truly derivative, but in a very enjoyable way. The Matrix strangely seems to replace a person we don’t see with a computer, but I think I may be alone. Burgess’s 1985 is a great read and I love the way he breaks it down into two parts, easier for the likes of me to wrap my brain, thoughts and imagination around. I do wish I could have gone to the Orwell Conference in Antwerp on 11 November 1983. The collection of nineteen papers I have in Essays from Oceania and Eurasia beginning with Burgess’s ‘Utopia and Science-Fiction’ indicates that if one likes something enough, even the academics seem interesting. The BBC play from 1955 is another favourite: Peter Cushing is a perfect Winston Smith, and nearly as good as the later John Hurt. I liked both Julias. She reminds me of someone. Someone I love. I wonder do I love these Julias or the book one. Romance is not strong in the book, although Orwell did like women. I like the way that the novel and terms therein have pervaded throughout modern culture, and although I am sure many fans of Ozzy will know why he says what he does, watchers of the Cathode Udder probably have no idea. I do, though, and that’s what matters. It is the book, the words penned so lovingly and carefully rewritten and worked on, chiselled at until they are perfect, that is what matters. This fanzine is partly an expression of gratitude and appreciation on my part. Is it science fiction? I’m still uncertain, but it’s a cracking good read for sure. end. 

While the first edition was a strong cover, Penguin books have issued so many editions which I find attractive that I’ve come to own more than one edition. True to say that eyes and moustaches do feature, and I honestly don’t have every edition. Indeed, a quite check shows that a new Penguin Classics edition has been released on the 6th of June. D-Day. Fans will note the subtle move from Penguin Modern Classics to Classic’s, and I will no doubt seek out and confirm who the cover artist is, although they are unfortunately not credited on Penguins website. 

There is so much about Nineteen Eighty-Four, that haunts humanity currently. For sure, many of us are fortunate enough not to be living the life that Winston and Julia had but the concepts and concerns and ideas and dreadfulness seem to have leaped from the pages to reality, scarily and vividly in an era of ‘alternative facts’ I think Orwellian elements are more pervasive now than they were ten years ago. 

Of interest to fans could be the Secker and Warburg facsimile edition that contains as much of the manuscript that exists, which as you can see with a typed on the facing page to assist reading. Produced in 1984, it is a fascinating insight into a piece of the writing process and although itself 35 years old, can be found for reasonable prices. 

And although I have only seen a number of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror TV programmes, I do wonder if he sees the future as insightfully as Orwell did. 

I think it makes Nineteen Eighty-Four more important than ever.   

Robert Bloch, The Clown at Midnight

Robert Bloch and Steve Vertlieb

By Steve Vertlieb: This is the story of my twenty-five year friendship with acclaimed writer Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho. It is a published, Rondo Award nominated remembrance of a complex, remarkable man, and our affectionate relationship over a quarter century.

Robert Bloch was one of the founding fathers of classic horror, fantasy, and science fiction whose prolific prose thrilled and influenced the popular genre, its writers, and readers, for much of the twentieth century. An early member of “The Lovecraft Circle,” a group of both aspiring and established writers of “Weird Fiction” assembled by Howard Phillips Lovecraft during the early 1930’s, Bloch became one of the most celebrated authors of that popular literary genre during the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s, culminating in the publication of his controversial novel concerning a boy, his mother, and a particularly seedy motel.

When Alfred Hitchcock purchased his novel and released Psycho with Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh in 1960, Bloch became one of the most sought after authors and screen writers in Hollywood. His numerous contributions to the acclaimed television anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents are among the best of the director’s classic suspense series, while his legendary scripts, adaptations and teleplays for Boris Karloff’s Thriller series for NBC are among the most bone chilling, frightening, and horrifying screen presentations in television history.

Steve sits with Bob and with his lovely wife Elly in their Hollywood Hills during the intoxicating Summer of 1974.

He also famously penned several classic episodes of NBC’s original Star Trek series for producer Gene Roddenberry. Writers Stephen King, Richard Matheson, and Harlan Ellison have written lovingly and profusely of their own literary debt to Robert Bloch. Bob was, for me, even more significantly, a profoundly singular mentor and cherished personal friend for a quarter century. This is the story of that unforgettable relationship.

Steve, Richard Matheson, and Robert Bloch.

Steve invites you to read the complete article here — The Thunder Child: Vertlieb’s Views: “The Clown at Midnight”.

Wandering Through the Public Domain #14

A regular exploration of public domain genre works available through Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Librivox.

By Colleen McMahon: I recently saw Tolkien, a fictionalized telling of the early life of that author. I enjoyed the movie, which was pretty standard biopic fare. It hits all the tropes — childhood trauma, close friends, inspiring mentors, war experiences, and young love, ending just as he began writing his most famous works.

The heart of the story is the friendship between Tolkien and four school friends, one of whom is Geoffrey Bache Smith. Smith was at Oxford with Tolkien, and both left the university to serve in the Great War. Smith died at the Somme in 1916. After the war, Tolkien worked with Smith’s mother to publish a book of his poetry. He also wrote the introduction to the book.

DB at Kalimac’s Corner wrote a post with more information about Smith, the book’s publication, and Smith’s actual poems, including some details that the movie changed for narrative purposes:

If you’ve seen the new bio-pic Tolkien, you’ll have noticed a fair amount of attention devoted to the poetry of Tolkien’s friend Geoffrey Bache Smith, one of his school fellowship the T.C.B.S., who died on duty in World War I in December 1916. There’s a scene in which Tolkien tries to persuade Smith’s mother to allow a collection of his poems to be published.

In fact, Mrs. Smith initiated the idea of the collection, asking Tolkien to gather up any poems of her son’s that he had copies of, and the book was actually published, with a brief introduction by Tolkien, in June 1918.

I had mentioned this here several months ago when I wrote about public domain Tolkien works, but as the film has raised interest in Smith and his poetry, I thought I’d mention it again. If you are curious about it, A Spring Harvest by Geoffrey Bache Smith (1894-1916) is on Project Gutenberg here.

The film’s lovely images of the spires of Oxford also reminded me of a poem that I read for a Librivox Short Poetry Collection last year. It’s from Great Poems of the World War — “The Gentlemen of Oxford” by Norah M. Holland:

The sunny streets of Oxford
Are lying still and bare.
No sound of voice or laughter
Rings through the golden air;
And, chiming from her belfry,
No longer Christchurch calls
The eager, boyish faces
To gather in her halls.

The colleges are empty.
Only the sun and wind
Make merry in the places
The lads have left behind.
But, when the trooping shadows
Have put the day to flight,
The Gentlemen of Oxford
Come homing through the night.

From France they come, and Flanders,
From Mons, and Marne and Aisne.
From Greece and from Gallipoli
They come to her again;
From the North Sea’s grey waters,
From many a grave unknown,
The Gentlemen of Oxford
Come back to claim their own.

The dark is full of laughter,
Boy laughter, glad and young.
They tell the old-time stories,
The old-time songs are sung;
They linger in her cloisters,
They throng her dewy meads,
Till Isis hears their calling
And laughs among her reeds.

But, when the east is whitening
To greet the rising sun,
And slowly, over Carfax,
The stars fade, one by one,
Then, when the dawn-wind whispers
Along the Isis shore,
The Gentlemen of Oxford
Must seek their graves once more.

Turning to more firmly genre material, several authors with recent birthdays turn up on Project Gutenberg. Ed Earl Repp (1901-1979) has one story, “The Day Time Stopped Moving”, originally published in Amazing Stories in 1940. It’s been recorded twice for Librivox.

Charles D. Hornig (1916-1999) published a zine in the 1930s called Fantasy Fan. As Cat Eldridge wrote in the birthday feature recently, Fantasy Fan included

…first publication of works by Bloch, Lovecraft, Smith, Howard and Derleth. It also had a LOC called ‘The Boiling Point’ which quickly became angry exchanges between several of the magazine’s regular contributors, including Ackerman, Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.

Project Gutenberg has 8 issues of Fantasy Fan from 1933-34. As far as I can tell, no one has recorded anything from these yet, but it might be a fun project to put together a set of dramatic readings from the angry letters columns — I’ll add it to my ever-growing list of “Librivox projects I want to get around to one day”!

Recent Librivox releases:

This is a short booklet on science fact commissioned by the U. S. Energy Research and Development Administration (Office of Public Affairs). It tells the story of the origins of nuclear physics in terms understandable to an audience with minimal technical background. What were the steps through history – the discoveries that built upon one another – from alchemy to chemistry, physics, astronomy, mathematics, and quantum mechanics, that led to our understanding and harnessing nuclear energy? Asimov was a great writer of both science fact and fiction who wrote or edited more than 500 books, published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification.

In any status-hungry culture, the level a man is assigned depends on what people think he is—not on what he is. And that, of course, means that only the deliberately phony has real status!

A collection of twenty stories featuring ghoulies, ghosties, long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night. Expect shivers up your spine, the stench of human flesh, and the occasional touch of wonder. You may also feel more jumpy tonight than usual. This collection has a LOT of H.P. Lovecraft, plus some Poe, M.R. James, and some more obscure authors.

Ed Kramer Let Out Of Jail and Returned to House Arrest

Ed Kramer’s attorney and Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter have negotiated an agreement that has allowed Kramer to get out of jail and return to living under house arrest while his criminal case and another investigation proceed. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the story: “DragonCon co-founder provides Gwinnett hacking data, gets out of jail”

The deal is contingent upon Kramer paying a $25,000 bond; agreeing to drop his recent efforts to have Porter removed from prosecution of his criminal case; and continuing to cooperate in the GBI’s investigation into the strange hacking scandal in which he, Porter and a superior court judge are key players.

Kramer goes home, and DA Porter reduces the flow of harassing paperwork:  

Kramer has a history of health problems, is confined to a wheelchair and generally relies on oxygen tanks to help his breathing. He also has a history of inundating officials with complaints while incarcerated.

According to records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kramer filed nearly 50 “pre-grievances” during the first two months at the Gwinnett County jail after his Feb. 26 arrest for allegedly taking a photo of a 7-year-old boy at a doctor’s office.

The GBI investigation, requested by Porter, became public knowledge after Kramer’s attorney revealed in a court motion that Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader had hired private investigator T.J. Ward last February to see if someone was hacking into her computer, and Ward had used Ed Kramer as his computer forensic analyst. The motion also claimed Porter was doing the hacking.

Not only did the judge know about Kramer, but she was in phone contact with him. She has since been barred from hearing criminal matters involving DA Porter for 60 days says the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader is reportedly not allowed to hear any cases prosecuted by Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter’s office for at least the next two months while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation sorts out a complicated dispute between the two public officials.

Porter confirmed news reports that a visiting Fulton County judge issued the ruling barring Schrader from presiding over cases for 60 days during a hearing Thursday.

The ruling stems from an unusual case in which Schrader accused Porter of hacking her work computer, and he in turn raised concerns that the county’s computer network may have been compromised. He then asked that she recuse herself from any cases his office is prosecuting.

The order will be revisited at the end of the 60-day period, when Senior Judge John Goger hopes there will be more answers from the GBI.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution story says that Kramer is at risk of the court revisiting the sentence it imposed when Kramer pleaded on child molestation charges in 2013:

Kramer was first charged with inappropriately touching young boys in 2000. Thanks to legal maneuvering and his health concerns, he avoided prosecution until 2013, when he entered a negotiated plea to child molestation and was sentenced to serve almost three years on house arrest and 15 more on probation.

The house arrest portion was already completed before his most recent arrest. But in addition to facing new charges — misdemeanors handled by the Gwinnett solicitor’s office — Kramer could also be found in violation of his probation.

That could dramatically change his original sentence. Because Kramer was sentenced under Georgia’s First Time Offender Act, a judge could ignore the previously negotiated plea and send Kramer to prison for decades.

[Thanks to Nancy Collins for the story.]