Organleggers: Predictions Too Tame?

This just in: The nightmares predicted in Sixties science fiction are constantly being surpassed by injustices revealed in the daily news. (OK, so you already know that.)

Larry Niven predicted that organleggers would kill people and harvest their parts to sell to rich patients needing transplants. But he also predicted criminals would be executed so their organs could go into legal transplant banks – not that criminals would be qualified to receive organ transplants at government expense.

Even the conspiracy-minded Norman Spinrad (Bug Jack Barron) did not predict the FBI would facilitate a foreign ganglord’s entry to the country to seek a liver transplant:

UCLA Medical Center and its most accomplished liver surgeon provided a life-saving transplant to one of Japan’s most powerful gang bosses, law enforcement sources told The Times….

The FBI did not help Goto arrange his surgery with UCLA but did help him gain entry to this country, Stern said. The agency had long been frustrated by the reluctance of Japanese law enforcement to share information on yakuza members in the United States.

Public Health Investigates
Wave of Illnesses at Wiscon

Well worth reading is Cheryl Morgan’s report on the many fans who got sick at Wiscon:

Most of you will already know about the particularly virulent strain of con crud that struck Wiscon last weekend (and to those of you still recovering, my condolences)…. This one, however, was different. Not only was it much more virulent than usual, it also made the local news.

Jed Hartman went to Wiscon and suffered the symptoms of that widespread malady.

Fancyclopedia Update

Jim Caughran, announcing the latest additions to the online Fancyclopedia, sends links to Jean Weber’s updates of the articles about Fan Funds, GUFF and DUFF.

Weber’s list of a fund winner’s duties includes:

Fund winners become administrators of the fund until the next winner returns from a trip. Fund winners are expected to publish a trip report.

Well, I always do expect them to write a report, and some funds enjoy a good track record when it comes to that. A surprising number of TAFF winners have not felt obligated in that way. Fortunately, there is Chris Garcia’s good example to point out (donation required for access to the full online report; individual chapters have been published in several recent fanzines that are freely available on

Ellison, Card in The Delivery

Harlan EllisonWhen Book Expo America convenes in Los Angeles this week, among the offerings at the Audio Publishers Association Conference will be a short film made in 2007 by Gabrielle de Cuir that includes two noted sf authors. The Delivery is “a journey into the fantastical world of auditory imagination” featuring Scott Brick, Emily Janice Card, Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison (photo), John Rubinstein, Michael York, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and Stephanie Zimbalist. The film will be shown May 29.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the information.]

More About Robert Asprin

Lynn Abbey —

I met Bob Asprin in the early spring of 1976 at Lunacon, a New York City science-fiction convention. We hit it off pretty much from the moment we made eye contact.

and Jerry Pournelle

It was probably at Discon…that Asprin and Jim Baen conceived Thieves World, a setting for a series of anthologies. It happens that I was sitting with Jim Baen when the idea came up….

are among the many posting online reminiscences of the late Robert Asprin.