By John Hertz: Possibly because I’m recovering from Westercon LXXI, I’ll take a leaf from Lloyd Penney’s book and show you a letter I wrote to someone else.
– o O o –
Dear Mr. Quachri,
Thank you for Dr. Gregory Benford’s “Physics Tomorrow” in the March-April Analog.
It’s a tour de force.
Having it in your magazine is a particular achievement. Perhaps no one could have produced it as well as he. It may also be a distillate or essence of your spirit – I mean the spirit of Analog. Those last four words, I realize, could be thought an unfortunate metaphor. In their defense I had better not offer any notions of my own, but I might be allowed to quote Dr. Clarke, who said “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
Dr. Benford knows, as many of us your readers may, that Physics Today has been, since 1948 – a little younger than Analog – a magazine of the American Institute of Physics, indeed its flagship publication. His piece is in every other way I can see – manner and detail, illustrations, timely allusion to the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics (pertaining to which I recommend Dr. Michael Smith’s 2017 memoir To Catch a Black Hole, focussing, if I may venture that, on his own part), worthiness to follow The Berlin Project (pertaining to which I recommend Norman Spinrad’s review in the May-June issue of your companion magazine Asimov’s) – so perfect as to be not only good science fiction, but good comedy. Jack Benny, had he worked in our field, could hardly have reached higher.
– o O o –
I wonder if I’ll ever learn whether my addressee recognizes this isn’t the first time I’ve brought in Mr. Benny.