Uncle Hugo’s Is Back!

Don Blyly’s Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s Bookstores held a successful soft opening of their new location at 2716 E. 31st St. in Minneapolis on August 14.

David Dyer-Bennet took photos and shared them on Facebook. He has generously given permission for File 770 to repost them.

Blyly Plans August 14 Opening for New Uncle Hugo’s Location

Don Blyly readies the new Uncle Hugo’s for business. Photo (c) by Paul Weimer.

At Uncle Hugo’s Imagination stock’d corners, place
Your books, angels, and arise, arise
From death, those numberless infinities
Of stories, and to your scattered bookshelves go…

– Jeff Warner, with apologies to John Donne.

Don Blyly told readers in the August 9 edition of his “How’s Business” newsletter that he plans to open the new home for Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores for shortened hours beginning Sunday, August 14 – though knock on wood because “there is still time for a new disaster to strike.”

Over two years have passed since the old location was burned by vandals in 2020. Insurance claims were followed by real estate deals, then extensive renovation of the new place, installation of shelves, and stocking the inventory. All the work has paid off as the new location at 2716 E. 31st St. in Minneapolis is on the verge of being ready for customers.

And if anyone is so unsympathetic as to ask “So, why is it taking so long?”, Blyly has a list of answers to the question.

The number one problem has been the computer system.  It took 3 weeks longer than expected for the hardware to arrive, after FedEx lost the original set of computer monitors.    After the hardware finally showed up, it took 5 weeks longer than expected to get ethernet cables run to connect the computers to the internet.  That’s a total of 8 weeks unexpected delays, but that was just the beginning of the problems.

There have been other mundane delays, like contracting for trash and recycling pick-up. 

…The salesperson claimed that it was impossible to have the waste service on the same contract as the recycling, so promised to e-mail two contracts for me to sign.  I looked at the contracts and immediately saw two problems: 1) the recycling contract was for only 1/3 the capacity of the old contract, and 2) both contracts stated that the customer will put a maximum of 0 pounds per yard into the containers.  I pointed out these problems and the salesperson kept sending me the bad contracts for signatures about 8 more times before sending revised contracts. 

…The trash dumpster was finally delivered on July 5.  More than a month later than the promised date, the recycling containers still have not been delivered, and I have words with Waste Management about that 2 or 3 times per week.  And the front of the store is filled with recycling material. 

Photo (c) by Paul Weimer.

Moving the phone and internet service to the new location has also been an issue.

Comcast/Xfinity was very helpful after the fire.  They allowed me to cancel my home contract and move the business account to my home and allowed me (for a fee, of course) to keep the two business phone numbers, forwarding them to my home landline.    After I had bought the new commercial building, they set up a new business account for the new address, but kept the old business phone lines connected to my home landline for a transition period.  Around July 6th a Comcast employee called to make sure we were in agreement on the transition to the new location.  We agreed that on July 16 the two phone lines would be transferred to the new store, but the internet connection to my home would remain in place.  Instead, on July 16 they cut the internet connection to my home, but left the two business lines connected to my home landline. I finally got them to move the business phone lines to the business around July 20, but they refused to return internet service to my home, claiming that Comcast Business does not allow any business to have modems in more than one location, even if there is a different account for each location. This forced me to move the mail order operation to the store a couple of weeks sooner than planned.  I still have not been able to get them to return internet service to my home.

Blyly also reported his progress on setting up displays of his inventory.

As I write this, we’ve received about 1/3 of the new books that I’ve ordered.  When boxes of books come in, they have to be checked against the invoice and then divided into different sections.  The mysteries are separated from the science fiction/fantasy.  Within those sections, they are then divided into the “before the fire” titles, the “after the fire” titles, and the “new releases”.    The sides of the bookshelves away from the front windows have the “before the fire” titles and the sides towards the front windows have a couple of sections of “new releases” and many sections of “after the fire” titles.  This should make it much easier for people to see what they’ve missed since the fire.  Around January we will mix the “before the fire” and “after the fire” titles into a single alphabetical section.

Photo (c) by Paul Weimer.

 

Here are his scheduled hours for the planned opening.

I hope to be able to open the Uncles for shortened hours beginning Sunday, August 14 (but there is still time for a new disaster to strike).  For the first week or two we will be open from 11 am to 4 pm Monday – Saturday and from 1 to 4 pm on Sundays, after which we will move to our regular hours.  During the first couple of weeks we expect to be very busy receiving and filing the rest of the new books that are on order, dealing with donated used books, and learning the computer system.  So, we will not be buying used books for the first 2 weeks.  We will continue to accept donated books during this period (“Just put the boxes over there and we’ll get around to dealing with them one of these days.”) but won’t have time to deal with buying used books.  I don’t expect the new sign or new awnings to be ready by then, so the signage will still say “Glass Endeavors” until the sign painter and the awning people get their work done.

Anonymous Blog’s Rankings Draw Protest By Hugo Finalist Short Fiction Editor

Cartoon by Teddy Harvia

When the Hugo voting deadline closes in a lot of bloggers write posts about how they’re filling out their Hugo ballots. It’s some of the most-read material they’ll put out all year.

The SF Insiders began publishing in June, produced by an anonymous “small group of writers who’ve known each other for years”, and most of their posts so far have been about the Hugos, Lodestar or Astounding Awards given at the Worldcon.

Their second post appeared on June 20, “Blogging the Hugos #1 – Editor Short Form”, where they say “With one exception, six of us independently ranked the six finalists in the same order”. Assigned last place was —

6. Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Ekpeki is a promising new editor and first-time finalist (and writer-finalist in novelette), but his only work for 2021 was The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction, a reprint anthology showcasing the work of other editors. There is some merit to assembling a reprint anthology, particularly one that shines a light on another part of the world, but all the other editors contributed original fiction they selected and edited.

Jason Sanford tweeted on August 5 that he regards this as a “smear”.

The SF Insiders decided they were being accused of racism: “Being Seen Again”.

…Someone decided they disagreed with the criteria we used for editor short form and, in true Twitter fashion, decided to make insinuations about our character to promote their own choice, which happened to be our last. In short, a white man called us racist….

While the tweets must stand on their own, Jason Sanford, responding to a question from File 770, said these were his reasons for speaking out: “Just saw the post being passed around and discussed in the genre community and figured I’d add my view. In addition, Ekpeki did a ton of hard work to create the first Year’s Best anthology focused on African speculative fiction, and faced obstacles many editors from the USA and Europe don’t have to deal with. So for that groundbreaking work to be dismissed with as merely ‘a reprint anthology’ really rubbed me the wrong way.” 

And in their “Editor Short Form” post the SF Insiders had not been reluctant to compliment the work of a Black American-born editor:

3. Sheree Renée Thomas

Thomas started as editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 2021 and has previously edited anthologies. Her first year was a step up for the magazine, but a transition year is bound to be a bit uneven and that’s how it felt to us. This is where we had some disagreement. One of us ranked her as #2 simply based on the difficulty of such transitions and how well she’s handled it. All of us have high expectations for the magazine under her leadership.

There still remains the issue of the SF Insiders‘ given reason for ranking Ekpeki last, that in their view assembling a reprint anthology is less worthy of being recognized than editing original short fiction.

Hugo finalist Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki was incensed by this idea and wrote a 3,000-word Facebook post to dispute it. The full text is at the link. A couple of his key points are:

My “only” work was a reprint anthology “showcasing the work of other editors”. All the other editors contributed original fiction they “edited & selected”.

Essentially saying that I didn’t do enough. What I did do, was no work, or not my work. & finally, not really editing.

Do they realize that this discredits the work of respected icons in the SFF editing world? People like Gardner Dozois, Jonathan Strahan Neil Clark, Ellen Datlow, Paula Guran, Ann & Jeff Vandermeer, & many more who also do reprints & Year’s Bests? It discredits their work. & what is a valid component of anthologies, editing and the genre itself, just to remove from the value of my work. On the other hand, I haven’t heard anyone refer to those other Year’s Best anthologies as showcasing the work of other editors. So what’s different btw me & them?

So that mine is “showcasing the work of other editors?” That’s what reprints & Year’s Best anthologies boil down to now someone’s done the first Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthology? Strange And I really really really want to disagree. Strongly but hopefully, coherently. I get that reviewers have to do their thing thing, and we should leave them alone and all that. But all things have limits & exceptions as my fellow Law students who went on to practice will tell you. This isn’t reviewing, so much as redefining.

If you say my compilation is bad, the works I choose don’t work, I have no Introduction, all of which has been mentioned in different tones going from positive inquiry to not so positive, I wouldn’t have made a fuss. But this is redefining what editing work is. And I have to disagree and make known my disagreement, strongly. Because not doing so would be agreeing with this faulty, problematic and dismissive, not to mention undermining, if not sabotaging definition. By editing the Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthology I did not “showcase” the works of other editors. The works were created by writers, not editors. That’s the first thing. Editing is its own work of selection and compilation you do whether for originals or reprints. It’s the same thing irrespective of the state of the works.

…So when you say it showcases the work of other editors, you miss the fine point of this. Is it any more rigorous reading an original work than reading a reprint? Are the words easier or harder to read? I don’t get how it’s less work or entirely the original editor’s work.

Does energy leave them every time the work is reprinted so that the reprinting editor loses nothing? Like doesn’t incur costs, charges, spend time, energy, etc? Is all that billable to the original editors so that the reprint merely “showcases” it?

…We need to work on the quality of our allyship in the genre space. Esp white, male, older writers. Generally anyone with a level of privilege. I wish we were more careful about the kind of things we give oxygen to, and unwittingly support. A bit more responsible allyship. Things like not putting out or boosting things that denigrate marginalized people or members of a minority class, vulnerable people. The people we claim to and even actually support in the community. It’s undoing and making nonsense of that work. If you are an authority in the industry, your acquiescence or even silence emboldens or ratifies these people. Is taken as approval. If you can stand by now and watch a member of a minority group be bashed, what says you won’t do the same when it’s a physical lynching?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen reasonable, responsible, kind, cool people we all like posting or sharing or boosting things that deliberately and obviously denigrate or demean me & other marginalized people in a racial or other marginalizing and bigoted way. Society, systems are a makeup of all of us. The way that you are and how you receive issues, react to, respond or don’t respond to them contributes to the society or system we have. So you have to ask yourself what kind of society or system your action or inaction is creating. Not just continue criticizing a system you prop up or contribute unwittingly to creating or sustaining. I am no stranger to criticism. You’ll be surprised the kind of things I’ve heard or had said to and about me. The majority of which I don’t share with anyone because it would make my feed very unpalatable….

Ekpeki has merged a defense of his work as a reprint editor with a counterattack on anyone who “demean[s] me & other marginalized people in a racial or other marginalizing and bigoted way” which indicates what he thinks are the motivations of the SF Insiders.

The SF Insiders wrote a response to Jason Sanford’s tweets (“Being Seen Again”), probably before Ekpeki’s Facebook post went live, for they tried to create division between the editor and his ally:

If the editor in question happens to be reading this, please know we enjoyed your anthology. Congratulations on your nomination! Your supporter, while admirably passionate about your work is, however, misguided and causing harm. We hope you don’t sanction such things. (That’s a criteria too.)

The mysterious SF Insiders like to agitate but sound offended when the inevitable pushback arrives. And while Ekpeki’s work should be respected and he is entitled to be proud of being a Hugo finalist, unleashing a three-thousand-word thunderbolt against a group of anonymous bloggers anoints them with a level of prestige they did not previously have.

ASFF Award Name Announcement Raises Protests

The Australian Science Fiction Foundation, led by President Juliette A H Cavendish and Vice President Geoff Allshorn, debuted a rebranded and redesigned website on August 1. It included plans for a youth fiction award to be named after the late Bill Wright, a choice that a number of Australians immediately spoke against.

On the surface, Wright, who died in January, would seem to have the resume for a memorial honor by the ASFF. He was well-known as the Australian Science Fiction Foundation’s Awards Administrator for many years, a past DUFF delegate, and received the A. Bertram Chandler Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017. For the ASFF he also established the Norma Hemming Award for Race, Gender, Sexuality, Class And Disability In Australian Speculative Fiction, and organized it for six years.

However, Wright, at a gathering 20 years ago, said in the presence of several hearers that while touring overseas he had paid for sex with children. It was hard to believe any award would be named for him, much less one aimed at youth.

Andrew Macrae and Ian Mond were among the people who heard Wright make this statement at the gathering.

Macrae said on Twitter:

And Ian Mond confirmed to File 770, “I was in the same room that Andrew was in. We heard it at the same time along with four others who I won’t name.”

Terry Frost tweeted to ASFF on the basis of something heard on another occasion:

And yet the ASFF leadership not only responded with disbelief, they threatened one of those who spoke out with legal action (a person, not named above, who promptly removed what she had written online about the issue).

The Foundation also posted on their website yesterday that they are “seeking legal advice” – a statement which has since been taken down:

“The ASFF Is currently seeking legal advice over social media attacks yesterday and today, concerning our positive awards relaunch. The online comments have been serious enough for us to cease all ASFF activities whilst legal advice is being sought. We will be taking immediate legal action if the advice is to do so. We apologise to all of our members for this pause in our activities. Those members who were involved are being blocked from all future ASFF activities and have been reported to FB for hate speech. Social media Is not the place to instigate vile attacks, make unsubstantiated comments nor undertake ‘mob attacks’ on others. The comments made are very serious and it is highly inappropriate to use a public Facebook platform to discuss them. Further public comments made solely about the ASFF which are derogatory in nature will be immediately reported to our legal team. Don’t believe everything you read Is my advice. Social media Is a poor playing field for the truth and many people use it as a cheap way to hurt others and cause distress. If you have any questions concerning the integrity of the ASFF please email us. We are more than happy to discuss matters. Inquiryasff@outlook.com There appears to be a single person who instigates these attacks against the ASFF publicly and we do not know why, as she is not a member of the ASFF. Despite knowing that she is causing distress and upset to others, she has continued this attack for twenty-four hours, inciting hate speech against an individual and defaming the integrity of the ASFF. Despite us reaching out and asking her to cease, she has continued. We have reached out to those involved and no apologies have been offered, despite the hurt they are collectively causing. I imagine they will also mock this message, such is their lack of insight into their actions and obvious lack of empathy. I am disappointed that all the work we have done to relaunch the ASFF has been seriously undermined by a group of nasty individuals, most of whom have not asked for any clarification for things that they are commenting on. Imagine. A world without hate. Imagine the truth.”

But today the ASFF appeared to have rolled back their plans for naming the award. As of this writing, their website features a page about the Short Story Writing Competition without any reference to Wright. Ian Mond commented on Twitter:

They Made a Little Mistake

Something not quite right in the San Diego Comic-Con International souvenir book caught Scott Edelman’s eye: “In the midst of getting verklempt reading the In Memoriam section, I spotted a major error on the page honoring the late Ron Goulart — they’ve mistakenly used a photo of the very much living Joe Haldeman.”

Goulart, of course, actually looked like this:

Edelman understands these things can happen. Because it’s happened to him.

“My photo appeared on Robert Reed’s Wikipedia page for awhile, after I accepted his Hugo award in Yokohama.”

Robert Reed Wikipedia entry with photo of Scott Edelman

When Scott wrote about the Goulart mistake on Facebook, people chimed in with other examples they’d seen.

Mine was remembering that Torcon 2 used the wrong photo for fan guest of honor Bill Rotsler in the 1973 Worldcon program book. At the time someone said it was really a picture of Philip K Dick. Since I didn’t yet know what PKD looked like I always assumed that was the identity. And therefore, the following year when PKD no-showed for his guest of honor stint at the 1974 Westercon, I thought it was an especially funny inside joke that they brought on Bill Rotsler to give the guest of honor speech instead.

The post I planned to write was going to end there. I knew I could find that old 1973 program book on Fanac.org and copy the photo to run with it. Which I have. There is just one problem. I know what Philip K. Dick looks like now, and that photo doesn’t look like PKD to me. I have never seen a photo of PKD with a long scraggly beard. So who is it really?

I asked Andrew Porter, who turned to others in the Fictionmags discussion group for help. Not only did they come up with the name, they found a copy of the original photo online. It’s artist John Schoenherr. The photo was taken by Jay Kay Klein at the 1971 Worldcon.

Porter sent a copy of the photo to John’s son Ian Schoenherr who confirmed the identity. He also commented, “Still have that corduroy safari jacket somewhere – and the ceramic tiki bowl.”

John Schoenherr at Noreascon (1971). Photo by Jay Kay Klein.

The Next Bradbury Roundup Is – Now!

File 770’s “all Bradbury all the time” coverage continues.

(1) ARTEMIS. John King Tarpinian picked up an extra ticket to make sure Ray will be on board.

(2) TAKE NOTES. “’It Came From Outer Space’ musical review: short on camp, storyline in stage musical translation” in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Almost 70 years before last week’s landing of the world premiere musical “It Came From Outer Space” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the groundbreaking 1953 Universal International movie of the same name had audiences screaming and cringing from behind their 3-D glasses as meteorites, space debris and aliens seemingly hurtled directly at them.

You don’t need much familiarity with Universal’s first 3-D movie or its special effects to appreciate the 85-minute musical commissioned by Chicago Shakes from Joe Kinosian (music and lyrics) and Kellen Blair (book and lyrics). Inspired by that cult classic film (which was based on a story by Ray Bradbury, who also wrote an early version of the screenplay), “It Came From Outer Space” the musical is sheer silliness.

Both an homage and parody of the movie, the musical follows an alien invasion in the Area 51-ish desert town of Sand Rock. It falls to outsider John Putnam (Christopher Kale Jones) and local schoolteacher Ellen Fields (Jaye Ladymore) to save the townsfolk from their own ignorance and the predators from afar….

(3) A HARD DAY’S Q&A. This archival episode of Day at Night contains a 1974 interview with Ray Bradbury.

Host James Day speaks with Ray Bradbury about his career, the importance of fantasizing, his aspirations as a young child, his dislike of college for a writer, his idea of thinking compared to really living, and his love of the library. CUNY TV is proud to re-broadcast newly digitized episodes of DAY AT NIGHT, the popular public television series hosted by the late James Day. Day was a true pioneer of public television: co-founder of KQED in San Francisco, president of WNET upon the merger of National Educational Television (NET) and television station WNDT/Channel 13, and most recently, Chairman of the CUNY TV Advisory Board. The series features fascinating interviews with notable cultural and political figures conducted in the mid 1970’s. Tape Date: 1/21/1974

(4) IN FOR A PENNY. Bradbury’s story “The Tarot Witch” was Library of America’s “Story of the Week” in March. The introduction includes the following quote from the author about his home town:

…I was amused and somewhat astonished at a critic a few years back who wrote an article analyzing Dandelion Wine plus the more realistic works of Sinclair Lewis, wondering how I could have been born and raised in Waukegan, which I renamed Green Town for my novel, and not noticed how ugly the harbor was and how depressing the coal docks and railyards down below the town.

But, of course, I had noticed them and, genetic enchanter that I was, was fascinated by their beauty. Trains and boxcars and the smell of coal and fire are not ugly to children. Ugliness is a concept that we happen on later and become self-conscious about. . . .

“In other words,” he added, “if your boy is a poet, horse manure can only mean flowers to him; which is, of course, what horse manure has always been about.”

(5) FITTING RAY’S STORIES TO THE SCREEN. GameRant has an opinion about “Ray Bradbury’s Novels: Best & Worst Film & TV Adaptations”.

Ray Bradbury is a famous name in literature, specifically science fiction, although his work touched on more than just this one genre. Several of his novels and short stories have been adapted for the small and big screen, and he had a hand in writing some of the most iconic science fiction and fantasy of the 20th century.

Not every adaptation has been perfect, of course, and even when the movie or show is a decent product other things can go wrong to make it less than successful.

There are six on the list, beginning with —

The Martian Chronicles (1980)

This BBC miniseries had all the marks of a successful adaptation, at least in the beginning. It had a cast with big names like Rock Hudson and Bernadette Peters, an original soundtrack with more than 30 songs, more than decent production values, and it was an adaptation of a novel of the same name by a popular author with literary clout.

However, things started to go awry when Ray Bradbury himself described the show as “boring” at a solo press conference. Although he and screenwriter Richard Mathieson had worked together on the adaptation, Bradbury was disappointed with the result, which deviated significantly from his original story. Even though the show was finished in 1979, this poor marketing was enough to delay the release for a year, but fans and critics ultimately gave The Martian Chronicles a positive reception.

(6) A MARTIAN CANAL? The Ray Bradbury Experience Museum in Waukegan, IL is closed for improvements.

Summer’s here! But since winter, 2022, renovation work inside the RBEM building, including the installation of the “Rivers of Mars” flooring, caused RBEM to once again close temporarily.

 Now we’re planning new, exciting exhibits to bring Ray Bradbury’s imagination to life for all ages. Watch here for news of our summer opening! Then mark your calendars for another Ray Bradbury birthday celebration on Saturday, August 20, 2022 in Waukegan.

(7) SOMETHING WICKED BY THE NUMBERS. Mental Floss says you should know these “8 Facts About Ray Bradbury’s ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’”. Here is fact number four:

4. When Bradbury’s publisher of 11 years didn’t respond to Something Wicked This Way Comes as enthusiastically as he’d hoped, Bradbury took the book elsewhere.

By 1960, Bradbury had grown dissatisfied with Doubleday, which had published The Martian Chronicles and Dandelion Wine; the author didn’t feel that the terms of his contracts were favorable for him, or that Doubleday was giving his books enough marketing support. Bradbury and his agent, Don Congdon, hoped Something Wicked This Way Comes would give them the leverage to renegotiate Bradbury’s contract.

That didn’t prove to be the case. Doubleday made a few concessions in terms of marketing Bradbury’s earlier titles and giving him some control over promotional copy, but they only agreed to devote $3000 to promoting Something Wicked This Way Comes. Bradbury saw it as a lack of faith—not just in him and his new book, but in the genre he loved. “I think it is time for me to leave Doubleday and to try to find a new publisher who will see me and this fantastic and exciting new Space Age with the same high-spirits in which I approach it,” he wrote to his editor.

Bradbury left Doubleday on friendly terms, and by the summer of 1960 he was working on a new draft of Something Wicked This Way Comes. In September of that year, Bradbury found the home he’d been looking for: Simon & Schuster editor Robert Gottlieb made an impassioned appeal to Congdon, promising that the publisher’s advertising director was ready to tackle the challenge of “extending the cult-feeling about Bradbury to a much larger public” and identifying its marketing director as “a violent Bradbury-lover.” By the end of the month, Bradbury was a Simon & Schuster author, and Something Wicked This Way Comes had a publisher that seemed truly excited about it.

(8) A NEW REVIEW OF AN OLD MOVIE. A contributor to The Suburban Times summons memories of seeing “Moby Dick – A Whale of a Movie”.

I walked to the Lakewood Colonial Theatre in 1956 from our home on Maple Avenue to see the film Moby Dick. I would have been 11 or 12. I had read the CLASSICS Illustrated comic book before seeing the film and then read the Herman Melville book later. As a teenager I subscribed to a monthly mailing of famous authors. The two images that stayed with me from the film: Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab dead on Moby Dick’s back, his body entwined in harpoon ropes with one arm flopping back and forth, beckoning to the sailors of the Pequod. The second image was that of Ishmael clinging to the floating coffin of his friend Queequeg….

(9) LOOKING FOR SOME LIGHT READING? Steven Louis Aggelis offers his Ph.D. dissertation “Conversations with Ray Bradbury”.

Conversations with Ray Bradbury, edited by Steven Aggelis and published by the University Press of Mississippi in Spring 2004, is a collection of Ray Bradbury interviews from 1948 to 2002, with the last of these interviews being conducted by the editor. Besides the interviews, the University Press of Mississippi collection contains an introduction, chronology, and index.

…The interviews reveal Bradbury’s recurring interest in science, an appeal to and reliance on emotion versus reason, censorship and tyranny, urban planning, comics and cartoons, death, education, Hollywood, love or passion as a creative force, magic, outer space, morality, myth, philosophy, politics, psychology, racial relations, technology, sex, the economy, the future, the horror genre, films, the media, the use of metaphor, war, writing and writers, religion, and more….

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for many of these links!]

Blyly Hopes to Open Uncle Hugo’s New Building in July

2716 E. 31st Street, Minneapolis (The Google maps photo.)

Don Blyly told readers today in the June 19th edition of his How’s Business newsletter that the new home for Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores at 2716 E. 31st St. could open for business in July. Two years have passed since the bookstores’ old location was burned by vandals in 2020.

Don Blyly

Blyly says the work on bookshelves and lighting has kept the store from opening as soon as he wanted.

I had hoped to be able to open by the end of June; then I moved the expected date to early July; now I’m hoping for mid-July.  A lot of progress has been made, but not as fast as I had hoped. 

A lot of bookshelves for used books have been built, but are not yet ready to have books moved onto them.  We are waiting for the lights to be converted to LEDs and some light fixtures to be moved around and some new light fixtures to be installed.  The electricians have not yet told me when they will do the work, but the LED bulbs and new fixtures were delivered to the store last Thursday, so I hope the work will be done in the next week.

Gary Stone of Red Wing donated a lot of book shelves from a bookstore that went out of business a few years ago in western Wisconsin, which was a tremendous help.  It took over 2 weeks to get them re-assembled, but they will hold most of the new books for Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s.  Gary runs Stoney End Hobgoblin Music, where he hand crafts harps, dulcimers, banjos, and bodrans, and sells a wide variety of new and used instruments for folk, acoustic,  celtic, and world music, plus folk music recordings and lyrics.  If that sounds of interest to you, you might see if you can send some business to Gary to thank him for helping the Uncles.

Details like running computer cables and painting a new sign on the building remain to be done.

The new computer system was delivered 9 days ago, but I need a bunch of ethernet cables run before we can use the system.  The signage on the outside of the building still says “Glass Endeavors”, and I don’t know when the sign painter will be able to schedule our job.

Blyly continues to sort his inventory.

I have moved all the donated books from the storage locker to the new store and sorted them into five categories: UH mass markets, UE mass markets, UH trade books, UE trade books, and “stuff”.  A lot of people donated boxes of books from their own storage lockers or basements without looking through the boxes, so there are a fair number of books that are outside our specialties.  Some of the “stuff” looks interesting, but a lot of “stuff” will probably go to recycling.  The Uncle Hugo’s used mass markets have been sorted alphabetically and are ready to move onto the used book shelves as soon at the shelves are attached to the walls, and I’ll start alphabetizing the Uncle Edgar’s used mass markets next week.

He will also be accepting donations of books on June 26.

A lot of people have let me know that they have books they want to donate to the Uncles but held off when my storage locker and house both filled up with donated books.  Next Sunday, June 26, Ecko and I will be at the new store (2716 E. 31st St.) from 1 to 4 pm to accept donations of books and to allow people to look over the new building. We will not be selling anything, we will not be buying anything, and I don’t expect any of the new books to have arrived by then. 

Jon Del Arroz’ Twitter Account Restored

Jon Del Arroz let everyone know he’s back on Twitter today. It didn’t take Elon Musk buying the company to make that happen after all.

For reasons not explained, none of his tweets prior to today are displayed, and a long string of them are labeled “This tweet was deleted by the author.” When asked why, JDA answered:

Two of JDA’s other accounts — @leadinghispanic and @rislandiabooks – remain suspended at this writing.

Mercedes Lackey Publishes Apology

Mercedes Lackey today posted “I wish to Apologize” on her Tumblr account. Her statement came in the aftermath of being removed from the Nebula Conference on May 22.

Lackey wrote:

I wish to Apologize

On a panel at the 2022 Nebulas, I had the chance to celebrate authors who wrote positive gay characters long before me.

Chip Delany is obviously a major player in that game. Because there are two Samuel Delanys–there’s one from Texas–I wanted to make sure people got hold of the right one. So, in my excitement, I got caught in a mental/verbal stumble between “black” and “person of color,” and as best I can remember, what came stuttering out was something like “spcolored.”

I’m not an amazing speaker. I stammer, I freeze up, & I get things wrong. I am sorry that I bungled a modern term while bringing attention to an amazing black creator.

Too often, I am called a pioneer, but I’m not–I’m just who some readers heard of first. I wanted to make sure Delany got all the proper credit that he is more than due, and maybe new readers would be inspired to read his work.

A note from Chip Delany:

Mercedes Lackey Removed from the Nebula Conference

SFWA removed Mercedes Lackey from this weekend’s Nebula Conference less than 24 hours after celebrating her selection as a Grand Master during the Nebula Awards ceremony. The reason given is that she “used a racial slur” while on a panel.  

SFWA explained the action in a “Statement on Removal of Mercedes Lackey from the Nebula Conference”.

Dear Nebula Conference Participants and SFWA Members,

We learned yesterday that while participating in the “Romancing Sci-Fi & Fantasy” panel, Mercedes Lackey used a racial slur. First, we apologize to our attendees and the other panelists who were subjected to that slur. We’ve disabled access to the panel to avoid any additional harm being caused.

Second, we are immediately removing Mercedes Lackey from the conference and the additional panels she was scheduled for, in accordance with SFWA’s Moderation Policy. The use of a racial slur violates the instruction to “Respect all cultures and communities. Do not make derogatory or offensive statements even as a joke.” That applies to everyone in a SFWA space, at all levels of their career.

Third, we will be discussing with the other panelists for “Romancing Sci-Fi & Fantasy” how they would prefer we proceed when they are able and comfortable in doing so. We will be offering to edit out the offensive portion of the panel or hold the panel again at a later date, inviting back the other three panelists and moderator to again take part. We will respect their wishes on how to handle this issue while also sharing the invaluable expertise they offered during the discussion. 

Thank you to our conference attendees and panelists who reported the use of the slur. We appreciate being alerted to it right away, so we could investigate and come to this decision as swiftly as possible.

The SFWA Board of Directors

The circumstances and the specific slur are discussed by Jen Brown in a Twitter thread that starts here.

What was said is stated in the Twitter thread.

This is the second time an issue has come up since Lackey was announced as a Grand Master last fall. Previously, SFWA asked Lackey to “clarify a past statement on writing trans characters”.