Snapshots .38 Caliber

Here are 11 developments of interest to fans:

(1) It’s 2010. Time to check on the monolith says cartoonist Cam Cardow.

(2) I just discovered Brian Earl Brown Books, the pulp fiction imprint of a classic fanzine publisher. His pulp reprints include the Secret Agent “X”, Peter the Brazen and Jimmie Dale adventures. They cost more than a Sticky Quarter, but so did Brian’s fanzine by that name:

…Not all of the great fantasy from the teens and twenties of the last century has been reprinted or were reprinted in unacknowledged abridged, butchered editions. Beb Books is going back to the original pulp appearances of these great stories, OCRing the text directly from those pages to produce a true, accurate text, newly laid out in easy to read type, printed with cost mindful inkjet technology on 8.5 x 11 inch paper, side stapled, to make these great stories available again to a new generation of fans.

Letter-sized paper, side-stapled? That’s why I haven’t described him as a former fanzine publisher.

emSlaughterhouse 5/em t-shirt design.

Slaughterhouse 5 t-shirt design.

(3) These classic paperback covers look nice on t-shirts.

And the seller has permission, says Moshe Feder, which is good to hear in these highly piratical times.

(4) If you’re traveling to ConDor it’ll be worth making a detour to visit the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s exhibit The Science of Aliens”. It covers aliens in fiction, “alien” life here on Earth, concepts of life on alien worlds and the prospects for communicating with aliens.  

(5) If the big hotel chains seem hardnosed when you negotiate a convention facilities contract, rest assured they play a lot rougher with each other: Starwood recently charged Hilton with involvement in the theft of hundreds of confidential Starwood files.

(6) Some of these Known Space “get well” cards are really funny if you know about Larry Niven’s alien races:

From a Thrint:



The card artists include Ames, Wayne Douglas Barlowe, Bonnie Dalzell, Virgil Finlay, Lisa A. Free, and H.R. Van Dongen.

(7) Until March 5 the University of Alabama at Birmingham is hosting a traveling exhibit, “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine.”  The exhibit shows how Rowling’s exploration of writings by real 15th and 16th century physicians, scholars and scientists helped her devise the basis of magic in the seven Potter books.

“Even scholars in the 1400 and 1500s thought there might be fantastic beasts such as unicorns or centaurs in the world, and alchemists searched for the philosopher’s stone, a magic ingredient that would turn metal into gold,” says museum curator Stefanie Rookis. “Belief in witches and warlocks, spells and potions was still very real.”

Rowling pays small homages to her sources in the Harry Potter novels, referencing alchemist Nicholas Flamel, the physician Paracelsus, and occultist Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim.

(8) The Telegraph warns that the star called T Pyxidis is set to go supernova:

Although the star is thought to be around 3,260 light-years away – a fairly short distance in galactic terms – the blast from the thermonuclear explosion could strip away the Earth’s ozone layer, the scientists said.


(9) Dan Neil, the Los Angeles Times technology reviewer, acclaims James Dyson’s Air Multiplier as the better mousetrap of household fans:

There are many things about the Air Multiplier that are delightful. First, the personal electric fan has remained relatively unchanged since the late 19th century, and before that you’d have to go back to the Hittites, slaves and palm fronds. You have to give Dyson full marks for so boldly re-conceptualizing something so familiar and functional. This is the proverbial better mousetrap.

Neil also comes within a whisker of saying this technology is indistiguishable from magic.

If any sf writers out there know any more hi-tech axioms, mottos, cliches or old chestnuts, Mr. Neil wants to hear from you.

(10) Last month Kevin Standlee posted on the Hugo Awards web site a clip from a BBC documentary about the 1979 Worldcon showing the culmination of the Hugo Awards ceremony. It was Vonda McIntyre’s night of triumph.

(11)  After ten years of writing reviews and commentary for his online zine SciFiDimensions, John Snider decided it was time to move onto new projects — like writing sf stories of his own.

I’d rather think of this not as an end to my involvement with the genre community, but rather the beginning of a new phase.  The last ten years have been incredibly rewarding.  I’ve met hundreds (thousands?) of people I might not otherwise have met, and I’ve been very gratified at the response of my fellow fans.

Best wishes for continued success!

[Thanks for these links goes out to David Klaus,Andrew Porter, Kevin Standlee and James Hay.]

7 thoughts on “Snapshots .38 Caliber

  1. So that’s what happened to BEB. We were pretty good friends once, but he and Denise adopted a daughter (I think she was adopted) and he seemed to make a lot less noise in fandom. We fell out of touch. Brian always did seem fascinated with old pulp tales — he was a long time member of REHapa.

  2. Mention of the BBC reminds me…I went on their website this morning, and right there on the left side was their usual quote of the day…

    “Yea, though I walk the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am the neanest son of a bitch in the valley.”

    Hey, fandom is now quotable byt the press at large.

  3. It’s a very common gag line. I’m sure you’ll find that saying lettered on wooden placards at all the same souvenir stands that sell bawdy bumper stickers, and the mudflaps bearing chrome silhouettes of women with Daisy Mae figures.

  4. Do you know where I can get a set of those mudflaps? Maybe I can wear them as a pair of chaps.

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