Sometimes ABC Isn’t That Easy

The Crotchety Old Fan has written an outstanding post about A. Bertram Chandler’s biggest fan, Ross Pavlac, and how he left behind a clue that helped researchers find the manuscript for one of ABC’s unpublished stories.

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One thought on “Sometimes ABC Isn’t That Easy

  1. In point of fact, Kelleher mentioned the notes by Ross on the Marcon booklet to me once we’d all been informed that Susan Chandler had died.

    I had, several years earlier, contacted Harlan Ellison regarding the story written for the K.E.U. anthology (think H.A.L.) and Ellison was kind enough to phone me regarding it, though adamant that there was no way possible I could obtain a copy of the story, even for academic research purposes.

    Susan’s estate did not, so far as anyone can determine, have a copy.

    Sean Williams had purchased and not yet published Gaijin and efforts by David Kellher, myself and William’s permission got that into print with Jack Dann, leaving us all to wonder about Another Redskin.

    Based on Ross’s note, I first contacted David Hartwell. He did not have or recall the story – though he did remember being offered and/or accepting a story from Chandler’s then agent – Malzberg.

    Before receiving the above information, I contacted SFWA looking for more leads and Andrew Burt sent me in Barry Malzberg’s direction.

    Barry responded that he had not a clue (and was a little miffed: I haven’t yet managed to ask, but I suspect that Hartwell, Burt and maybe several other people got in touch with Barry as well, so by the time my email rolled in, he’d had enough!)

    Incidentally, the first person I sought to contact was Ross and it was at that time that I learned of his passing. I didn’t know Ross well, but I did get to hang with him and work with him on a couple of occasions.

    Anyway, around this point in time I happened to be re-reading The Far Traveler, which any Chandler aficionado knew at the time was a compilation of several previously published short stories – The Long Fall, The Sleeping Beast, Journey’s End – and supposedly newly minted connective material.

    One of the “new” chapters was a direct re-write of an earlier, non John Grimes tale (Operation Stardust). This chapter, as well as the story Operation Stardust, ended with the line “and another Redskin bit the dust”.

    How could this possibly be anything but the missing story? (Probably in slightly different form as a stand-alone short. That version may be lost forever.)

    The final ‘previously unpublished’ chapter from The Far Traveler riffs on the theme/storyline of yet another Chandler novel – The Inheritors. That section ends with the line “let sleeping dogs lie”. I strongly suspect that this chapter was prepared as a stand-alone short as well, and that the chances that the title was to have been ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie’ are good, since it is would not be, by far, the first time Chandler used a strong line from the story as his title.

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