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Letters to the SF Site

We love letters. They make us think. They make us laugh. They make us sit up and take notice, and get a payment in before service is disconnected.

Mostly, though, we enjoy hearing what you have to say about the SF Site. No publishing enterprise can survive long without paying close attention to its audience, and we're no different. If you've got a comment or thoughtful suggestion, or if you just want to complain about that durned dead link, we want to hear about it.


The April 1st Issue

From: David N. Reiss


The Pan-Galactic Circus
You got me for about 15 minutes with the April Fool Edition of the SF Site. I was sitting here reading through the Kilgore Trout stuff thinking "why they talking about this novel from the 70's?" and "everybody knows its Phil Jose Framer" and then I backed out to the main page again and started to read the blurbs below the links rather than just clicking and reading the main pages for them... and then it hit me.

I especially liked the letters...

I'm blaming it on the fact that I work nights and it is still March 31st as far as my life goes....

I really like the SF Site a lot.

Thanks for your time.


From: Andy Heidel
Subject: The First Real Evidence of Life on Mars

face
Happy Mars
John,

This was brilliant!

Good work.

Andy Heidel
Avon/Eos


From: David Truesdale

ROFL! Great April 1st spoof issue of SF Site! Just got an email from Gordon Van Gelder (who really loves a good joke), saying I *had* to see the new SF Site issue.

Loved the Harlan Ellison story title, btw! Still chuckling over that one.

Congrats to all involved in putting this one together.

All best,
Dave Truesdale
Editor
Tangent Magazine and Tangent Online


From: James Van Pelt

John,

Big Bug
Thank you for highlighting so prominently the return of THRILLING WONDER STORIES. I wanted to take this opportunity to point out that I am humbled by the unprecedented Nebula and Hugo campaigns on behalf of my story in the issue, "I Have No Stars My Destination, and I Must Slan."

I look forward to reading the review of the stories in the magazine, including my own, and now would be a good chance for me to thank all the little people who helped me along the way.


From: John Lewis

Guys, guys!!!

I must say you almost had me fooled with your April Fools issue this year.

After all it was late, I was tired, and I always assumed that Bruce Springsteen was an alien anyway. (why hasn't Hugo Gernsback been nominated for a Hugo anyway?) At any rate, thank you for giving me something I wasn't expecting at 3:30 in the morning, browsing for the latest reviews, a brash and inhumane attack of laughter with each new discovery of intelligent life on mars. After sifting through this ingeniously crafted issue I must say that my own face mirrored The Martian Happy Face :)!!!

John Lewis
Houston, Tx

P.S. I was in an uproar at first after reading your reply to Ali Bi Nahr's letter. How cruel to realize that the joke was on me!!!


From: Nicholas Perry

I thought you might want to know that I am unable to access S. Kay Elmore's review of J.R.R. Tolkien's Unfinished Manuscript in the April 1 issue.

I enjoy your site very much. Thank you for the great work in it each issue.

It was a joke.

The Elusive Wormholes and Whimsy

From: Helen Simm

Where is Wormholes and Whimsy this time? What can I say, Mr Ravey screams passion about his subject, which he spills out onto commenting on the whole, world from behind his Doctor Who sofa. I know jack about the subject of English stuff, and just pass by the SF Site before the mall and the bookshop, to point my way, and a chance click onto his page a while ago has left me hooked. Does he ever intend to review any videos? It doesn't seem to matter -- his ramblings seems poetic and passionate enough... Is he for real? Will we get to see his anti-homophobic rant? I hope so!!!

Helen,
You certainly will -- in the current issue, in fact. Colin Ravey's column has undergone a slight name change -- to Rant and Ravey -- but is otherwise undisturbed. I think you'll find his column this issue to be one of his best.


In Defense of Media Novels

From: Stephen Mendenhall

I was interested in your essay on media tie-in novels at sfsite.com [Media Tie-Ins and Mainstream SF by Steven Silver, Mid-March 1999] and had two more observations about it. I wonder if you can find out about this.

I do read a lot of novels which aren't based on TV shows and movies, but I do like Star Trek, but haven't read many of the novels. I've been kind of disappointed that Star Trek hasn't been as good as it could have been.

[Cover] But I've noticed how the publishers are limiting themselves. Pocket Books had a contest for original Star Trek fiction, but the main characters had to be the main characters from the show; this limits the possible stories I could have sent in. Amazing Stories Magazine *might* take a story which doesn't focus on the main characters... as long as they're the characters from the Next Generation or Voyager. They won't take Original Series or Deep Space Nine stories. Why not? I wonder if you knew about that, and if you could find out why they're limiting themselves.

I've written a few serious Star Trek, stories, but they don't fit into the restrictions I mentioned. There's so much to the Star Trek, universe, especially outside of Starfleet, I wondered why they didn't want to explore it. That goes for the TV shows, which have all focused on Starfleet. I'd enjoy a Trek novel just as much if it didn't have Kirk, et al. as the main characters.

I enjoy your website, and the other alternate history websites I've found.

Stephen,
You've raised a fascinating question, and we're rather afraid it might have a very mundane answer. As is often the case with licensed fiction, creative concepts are sometimes forced to take a back seat to the very real need to protect a franchise.

Why doesn't Amazing Stories take contributions for the Original Series or Deep Space Nine? We don't know for sure, but perhaps it's because they simply don't have a license for them.


The New Frontier,
Book Six
(March 98)
Why Paramount -- and Pocket Books -- doesn't often explore the potentially rich universe outside the immediate boundaries set by the shows is a more interesting question. Perhaps the market hasn't been proven, or they simply haven't seen enough decent proposals. Don't forget, however, that Pocket has experimented with several new Starfleet series, and often using their best writers -- such as Star Trek The Next Generation: The Best and the Brightest by Susan Wright, and Peter David's Star Trek: The New Frontier series featuring Captain Calhoun. Both series are well worth keeping an eye on.


From: Jack Tingle

Bravo! While I seldom read media tie-ins, IMNSHO ANYTHING which gets any person reading anything, is a net positive to Western-Civilization-as-We-Know-It. If in the process it gives authors the financial freedom to write other works, it counts as a two-fer. And if it keeps publishers solvent, well, what more can you ask for? (Maybe I ought to read a few more tie-ins, just on general principles. Well, maybe not.)

Good editorial.

Authors and Reviews

From: Richard Bowes

[Cover]
A.L. Sirois,

Just saw your SF Site review of Minions of the Moon [in our Mid-March issue]. Thanks very much. It's wonderful to have what I've done understood this well.

Sorry it made you neglect your housework. Imagine what mine must be like!


From: J.V. Jones

[Cover]
Hi all at sfsite.com. Fellow writer John Marco sent me an email telling me about the wonderful review Wayne MacLaurin did of A Cavern of Black Ice [in our Mid-March issue]. Thank you! If you'd like to run an excerpt of the book or a would like handful of copies of Cavern to give away please let me know!

Kind Wishes,
JV Jones

We're always interested in excerpts and promotional copies. You can see the results of Julie's kind offer -- an exclusive excerpt from her latest novel -- in our current issue.

Looking for Asimov SF Reviews

From: Vicless@aol.com
cover
Asimov's, April 99

Do you still have reviews of each current issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine somewhere on your site? I've been looking and looking as best I can to no avail.

Please help!

Victoria

Victoria,
We do indeed try to regularly review Asimov's SF, as well as F&SF, Analog, and other magazines. While the SF Site prints the majority of these reviews, the best place to find them -- as well as lots of other information on SF magazines and short fiction -- is at our sister site, FictionHome.com (www.fictionhome.com), and of course our hosted site Tangent Online, at www.sfsite.com/tangent. You can find the archive of SF Site magazine reviews at www.sfsite.com/revus/revua1.htm.

Software for Writers

From: Leon Burnes (Burnes2@aol.com)

As I start to organize my work, I found no easy way to do it. There must be a program somewhere to file, sort rejections and submissions as well as who, what when, how much, etc. I suggest that other writers send in their methods.

Leon,
I'm afraid we don't know of any applications that might fit the bill. If any of our readers can suggest any, we'd be glad to pass them along.

Next Issue

[Cover]
Predicting exactly what will be in the next issue of the SF Site is something of an inexact science. But we currently have reviews of many exciting recent releases in house, including:

Colors of Chaos by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Singer from the Sea by Sheri S. Tepper
The Forest of Hours by Kerstin Ekman
Foundation's Triumph by David Brin
Speaking Stones by Stephen Leigh
Choice of Evil by Andrew Vachss
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
Into the Darkness by Harry Turtledove
The Extremes by Christopher Priest

and many others. Plus our usual columns and detailed New Arrivals features. Be sure to join us on April 15th We'll be here.



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