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"Fan Mail"

AS AUTHORS know all too well, not every piece of fan mail is full of praise. In fact, some fan mail can be downright terrible. For this competition, we found some truly painful missives that any author would loath to receive. In this case, their pain is our pleasure. Thanks to the entrants for their sarcasm.

(A shout-out to those fans of George Orwell who provided eerily similar entries…almost as if they were monitoring each other's writing.)

Dear George R.R. Martin,

The magic that brought me to this land has shown me that there needs to be only one name on my list: George R.R. Martin.

Winter is coming, Arya Stark
—Patrick Hall
Toronto, Ontario

To Mr. Tim Lehaye and Mr. Jerry B. Jenkins, authors of the Left Behind series,

Surely it's not as bad as all that.

Your friend, Satan
—Michael Nash,
Mansfield, OH

Dear Philip K. Dick,

You look particularly tired this morning. Consider getting more sleep.

Sincerely, Special Agents Roberts and Sterling, from the parked Volvo outside
—Jake Eggett
Littleton, CO

Mrs. Le Guin,

The Left Hand of Darkness made me sad. In a race with no fixed genders, nobody would know who should bring home the bacon and who should cook it. More importantly, who would submit to whom?

Praying for you,
Laura Doyle, author of The Surrendered Wife
—Vivian Unger
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Dear Mr. Abbot,

Your novel Flatland was a fun read, but I thought it lacked depth.

—Samuele Agostinelli
Montreal, Quebec


F&SF Competition #88


Take a popular science fiction/fantasy title and rearrange its letters (or go to Then give us an amusing entry (50 words or fewer) based on both the original and the new title. You have six different titles to play with. Remember to include your snail mail address.
Original: The Hobbit
Anagram: The Both Bi
Bilbo Baggins joins a company of dwarves and ventures to the Lonely Mountain. En route, he discovers that he and Thorin Oakenshield have an important secret in common.

Note: Please do NOT submit your entry through certified mail.  


Send entries to Competition Editor, F&SF, 240 West 73rd St. #1201, New York, NY 10023-2794,
email entries to carol [a-t] cybrid [d-o-t] net.

Be sure to include your contact information. Entries must be received by July 15, 2014. Judges are the editors of F&SF, and their decision is final. All entries become the property of F&SF.


First prize will receive their choice of Sergeant Chip and Other Novellas by Bradley Denton or Beautiful Blood by Lucius Shepard (compliments of Subterranean Press).
Second prize will receive advance reading copies of three forthcoming novels.
Any runners-up will receive one-year subscriptions to F&SF.

Results of Competition 88 will appear in the Nov/Dec 2014 issue.

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