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Another story ID

(15 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by Gordon Van Gelder
  • Latest reply from C.C. Finlay

  1. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    A longtime subscriber is trying to identify this story:

    it's an alternative time-line WWII story. An American submarine in the Indian Ocean picks up a survivor who says he was on a Nazi ocean liner that was supposedly taking thousands of Jews to a new home in Madagascar(?) but instead, the upper bulkheads of the ship opened up and the passengers were mechanically all swept overboard into shark-infested waters.

    Does anyone here recognize it? The subscriber says it may have run 8-12 years ago. Maybe something by Albert Cowdrey?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    Isn't that "Jew if by Sea" by Richard Mueller from the May 2004 issue?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. schatzfam
    Member

    Kudos to all. I just pulled the issue from my bookcase and skimmed the story. The subscriber does a good job with the details (right down to Madagascar as the destination) and Charles nails the story and issue.

    The issue also featured an editorial from Gordon urging for an Isaac Asimov US postal stamp. This has still not happened, although I believe it was announced at one point.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Yes, that's surely the one. Thanks. (The subscriber looking for the story also says thanks.)

    It's funny---Mueller was my second thought after Cowdrey, but this particular story didn't come to mind. Maybe because it ran more than 12 years ago.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Schatzfam, as it happens, I was just discussing writers on US postage stamps and recalling the campaign to get Asimov a stamp. (Dr. Asimov would have turned 100 a few months ago.) There was an announcement of a series of stamps for science fiction writers and I think Asimov was to be included, but the project was shelved in 2013:

    https://sciencefiction.com/2013/07/10/post-office-suspends-science-fiction-stamp-collection/

    From what I've observed, in recent years the USPS has gotten away from honoring individuals on stamps. They're only honoring six individuals this year and last year it was five. By contrast, they honored seventeen in 2011.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    That may be my favorite Mueller story. One reason I remember it is the title always seemed tonally dissonant with the story to me, since it's not really a punny story. (Also it makes me think it should be the sequel to "Hun if by Land" but Mueller never wrote that story.)

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    The story was retitled when Ellen Datlow reprinted it in a Year's Best anthology.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Another reader asks:

    I recall reading a short story in your magazine in the '80s or
    early '90s about a time when baseball games were played
    in empty parks and only broadcast, hadn't had live
    attendance in generations. One fan wanted to see a game
    in person, and the story was about this quest.

    Can anyone here help?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    At first I thought of "On Account of Darkness" by Barry Malzberg and Bill Pronzini (F&SF, Nov 1977), just because I had a vague memory of it as being a story about the future where no one appreciated baseball any more, but I pulled it off the shelf and that clearly isn't it, so I don't have a clue.

    BUT there's a bibliography of speculative baseball stories kept by Steven Silver here https://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/baseball.html -- maybe if they look over the list, the story will jump out at them.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    You know what, I just went and asked Steven. We'll see if he recognizes it.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. SHamm
    Member

    According to the ISFDB, Richard Mueller turns 100 this year.

    His most recent story is "But Wait! There's More!" from F&SF, August 2008, when he would have been 87 or 88.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    I'm pretty sure ISFDB has our Rich Mueller confused with another one.

    I think our contributor was born in 1945.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. Marian
    Member

    I think there are at least two authors named Richard Mueller. I googled and ended up confused. I suggest someone who knows the titles of his novels google and see which one he is.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Our contributor is the author of these books:

    JERNIGAN'S EGG (Bluejay Books)
    DEATH ON THE PRAIRIE, FALLING TO IOWA, and DARK OF WINTER (Books I-III of the Glen Gleason mysteries) (Amazon Kindle/Nook)
    PALMDALE MUST BE DESTROYED (Amazon Kindle/Nook)
    novelization of the movie GHOSTBUSTERS (Tor)
    THE FUTURE OF NAVAL WARFARE (Rosen)

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    A longtime reader is trying to identify this story:

    "The story I'm looking for was about a murder mystery in the future. In this story people could become gestalts with one another, at the price of erasing their old individuality and part of their idtentity. The main character was deciding whether or not a murder had killed his victim before or after joining a gestalt. The story was apparently part of a series. It was about a female protagonist who had a traumatic childhood. According to the text of the story she had committed war crimes as a kid."

    The first thing I thought of was Cowdrey's "Murder in the Flying Vatican" but I pulled it off the shelf and skimmed it and I don't think that's right. Still, this sounds very familiar to me and it's making me crazy that I can't identify it. Can anyone help?

    Posted 1 month ago #

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