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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 on time before service gets 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.

To: John O'Neill
From: James Van Pelt

A Homage to Asimov's Science Fiction

I'm stunned by the breadth and depth of your article about Asimov's ["A Brief History of Asimov's Science Fiction"; SF Insite, July 1998]. I printed the whole thing, three-hole punched it and put it in my folder of reference materials.

Art by George Barr

George Scithers was my first great editorial motivator for my writing. The first story I sent him, he rejected with this note: "I hope while you were waiting to hear from us on this story that you were working on your next." He also pointed out that I didn't seem to know the difference between "breath" and "breathe." Thank goodness, I was working on my next story. Finally, 14 years after that first rejection, he's taken two stories from me for Weird Tales.

In the meantime, Analog was my real introduction to short SF. I remember in junior high waiting for the library's copy to come in (I didn't know that I could subscribe!). John Campbell introduced me to editorial writing, and the stories would keep me thinking for the entire month until the next issue came in. I didn't start submitting work to the magazines until after Campbell died, but I feel accepted by proxy now that Stanley Schmidt has taken a couple of pieces from me.

I really felt at home reading your homage to the two magazines. Great article.

John O'Neill responds:

Thanks for the kind words. Really. It was an enormous labour of love. It was originally intended to be a few paragraphs tagged on to the end of my May editorial on the re-launch of the magazines, ["Love, Money, and the Future of Science Fiction Magazines"; SF Insite, Mid-May 1998] but it took on a life of its own. Thanks for the comments on Scithers, too. He had a big influence on my own fiction efforts. And congratulations on the sales to both Scithers and Schmidt. I'll be on the lookout for the stories!

To: John O'Neill
From: Debra Euler

A word from DAW

You guys have a publisher links area, right? Because we've finally officially got a link! Yippee! Here's the little announcement I wrote for the DAW email newsletter:

"Visit the newly minted DAW website at Here you can search the Penguin Putnam Inc. catalog for info on our books (OK, there aren't that many listed in there yet, but we can't type that fast!), view our monthly features, see our submission guidelines, follow links to some of our authors and cover artists, and marvel at our animated logo. There will be continuous updates and exciting new features appearing on the DAW site over the next few months. These will include:

  • expanded features about our monthly releases
  • sample chapters of upcoming books
  • interviews with DAW authors
  • a monthly gallery of classic cover images from DAW's history, from artists like Michael Whelan, Jody Lee, Vincent DiFate, and Jim Burns.
  • the fabled DAW logo list, where you can check for gaps in your DAW collection, all the way back to our very first release, 1972's Spell of the Witch World by Andre Norton."

Debra Euler
Assistant Editor
DAW Books

Whew! That's a lot to look forward to. We've been very interested in seeing what one of the premier SF and Fantasy publishers would unveil on the Web, and we weren't disappointed. We'll make sure to give it a place of prominence on our publishers' page. We're particularly interested in seeing the logo list and the monthly gallery. Don't forget to let us know when they go up.

From: Ann Marston

Canadian Content

Hi, there!

Another book by a Canadian... I see you've got all three of my books in the Rune Blade Trilogy listed. You might be interested to know that a fourth book, the first book in a new trilogy, will be published next February. The title is Cloudbearer's Shadow and it will be published by HarperPrism.

Thanks for the info, Ann.

From: Charlee Compo

I was curious to see if the first novel in my dark fantasy series, The WindLegends Saga was listed on your list of novels. While I found it, it led me to the Canadian authors list and nowhere could I see it on the page. The novel was put out by Commonwealth Publications, the defunct company out of Edmonton. I am part of the Common Action suit which was judged in our favour and I now own exclusive rights to that particular novel. Both and Barnes and Nobles have listed me as publisher of the novel and it is available, through them, as a special order.

The second through fifth novels in the nine book series will be released by another publisher starting in June of next year. I would appreciate being listed on your site, but I am NOT a Canadian author. I am from Iowa by way of Georgia. Please visit my homepage to learn a little bit about me.

I would appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your website. Thanks,

Charlee Compo and

Thanks for the correction. And we're always looking for talented contributors, in just about every capacity. Drop us a note at if you're interested in receiving our writer's guidelines.

Oh, and please keep us updated on events related to Commonwealth Publications -- it's a saga that fascinated many of us, and has certainly affected a number of our readers.

From: Lee Cobb

Just a little CRANKY

Was I swindled by Bryan Cholfin? I subscribed to Crank! magazine a couple of years ago. I'd dismissed my $12 subscription cheque as lost -- but then I received a letter. Crank! was asking for your pledge for subscriptions. I haven't heard anything since then. Is Crank! still in publication? Has it folded? I don't think any of this is funny. My cheque was cashed and I waited and waited, no subscription. As far as I'm concerned Cholfin's name is mud and I'll never buy ANYTHING with his name on it.

We understand your concern, and you probably have a right to be upset. But wildly intermittent publishing schedules are a fact of life for a lot of today's semi-pro magazines -- even those as well respected as Crank! (just ask anyone waiting for the next issue of Century.) We don't have anything concrete on the fate of Crank!, but in the latest issue of the print version of Locus there is an item about it. Apparently it is returning next month. The next issue is at the printers.

You can contact Bryan Cholfin at or visit While it's been a long wait, here at the SF Site we think it's going to be worth it.

From: John Cullen for Clocktower Fiction

Outside the Clocktower

John, thanks again for linking Clocktower Fiction. I'm the fellow who made some suggestions last year that I hope have helped, such as posting an editorial lead in the upper left of the main page. You have a great site. I noticed you have a list of links to novels, and may I suggest that John Argo's novel Pioneers might fit there? ( --> The Haunted Village --> Table of Contents --> Novels: Pioneers).

Also, we are proud to announce a new professional, paying SF magazine called Outside ( We pay 3 cents a word and are looking for submissions; full info at the magazine, whose issue #1 was published this past April. Next issues in August and December 98. Thanks and best wishes!

P.S. I have to check and see if you are in our links yet; if not, we'll get you there ASAP.

For those of you who haven't had the luck to stumble upon Clocktower Fiction, we highly recommend you remedy the situation immediately. There are lots of sites out there that offer short fiction on the Web -- but only a small fraction have the ambition and professionalism of Clocktower. Their new magazine Outside offers the kind of quality and cutting edge design that gives us real hope for this new medium. Check them out -- you won't be disappointed.

From: Matt Hayes, Spicy Green Iguana

Add a Little Spice

Dear SF Site:

I maintain Spicy Green Iguana, a speculative fiction magazine resource guide for writers. At the moment Spicy boasts over 150 links to magazines with an online presence. The submission address and magazine editor is also listed with the magazine title. Spicy Green Iguana is also compatible with popular browsers and is offered in frames or non-frames. The site has been around since March 1997 and has vastly undergone positive facelifts.

I hope you decide to link to Spicy Green Iguana and look forward to any email response.

Matt Hayes
Spicy Green Iguana

You just weren't looking hard enough. Spicy Green Iguana is listed right at the top of our Writer's Resources at While we're at it, thanks for all the tremendous hard work on Spicy. It's a terrific resource for writers and readers alike, and the amount of effort you put into it every week to keep it fresh really shows. You were the first one to point us to the new F&SF website, for example -- and we've been watching out for it for a while.

Anyway, thanks for the note. And please let us know if there's anything else we can do to help get the word out about the big green guy.

To: John O'Neill
From: Jeffry Dwight

Greetings from SFF Net

Hi, John.

I'm Jeffry Dwight, owner of SFF Net. I like your site, especially the reviews and resources for authors.

Good work!

Okay, we'll come clean. Yeah, this letters section is partly just a cheap ploy to plug some of our favourite SF websites. The SFF Net (at is a prime example. Jeffry and his team have done an amazing job, creating not just a significant resource for writers and artists in a variety of genres, but also a community -- a place where they can hang out, chat with fellow writers, and catch up with what's going on on the Web. Alright, maybe we're a little jealous because SFF Net keeps getting picked over the SF Site as the best genre resource on the Web (most recently by James Patrick Kelly in the September issue of Asimov's -- and we even host Jim's column!) but we know that's not Jeffry's fault. Much.

Next issue

Gracious. What do we have on deck for next issue? (Rapid rustle of paper) Hmmm. Dave Truesdale has promised to deliver a history of the "Golden Age of US Best-Of collections," from the hey-day in the 70s, through the dearth of the 80s, and on into the resurgence in the 90s.

The list of reviews include:
Mockingbird by Sean Stewart
Full Tide of Night by J. R. Dunn
Silk by Caitlín R. Kiernan
The Compass of the Soul by Sean Russell
All the Other Things I Really Need to Know I Learned from Watching Star Trek: The Next Generation by Dave Marinaccio. Plus, our usual columns and detailed New Arrivals feature.

Be sure to join us on August 1st. We'll be here.

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