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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.

More Gaming, Please

From: Erick Wujcik

I was delighted to come across your "Gaming" page:

You are providing a valuable set of indicators. Congratulations! However, if I might suggest a couple of additions. First, by most measures, Amber Diceless Role-Playing, based on the Amber Series by Roger Zelazny, is a pretty major role-playing product line. You might consider adding a listing for "Phage Press," with the following URL:

Second, I'm rather surprised that you haven't highlighted Palladium Books. Yes, you've listed their website, but I would think you'd want to do a bit more. According to distributors and retailers, Palladium Books are at least the third best-selling line in the industry (and moving up fast). Products like Rifts, Robotech, and the Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game have a wide following and a lot of impact. Plus, I can't think of another company that has so many different role-playing games in print (including my own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ninjas & Superspies, and Mystic China.

Thanks for the suggestions. Our Gaming page is the product of our hard-working RPG editor, Mark Goldstein, who rotates our gaming features as often as possible. We'll concur with your appraisel of Palladium, however -- they're a major publisher of considerable influence, and we'd love to do a feature on them in the future. Stay tuned.

Looking for Dan Simmons

From: Lee Cobb

I've heard that genre-hopping Dan Simmons will be releasing a new novel (The Crook Factory) in February 1999. He's already hit several home runs with Hyperion, Carrion Comfort, and The Song of Kali. What's next?

In a Locus interview regarding the Hyperion series, Simmons stated there would be at least one novella written which related to the series. Any word on that story? Or any other Simmons news for that matter?

I'm afraid we don't know a great deal more than you do. The Crook Factory will be released by Avon Books in February of next year, and rumour has it it's a contemporary horror mystery novel. We'll know more in a few months.

A Note on the ISFDB

From: Dave Langford

A quick note on the ISFDB listings for Greg Bear: Country of the Mind, listed as a 1996 UK title, does not exist. It was a working title for Slant, as Greg Bear has confirmed.

Dave Langford

Thanks for the correction. We've passed it along to Al von Ruff and the team at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. We don't do such changes ourselves, though -- while we're proud to host them, the ISFDB is a separate entity, and corrections should be sent to

Weird Science and Rare Dustwrappers

From: Jessica Amanda Salmonson

Love your elaborate & information-packed F/SF site. My own site is essay & bibliography oriented & though rather new already has essays on the weird science & occult tales of Marie Corelli; ghost stories of Olivia Howard Dunbar; macabre tales of Vincent O'Sullivan the friend of Oscar Wilde; a meditation on Lost Race fantasies; & other articles, & a growing "gallery" ornate bindings & rare dustwrappers. Might be something of passing interest.

Jessica Amanda Salmonson
VIOLET BOOKS: Antiquarian Supernatural Literature

It is indeed. It may be new, but your site is quite excellent. Like your fine fantasy works, I'm sure it'll appeal to discerning readers everywhere. Thanks for the note.

Dinotopia On line

From: Vicki Hickman

In reviewing your site I noticed that your link for James Gurney was an older reference to him and his work. There is now an official Dinotopia site ( if you are interested in updating your site.

In addition, I do website design and have had the honour of doing several other sites you might want to consider for your site.
Jeffrey Jones (Illustrator of Science Fiction & Fantasy)
Eric Chauvin (Special Effects Designer of Film & TV)
Stephen Hickman (Illustrator of Science Fiction & Fantasy)

Thanks for the note! That's a fine collection of sites you have (and an impressive selection of artists represented). Good luck with the sites, and if there are any new additions to the family, don't hesitate to let us know.

The Return of Crank!

From: Bryan Cholfin

I saw the letter from Lee Cobb in the current SF Site letters column. I have to apologize to Mr. Cobb and everyone else who've been waiting for the next issue of Crank! to appear. I basically had to skip publishing in 1997 due to various upheavals in my personal life -- getting divorced, moving to another state, being unemployed for a while. I spare you the boring details. Towards the end of the year, it appeared that things were settled enough that I could think about publishing again; selling
an anthology of Crank! stories to Tor provided some seed money to get started again. So I solicted my subscribers for further funds, and began work on issue 8, which I'd hoped to have out in May. Didn't happen, for various technical and financial reasons. Finally got the thing off to the printer in June, experienced yet more delays, but it is progressing again. I've just received the proof for the cover, which means the thing should be done in about two weeks from now.

The story behind the disappearance of Century is even more complicated, but it's not dead yet -- its editors are struggling to revive it once again.

Publishing a small-press literary magazine with high standards is not easy, or cheap. I'm sorry if folks are getting a little impatient at the delays, but if I had any real skill as a swindler I wouldn't be in so much goddamned debt. Crank! operates at a steep loss because I don't compromise on the quality of the production, or the fiction. Hey kids, don't try this at home! May lead to irritability, loss of sleep, headaches, neausea, cramps, and an inabilty to pay all your bills.

Thanks for the note. It's nice to get such a frank summation of the brutal realities of small press publication, as well. We've been fans of Crank! here for years, and it's terrific news to hear about it's return.

(You can visit the CRANK! website at Drop by -- we think you'll like it.)

Subscriptions to Asimov's

From: Todd Williamson

If at all possible can you tell me how to subscribe to Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine? I have several issues from the early 80s that I enjoy very much.

Gracious. Talk about a leading question. Todd, you can find all the information you need -- including subsciption info, editorials, story excerpts, and a handy form for subscribing online -- at the Asimov's website, right here at the SF Site at And thanks for asking.

An SF Mystery

From: Don Bassie

My friend read a book about 30 years ago about a human on an alien world. The premise was that the dominant species on a planet had evolved from birds there was to be some sort of disaster (but whether natural or man-made, she can't recall). And a human was sent to lead a group of these bird people to safety. Coincidentally, he was also a Jesuit priest. During the exodus (à la Moses), both the priest and the leaders of the bird people went through a catharsis. At the end, the priest, about to leave the planet on his space ship, stood on a prominence and delivered what amounted to the Sermon on the Mount. She cannot recall anything else about the story.

I have been searching my SF encyclopedias and the Internet every day for a week and have had no luck. Does this story sound familiar to you. This is probably not in your job description but I would really appreciate a response.

That's a stumper, all right. For a minute we thought it might be James Blish's classic A Case of Conscience, but I'm afraid that doesn't jive fully with your description. Anyone out there have a clue?.

Looking for F&SF

From: Tone

I enjoyed [your] web pages and reviews and [have your] site Bookmarked. But where is the Link to F&SF, another great publication like Analog and Asimov's?

Thanks for your email. The link to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, one of the oldest and finest magazines in the field, actually appears on a dozen pages or so. But here it is again:

Next issue

In the mid-August issue of the SF Site we'll check in with our quarterly Books in Your Future piece, looking at some of the most exciting new releases coming at you in the next three months -- including novels by Stephen King, Robert Silverberg, John Varley, and many others. We'll also have reviews of several terrific new books, including:

The Black Sun by Jack Williamson
Lord of Sunset by Parke Godwin
Inherit the Earth by Brian Stableford
Quest for the Fallen Star by Piers Anthony, James Richey, and Alan Riggs.
Vast by Linda Nagata
Year's Best Science Fiction, 15th Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois.

Plus, our usual columns and detailed New Arrivals feature.

Be sure to join us on August 15th. We'll be here.

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