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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.

Seriously, though, we enjoy hearing what you have to say about the SF Site. If you've got a comment or thoughtful suggestion, or if you just want to complain about a dead link, we want to hear about it.

Time Future

After enjoying Lisa DuMond's review of new author Maxine McArthur's debut novel Time Future, I went searching for when it'll be published and whether it'll be hardcover or mmpb. Sadly, I couldn't find word one. Do you know? It sounds like a book I'll want to look out for.

Scott Tilson

According to the author herself, you can obtain the Australian edition via, or

Re: Slow Glass

Roy Booth's letter in the last issue's letters column, looking for the origin of the idea of 'slow glass,' sparked more replies than any previous letter we've posted -- probably because we offered the wrong answer (oops!) -- it was Bob Shaw, not Samuel Delany, who was the original author of the idea.

Thanks to all those with better memories and/or more free time to do a little research and who wrote in to set the record straight. A couple of people even sent in a URL to an article on Bob Shaw's first slow glass story "Light of Other Days" which appears in the Interactive Introduction to The Ascent of Wonder. You'll note there is a connection to Samuel Delany in relation to slow glass -- so my aged memory wasn't that far off the mark!

Here are some snippets from a few of the replies we got:

This was featured in a series of stories by Bob Shaw: "Light of Other Days" being the most famous and most reprinted. See The Great Science Fiction Series ed. by Frederik Pohl, Martin H. Greenberg & Joseph Olander, 1980, Harper, for more details.

Mark Stackpole

This idea was originated by Bob Shaw. The canonical story is "Light of Other Days", one of the best SF stories of all time. He eventually assembled a number of "Slow Glass" stories into a novel, Other Days, Other Eyes.

According to the ISFDB, "Light of Other Days" was published in Analog, August, 1966, and has been reprinted at least 11 times, including in a couple of best of the year anthologies, in Nebula Award Stories 2, and in the recent huge Hard SF anthology, The Ascent of Wonder. It was nominated for both a Hugo and Nebula, losing to "Neutron Star" and "The Secret Place", two fine stories that, in my opinion, hardly rank with "Light of Other Days". But there you go.

Rich Horton

'Slow glass' was the late Bob Shaw's best known fictional invention -- see his famous short story "Light of Other Days", for instance, and other works. I seem to remember Shaw had 'slow glass farms' as well. Hmm...

There is an excellent account of Shaw's literary treatment of his own invention (which Shaw nurtured for a long time before using in a story) in Robert Silverberg's Worlds of Wonder anthology.

Al Reynolds

'Slow Glass' was created by Bob Shaw in the early 70s. It's a great idea and I'm not surprised it's been used by others.

Andy Love

And perhaps we shouldn't be surprised to see the idea resurfacing. After all, you can't copyright an idea.

Ender's Shadow

From: Orson Scott Card


It was a pleasure to meet you at my signing, and I appreciate your kind evaluation of Ender's Shadow [Steven Silver's review, last issue]. Your site has been pointed out to me by several other people as well, and I finally signed on long enough to see it! Looks like the idea of good online magazine creation DOES come to life here and there.

Orson Scott Card

Henry & Bretta

From: L. Neil Smith

Just ran across your remarks concerning Henry Martyn and Bretta Martyn [John O'Neill's editorial on space pirates] and wanted to tell you I was pleased and surprised with what you said.

Also, there's a newer, much better cover for Bretta if you're interested.


We were interested, and this is it. Thanks.

Re: Memories of Childhood

The three series that were described by Amar Pai in last issue's letters column as favourite childhood memories rang a bell in my elderly brain of 22 years -- well, at least the first two did anyway.

The series featuring the Legionary with the unbreakable synthetic bones and the telepathic companion was The Last Legionary series by Douglas Hill, which followed the last Legionary in his quest to gain vengeance on those who had destroyed his world.

The series featuring the rag-tag band of kids in the future sounds like ColSec Rebellion, by the same author.

Jarrod Coad

Thanks for the memories!

Re: Realms of Fantasy

With regard to a question about Realms of Fantasy magazine, which was posted on your Letters page last issue, I had wondered about this too, and decided to inquire with Sovereign Media, the publisher of Realms of Fantasy, about why they had no website. Their answer indicated that we should look for their website to come on line in the next 6 months.

Marcel de Graaff

Marcel, thanks for the heads up!

Looking For...

Star Series

I wonder if you could help me. I made a bet with my friend that Star Cops was a real sci-fi series and Star Fleet and Star Demons were not. We are all members of the Birmingham Uni Sci-fi society and this bet means a lot of cred is on the line. Could you please verify which one of these was a real sci-fi series.

many thanks
John Waldner

I'm afraid I can't answer this one off the top of my head. Any intrepid researchers out there?

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