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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.

A Killing Frost

We recently received a rather nasty letter which questioned such things as our editorial integrity and preferred species of sexual partner. The catalyst for this tirade seems to have been our reference to a Tom Marsden book, either in the review by Thomas Myer, or in the series review by Georges Dodds (Part 1; later there was a Part 2, covering volumes 4-6).

The virulent letter-writer was having fits because we had the nerve to refer to the third book in Marsden's Tomorrow series as A Killing Frost, rather than calling it by it's "proper" title. Yes. Well. The title of the Australian release was in fact The Third Day, The Frost; however, the North American version of the same book was given the title A Killing Frost. And since our review copies came from the North American publisher, that's the title that went with our reviews.

Welcome to the borderless world of the Internet. (And, no, I'm not printing the letter.)

Looking For...

Old SF Stories

Hi guys, I wonder if you can help.

Back in the 70s in the UK, I read two books that I do not remember the name of the author or the titles.

1. A down and out guy breaks into a barn to shelter from the rain, and finds himself aboard a private space liner. He falls in love with the Lady Rair who was on the starship as a bored passenger. She gets kidnapped after they crash land and he rigs up a beacon. Many adventures during which he teams up with a being that helps him escape from a prison raft. He finally meets up with his true love and uses the skills he learned on the raft to win a sword fight and win her freedom.

2. This short story was part of a back to back book (two stories by separate authors). I think it was set originally in the 60s where a scientist/engineer/just-a-good-guy gets involved with a woman and a prototype robot. Somehow he winds up in the future where the robot (which has added on many features to its original simple design) is now almost the ultimate ruler of the galaxy. Our hero with his last dying effort manages to destroy the robot based upon a flaw that was in its original design. During the robot's destruction, he is flung back in time into a dreary bed-sit room where he has penned this account. He also is holding a crystal with the image/soul (?) of his lost love embedded in it.

Anybody out there know these two stories? I'd love to read them again.

Thanks for the help.


Apparently we haven't been reading the same things, since these don't sound even vaguely familiar to me. Anyone else?

Mad Scientist

I'm an old time fan, and I wonder if someone could put their remembering cap on...

I read a story in the early 50s that was, I think, in a magazine published in the late 30s. I think it was a "quarterly," but am unsure...

The story opens with a "mad scientist" who has attacked the earth so that he could take over, and focus earth on saving itself from some (I don't remember) disaster. Anyway, he is overcome, and exiled from earth in a space ship that has an antigravity drive that will prevent it from ever returning to earth. The scientist explores the asteroids, discovers a dead civilization, figures out how to overcome the earth gravity repellent, returns to earth and saves the world...

Any help would be appreciated. I would love to be able to reread the story. Does anyone remember the magazine, title, author, etc.?


Jim Lewis

I looked in my remembering cap. It came up blank on this one too. Sorry.

Looking For...

Betty Swanwick

Good morning,

I'm looking for artwork, prints, books, etc. by Betty Swanwick. She did some artwork for an album cover I'm trying to find. Any info would be helpful.


Rich Raiskin

Sigh. I'm feeling thoroughly unhelpful today. Anyone?

Babel Fish

Trivia question: What science fiction novel does the term "babelfish" come from?

Margaret L. Kallsen
Houston, Texas

Oh, now that's an easy one: Babel fish (written as two words in my edition) make their first appearance in The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. You were just trying to make me feel better, weren't you?

Minority Report / Dan Simmons

1. Have you guys heard anything new on The Minority Report? As a PKD fan I can't wait to see Spielberg's take on it. Has shooting begun? Has a release date been set?

2. Do you guys know of any Dan Simmons NG's?

Lee Cobb

My moment of glory is over. Sorry, can't help you.

Re: Star Series

Last issue's Letters Page had a question from John Waldner concerning a wager about Star Cops, Star Fleet and Star Demons. One of the SF Site's reviewers provided a reply which may settle the account.

Star Cops (1987) -- TV-Series, Directed by Christopher Baker (II) and Graeme Harper.

Direct to you from Internet Movie Database!

By the way, two games exist with titles close to some you mentioned: Demons Star and Stardemon.

Lisa DuMond

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