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Letters to the SF Site

With an ever-growing readership at the SFSite, there has come an ever-increasing chorus of readers asking to be heard; to voice their opinions, to find help in looking for that lost book title, and to keep us informed.

This is what came over the wires to us at the SFSite over the last two weeks. If you have anything to add to the discussion yourself, mail us at We'd like to hear it.

April Fools!

Last year's April Fool's issue was a lot more popular than we had expected or hoped. When we didn't have one this year, people let us know how they felt about it.


From: Sheldon Ehli

It's April 1, 2000! What about the April fools issue? The one you guys had last year was laugh out loud funny, although it did take a few minutes to figure that it actually was an April's fool joke. But no matter, you should have done it again, it could have been a tradition of sorts. I'll be looking next year!

Sheldon Ehli

Where's the April Fool's issue?

From: Harry Connolly

I'm disappointed that you didn't run another April Fools Day issue.I've been looking forward to it.

Please reinstate/create that tradition.

We had a great time putting together the last issue, but it was a very intensive 36 hours getting the site put together. We weren't able to do it this year because of that, but, considering how disappointed people were this year, we're looking at doing it again next year.

Review Criteria Examined

From: Jim Turner

Ran across your site while surfing and went to check out the forthcoming books section. It seems a bit sparse, no mention of anything from Baen, DelRey or DAW, one from Ace and one from Tor. If its your intent to highlight smaller. lesser known publishers then this is an admirable policy, but limiting, or omitting, information ruins creditability. Forthcoming books should be taken to be all the books, from all the SFF publishers, for the upcoming month.

Jim Turner

Our Forthcoming Books list is compiled from a pile of galley proofs and bound advance reading copies that are sent out by publishers for review purposes. Our other list is made up of the books that were sent to us in final bookstore form. Not every book is sent out as a proof, and not all publishers put as much effort into marketing advance copies as others.

What books, and in what format, are sent out is a marketing decision made by individual publishers. Some publishers send us advance copies of some but not all of their books, while others send us a selection of already-published books for review. Some don't send us anything at all, or very little. In a perfect world, all publishers will send us what they have available for review. Until then, we'll do our best to bring everything that comes to our attention to yours in the fairest, most creditable way possible.

Short Story Identified

From: jesmith

I'm trying to find a Sci Fi short story I read years ago entitled "For a Breath I Tarry." It was in a collection of short stories...don't know who the author was....

Any chance you can help me find it??


J. E. Smith

It is a story by Roger Zelazny. The Internet Science Fiction Database (ISFDB) ( lists the following entries for "For a Breath I Tarry":

  • The Last Defender of Camelot, Roger Zelazny, (year unknown)
  • Fantastic Stories, September 1966, Sol Cohen, 1966
  • World's Best SF 1967, Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr, 1967, Ace
  • Alpha 1, Robert Silverberg, 1970
  • Survival Printout, unknown
  • Total Effect, 1973, Vintage
  • A Very Large Array: New Mexico Science Fiction and Fantasy, Melinda M. Snodgrass, 1987, University of New Mexico Press

The Identification Game

Arthur Porges

From: Alex Simms

I was wondering if you knew whether the science fiction short story writer Arthur Porges was still writing. His last published story was "Movie Show" in the February 1999 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I have heard nothing of him since then. He was born in 1915 and his first published story was in 1951.

Alex Simms

It looks like that is his latest story. If you want to find other stories, have a look at:

Professional Details

From: Rick Norwood

A reader writes in about Isaac Asimov's story "Profession". As a sidenote on that story, when it original appeared in Analog, it was illustrated by Kelly Freas, who often likes to put a little something extra in his illos. If you look closely at that illustration, you will see that it shows a tinker, a tailor, a merchant, a thief, a doctor, a lawyer, and an Indian Chief.

Rick Norwood

Thanks, Rick. That's the sort of trivia/detail that I love to hear about.


From: Craig Reynolds

I really hope that some one can help me with a name of these books, or an author. I am trying to find out the names of 2 books that I read about 5 years ago. They were both by the same author and the second book was a sequel to the first. The first book was about a sorceress or enchantress, I forget which, and she had an enemy, am male sorceror. His magic was to summon demons by using a ring inscribed with the demons name. He decides to send a demon to get his rival pregnant, using his seed, so that she will be distracted from something. Any way, demon does masters bidding, gets sorceress pregnant, falls in love with her, but has to return to his master. Years pass and the boy sets out to find his father, and ends up as apprentice to his real father, learning how he does his magic. He eventually beats or kills father, and starts to set demons free. He returns home with the demon who loves his mother and all is happy.

The second book deals with the same guy, but most of it is centered on his trying to win the trust of a woman that he has found trapping in a below ground ice castle thingy. This woman can control the ice or something like that and is controlled in turn by a person who has trapped her in this place, but has always said it was for her own good or something like that. Access to this place for our hero is through the demon realms with some of his demon friends.

Well I hope that is enough to get a response from somebody. If any can provide a name of the books or author, it would be much appreciated.

Craig Reynolds

This one is open to the audience.

It Was Green, and In Your Window at Christmas

From: Klondikers

Somewhere I read a story about a planet (I think) called Anacron. Does that word ring a bell? I'd like to find it again. Requesting author/title/availability. Thanks.


Alright, folks. I'm going to be really interested to know who has the answer to this one.

But I Wanted the Bicycle

From: Edward Hansen

I would like to know the author and/or title of a novel which begins with a boy winning a space suit. I read it (several times!) in the late 1970's and can't now remember anything else about it.

Edward Hansen

There were a lot of letters this month, and I wish I could have posted them all here. I'm working hard at going through them however, and certainly won't have any trouble filling next column. An embarrassment of riches.

Until next time,

Kristen Chew
SF Site

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