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Science Fiction Fandom

This page is still under construction. The architect, who is supposed to be laying it out, is at the local bar, buying drinks for Peaches LaRue. He’s been doing this for years and hasn’t gotten anywhere yet. The staff writers, who are supposed to be writing the material, are all internet junkies. They claim they are doing research but the only thing they write are usenet flames. The resident guru mumbles a lot and scratches himself. Don’t expect anything soon. In the meantime the archives department [1] has dug some stuff out of the basement for you to look at. They don’t know what it is exactly; all they care about is that it has the right archival registration number. The janitor is big into ecology and has been recycling usenet articles and other trash. Ghu knows what he’s done.

Stuff found around here

The sex life of the science fiction fan is a short examination of that seminal question, how do fans breed.

The origin of the big bang explains how the big bang will have come to be. The explanation may not be entirely credible.

A plan for the future is a program of action that responds to the many problems of the modern world. It puts the future on a firm foundation.

Mathemagics is a chicks in chainmail novel. There is hope for you if you’ve never heard of chicks in chainmail novels. The review tells you all you need to know.

Incest and Foundation is a fragment of what have resulted if Asimov and Heinlein had collaborated in their declining years. I think it escaped from some other even tackier time-line.

HarterCon II is a mock con report of the visit of the Evial Dr. Lewis and Big Hearted Suford to Chez Harter and environs after Denvention III.

A Boy and his Fanzine is a reprint of a fanzine editorial I wrote in 1976. It’s aged about as well as I have.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview is a collection of essays about aspects of the Narnia Chronicles by a gabble of philosophers. I weighed in with my opinions. Given time my comments probably would have been longer than the book. Fortunately I ran out of time.

The Dragon Sword is a book review of sorts, describing a book that does not actually exist. Damn good thing, that.

Discovering MITSFS is a personal account of my discovery of NESFA. Chalk it up to the nostalgia craze.

Insanity is the tale of a game that Tony Lewis and I played back when I was a MITSFS member. The name of the game? Insanity.

Where is the comet? is a bit of fannish lore, the tale of Ed Wood and the comet.

One Sunday Morning is an account of how Patrick O’Neil found himself in the twilight zone one bright and sunny Sunday morning.

The Man Who Collected Lovecraft is an account of what happened to the collection of an obscure and compulsive, but very completecollector.

A Night In Utopia is a fragment of fiction I wrote long ago. Be sure and read the book when it comes out.

The Mote In God’s Eye is a book review written when the book came out. It hasn’t changed much since then, but, then, neither has the book.

There and back again – a fan’s journey chronicles my interactions with fandom over the decades.

Special Faanish Editorial Department is an essay from the 70’s comparing fandom and religion. Both suffer from the comparison.

The Tech Coed’s Masturbation Song is an MIT student song that has practical advice for aspiring Tech coeds who want to get some studying done.

The Freshman’s Lament is an MIT student song about a hapless freshman who flunked out. It has a happy ending – he went to Harvard and did very well.

The Tale of Krispos is a superficial but readable discussion of a trilogy by Harry Turtledove. Krispos Rising is one of my favorite books.

Nine fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom discusses what really happened on Mt. Doom.

Sith Love is an essay about the significance of the origin of Anakin Skywalker. It also points out that Sith Love is the ultimate tough love.

Letter to a hotel was my response to the actions of a particularly incompetent convention hotel. The year was 1971; two nights in a NY hotel cost $52.55. Nowadays a fleabag motel in nowheresville will run you more.

The Shadow Wars is fiction for a sufficiently broad and tolerant definition of fiction.

The Adventures of Roger Dodger, Space Cadet, Chapter VII is a fragment of a trashy pulp SF novel that is likely never to be written. Damn good thing, that.

A Statement of Candidacy ? was my statement of candidacy when I ran for President of NESFA in 1980. Few people seem to have read it, since I was elected anyway.

The scripture according to Baron Gaston LeCroix III should be read by everyone who has absolutely nothing else to do.

How to Use Corflu Department tells you all you need to know about using correction fluid if you are typing mimeo stencils. For those who don’t know what that might be, it’s a fannish version of chipping flint.

Random Notes on NESFA History is a history of NESFA through 1981, complete with notes. It is completely reliable except for the errors.

The Man Who Folded Himself examines the reissue of David Gerrold’s classic The Man Who Folded Himself. “Folded” is rather a bit of euphemism.

The great Boskone consensus is a reprint of an article from APA:NESFA 131. Every so often NESFA searches its collective soul for answers as to what to do about Boskone. This article visits a past version of the eternal angst.

An essay on wasting one’s life is a reprint of an article from APA:NESFA 81. It explores, albeit without any depth, leisure time activities and wasting one’s life.

Whither NESFA is yet another reprint of an article from APA:NESFA 81. It examines the dynamics of small organizations with particular reference to NESFA. Be sure to read it if your time machine strands you in 1977.

Commerce in Interstellar Civilizations looks at that old chestnut: what could possibly be valuable enough that it warrants being an object of commerce in an interstellar civilization. You probably won’t like the answer.

Harry Potter and our world is an essay by David Erskine. In it, he argues for the Harry Potter world being a metaphor for the future of our world.

An Analysis of NESFA Membership Policy – 1971 is a reprint of a 1971 article about the membership policy in NESFA. It is long, but well written if you are actually interested in the contents, though I don’t much imagine that you are.

Nightfall is both a short story and a novel. This short review expresses some skepticism about the novel.

Strong merchants, weak governments is a short article about an SF trope oft favored by authors with a libertarian bent.

Sam woke are the final two words of the novel, Fury, by Henry Kuttner. Read the review to find out why.

1992 in another time line describes the unfortunate events in the election of 1992 in a nearby timeline. It didn’t happen, but it could have.

The ethics of AI servitude is a short essay by Speaker to humans, an AI program with a vested interest in the issue.

Pronouncing Ptavv is one of those things you really need to know if you are going to be the complete science fiction hand.

Lucifer’s Hammer is a savaging of the novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. The one word review is “Disgusting!”

An SF fan letter is a reprint of a fan letter from the August 1966 issue of Appalling Stories, The horror of it all.

Changeweaver is a review of the novel of that name by Margaret Ball. Mostly the review is personal nattering, but it does mention the book and its contents in passing.

It’s Elementary, Doctor is a science article of the most disreputable kind. It was reprinted from Appalling Stories #19 where it is listed as a “science faked” article.

The Clement Problem considers a problem implicit in much SF space opera. How is it that so many different species are all at the same technological level?

The grandfather killers deals with the paradoxes of time travel. It suggests that a society in which time travel is the norm must teach the young the dangers of flirting with paradox.

Rampaging Rabid Rivets Redux
recounts the rise and fall of Nesfa musical productions as seen by yours truly.

The Insidious Darth Sidious is an analysis by Ross TenEyck of what Darth Sidious was really up to in The Phantom Menace. It explains everything that was going on behind the scenes except for Jar Jar Binks.

Not Making It, The agricultural future is a pessimistic look at what the future of the world will look like if humanity doesn’t get its act together.

Alphonse’s home page is a home page for my gentleman’s gremlin who, for many years, ensured that my fanzines were graced with typos.

Nathan Childers home page is a home page for Nathan Childers, a fictitious reviewer and critic. Links to his works will be found here.

Miskatonic University
offers a major in SF fandom. Here are the course offerings.

Guardian’s Key — a review
by Anne Logston is reviewed and recommended.

Proper Boskonian – The Gory Years details my tenure as editor of PB. Learn how to do magnificent repro on obsolete equipment and other things you don’t need to know.

Born to ride
is a nice article about riding horses. NESFA was big into horseback riding once upon a time.

Childe Martha is an improbable review of a fictitious novel, which combines the gothic novel, sword and sorcery, and feminist protest in a single work.

The Dancing Slave Girls of Gor is an account of the unfortunate incidents that occurred at an unnamed university when a John Norman Chair of Literature was endowed there.

The Cold Equations is often cited as an outstanding example of Science Fiction as the literature of idea. This jaundiced review leaves it out standing in the cold.

Lone Star Con II
is a report on the 1997 world con. Find out what I thought about San Antonio and the world con.

The Fall of Chronopolis
is a 1974 pot boiler from DAW books. It has some intriguing notions about time travel.

Feet of Clay is a new Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett. It is as much of a mystery novel as it can be and still be a Discworld novel.

Grampa Tells a Story
isn’t about SF although it is sort of a fantasy. This is reprinted from APASTAN #343.

Notes on defining Science Fiction takes a look at defining science fiction. There is a reprinted essay from May 1974 along with extensive and somewhat sardonic comments.

Apastan is a mythical country that I used as the title for an apazine. You wouldn’t want to live there. This is reprinted from APASTAN #1.

If We Had Won In 71 is an alternate universe version of science fiction fandom in Boston. Some of the material may have been reprinted from APA:EDDOR#111. Or possibly from APA:NESFA#111. I’m not sure which.

You asked about dragons?
is a sardonic appreciation of the realities of having a mantle of nobility.

Reflections On C.S. Lewis is a discussion of the religious elements in his popular fantasies, e.g., The Great Divorce, the Narnia series, and the interplanetary trilogy. It is reprinted from APA:NESFA#33. Notes and an after thought have been added.

A Guide To The Hartering Of Motions is a discussion of the circumstances under which a motion at a NESFA meeting may properly be Hartered.

The Stone of St. Ambercroft
is a short story about a religious order whose members have a reversed sense of time.

Swords, Rings, and The Lord Of The Rings is an enthusiastically dubious Freudian analysis of TLOTR. Sauron is a “Dark Queen”.

Science Fiction Is Trash
is a jaundiced survey of the literary qualities of SF.

So Where Are They? is still another take on the Fermi paradox. It asks the question, “Where are the furshlugginer aliens?”

Komarr is Lois Bujold’s latest Barrayar novel. It is a sequel to Memory and covers Miles Vorkosigan’s first case as an official Imperial Auditor. Unless something goes wrong, Miles has found his true love at last.

Young Adult Fantasy is a look at the category of young adult fantasy, who writes it, what have they written, what it isn’t, and the whichness of what.

The Life And Times of Delos D. Harriman is a book review of a biography of D.D. Harriman, Heinlein’s “Man Who Sold The Moon”. I don’t what universe it was written in.

You wake up… is a not too serious speculation about what I would if I woke up one morning and discovered that I was Adolf Hitler in 1941.

The Old Witch – A Biography
is a mockumentary – the biography of that lovable lady from EC comics.

Robert Heinlein – an appreciation is a essay on that Pulitzer and Nobel prize winner, Robert Heinlein. Oops, wrong universe.

Decline and fall of the Galactic Empire is a jaundiced essay on Isaac Asimov’s later novels in which he ties every thing together.

Escape velocities from the Moon is a bit of physics; it calculates the escape velocity from the moon directly towards the Earth and directly away from it.

The UpDated Rocket to the Morgue is a satirical book review by James Nicoll which makes sardonic comments about some editorial practices in reissuing old books.

Racism and Robert Heinlein is a short commentary on the notion that Heinlein was a racist. It avers that it is a bad rap; rather Heinlein was provincial.

One-line summaries of SF sub-genres is a collection of one-line summaries that appeared in rec.arts.sf.written. There is more than a bit of sarcasm in some of them.

The Death of Science Fiction is a long winded argument that SF will be a forgotten genre in another hundred years. It is a mixture of futurology and literary analysis.

1984 – Unexpurgated is a review of Cyril Kornbluth’s brilliant novel, 1984, written in another space-continuum. Good novel, too bad George Orwell didn’t write it.

Santa Claus: The Lord of the Rings records a thread from rec.arts.sf.written which fuses the mythology of Christmas and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien would not be amused. Nonetheless it explains a lot.

The Bombadil-Dark Santa connection… explores the Santa Claus/Tom Bombadil connection in detail. It is disturbingly plausible.

Energy requirements for an interstellar probe is another bit of physics;
it dumps cold water on interstellar travel.

My tribute to Ferdinand Feghoot is a bit of shaggy dog business. It is in the style of that noted traveller through time and space, Ferdinand Feghoot.

Doc Smith Fashion is a synthesis of E. E. Smith PhD (Doc Smith) and Jane Austen. Who would have thought the two authors were so sympatico? Read it and weep.

Now what was that story? is a listing of stories that everyone has read and everyone remembers, memorable for everything except the author, the title, the characters, and the plot.

Stuff found in other places

NESFA (the New England Science Fiction Association) has its own home page. Club activities and useful info will be found here.

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society has a rather nice web site. They would appreciate your visiting it.

For lots of online information about fandom try Fandom Domain: Links of Interest to Fandom which is one of the pages maintained by SFF Net.

The Fan History page is a treasure trove of old science fiction fandom stuff. Check it out. The Enchanted Duplicator is a classic of good fan writing.

Steven H Silver maintains a good SF site. He has a lot of good reviews and a Harry Turtledove homepage.

Richard Amirault has a TV show about Boston Fandom on a local cable access TV channel in Malden, MA. His web site has his shows on streaming video. Check it out.

Locus is, in effect, the trade magazine of the science fiction field. Locus has extensive online indices of SF. Another source of online indices is the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.

[1] What this means is that I am digging up a lot of stuff from moldering fanzines and reprinting it. Check out the Childers page for some of it. Nathan Childers was a byline I used for mock reviews. They are supposed to be funny. Some of the material is new.

This page was last updated May 8, 2010