Hanno Schreiber writes from the Black Forest
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Gardner Dozois and I are trying to contact A. Mackay-Smith. Our letter was returned from the last address we had in Japan. Can you -- or anyone else -- help us out with his address?
24 July 2000
Subject: letter re: youngest sf writers
Charles Samaha's letter in the July Locus points out that Catherine
McMullen, at age 10, may not in fact be the youngest sf writer
published, citing Robin Sturgeon's piece in the September 1962 F&SF
(Robin Sturgeon also having been 10 at the time). A couple of notes:
There's at least one other candidate: a John Cunnington was 10 when
he sold a story which appeared in the September 1959 F&SF (though he
had apparently turned 11 by the time it was published, or at least by
the time his age was acknowledged in a note in the October 1959 issue).
That September issue, incidentally, also contains a fairly good fantasy
poem by an 11-year-old, Nina Pettis.
Robin Sturgeon's "Martian Mouse" is not really a story (it's a description
of a non-existent animal; no plot, characters, or dialogue -- and its
headnotes refer to it as an "article"). But that's by the by.
More importantly, both Robin Sturgeon and John Cunnington had their
works published as part of stunt issues: the September 1962 issue was
a Special Sturgeon issue, focusing on his father Theodore; the September
1959 issue had a sort of contest in which readers were asked to determine
which stories had been written by children and which by adult sf
writers writing in the mode of children. Catherine McMullen looks
like a good candidate for the youngest writer to produce and have
published in a professional magazine an sf/f story that sold on its
Next question: who is the all-time youngest sf/f *novelist*? I don't
offhand know, but the field has had several people publishing novels
while still in their teens. My guess as the youngest *significant*
novelist would be Jane Gaskell, whose Strange Evil was written when
she was 14 and published when she was 16. My fuzzy definition of
"significant" involves a book published on its own merits which is
well-enough-received to be reprinted much later -- Strange Evil first
appeared in 1957 and was had a US paperback as recently as 1979.
University of Minnesota Libraries
21 July 2000
Although I never knew Joe Mayhew, he must have been a very special person to receive such a heartfelt remembrance by Mr. Wolfe. Thank you for printing it.
19 July 2000
I am writing a book about the Holocaust and American Popular Culture. I
would like to ask Locus readers to send me the titles of science fiction,
horror, and comics dealing with Nazis and Holocaust themes -- particularly
works which have not reached a mass audience. Please send titles and
Professor Henry Gonshak
1300 West Park Street, Butte, MT 59701
17 July 2000
Thanks for the interview [in the July issue] with Nancy Kress (one of my favorite writers) and the other interviews the last three years. In fact Locus is for me, a SF-Fan in Germany, not involved in the Fandom, the one and only way to become
informations about serious SF. (Except the Internet.) The SF-Magazines in
Germany are basically informing about Star Wars, Star Trek and (gosh) Buffy, Xena, Sliders and stuff like that! In the best way (Star Trek, Star Wars) it's good entertainment but most of this is boring. But it's really depressing, reading about all the good books coming out in the States, while knowing that only half of them will be published in Germany. Especially when I see that Heyne cuts his output drastically. At least they are going to publish Baxter,
Bear, Benford, McDonald, Kress... But newcomers have only one chance. If they
don't sell -- Goodbye to you. In this case, reading Locus if a sort of
masochism for me. Because the next English-Book-Dealer is far away from me an
But the hardest for me is your monthly "Help wanted-column"! You were offering
my dreamjob! I read Locus (since three years regularly), love SF since I was 15
years old (starting with fantasy like Howard and Moorcock, ends with fantasy
from Elizabeth Lynn, interrupted because a lack of money and started again
with Gibson, Shirley, Shepard and didn't stop till now at the age of 35).
Most important I am a DTP-Producer (Mac-based)! But: I am married (with three
nice little children, and my wife is dying to live in San Fransisco), I don't
have a driving licence (never had before) and I am living in the wrong
country!!! It's a dog's life. Paradise is only half a world around and I am in
hell. Beam me up, Scotty!! So I have to read your "Help Wanted" for the next
10 years (except I'll get so frustrated that I'll jump out of the window).
Greetings from the deepest Black-Forest.
9 July 2000