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Send us your letters! Locus Online has more room than the magazine for letters. They can be about Locus or the SF field in general.

July 2000

Letters on this page

  • Jack Dann needs to contact A. Mackay-Smith
  • Dennis Lien surveys youngest SF writeres
  • Ray Smith appreciates Gene Wolfe's remembrance of Joe Mayhew
  • Henry Gonshak is looking for books and stories about the Holocaust and American popular culture
  • Hanno Schreiber writes from the Black Forest

    Note: Return e-mail addresses will be posted only if you include it in your closing, or your subject matter specifically requests some sort of response; otherwise it will be omitted.

    Send a letter to Locus

    Dear Locus,
         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?

    Jack Dann
    24 July 2000

    Dear Locus,

    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 own merits.
         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. Other candidates?

    Dennis Lien
    University of Minnesota Libraries
    21 July 2000

    Dear Locus,
         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.

    Ray Smith
    19 July 2000

    Dear Locus,
         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 comments to:

    Professor Henry Gonshak
    Liberal Studies
    Montana Tech
    1300 West Park Street, Butte, MT 59701

    Henry Gonshak
    17 July 2000

    Dear Locus,
         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 very expensive.
         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.

    Hanno Schreiber
    9 July 2000

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