Table of Contents, February 1985

This is the scanned Table of Contents for the issue, embedded as a PDF. It is searchable and includes all of the titles reviewed in the month. These issues are not available digitally yet, but most can be ordered by contacting the Locus offices.

Charles N. Brown
Faren Miller
Donna Burriston
Dawn Atkins
Norman Spinrad
Richard Curtis
Fritz Leiber
Debbie Notkin
Locus, ISSN-0047-4959, The Newspaper of the
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Contents copyright © 1985 by Locus Publications.
Second class postage paid at Oakland, California.
Postmaster: Send address changes to Locus Publications,
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1984 SF Year in Review………… p.1
Book Summary
Recommended Reading
Magazine Report
Cinema Summary
Robert Silverberg: Up, Up & Away……1
Contents………………………… 3
Announcements……………………. 3
Editorial Matters…………………3
Romanos Replaces Busch…………….4
Blanche Williamson Dies………. ….4
Preliminary Nebula Ballot………… 4
Miscellaneous Notes……………….5
Signings of the Times……………..5
People & Publishing……………….7
The Devil & the Dingbat……………7
Agent’s Corner, Richard Curtis……. 9
Locus Looks at Books, Faren Miller…13
Moons & Stars & Stuff, Fritz Leiber..15
Locus Looks at More Books,
Debbie Notkin………….. …….17
Stayin’ Alive, Norman Spinrad……. 19
In the Once Upon a Time City,
Samuel R. Delany……………….21
1984 Book Statistics……………. 27
1984 Magazine Statistics……… …29
Recommended Reading List………… 30
Books Received— December……. …..32
Magazines Received— December…….. 34
Classified Ads…………………..36
Bestseller Lists……………….. 39
SFWA Publishers Party…………… 42
1984 publications from Soft Books of
Toronto, Canada, include the first two
issues of Les Bibliotheques, each with
part of an H.P. Lovecraft chronology,
and Fubar, vol.2 no.1 , a checklist of
Lovecraftian art plus 9 illustrations.
All are edited by Joseph Bell. For
further information, write to Soft
Books, 89 Marion St., Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M6R 1E6.
Area, a fashionable nightclub in New
York City with a policy of introducing
a new theme every six weeks, will have
the theme Science Fiction through February
16th, with various large window
displays in the entrance hall. The
club has been described as “part gallery,
part playground, and part threering
circus.” Previous themes included
Suburbia, Confinement, and The Color
The March 7-10 “Weekend of Wonder,”
which was to have featured founding
ceremonies for the National Hall of
Fame for SF and Fantasy in Beaumont,
Texas, has been cancelled. Apparently
the site of the museum is now in doubt,
due to a problem with funding.
This is our month for looking back
over the last year in sf. It was an
interesting year for us as well as for
the sf field. Locus practically doubled
in size and complexity. The circulation
went up, and I went through my
usual identity crisis with it. Should
I let it grow as much as possible or
try to limit the size and circulation?
When I gave up my engineering career
exactly 10 years ago, I did it partially
because I wanted to have a job I
could do almost entirely by myself.
For nearly three years I did all the
writing, subscriptions, layout, paste
up, etc., with only part-time help with
typing. The magazine grew and I needed
more help. Gradually, I found myself
with the same problem I had before; I
became a manager and did less of the
actual work. In the last few years,
I’ve needed managing help and find
myself being pushed up to a mainly
executive position. I have mixed feelings
about it and probably always will,
but I know there’s no going back to the
simpler magazine Locus used to be.
Meanwhile, I try to hold growth to
about 10% a year and complain at least
once a year.
This is the issue with the poll and
survey. We give a free issue to those
subscribers who return a completed copy
to us before the deadline. We’ll furnish
an extra copy to completists who
send in a stamped addressed envelope.
The survey answers are useful for several
reasons. Advertisers are always
asking for demographics, and it’s handy
for us to know what your interests and
background are. We’re trying to see if
we should cover software for writers,
so the computer questions are particularly
important. We need to know how
many of you own your own computer and
what type it is. We can review software
for IBM or Apple systems and need
to know your compatability. The question
on renting or sharing a house or
apartment seems to have created some
confusion. You rent with your family,
you share with roommates even though
you pay rent. When we talk about chain
bookstores, we mean Waldenbooks, Dalton,
and Crown. Unless you’re trying
to make money at it, please don’t list
hobbies as secondary occupations.
A well-known sf book dealer accused
us of trying to affect the Hugo nominations,
to turn out the vote by running
our own poll and by supplying a recommended
reading list. He claimed that
too many people just used our list for
voting and didn’t even think of other
worthy stories. We could only plead
guilty on both counts. Before we
started the poll, the Hugo nominations
averaged a little over a hundred votes,
and they were so scattered it took less
than 10 votes to make the ballot. It’s
now at least 6 times that. We try to
make the list as broad as possible by
using a number of inputs, but it is.
limited to about 10% of the short fiction
and 15% of the books published.
About 30% of our readers send in Hugo
nominations and, I hope, use our list.
We don’t agree that this is “stuffing
the ballot box,” but you might keep it
in mind.
The most interesting category this
year is probably “First Novels.”
Thanks to Terry Carr, Jim Baen, and
others, there were more interesting
first novels than ever before. They’re
overwhelming the Nebula Ballot, and I’m
not so sure it’s a good idea. We list
first novels in a separate category
because they’re usually read by a lot
fewer people. Also, they generate
enthusiasm out of proportion to how
good they really are. We tend to
praise any fresh outlook and overlook
flaws which we would notice in books by
seasoned novelists — i.e. our expectations
affect what we think of a book.
We hope you’ll keep this in mind when
nominating for awards. On the other
hand, if you think they’re really topnotch,
don’t hesitate to nominate them
in the Best Novel categories as well as
the Best First Novel category in the
Locus Poll.
Both Darrell Schweitzer and Joel
Rosenberg wrote to point out that WRITING
FANTASY FICTION, sold to NAL, was a
collaboration between the two of them.
Phyllis Gotlieb has not moved to the
U.S. (Locus #288, p.34) but is still
(Continued on p ag e 44)
LOCUS February 1985 / 3