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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.

May 1999

Letters on this page:

  • Gary Turner appreciates the obituary and appreciations of his brother Jim
  • Marc Zicree has a correction to the Terry Hodel obituary in the May Locus
  • Marty Halpern takes issue with John Ordover (9 May)
  • Stephen Jones on the status of Dark Terrors (7 May)

    Dear Locus,
         Thank you for sending me the issue with Jim's obituary, and thank you for such a fine send-off for Jim. While reading it, I felt torn between laughter and tears.
         I would like to thank the writers of the appreciations: Michael Swanwick, Bob Eggleton, James Patrick Kelly, and John Kessel.
         Again, thank you for the obituary. Bar none, this will be something I will keep forever, to remember my brother.

    Gary Turner
    10 May 1999
    (posted Wed 12 May 1999)

    Dear Locus,
         Thanks for publishing the piece on Terry Hodel. A friend just called me with a factual correction that I'd appreciate your running in a future issue.
         As I'm sure you know, Harlan Ellison and Mike Hodel were the closest of friends. As Mike lay dying, Harlan agreed to host Hour 25 [a Los Angeles radio program about SF] in Mike's stead and did so in an exemplary fashion for several years. It was Harlan's idea -- and a memorial to Mike Hodel that has remained to this day -- to rename the show Mike Hodel's Hour 25. Although Terry Hodel enthusiastically supported this idea, she did not originate it.

    Marc Zicree
    10 May 1999
    (posted Wed 12 May 1999)

    Dear Locus Online,
         I guess I've come to the point where I need to add my two shekels worth into the discussion of novelizations/tie-ins -- specifically in response to John Ordover's letter of May 4.
         The 'harm' I see is when an author gets so into the worlds of novelizations/tie-ins that s/he no longer writes a work of her/his own! I realize this is an author's choice, but then maybe I use the word 'choice' too loosely. Maybe we're talking an addiction here! Is it money? Is it the ease of writing a book and seeing it published in a matter of a few weeks? Is it money? Is it the glamor? Is it the money?
         I had a favorite author at one point in time -- wrote him a couple letters, sent him some books through the mail to sign for me. I then realized that nearly a couple years had slipped by and I hadn't seen any new novels from him, hadn't even seen his name mentioned in Locus! One day I'm at the check out at Super Crown, and while the clerk is ringing up my order I scan the new paperbacks that are displayed en masse in front of the counters. Lo and behold, there is the author's name on a ''Star Xxxx'' (sorry, I can't recall if it was ''Star Wars'' or ''Star Trek'') book.
         And you know what? Another couple years have passed and I still haven't seen a new novel from this author, or seen his name mentioned at all in Locus. Except in the world of novelizations/tie-ins, this writer has ceased to exist. I even emailed him twice this past year, inquiring if he was willing to sign a couple older books for me but I never received a response. Was he under too many short tie-in deadlines to take the time to respond? Or, was it because none of the books I wanted to send him included any ''Star Xxxx'' titles?
         I guess I'll never know...
         And, unfortunately, I can name a handful of favorite authors who have 'ceased to exist' in the same fashion. It's like those occasional ''Whatever happened to...'' books that tell us what has become of all the forgotten Hollywood actors/actresses. These 'forgotten' writers have all gone off to write movie/tv/game novelizations, ''Star Xxxx'' tie-ins, men's adventures, etc.

    Marty Halpern
    9 May 1999
    (posted Mon 10 May 1999)

    Dear Locus,
         As interesting as Stefan Dziemianowicz and Jay Russell's comments in the May Locus are about the decline in horror, I must take time off from the five horror books I'm currently working on to make a small correction to the letter from Jay. So far as I am aware, Dark Terrors has not been ''cancelled''.
         The merger of the Gollancz and Orion imprints earlier this year has resulted in the fifth volume in this original anthology series being pushed back to next year. However, in the meantime, the paperback of Dark Terrors 4 will be published on schedule this autumn, in a handsomely redesigned edition with new cover artwork by J.K. Potter.
         In fact, following a recent meeting with the publishers, I am convinced that they are solidly behind the UK's only non-themed horror anthology series, and it will finally receive all the support it deserves. Now, as Jay also intimates in his letter, if only some enterprising US publisher would pick up the rights to this award-winning series...

    Stephen Jones
    Co-editor, Dark Terrors
    7 May 1999
    (posted Mon 10 May 1999)

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