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2000 Letters Archive


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May 2001

Letters on this page
Posted 17 May:

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.

Dear Locus,
     Mr. Berkwits's column is timely, and he makes an effort not to "knock" the Internet. He is correct that regular publishers need to learn how to use the Net constructively to boost the magazine press. His suggestions are sound, and warrant a follow-up from magazine publishers.
     Nevertheless, it saddens me that even the thought appears in the comment, that competition from the Internet might be a "bad thing" that "hurts SF". Isn't this ironic, in a publishing field that boasts its superior ability to "look ahead" and "embrace change"?
     For me, posting serialized SF novels on the Internet (since 1999) has become my ONLY means of reaching an international readership -- and my readers are overwhelmingly positive. (Sure, I make no money... but if the cash was all that mattered, I'd churn out crappy Tolkien imitations.)
     And if you thought traditional SF publishing was in trouble, just wait until late 2001 -- when Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy will set off a deluge of Generic Fantasy so immense and prolonged, it will squeeze the last of the hard-SF mags out of business.
     In that perspective, the Net does not "threaten" SF publishing in the slightest.
     It might become its very last refuge.

A.R. Yngve
14 May 2001

Dear Locus,
     I'm a librarian at a public library (Federal Way Regional -- King County Library System) and am trying to find the title of a science fiction book that a library patron remembers reading some years ago.
     Here's what the patron remembers of the book: The main character starts out as a foreman on a job. He has a mutation -- something that causes other people to forget him as soon as he leaves their presence. He can be seen on film, however. He's on a planet other than Earth, and possibly all the other people on this planet have been put there because they are also mutants of some kind. The main character might have some type of physical deformity. The patron here says that he reads a lot of science fiction, that this was a great read, it was definitely not fantasy, he doesn't think it was by Asimov or Heinlein or any other very well-known author but it does read like a Poul Anderson novel, it's not part of a series, not a lot in the way of scientific explanations, was a paperback when he read it, and he guesses it was published in the 60's or 70's (definitely not in the 90's).
     I know you must get a lot of e-mail, and this may not be the kind that you can spend the time even answering, but if you can I (and the patron) would very much appreciate any guidance you can provide. Thanks!

Susan Manning
Reference Librarian
Federal Way Regional Library -- King County Library System
13 May 2001


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