CopperCon 31 this weekend

CopperCon 31 will be held this coming weekend, September 2-5th, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Avondale, AZ.  Hilde will be the Fan Guest of Honor.

Hilde was an active and important figure in the early days of Phoenix SF fandom, from the early 1970's on.  We'll both be on a fanhistory panel, along with Mahala Sweebe and possibly others, to discuss those early days.  (The agony and the ectasy!  The Sturm and the Drang!  The angst and the texture!)  Plus other panels about books, reading, H. Beam Piper and other topics.

(This will be the first time I've been on programming at a local convention for about a decade.  I used to be a fairly frequent participant, but the person who planned most of the programming before that got burnt out and was replaced by someone new.  When the new person took over, my name apparently got dropped from the list of local writers and knowledgable fans who tended to be invited onto programming.  And I just never got around to beating the drum to get back on that list.)


More Tweaks

A few changes to the sidebar over on the left.  I've added a "Followers" section for people who, umm, follow what I write here.

I also finally got around to rebuilding the list of blogs I read regularly.  The old list got deleted in the changeover to New Blogger a while back, and it's only now I've put it back together. 

On that blog list, I particularly recommend D. Gary Grady's Fusion-Powered Mediocrity. I've enjoyed Gary's writing for years in a private apa (one of those things that still use that paper stuff), but it's only recently he's started an online blog. He does both serious and funny with non-mediocrity.


Stalking The Wild Child

For some reason, this photo from 1930's Australia strikes me as just a little creepy.

(via Flickr Commons)


You Will Believe A Tree Can Fly

A restaurant under construction at work is including a rooftop dining area. Getting the landscaping upstairs took some extra effort.

posted from Bloggeroid


We Get Fan Letters. Yes, Really!

This showed up in the comment moderation queue a few days ago:
Hi there! This isn't actually a comment (so you can delete it, since I'll be putting my email address in it, please) but this is the only way I can think to contact you. Oh, the wonders of the internet.

I'm trying to find a short story of yours -- The Skycastle -- which I read many, many, many years ago in the first issue of MZB's Fantasy when it came out, and still remember to this day. Of course you can't find back-issues of the magazine anymore and, really, I don't remember any of the other stories in it. But your story I remember, and must have reread at least a hundred times.

I suppose I should say "thank you" while I'm at it...!

Anyway, I've long since lost the magazine, of course, but I was reminded of the story tonight and found myself wondering if it ever made its way into an anthology? Or, hell, if not: have you got a copy you'd be willing to email me? I'd be happy to paypal you something for it...!

And, well, if not: at least 23 years on I can finally say "hey, that was a pretty good story you wrote.

Thanks so much,

Ariana Osborne
Well, that's pretty damn cool.  I responded:

Dear Ariana,

Thanks! I don't hear from fans of my old stories all that often anymore. (Real life has kept me from writing much, and the last new story I had published was in 2006.) Glad you enjoyed it, and still remember it.

No, "The Skycastle" has never been anthologized. I was a bit disappointed when DAW Books published a BEST OF MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY'S FANTASY MAGAZINE collection, and my story wasn't included.

I've been thinking of making some of those old stories accessible again, either by e-pubbing, POD, or just posting online. But that will probably (real life...) take a while. (I'd have to dig out the old disks, then an old disk drive, then convert them to a different wordprocessor... it would take a while.)

If you don't mind sending a physical or PO Box address, the quickest way to get the story would be for me to xerox it from my old copy of the magazine and send it to you by mail. (Mail? In an envelope? How quaint.)

If you liked "The Skycastle", you'd probably also like "Death and the Ugly Woman", published in SWORD AND SORCERESS #4, edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley, DAW Books, 1987. That's the story of mine that's gotten the most fan reaction, including a movie option by a small (really small) production company. (But it's never been reprinted, either. I scratch my head in puzzlement.)

Your comment to my blog ended up in the moderation queue, so your email address never went public. I'll go ahead and delete it.

Thanks again
-- Bruce Arthurs

So, yes, I really have been thinking of making my old stories available again. Certainly wouldn't hurt.

(I've also been thinking of self-publishing some of my unpublished fiction. Some of those old unpublished pieces I re-read nowadays and cringe, but there are some that I still think are pretty damn good, but just never sold for some reason. I'm particularly thinking of a 29,000 word novella titled "Junker Tommy", whose major fault seems to be an awkward length and a lack of markets for stories of that length.)

Here's an image of George Barr's cover for that first issue of MZBFM, illustrating "The Skycastle":