MT VOID 04/17/98 (Vol. 16, Number 42)

MT VOID 04/17/98 (Vol. 16, Number 42)

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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
Club Notice - 04/17/98 -- Vol. 16, No. 42

Table of Contents

Outside events: The Science Fiction Association of Bergen County meets on the second Saturday of every month in Upper Saddle River; call 201-933-2724 for details. The New Jersey Science Fiction Society meets on the third Saturday of every month in Belleville; call 201-432-5965 for details.

MT Chair/Librarian:
       Mark Leeper   MT 3E-433  732-957-5619
HO Chair:     John Jetzt    MT 2E-530  732-957-5087
HO Librarian: Nick Sauer    HO 4F-427  732-949-7076
Distinguished Heinlein Apologist:
       Rob Mitchell  MT 2D-536  732-957-6330
Factotum:     Evelyn Leeper MT 3E-433  732-957-2070
Back issues at
All material copyright by author unless otherwise noted.

URL of the week: Kim Stanley Robinson page (see next item). [-ecl]

Mars: The following notice about James Cameron appeared in the April 9 LONDON TIMES:

James Cameron, the director of TITANIC, is expected to turn his back on the cinema in favour of television for his next project - a science fiction series on the colonisation of Mars.

The series will be based on books by Kim Stanley Robinson - RED MARS, GREEN MARS and BLUE MARS--and will use computer animation techniques to chronicle the lives of the first arrivals on Mars and how the planet's ecosystem is changed to accommodate human life.

Clinton: I was interested to see in this week's US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT that journalist Stephen J. Hedges thought that the biggest legacy of Kenneth Starr's seemingly endless investigation of the President was not action taken against Bill Clinton. Starr dug so hard and so deep that he is finding more dirt about the administration that followed Bill Clinton as governing Arkansas. "[Kenneth] Starr's biggest impact on the state's political culture, everyone agrees, was the 1995 conviction of Clinton's successor as governor, Jim Guy Tucker, on loan fraud charges." All that digging--enough to accidentally turn up enough to oust the then present Arkansas governor from office--and Starr did not find enough to formally charge Bill Clinton. With all this effort he should have been able to find enough wrong-doing to smear a Mother Theresa. But Starr has not been able to find enough to to pin on Bill Clinton to formally charge him with anything.

H. G. Wells said moral indignation is jealousy with a halo. Certainly there is a lot of haloed jealousy these days about Bill Clinton. Someone expressed how I think a lot of people think of it. "Where there's smoke, there's fire." This is a woman who is the product of the last 3000 or so years or so years of Jewish history, and she still thinks that where there is an accusation there is always a grain of truth. Me, I want more evidence and frankly it just is not there in any quantities I find convincing. I just saw a big spread on the cover of U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, showing the three ladies with whom Clinton it thought to have had alliances. Not to put too fine a point on it, but is it beginning to look not so much like an attack on his morals and more like an attack on his taste. I mean, Kennedy was accused of an alliance with Marilyn Monroe at least. You would think if Clinton is using his prestige as the President to get female companionship he could spend it a little better. What's next? Any day I expect to hear a public announcement saying, "We at Pringles Potato Chips have been abused Bill Clinton long enough. He has used his Office of the President to get from us free cans of Pringles Potato Chips. That's spelled P-R-I-N-G-L-E-S in canisters in the potato chip section of your grocery store." An you know, I bet Kenneth Starr will immediately add it to the list of accusations. [-mrl]

Hugo Nominations:

Here are this year's Hugo nominations. Many of the short fiction works are available on the Web; usually there are links from the official Hugo Web site, and I hope to have its URL soon.

          FOREVER PEACE by Joe Haldeman (Ace)
          FRAMESHIFT by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor)
          THE RISE OF ENDYMION by Dan Simmons (Bantam Spectra)
          JACK FAUST by Michael Swanwick (Avon)
          CITY ON FIRE by Walter Jon Williams (HarperPrism)
          "The Funeral March of the Marionettes" by Adam-Troy
               Castro (F&SF July 1997)
          "Ecopoeisis" by Geoffrey A. Landis (SF AGE May 1997)
          "Loose Ends" by Paul Levinson (ANALOG May 1997)
          "Marrow" by Robert Reed (SF AGE July 1997)
          "...Where Angels Fear To Tread" by Allen Steele
               (ASIMOV'S October-November 1997)
          "Moon Six" by Stephen Baxter (SF AGE March 1997)
          "Broken Symmetry" by Michael A. Burstein
               (ANALOG February 1997)
          "Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human
               Bloodstream" by James Alan Gardner
               (ASIMOV'S February 1997)
          "We Will Drink A Fish Together..." by Bill Johnson
               (ASIMOV'S May 1997)
          "The Undiscovered" by William Sanders
               (ASIMOV'S March 1997)
          "Beluthahatchie" by Andy Duncan (ASIMOV'S March 1997)
          "Standing Room Only" by Karen Joy Fowler
               (ASIMOV'S August 1997)
          "Itsy Bitsy Spider" by James Patrick Kelly
               (ASIMOV'S June 1997)
          "The 43 Antarean Dynasties" by Mike Resnick
               (ASIMOV'S December 1997)
          "The Hand You're Dealt" by Robert J. Sawyer
               (FREE SPACE, Tor)
          "No Planets Strike" by Gene Wolfe (F&SF January 1997)
          (There are six items due to a tie for fifth place)
          SPACE TRAVEL by Ben Bova with Anthony R. Lewis
               (Writer's Digest Books)
          THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FANTASY edited by John Clute
               & John Grant (St. Martin's Press)
          INFINITE WORLDS by Vincent DiFate (Penguin Studio)
               edited by Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner with Jim Loehr
               (Underwood Books)
               SCIENCE AND OTHER MATTERS by Robert Silverberg
               (Underwood Books)
          MEN IN BLACK
          Gardner Dozois (ASIMOV'S)
          Scott Edelman (SF AGE)
          David Hartwell (Tor; YEAR'S BEST SF)
          Stanley Schmidt (ANALOG)
          Gordon Van Gelder (F&SF)
          Jim Burns
          Thomas Canty
          David Cherry
          Bob Eggleton
          Don Maitz
          Michael Whelan
          (There are six items due to a tie for fifth place)
          INTERZONE edited by David Pringle
          LOCUS edited by Charles N. Brown
               Kathryn Cramer, Ariel Hamion, David G. Hartwell
               & Kevin Maroney
          SCIENCE FICTION CHRONICLE edited by Andrew I. Porter
          SPECULATIONS edited by Kent Brewster
          ANSIBLE edited by Dave Langford
          ATTITUDE edited by Michael Abbott, John Dallman
               & Pam Wells
          FILE 770 edited by Mike Glyer
          MIMOSA edited by Nicki & Richard Lynch
          TANGENT edited by David Truesdale
          Bob Devney
          Mike Glyer
          Andy Hooper
          David Langford
          Evelyn Leeper
          Joseph T. Major
          (There are six nominees due to a tie for fifth place)
          Brad Foster
          Ian Gunn
          Teddy Harvia
          Joe Mayhew
          Peggy Ranson
          (not a Hugo) [Sponsored by Dell Magazines]
          Raphael Carter (2nd year of eligibility)
          Andy Duncan (2nd year of eligibility)
          Richard Garfinkle (2nd year of eligibility)
          Susan R. Matthews (2nd year of eligibility)
          Mary Doria Russell (2nd year of eligibility)

SLIPPAGE by Harlan Ellison (Houghton Mifflin, 1997, 303 pp., ISBN 0-395-35341-6, Hardcover, $22.00) (a book review by Joe Karpierz):

I've been reading Harlan Ellison for a very long time. I cut my Ellisonian teeth on classics like "Repent, Harlequin, Said the Ticktock Man", "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream", and "A Boy and His Dog". Ellison is considered a master storyteller. The inside flap of SLIPPAGE says that the LOS ANGELES TIMES called him our "twentieth century Lewis Carroll". He's been involved in more television shows than you can count, including his current role as "Creative Consultant" for BABYLON 5. He's been a television, movie, and social critic for a long time as well. You can see him making semi-frequent appearances on "Politically Incorrect". He's, well, everywhere.

And he's all over the map again in his new collection of short stories called SLIPPAGE. The book contains stories that have been written over the last several years and collected in one spot here for the first time. There are also a couple of essays thrown in for good measure, including the usual interesting and insightful introduction. The theme of the book, according to Ellison, is *pay attention*. You never know when something is going to hit you, and he supports his point by talking about his heart attack last year and the earthquake he was in the middle of in 1994.

I think that Ellison does a reasonable job of getting our attention in SLIPPAGE. There are only a couple of pieces in SLIPPAGE that aren't very good, in my opinion. The best is "Mefisto in Onyx", which won an award or two a couple of years ago. It's the tale of a telepath who is asked to go into the mind of a serial killer who has committed 56 or so of the most gruesome murders in the history of mankind. It's a powerful story, not only in the relating of the telepath's anguish over his special ability, but in the twist that comes at us in the end. Another good one is "The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore", about a time traveller from some far future agency who goes around visiting various time periods in earth's history and making little changes here and there, which was selected for Best American Short Stories.

Those two stories probably are latter day equivalents to the early stories I mentioned, and also rank up there with "Shatterday" and "Jeffty is Five". Other good pieces are "Crazy As a Soup Sandwich", a teleplay for the New Twilight Zone series, "The Museum on Cyclops Avenue", which we've really seen before in many other guises, but is still pretty neat anyway, and a couple of personal pieces, "Anywhere But Here, With Anybody But You", taken from a failed marriage, and "Where I Shall Dwell In the Next World", about how Ellison comes up with story ideas.

Heck, as I look up and down the table of contents, yet another one that catches my eye is "Keyboard", which I'm sure is Ellison's little lesson to us on our evergrowing fascination with technology (he still writes on a manual typewriter).

Having said all that, I realize that Harlan is not for everyone - he can be disturbing (as in "Jeffty is Five" and "I Have No Mouth...), but he can also be very powerful, as in "The Paladin of the Lost Hour". Above all, he can make you stop and think, and this book is no exception. I highly recommend it.

Well, the Hugo Nominees list showed up in my email box late last night. The next three novels I review will be from that list, as I've already reviewed two of them already (FRAMESHIFT and THE RISE OF ENDYMION).

Till then.... [-jak]

                                   Mark Leeper
                                   MT 3E-433 732-957-5619

Quote of the Week:

     College football would be more interesting if the
     faculty played instead of the students--there would be
     a great increase in broken arms, legs, and necks.
                                   -- H. L. Mencken