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Dreaming Again

Grimes and the Gaijin Daimyo the first A Bertram Chandler story to be published in 24 year is now available in the Anthology Dreaming Again edited by Jack Dann.

SFWA Forum

Apr 1974


Thanks for SFWA FORUM #32. It is very bright and readable. I was amused to see that the Great Tie Controversy is still raging. It reminds me of something’ that Lewis Carroll almost wrote:

He thought he saw a rainbow bright
A-shining in the sky,
Then looked again and saw it was
Some-bastard's Old' School Tie...

I found Mr. Pfeil's article very interesting, as I found his piece in #3l. Insofar as the first whinge is concerned, I fear very much that my own agent was the one guilty of sending VERTEX a packing case full of dog-eared manuscripts. I have learned from other sources that that is one of his more endearing habits.

Insofar as the second article is concerned, I do agree that it is easier to read MSS if a pica typeface, rather than elite, has been used. Nonetheless, in these hard times, with both the price of paper and postal charges continuously increasing, it must be admitted that the use of elite keeps the writer’s working expenses down.

Still, as Mr. Pfeil points out, the market, at the moment, is a buyer's market. And, buyer's market or seller's market, he's the boss of his own magazine and makes his own rules.

With reference to "dirty" manuscripts, however, at least one editor I know likes to receive well - corrected manuscripts. He says that it shows that the author has read his own work through carefully before submitting it. The editor in question is an Australian editor of course, and it is a well known fact that we Antipodeans are a weird mob who walk around upside down.

I recall an editor some many years ago, a British one, who killed his magazine by making rules that the top writers in our field were not prepared to abide by. It was in the Good Old - Days when there was a sellers market. Quite a few money-hungry writers would submit the original manuscript to an American magazine, one carbon to a British one and another carbon to an Australian one. Quite frequently American and Australian magazines would be on sale in Great Britain before the British magazine, containing the same story, appeared.

Well, the editor decided that This Practice Must Cease Forthwith, and said that any manuscript submitted to him must be accompanied by a written guarantee that it would not be submitted elsewhere until at least six months after his date of publication. He was promptly asked if he was prepared to pay at least U.S. rates. He was not. His magazine died from shortage of material.

Finally, I have a whinge regarding over-anthologization. As a writer, I don't mind a bit being paid for the umpteenth time for a short story. As a reader, however, I am frequently annoyed when I pick up an anthology and find therein stories that I Practically know by heart. It could be argued, of course, that such stories are not overly familiar to new readers of s/f, but I think that the old and faithful readers, who are not getting their money's worth, are in the majority. Or that’s what my wife said when, a couple of days ago, I received the umpteenth cheque for THE CAGE. Possibly she has a point.
Originally Published in SFWA Forum No: 33 - Apr 1974