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Aural Delights Nov 2008

The A Bertram Chandler Story UFO is now available as an audio podcast from Starship Sofa Aural Delights No 48

Science Fiction Review No: 40 - Oct 1970

Science Fiction Review No: 40 - Oct 1970


I found especially interesting Ted White's defense of Mr. Cohen, as I did his similar defense of that gentlemen in the pages of the SFWA FORUM. I don't mind admitting that I was among the writers who screamed to high heaven when a couple of my stories were reprinted without payment in AMAZING. For the second of these my Agent finally managed to get a small cheque.

Ah, yes. Agents. How many of us know, insofar as short stories are concerned, just what rights have been sold by our representatives? I can say, truthfully, that the only time that I know just what I have sold is when I make a direct sale. One magazine publishing house in Sydney purchases World Rights, the words being printed on their cheques for material. Many years ago I told the then-editor of this magazine chain that this condition was unacceptable to me, and he told me that all I had to do was to strike out this clause, substituting First Australian Serial Rights. Since then there have been several editorial changes, but the agreement still holds good.

My last direct sale was to Harlan Ellison, for his third DANGEROUS VISIONS anthology. For this one I had to sign a contract, which sets down in black and white exactly what my entitlements are.

Getting back to Ted White - he certainly has improved AMAZING and FANTASTIC no end. I did go on buying them during their bad days, although I felt most strongly that I was not getting my money's worth. (I often wonder just who decides that some hunk of hopelessly dated crud is a "classic"...) Anyhow, now I can put down money for the magazines without feeling that it would have been far better spent on beer.

((Everyone seems to feel Ted has done a good job with the magazines except perhaps Charles Platt and definitely Harry Harrison. Harry (who dislikes Ted) Wrote in his introduction to Best SF: 1969 (Putnam's, $5.95): "The case of AMAZING and FANTASTIC is more tragic. After a brief attempt at quality and responsibility under former editor Barry M. Malzberg ("The Castle-on the Crag.," anthologized here, is from one of the last issues he edited), these magazines have sunk back to their former low-budget ways. Consisting mostly of reprinted stories from the early and bad pulp days of the magazines, interspersed with a meager handful of indifferent new stories, they are not worth serious consideration." Harry indulges in some blatant misrepresentation.))

I was intrigued by the full-page ad for VISION OF TOMORROW ((in SFR 38)), especially as I had just heard from Ron Graham, who told me that VISION dies with its October issue. And I'd been looking forward to doing a story around a Stanley Pitt cover...

((That ad bothers me, because I wonder if the subscribers' money will be refunded? I have written to Phil Harbottle, former editor, and hope to have some word for next issue of SFR.))

Don't seem to Have any more whinges or comments so will close. Sorry - I do have one more whinge (see SFR #37). The name of the sharer of my home, typewriter and ever-loving wife/secretary/chauffeuse is Whitley, not, repeat not Whitely.