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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.

SF Commentary No: 47 - Aug 1976
(Cover Irene Pagram)

SF Commentary No: 47 - Aug 1976


Thanks muchly for SFCs 43 and 46. Both were very interesting - 43 because I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Tucker again at the Midwestecon. He was toastmaster.

The English contingent - Ted Tubb, Dave Kyle, and Leslie Flood - left the Berkeley Books cocktail party earlier than I did so were able to tell Lou Tabokov that I was on the way eventually. They caught the Greyhound for Cincinnati at 2230 hrs. I caught the one at 0145 - a jesusless hour. Anyhow, arriving at Cincinnati I was pounced upon at the bus station and rushed to the Quality Inn, where the Con was being held. I was told that I must attend the Banquet. I said that I must have a shower, shave, and change of shirt and underclothing. I was allowed a shave and change of shirt.

The banquet was organised on cafeteria lines. By the time that I got down all that was left was cottage cheese and beetroot salad. Oh, there were a few, shards of what I decided were fossilised pteranodon wings but which were inedible.

Bob had his fun introducing "the distinguished refugees from Sexpo..." - these being Messrs Tubb, Kyle, Flood, Johnson, and myself. We all had to say our party pieces into the microphone. I told the true story of the taxi driver in New York - a Puerto Rican, I think - who noticed a slight accent and asked where I was from. I told him. He told me that I spoke very good English, then asked what was the official language of Australia. I told him, Australian. He then said that he thought that Australians spoke English. I told him that the English and the Americans speak a sort of bastardised Australian... The trouble was that everybody at the Midwestcon thought that I'd made the story up.

Also very interesting was the "Special Presdigitations Issue". Michael O'Brien's letter clears up a mystery that had me puzzled for quite a few years. Even when drunk, I’ve never been thrown Out of a pub - so to be thrown out of a pub when stone cold sober was a somewhat disconcerting experience. Still a mystery, however, is why the hell Mike stands for it. Surely by this time he must have realised the truth of the old saying: Our relations are chosen for us, but thank God we can choose our own friends

Very shortly after my return to God's Own Country, the everloving flew the coop, she proceeding on a conducted tour of Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan. She, is now back in civilisation. She has realised, belatedly, that she missed her chance with the postcard of Mr Fujiyama that she sent me. Mine to her, from the Grand Canyon, bore the message: Not a patch on Ayers Rock! Hers to me was no more then a substitute for a letter.

She had free time in Tokyo so was able to inflict herself on Messrs Hayakawa my Japanese publishers. They did her proud. She returned bearing gifts and wingeing slightly. I pointed out that I had to lug, all the way from San Francisco, eight jars of homemade jams and jellies from Norma Vance to her. Among the gifts was an advance copy of the sixth Grimes/Rim Worlds novel to be published in Japanese, this being The Broken Cycle. The cover’s a beaut. A golden, winged centaur galloping (flying?) through Interstellar Space with a naked brunette clasped to his manly chest. It made my day. At last, after all these years, I have a publisher who realises that I like naked ladies on the cover. The interior pics, however, were disappointing. No naked ladies on bicycles although that was in the story. I've seen naked ladies behind the wheels of cars, astride horses, and riding bicycles and, of the three modes of, transport, I, as a spectator, prefer the velocipede. A certain incongruity...

Bert Chandler