Bewildering Stories

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John Thiel writes about issue 56:

Learned staff:

I’m holding a really great issue of Bewildering! It should be nominated for the best-issue-yet awards. Though it doesn’t have anything by Kali Ferngrove in it, which would be a bonus that would put it over the top of everything, in my humble estimate of it. You have a Kali Ferngrove fan here.

Bob Wend’s story is first-class SF. You can’t beat it with a stick. I note the presence of a lot of espionage in it, as is also the case in a lot of modern sf. Could it be SF took Ian Fleming’s Moonraker more and more seriously, until finally the SF writers just had to try some of it out themselves?

I like the effect of a poem containing a plot, as in Thomas R’s poem.

Smith’s story started out as very good SF, but what it turned into could better be called “What’s for Dinner?” But then one looks back at the title it does have, and it’s thought-provoking.

In Antonelli’s story one gets the idea that the police are taking it easy somewhere, perhaps getting into something better than what they had been doing. It might have added to a punch the story already had to make the people in the moving vehicle key-punch operators in a robotic mode, but I think the story successfully implies that and the reader’s imagination supplies the rest. (Wouldn’t Bill Hamling be envious of this computer magazine?)

I would point out to your other readers that, being often the only person in your letter column, I am posting essays and taking advantage of your extra-words option. Somehow the other readers are missing out on this good bet.

Two editors started out with Heinlein at an early age! To extend coincidence, the first SF book I read all the way through was Heinlein’s The Rolling Stones in fourth grade. (I’d already tried out Waldo and Magic, Inc. but found them hard to follow; then I was informed that the author could now be found in the juvenile section with a new juvenile. My pal was reading and recommending The Puppet Masters, too, but this was banned to me.) Did this early reading of science fiction change the life of either of you in a way you would consider significant?

Jerry says “Nothing!” just like Jerry Lewis said it in his routine with Jimmy Durante on TV. Name coincidence here.

I received a Bergerac-viewpoint tale for my traditional fanzine — mariners of that same era find an advanced civilization on an island. So I’m continuing to have material for meditation on that alternate plane.

Don’t let me get to be boss of your letter column! Edit, cut and delete material from my letter where desirable, until it fits in with the rest. I must be talking too much.

Sincere regards (a French closing),

John Thiel

Copyright © 2003 by John Thiel

John, you’re “boss”! Your compliments, insights and reminiscences are very much appreciated. I’m just glad we don’t labor under the space restrictions of print magazine editors such as Stanley Schmidt and Gardner Dozois. We love to get mail and feel fortunate that we can share your ideas with our ever-growing readership. You’ve set a good example for our “Letters” department, and we hope you’ll inspire our readers to write to us.

Don W.

Copyright © 2003 by Bewildering Stories

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