Bewildering Stories


by Jerry Wright

Don here, just holding the fort till Jerry can get back from Radcon. Since it’s held in Pasco, Washington, there’s been some speculation that the name may mean “Wow, like rad, man” or “radioactive.” Or both. Whatever. We’re hoping Jerry will tell us how he regaled Asimov’s editor, Gardner Dozois, with Bewildering Stories. But mainly we hope Jerry has a good time.

Pant, pant, pant...

Well, I'm back!

Yes, I had a good time. Met a lot of interesting people. Lemme tell ya, though, (as if you didn't know) some fans are scary. A science fiction convention is a place for people to let down their hair, metaphorically. Where else can you see 52 Klingons, the majority women, and attend (or not, in my case) a slave auction where men and women were auctioned off to the highest bidder, and one was a young "lady" in what I would guess to be some sort of abbreviated leather fetish outfit with a horse tail attached to her derriere and a bridle around her head including a bit in her mouth?

All fans. And the pros put up with that stuff. Ah well, the fans have money and buy books. Speaking of pros, there were quite a few there. I got to meet Gardner Dozois of Asimov Magazine fame, and listen to some of his editorial and writerly wisdom. His "rap sheet" in the Con Program was two pages long, detailing all the things he's had a hand in, in the Science Fiction and Fantasy field. He, by the way, sent greetings to all the forumites I should happen to encounter. The forum is at, by the way, if you haven't been there before. Gardner looks as though he's lost weight since his program picture, and he now has short hair. Inquiring minds want to know, I guess.

RadCon4 is, I guess, the 16th or so SF convention held in the "Tri-Cities" area, a southern Washington State area, very close to the Hanford Nuclear Facility. And I heard someone mention the name of the con having something to do with leapyear, and next year's would be RadCon 4A. As I don't follow conventions, I found out about it when Gardner mentioned on the forum that he was "off to Washington" to attend this convention. I looked and I was only 70 miles or so away. So I went. For Saturday, anyway.

I had the pleasure of meeting John Dalmas, a Spokane, WA writer who has written about 25 books. His website is He was born in 1926, his first novel (The Yngling) was published in Analog in 1969, but he didn't start writing regularly until 1983. I first saw him in a couple of panels, where some of the other panelists had a tendency to try to run roughshod over him, but failed. I later spent some time with him after dinner, and during a room party, and came away wishing I could spend more time with him. I met Chris Bunch, co-author of the popular Sten books, as well as sole author of The Last Legion and the very enjoyable Star Risk series. Loud, foul-mouthed, and obstreporous, Chris has a fund of very funny, and thought-provoking stories of the wonderful world of writing. Especially writing in Hollywood, where he worked for a while on various shows such as The A Team. I sat in on a panel with him, John Dalmas, Jim Fiscus and (eventually) Art Widner on "How Great Were The Greats" where we savaged the reputations of Frank Herbert, Robert A. Heinlein, Terry Brooks, and others. Great fun.

I would have liked to attend "Editing Your Own Works" and "Why Your Website Sucks", but unfortunately, I couldn't be in two places at once. Sigh. Anyway, it was a "ton of fun", and I wish I could have stayed longer, but real life often gets in the way. Too bad.

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