SOL Rising
Number 3, June 1989

Kim Stanley Robinson to appear at The Spaced Out Library
The Friends of the Spaced Out Library Are Alive and Well
Business Meetings of the Friends
Canadian Fantastic Quotations
Electronic SF: Science Fiction, Fandom and the Wired World
A Conversation With John Millard
Diana Wynne Jones: A Review
Canadian Fiction 1988

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Kim Stanley Robinson to appear at The Spaced Out Library

Science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson will be making a personal appearance at The Spaced Out Library at 40 St. George St. in Toronto on the evening of July 27. Robinson, the author of such books as The Gold Coast, Memory of Whiteness, The Wild Shore, Icehenge, The Planet on the Table (collection) and many shorter works, will give a reading and will answer questions.


Admission to the event will be free of charge to members of The Friends of The Spaced Out Library. Admission price for non-members will be $10.00 per person at the door.


Members may also help fund this and other programs of The Friends by contributing an additional $5.00. Members whose contributions are received at The Spaced Out Library by closing time on July 13 will be invited to a special "Meet the Author" session one hour prior to the regular program on July 27.

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The Friends of the Spaced Out Library are Alive And Well

The Friends of The Spaced Out Library is for the first time actively soliciting new members.


The Spaced Out Library was established in 1970 by the Toronto Public Library Board with a donation from sf writer Judith Merril. The collection currently holds approximately 20,000 monographs and short story collections, 14,000 periodicals and over 1,200 fanzine titles in the reference collection. The reference collection includes complete sets from such specialty publishers as Arkham House, Cheap Street and Gnome Press.


The Friends is officially a citizen advisory group to the Toronto Public Library Board. It is not a fan organisation. Its main objectives are to promote The Spaced Out Library in particular, and science fiction in general within Toronto and to promote The Spaced Out Library within the science fiction community. It is the organisation's intention to make The Spaced Out Library the best public collection of speculative fiction in the world.


The two main means of accomplishing this task are by publishing the semi-annual newsletter, Sol Rising, and by sponsoring appearances at the Library by prominent people in science fiction, fantasy and related fields. Three appearances or other programming are scheduled quarterly with the fourth quarter being devoted to the annual membership meeting and informal get-together.


The Friends of The Spaced Out Library has been in existence since February 1981 and has sponsored programming at The Spaced Out Library since then, as well as publishing two previous issues of Sol Rising (issue #2 was published in the summer of 1987). However, no serious attempts have been made so far to increase the membership of The Friends beyond those who showed interest at the inception.

But that has now changed.


At the annual membership meeting in April, an Executive Committee was elected and empowered to increase the membership of The Friends.


The Executive has assembled an attractive list of benefits to members and has begun work on an exciting lineup of programming for the coming year.

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Business Meetings of The Friends

Annual Membership Meeting


The Friends of The Spaced Out Library held its annual membership meeting on April 11, 1989 in order to elect a new Executive Committee and to discuss matters relating to The Spaced Out Library. This was the first meeting held in several years.


Lorna Toolis, head librarian for The Spaced Out Library reported that major donations to the collection had been received from Mr. John Flint Roy, Mr. Robert Bruce Robbins and Mr. Jon Lomberg. The Robbins bequest consisted of 115 boxes of science fiction, fantasy and fanzines. Many of these items were reference books and volumes of interest to collectors; library staff particularly admire the set of chapbooks published by Mr. Roy Squires. As this donation is quite large, library staff are integrating it slowly with the rest of the collection, due to constraints on both staff time and shelving space.


Mr. Lomberg's donation of scripts, storyboards, sketches and working notes from the various television and radio series he has worked on will be held separately as the 'Lomberg Donation'.

Members elected to the Executive Committee were: Professor Peter Fitting (Chairman), Ms. Doris Bercarich (Treasurer), Mr. Larry Hancock, Mr. Keith Soltys and Mr. Robert Hadji (all as Members-at-large). Past chairman Mr. John Millard remains a member of the Executive as does Ms. Judith Merril who was voted an Honourary member of the Executive Committee for Life.

Three major concerns were discussed at the meeting: the need for a newer, more active Friends organisation and the best means for bringing this about; concerns that the new building is still in the planning stages after the better part of a decade of discussion; and, a new name for the library.


The members discussed regular programming as a method of reaching the public and attracting new members. Mr. Kim Stanley Robinson has been invited as a guest for the Summer Program and Mr. Joe Haldeman as a guest for the Winter Program. The Friends will program for three consecutive Saturdays in the fall, but speakers are not yet determined. The Friends are able to invite these speakers through the funds made available in memory of Mr. Robert Bruce Robbins by his family and friends.


SOL RISING, the newsletter, was also discussed as a method of reaching the Library's patrons in the academic community and elsewhere. Mr. Larry Hancock offered to edit the newsletter and Mr. Arthur Wharton and Ms. Alison Knight agreed to assist with the publication.

The lack of progress in finalizing a new building for the Library was discussed at considerable length. Members were invited to write, expressing their concern about the lack of a new facility, to: Ms. Joanne Doucette, Chairman, Toronto Public Library Board, 281 Front St. E., Toronto, Ontario, M4R 1B9. A copy of such correspondence should also be sent to Mr. Peter Fitting, 73 Delaware Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M6H 2S9.


Members were all agreed that a new name for the Library was highly desirable, as the purpose and function of the Library are not apparent from is name. Concern was raised about the wishes of Ms. Merril whose original donation formed the basis of the Library and who actually named the Library, but Ms. Merril expressed her consent.


Considerable discussion and ingenuity was expended in this discussion though no agreement on a new name was reached. Members thought it appropriate to honour Ms. Merril in the re-named library but she emphatically declined. Discussion revolved around the comparative merits of "Speculative Fiction" as opposed to "Science Fiction" with most members favouring the former. The name change is not planned to take effect until the Library moves to the new building.


Members were enthusiastic about the attendance at the meeting and the renewed interest in making The Friends an active organisation once again. However, it was noted that such enthusiasm had been exhibited in past, but The Friends had dropped into inactivity each time. Therefore, the members approved a motion requiring the Executive Committee to convene a meeting at least once every three months, even if no items would be on the agenda prior to the meeting. It is hoped that regular meetings will ensure continued dedication to the organisation.


Executive Committee Meeting


The Executive committee held its first meeting in early May at which several matters were discussed and approved.


Membership fees were discussed and decided upon. The Executive also approved the regular admission price to programming sponsored by The Friends and the fact that all members would be admitted free to such programming. Other membership benefits (such as discounts from Bakka bookstore) were approved.


Programming for the next year was discussed in general. Mr. Joe Haldeman has been confirmed as a guest, appearing at the Library on December 2, 1989. Possible guests were discussed for the three successive weekends of programming planned for autumn, but nothing has yet been finalized.


Lifetime memberships to The Friends were recommended and approved for Mr. John Millard, Mr. John Robert Colombo, Ms. Judith Merril, Ms. Doris Mehegan and Mr. John Rose.

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Welcome to the third issue of SOL RISING, the newsletter of The Friends of The Spaced Out Library. It has been two years since we published our previous issue, but we don't intend for such time to slip by us again; The Friends is back on its feet and rededicated to its objectives of promoting The Spaced Out Library in specific and science fiction in general.


Each issue of SOL RISING will keep readers informed as to the activities of The Friends of The Spaced Out Library, both in regards to business conducted at membership and Executive meetings and in regards to reporting upon past programming and advising readers of upcoming programming.


We will also feature articles and interviews of interest to our members; this issue's articles by John Robert Colombo and Keith Soltys and the interview with John Millard are excellent examples of what can be expected in the future.


We have also included as complete a list as we could compile of Canadian speculative fiction printed in 1988, and hope to make this an annual occurrence.


We will be publishing a minimum of two issues of SOL RISING each year, perhaps more. All members of The Friends will receive copies of the newsletter as part of their membership.


We invite all contributions of articles for consideration of publication, but we do not pay for contributions. If there is a specific topic you would like to see covered or special projects that you feel that the Library or The Friends would be best suited to undertake, please let us know.


We also invite your letters of comment on the newsletter, on The Friends organisation and on The Spaced Out Library.


‑Larry Hancock, editor

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Canadian Fantastic Quotations

by John Robert Columbo


It's always a distinct pleasure when areas of interest overlap. I experienced that pleasure a year ago when I selected the contents of Colombo's Canadian Quotations. I found that I could combine with ease two long-time interests of mine: Canadiana and fantastic literature.


Perhaps I should explain that I have, filed away in my study in North York, some 20,000 3x5 cards. Typed on each card is a "quotable quote" made by a Canadian (say, media pundit Marshall McLuhan) or made about Canada by a foreigner (say, British travel writer Jan Morris on the Canadian "genius" for compromise). As I do a lot of reading in the area of Canadiana and a fair amount in the area of fantastic literature—by which I mean science fiction, fantasy fiction, and supernatural fiction—it is not surprising that quotations about Canada made by foreign fantastic writers have found their way into my files. Once in the files they run the risk of being recycled in one of my books.


About one hundred "quotable quotes" made by foreign fantastic writers about Canada have been worked into my latest compilation: Colombo's New Canadian Quotations published by Hurtig Publishers in Edmonton. One hundred quotes sounds like a lot, but that number vanishes in the shadow of the book's contents—4,000 new quotations plus 600 old "touchstone" quotations by 1,500 authors and others arranged under 800 topic headings. So the representation given to foreign fantastic authors is not all that large.


Which authors are included? What do they have to say to readers of Canadiana? Good questions. Foreign authors are intrigued by our cities. Vancouverites will especially enjoy the passage by Robert A. Heinlein from his novel Time Enough for Love, in which he refers interestingly to an event that took place in that city from the vantage-point of the year 4272: "That must have been late in the twentieth century and in Vancouver, as I recall. Vancouver was a part of the United States where the people were so clever that they never paid taxes to Washington."


Everybody hates Toronto, I suppose. Thus it was a delight to come upon Ray Bradbury's off-the-cuff remark about my adopted city. Bradbury told an interviewer: "Toronto, Canada, is the most perfect city in the Western Hemisphere." (I am not giving the full sources for these quotations, to save space, but that one comes from a Vancouver publication.)


It was with special, patriotic pride that I noted the reference to Montreal in the most famous radio broadcast of all time. I am referring to the 1938 radio dramatization by Orson Welles of H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds. Listeners that Hallowe'en night heard the following mock announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, here is the latest bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News, Montreal, Canada: Professor Morse of McGill University reports observing a total of three explosions on the planet Mars, between the hours of 7:45 P.M. and 9:20 P.M., eastern standard time." There is no Intercontinental Radio News and no Professor Morse, but there is a McGill University and it is located in Montreal, A fine mixture of fact and fiction.


H.G. Wells was not neglected, for there is a longish passage from his short story "The Star" which describes the changes to the planet resulting from the birth in the heavens of a new star. It brings about the greening of Iceland, Greenland, and the region identified as "the shores of Baffin's Bay". There is a second quotation from Wells from a 1906 article about a visit to Niagara Falls. He found that "the real interest of Niagara for me was not in the waterfall, but in the human accumulations about it ...." Little has changed since then.


Wells is not the only science fiction writer who has been drawn to the Falls. Isaac Asimov, a poor traveller at best, made one of his few trips out of New York City in April 1963 to view the cataracts. He waxed eloquent about them in his memoirs In Joy Still Felt: "I rather lost my breath, for the Horseshoe Falls are extraordinarily beautiful." Jules Verne also paid them a visit. "I marvelled at the Niagara Falls from the top of Terrapin Tower with a lunar rainbow showing in the spray of the falls, and crossed the Suspension Bridge into Canada. And then came home." The afternoon of April 19, 1867, he spent one hour on Canadian soil. Like Asimov and even Bradbury, Verne was not much of a traveller.


Creative use of a Canadian motif was made by Philip Jose Farmer in his well-known novella The Lovers. This novella is notorious as the work that introduced sex to science fiction. It's a tame read today but in 1952, when it was first published, it was hot stuff! Readers will recall that the action takes place so far in the future that the things we take for granted are but memories. "Then there was North America," Farmer wrote, "where American was the native speech of all except the twenty descendants of French-Canadians living on the Hudson Bay Preserve." The French-Canadians—oops, the Quebecois—play a pivotal role in the novella's plot. The hero marries one—and dies.


Likely the most creative use of a Canadian locale in a foreign author's fantastic work is the use John Wyndham made of Labrador in his post-holocaust novel The Chrysalids. Labrador is certainly isolated. "For a long time it had been disputed whether any parts of the world other than Labrador and the big island of Newf were populated at all," he wrote. "They were thought to be all Badlands which had suffered the full weight of Tribulation, but it had been found that there were some stretches of Fringes country in places."


I could continue to single out these writers and their quotations but I would rather make a distinction. There is a difference between passages from fiction and passages from articles and interviews. The former are generally more imaginative than the latter, but they are seldom self-standing and they need to be explained. I am collecting references to Canada in fantastic literature. Readers who know about passages in well-known or little-known stories and novels could send them for a future column. You will receive gratitude!


Readers new to science fiction often blurt out, "Where do these authors get such ideas?" Spider Robinson gave Phil Milner of Books in Canada the ideal answer to that question. "I get my ideas from Schenectady, New York. That is the official Science Fiction Writers of America answer to the question, 'Where do you fellows get your weird ideas?' We all say Schenectady." Now, Spider may be a Yankee by birth, but he has been in Canada since 1973, and that is long enough for him to come up with a new, Canadian answer to that question. Where does the Canadianized Spider get his "weird [Canadian] ideas"? No doubt they come from Halifax or Medicine Hat or Moose Jaw or Vancouver—the city he now calls home.


John Robert Colombo has written, compiled, and translated 77 books. A collection of poems, Off Earth, was his 76th book; Colombo's New Canadian Quotations is his 77th. He plans to stop—or at least pause—at 100.

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Electronic SF: Science Fiction, Fandom and the Wired World

by Keith Soltys


"Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city light, receding ..."


William Gibson




Computers and SF in the Real World


The direct mind to computer link envisioned by William Gibson may be some time in coming but electronic communication has already reached the stage of "unthinkable complexity"—at least for some computer users if the advice columns of computer magazines are any indication. But the majority of science fiction authors, readers and fans have always been quick to embrace new technologies (even if they haven't always fully understood the implications) and computers are no exception.


According to a recent Locus ("The Newspaper of the Science Fiction Field") poll, 54% of that magazine's readers own a computer. That's about 5,000 people, a small fraction of the half-million or so who use the major data-nets, but it does indicate that many people are interested in both sf and electronic communications.


This article is a guide to some of the services available through your computer and modem—more specifically those related to science fiction. There's too much variety in hardware and software to go into much technical detail here but I will mention some general guidelines that might be helpful if this is new to you.



What's Out There?


In general there are two types of services available to you if you have a computer and a modem ‑those you pay for and those you don't. National services like CompuServe and The Source charge by the hour for connect time. Most local bulletin boards are free (though some may charge an initial registration fee). As with most things in life you tend to get what you pay for—the massive investments in hardware and staff required for a large commercial service don't come cheap.



The Big Three: CompuServe, The Source and Genie


With over 375,000 subscribers, CompuServe is the largest of the public information networks. Although its 40 mainframe computers are located in Columbus, Ohio, the network has nodes that allow access via a local phone call from most major metropolitan centres in the United States and Canada.


There are two other services in direct competition with CompuServe. The Source is smaller with about 60,000 subscribers, but cheaper and with many of the same features. GEnie, an offshoot of General Electric, uses the night-time spare capacity of the company's data network. It has the advantage of being the cheapest of the three systems.



The Local Guys


A BBS or Bulletin Board Service is a smaller version of the commercial data networks. Most are set up by hobbyists on their home computers and can be reached only through a single phone line. BBS's are notorious for their short lives, because of both equipment failure and burnout on the part of the operators (who are also known as sysops). Although some have defied the odds and been around for several years the average lifetime is probably less than a year.


BBS's tend to offer similar services to the larger systems, primarily electronic mail and file uploading and downloading, but of course on a much smaller scale. (There are some commercial BBS's, like PC Canada, that charge for connection and offer more services than the typical home BBS. Most specialize in file uploading-downloading and computer related topics and are out of the scope of this article.)


The Ontario Science Centre in Toronto maintains a popular board with a large sf section. In Minneapolis the board started by the Scribbly writers' group was the inspiration for the Bunch board. Ottawa's Pagan SF Net specializes in sf.



What Good Is It?


All this may sound interesting and even a little far out, especially if you've never tried it, but what practical benefits are there—especially if you're going to spend money on it?


Electronic mail may be the most useful capability even though it's probably not the most glamorous. It's faster and more reliable than the post office. For short messages it's cheaper than long distance phone calls and can be competitive with the mail. It's possible to send two or three messages on CompuServe in two minutes for a cost of less than $.50 per message. Fidonet (a linked network of local bulletin boards) echomail messages cost about the same.


CompuServe's Science Fiction Forum provides a good example of what's available on the larger systems. The sf forum is divided into 18 areas. There are sections on Science Fiction, Star Trek, Dr. Who, SF in the Movies/TV, Pern, Conventions, Fanzines, Writing, etc. Each area includes an area for messages and a data library for file upload-download. CompuServe's software allows messages to be linked to earlier messages, thus creating a "thread". Some have spanned hundreds, if not thousands, of messages. Many authors (David Gerrold, Raymond E. Feist, Mike Resnick to name a few) are regular users.


Sf fans are gregarious by nature and the message oriented format of the computer forums don't always provide the sense of contact that users crave. Conferences, basically the electronic equivalent of a CB channel, have grown up on the larger systems to fill this need.


In conference mode many users can "chat" to each other in real time. Several conversations may be going simultaneously with messages scrolling off the screen at a rate that novice users may have trouble following. A special syntax and etiquette have evolved around conferencing so that users can communicate in the least confusing manner.


Some conferences are more formal than others. On CompuServe, for example, there are frequent moderated conferences with special guests. Users register in advance and the sysop for the forum controls the flow of questions. Many sf authors (Cherryh, Bova, Haldeman and recently Anne McCaffrey from her computer in Ireland) have participated in these conferences.


Transcripts are stored in the forum's data libraries along with other topical files. There can be hundreds of files in a forum library. Book and film reviews, interview transcripts, articles and stories can all be downloaded.


The electronic magazine is a new variation on this theme. There are at least two fanzines (Other Realms and TORUS) whose text is distribute in electronic format. Once uploaded the distributions is out of control of the editors—which is part of the attraction as one never knows where the magazine may end up.


Most smaller boards will have areas devoted to file upload and download which often include programs that can be useful to BBS users, text files about various subjects and games. Not all boards offer this and uploads are usually checked by the sysop due to the proliferation of dangerous "trojan horse" programs; anti-social creations which appear to be legitimate until they take control of a system and destroy its data.


Connecting with an on-line service doesn't require a great investment in hardware or software. You need a computer (it is possible to use a dumb terminal but I'm going to ignore that option here), a modem, a connection to a phone line and software. It doesn't require much computing power and there are many good, free, public-domain programs available for almost every brand of computer. Magazines, computer clubs and local dealers are good sources of help and information.



Looking Ahead


Electronic bulletin boards and their larger cousins like CompuServe and the Source are the first wave in a new medium of information storage and exchange. Over the coming years more and more information will be available on-line. If the past few years are any indication science fiction readers, fans and authors will be among the first and foremost users of the new systems and among the first to reap their benefits.



Technical Tips—SF related BBS's


Ontario Science Centre, Toronto (416) 429-1700

The Pagan SF Net, Ottawa (613) 875-2032

Terraboard, Minneapolis (612) 721-8967


To connect to most BBS's set your communications software to either 300 or 1200 baud (few BBS's support 2400 baud), 8 bit words, no parity and one stop bit. If that doesn't work try 7 bit words, even parity and one stop bit. And if that confuses you don't worry, once you've set it and it works (and it probably will) you can forget about it.



CompuServe, The Source and Genie


These services have local phone numbers in most major cities in the United States and Canada. They can be accessed through packet switching networks like Datapac and Tymnet outside of those areas. This adds an extra cost to the connection but it's still cheaper than a long-distance call to the nearest node.


Connect rates vary from US$5.00/ hour for GEnie to US$12.50/hour for CompuServe. Rates may vary depending on modem speed and time of day. Starter kits with an instruction manual are available at some computer stores.


Anyone contemplating using one of the major services should look for software specific to that service. On CompuServe, for example, programs like AUTOSIG or TAPCIS allow you to read and reply to messages off-line, saving vast amounts of money in connect charges. Also they are easier to use than the sometimes cryptic command syntax of the major services. They can usually be downloaded from one of the computer-oriented forums and are well worth the cost of the download.

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A Conversation With John Millard

John Millard is Toronto's "Old Man of SF Fandom". A member of First Fandom, John was the chairman of both of the World Science Fiction Conventions that have been held in Toronto. In this interview, conducted in the spring of 1988, he shares his memories of the beginning of Toronto fandom and of the WoridCons he has attended over the years.


MICHAEL SKEET: To start off John, when did you first discover science fiction?


JOHN MILLARD: Sometime in the early thirties. I'm not exactly sure when.


MS: You moved to Toronto in the mid 40's, right?


JM: Well, first let's get back to the beginning. I was born here in Toronto—I'm a Canadian by birth—in '17, at the end of November. Sometime in the fall of '19, my family moved to Jackson, Michigan, about 75 miles west of Detroit. That's where I was brought up and went to school. I graduated from high school in '36, returned to Canada in 1942 and joined the Air Force for the duration.


MS: When you discovered science fiction, did you discover science fiction fandom at the same time?


JM: Back in my high school days, I was very big reader. I read everything l could get my hands on. Of course, in those days the pulp magazines were THE thing! You could buy them for ten cents or twenty cents. The most you ever had to pay was a quarter. But I read everything, including science fiction …mystery stories, western stories, anything. In one of the magazines in … I guess it was the early forties … in an issue of Astonishing Tales, there was a bit at the bottom of one story … I guess you'd call it a filler … about a science fiction convention. The second World Science Fiction Convention was to be held in Chicago on the Labour Day weekend of 1940. So I decided I wanted to go.


MS: So your first introduction to fandom was at a convention?


JM: Yes, at the convention. That's the first time I ever knew anything about it, although I had been reading science fiction for quite a while.


MS: What did you see there, in Chicago?


JM: Well, I met a number of people who seemed to be interested, and the main thing that struck me was that everybody was publishing a fanzine, or what they called "fan mags" in those days. Aside from reading the stuff and talking about it, everybody wanted to publish a magazine.


MS: How did you meet up with the science fiction fandom community in Toronto after the war?


JM: I went to the second convention and I also went to the third convention which was held in Denver in '41 …came back here in '42 …spent about a year or more here in Canada doing some training, then I went overseas. I spent almost three years in England. I came back and stayed on for awhile and I discharged in '46. At the end of '46 I started a course at Ryerson—what is now Ryerson but was then the old Rehab school—studying electronics. In September of that year, the Worldcon was being held in Philadelphia, so I took sometime off and went. At that convention I met a couple of guys from Toronto, who I didn't know before: Ned McKeown and Joe Taylor. Ned McKeown was gungho about the convention and wanted to put a bid in for the 1948 convention, which we did. We had some competition from a guy from Milwaukee but his … it was an ad hoc thing, it wasn't like it is today. It wasn't highly organized, just a spur of the moment thing. We got the bid for it and held the convention in 1948. That's where I really began to know people in fandom in Canada.


MS: How exactly did you go about bidding for the 1948 WorldCon?


JM: We just started a little promotion right there in the convention, did whatever we could to let people know that we were interested in doing it. And of course you had to make a small presentation, give some ideas what the city was like. It was a voice vote, there were no ballots.


MS: Do you remember how many people were involved in the voting?


JM: Oh, I'd say maybe a hundred and twenty-five, a hundred and fifty at the most.


MS: Out of … what was the attendance at the convention?


JM: Well, I don't think the attendance was more than two hundred and fifty at any one time.


MS: How many people worked on the organizing committee for the '48 WorldCon?


JM: Well, Ned and I did most of the work, but other people came around and helped when we needed it.


MS: Where was the convention held?


JM: It was held in a small auditorium called Rai Purdy Studio. It was an auditorium in a commercial building on Queen Street near St. Michael's Hospital. It's no longer in existence today. The building's been torn down. There's a skyscraper in its place today. But it was the only place we could get. The convention was held on the July 1st holiday because back in 1948 the Labour Day holiday included the Canadian National Exhibition and you couldn't get hotel space if you tried. So we held it in July. We tried a couple of hotels but they weren't interested in our business, so we went to the convention bureau and they told us about this place.


MS: Was the convention spread out?


JM: People were staying in different hotels but hotel space was kind of tight after the war. There weren't too many around. There was the Royal York and the King Edward. Some people stayed at the King Edward. The King Edward was closest.


MS: What was the social scene like? Was there a lot of partying?


JM: Partying had just started at the conventions. There were some parties in Philadelphia and there were a few in Toronto, but not many of them. The hotels were pretty hard on us. If we made too much noise, and they got complaints, they told us to stop. So there weren't too many parties: The partying didn't really start until several years later.


MS: What happened in the aftermath of the '48 WorldCon? You said that it was after that that you started to get to know Toronto fandom. How did that develop?


JM: With the convention being planned and worked on, people came out of the woodwork, as it were. People we had never heard about. I think we made a couple of trips—to Hamilton, for one—to get people interested. There were a couple of guys from Montreal who came down, and that kind of thing. It was just word of mouth, and probably through the magazines more than anything else. There weren't that many really. I don't think there were more than ten or twelve people who were interested in the field at that time. There certainly wasn't anybody interested in writing, outside of Joe Taylor. He wasn't really a science fiction fan; he was interested in the writing end of ft. That's what he developed into later, and he just disappeared into the woodwork, and we haven't heard from him, from that day to this.


MS: Was there a structure to Toronto fandom in the late forties and the fifties?


JM: Well, there was a higgledy-piggledy thing; not really organized, no organized fan club or anything like that. It was just a group we called The Derelicts. The other thing that was going on at the time of course was a fanzine that Joe Taylor had started when we were at the school up in Aurora—a boarding school. He had started a magazine called "Eightball" and then he changed it later, when he got involved in science fiction, to "Canadian Fandom". He and Ned operated that and lots of times we would gather to help them print it. They had a Gestetner. It takes a lot of work to do one of those things. We used to gather around on a Sunday afternoon and help them print it. And we worked on the convention at the same time. When Joe gave up the magazine, Ned took it over for a number of issues. Then he got out of it and it just petered out.


MS: Were there attempts to hold conventions in Toronto after the WorldCon?


JM: No, I don't think there were. It kind of petered out and nobody was interested in doing anything. Although I, myself, was active at conventions after '48. I went to all the WorldCons up to 1952, then I dropped out for a while.


MS: How busy was the convention calendar in those days? Aside from the WorldCon, were there other conventions to go to?


JM: There were a few, but not very many. It wasn't like it is today when you can go to three or four every weekend if you want to. There wasn't that much activity.


MS: What sorts of activities were there to get involved with besides the fanzines and WorldCons. Was fandom definitely a part time thing in those days?


JM: Well, for some people it was their life. For me, it was just a hobby. That's all. Just a spare time interest as far as I was concerned. I read quite a bit of stuff; read the magazines all the time, collected fanzines, wrote letters to them … the usual things.


MS: Was most of the communication between fans in those days done through the post , through letters or fanzines?


JM: Yes, I think a lot of it was … writing letters to fanzine editors, writing articles, reviews, stuff like that … or writing letters to the editors of the magazines. I think that was where most of the communications came from. There were some newszines like there are today, but they were few and far between. Just prior to the war a number of fans started a national organization, called the National Fantasy Fan Federation. It was a good idea, but I think fans were too indiviualistic to be part of a big group. It still exists today, but it was never really a force of any kind, as far as I could see.


MS: Did you get any sense of community in the late forties, early fifties? Was there a sense of fandom as a large group of people?


JM: When you were there, yes. But when you .weren't thinking about it, I don't believe it was there: It wasn't my life, just part of my life. I was interested in everything else but I wasn't gungho about it. I could leave it, or take it home.


MS: The impression that one gets reading the writings of people like Sam Moscowitz and Harry Warner Jr. is that fandom in the late forties and the fifties was a very close knit, almost incestuous, grouping—at least in the States. Did any of that ever leak across the border? How much did the north eastern U.S. fan scene affect the fans in Canada?


JM: I guess it affected them just as much as it did anybody else. They say it was pretty sparse around here. There were quite a few book collectors, and people interested in science fiction. I don't know whether they were really rabid fans or not. There is a distinction, of course. I think there are a lot of people today who consider themselves fans, but they don't read science fiction! I don't understand that.


MS: You say you dropped out in '52 …


JM: Well, I got kind of fed up and decided I wanted to do something else so I didn't go to conventions. I didn't go to the WorldCon between '53 and '59; and then I only went because Ned wanted to take some books down and sell them. The '59 convention was in Detroit so we did it more or less on a shoestring. Then we went the following year, to Pittsburgh, for the same reason. I didn't go again until '66, in Cleveland.


MS: Did you notice much of a change between the '59 and then '66 conventions?


JM: There was a big difference. Television had come into its own. There were a couple of television groups there taking videos, and they also showed the first pilot film of Star Trek at that convention. It wasn't a terrifically large convention, but it was one of the bigger ones up to that day, and I got a sense that there was a lot of interest from a lot of different areas, a lot more than in the previous years.


MS: When you dropped out of convention going, did you also stop reading fanzines?


JM: I kept reading the magazines but I don't think I got a lot of fanzines. A few, maybe.


MS: Was there a change or progression that you noticed in the way that fanzines were done through the decade of the fifties?


JM: Yes. Of course, some of them in the early years were on hectographs. Then people got, what today we'd call, inexpensive mimeographs. But they weren't inexpensive then. It was a pretty big price in those days.


MS: After the'66 convention, which was your next WorldCon?


JM: That was the one in St. Louis in '69. It was a fairly large convention. A lot of people came that I hadn't seen for a long time. That began my last binge of going to WorldCons, although the '70 WorldCon was held in Germany and I didn't go to that. We had a convention here, a local convention. After the '66 convention in Cleveland, there was a group organized in Toronto called the Ontario Science Fiction Club. I didn't have anything to do with it at the time; I didn't really know anything about it. It was organized by Peter Gill, Mike Glicksshn, Ken Smokler and a girl who's name I can't remember right now. These four started it. They originally met in a bookstore run by Capt. George Henderson. They held a convention, I don't remember if it was two or three days … but they held the convention on Markham Street. Some of them went to the convention in St. Louis. I met some of them there. Peter mentioned that he was organizing another convention to be held in Toronto, late in August, which was going to be more or less the same weekend as the convention in Germany, in Heidelberg. He had written them to ask if they thought it would cause them any problems and they said they didn't think so. So he organized that convention, and we had Isaac Asimov and Anne McCaffrey as our guests. It worked out very well. There were a lot of people in the northeastern part of North America who really couldn't afford to go to Germany for the WorldCon, so they came to this convention. During that convention, which ran very well and people were quite happy with it, people said, "Why don't you go for a WorldCon?"


MS: Any idea how many people were at this convention?


JM: Oh, maybe three hundred and fifty or four hundred. So we held a meeting after the convention and decided to go for it. The next bid came up for 1973, so we had three years to prepare the bid. We started advertising that we were gang to be bidding for it. The competition we had at the time was an organization in Dallas which had been working on it for a number of years, and Minneapolis was also thinking of bidding for it. The bidding was being held in Boston in '71. Prior to that convention, the Dallas group broke up completely; the guy that was running it decided that he wasn't going to stay around Dallas anymore and moved to California. The whole bid collapsed. And then, just prior to going to the Boston convention, the fellow who masterminded the Minneapolis bid had some family problems and had to drop out, so that collapsed. We more or less won by default. We picked it up and had two years to go ahead with it; it was held in 1973, on a Labour Day weekend, at the Royal York Hotel. It was a good convention, we had about three thousand people there. My own feeling is that it was probably the last of the WorldCons that were really fannish in character. There was quite a bit of promotion going on; the television, the radio, the newspapers were around and all this stuff, but we kept the programming as fannish as possible. We didn't over program, we under programmed. I was strongly in favour of under programming; after all, the convention is for people to gather so that they can talk to each other. If you have too much programming, everybody wants to go to the programming; they don't have time to see their friends. That's one of the reasons we had the convention. We didn't program during times when you would want to go for a meal, or something like that. We tried to keep it … well, it was organized, but not over organized. We had a banquet, which they don't have very often now because it's too big and too costly.


MS: Did you think the three thousand people were too many?


JM: It was just about the right figure at the time. Today, you couldn't have a WorldCon in Toronto, because the function space isn't big enough. You'd have to go to the Convention Centre and use the hotels for accommodations … bedroom space, and for partying. I'd agree that if you're going to use the Convention Centre you should use it totally… putting everything having to do with programming, huckster room, everything else, should be in the Convention Centre. You should not split it up. You're going to have to pay for the whole Convention Centre anyway, so you might as well go ahead and have it all there. Then use the hotels for sleeping accommodation and partying later.


MS: Was the '73 convention the last which you were involved in organizing?


JM: Yes. And I'm thankful that we did it then. I wouldn't want to have anything to do with it today; it's not worth it. After the '74 convention in Washington, '75 was the first convention that was held in Australia and I enjoyed that. It was a small convention; there wasn't more than six hundred people. I quite enjoyed that. There was a group of about sixty people who went on a conducted tour and there were some other people who came on their own. I went on, attending conventions, until 1980. Then I had a bit of a financial reversal and didn't go to Denver in'81. When I got to working it out, I was spending a lot of money at these things … airfares, accommodations. You spend a lot of money on meals. I found I was spending a lot of money but not getting a lot out of it.


MS: Did you go to Seacon in Brighton in '79?


JM: Yes, we went for just over three weeks. But I enjoyed the part where we travelled around England more. I enjoyed the convention, but I enjoyed the touring we did more than anything else. There was a friend of mine who went with me and we travelled with another couple. These friends go to the conventions, but they're not joiners, they don't belong to any fan clubs or anything. They enjoy science fiction, they read it. They go to conventions quite frequently, more or less to go to the huckster rooms and buy books and stuff. And I think there are a lot of people like that. As I say, fans are so individualistic. They just are really not interested in being a member of a group.


MS: Do you think that's why there's never been a large, successful, science fiction club in Toronto?


JM: Well there's a lot of interest in the Toronto area, but there's so many different players, and none of them want to give in to the others. There's a lot of people here who'd like to put on a WorldCon in this area, but somebody wants to be Chairman but nobody else wants to help—they want to be Chairman too. I think that's where the problem lies. They just don't seem to see eye to eye. I don't know if they'll ever have one.


MS: That again comes back to everybody being such an individual …


JM: Yes, that has a lot to do with it. I don't think there'd be any problem getting a convention in Toronto, if they worked on it. The city has a lot going for it, and a lot of people would come to a convention in Toronto. But it's a large undertaking—a minimum of six years, depending on when you start your bid—at least three years to start your bid and of course its selected three years ahead of time. That's a long time to keep a volunteer group together.


MS: That it is!


JM: And that's where a lot of the problems lie. There are some people who don't understand this situation. The only thing that a person gets out of working on a convention is the satisfaction of doing a good job. They're not getting paid for it. There are some people who run conventions who don't understand that.


So the last WorldCon I went to was in 1980, Boston. It was a very large convention, It was well organized since the Boston group are very good at it. But you couldn't go to everything, there was just too much of it.


MS: Do you think you'll ever go again to a WorldCon.


JM: Well, I'm going to the 1988 convention in New Orleans, but only because it's in New Orleans. A friend of mine wants to go.


MS: I've heard a lot of people say that. I understand that the core group of people who organized the Toronto convention in '73 more or less split up in the aftermath of that con.


JM: There are some of them around, but a lot of them weren't really interested afterwards. I never see some of them today.


MS: Was it just the amount of work and the amount of pressure involved in putting on something that big?


JM: Well, I think it's just that your ideas change, your thoughts change, your interests change. And it is a busy time when you are trying to run a convention; there are lots of things to do. Peter and I were the fellows who did most of the work. When the convention was over, there was this big open gap. We had worked up to a point and then it all collapsed because it was all over; then you just have a loss … a sense of loss because you're not so busy… you don't have a deadline to meet anymore.


MS: From the point of view of First Fandom, what does fandom today look like to you? What do you see when you look at fandom today?


JM: Well, that's a very hard question to answer, in a number of ways. Today, I don't consider the WorldCon to be a fan convention. I look at it as a commercial venture. It no longer caters to the fan; it caters to the professional and commercial person—the author, the artist, the guys that go to huckster books. A lot of people who were fans years ago, are now commercial hacks. There's money to be made in the field, so that's now what it's all about. It's really a commercial undertaking. They make lots of money at these things, if they watch their p's and q's. Baltimore in '83 went in the hole because they didn't pay attention to their budgets.


MS: Does it bother you that while the size of fandom seems to be increasing, the number of people who actually read science fiction seems to be dropping.


JM: I don't know. There must be a large number of people who read science fiction but don't dabble in the fandom part of it. If they weren't selling the stuff, they wouldn't be publishing it; and there's a lot of it being published, a hell of a lot! You can't keep up with it. So they must be making money at it somewhere.


I think that a lot of the people going to the WorldCon aren't really interested in science fiction. I think they're interested in going to a big blowout, to get lots of freebies, to go to lots of parties. There are all kinds of activities going on. With a large membership, large attendance, like that you've got to have lots of things for everybody. And that's what I really don't like about it. Back in the early days, if you got three or four fans together, that was a convention… because you had a kindred soul, you had somebody who was interested and you wanted to talk about it. And that's why the conventions were originally started. So that people could get together and talk about science fiction and the things that went on in science fiction. Of course, everybody that organized something, wanted to get a lot more people interested, so they tried to promote it. I've come to the conclusion in recent years that we've succeeded far more than we wanted to. As far as I'm concerned, I don't like it.


MS: You think fandom is too big for itself now?


JM: I don't think it's really fandom anymore. It's just an organization. As I say, I think a lot of people don't bother reading this material. You talk about some of the early authors and many people haven't heard of them.


MS: Do you think that part of it is that fandom no longer has a sense of its own history? That it's very much a here-and-now thing, without continuity?


JM: It has continuity if you look for it. It's there. But a lot of people don't have a sense of history—when did this begin, and why did it begin. They don't seem to be interested. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is. A lot of people have come in from Star Trek, Star Wars … some of them have learned about science fiction and its early beginnings. Some of them are just faddists; they are really just interested in the one individual who played a certain part, and are not really interested in the field in general.

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Diana Wynne Jones: A Review

by Jane Starr


Diana Wynne Jones was a Special Guest at the 1988 World Fantasy Convention held in London, England in October, 1988.


I can't possibly cover all 19 of Diana Wynne Jones' books at once, but I hope I can whet your appetite to try them all—they're never less than good and several are excellent—full of humour, life and imagination. Her first, Wilkins' Tooth, was published in 1973 and she's published almost one a year ever since. To make up for the couple of years, she missed she published two or three books in other years. They're all fantasies, although A Tale of Time City and The Homeward Bounders do have more science fiction elements that the rest.


Jones is a master when it comes to building believable and consistent worlds. Three novels, Cart and Cwidder, Drowned Ammet and The Spellcoats are set in a land called Dalemark. Cart and Cwidder and Drowned Ammet take place at the same time, the different characters and different events that intersect occasionally in ways that affect the stories little but provide a more rounded view of Dalemark. The Spellcoats is also set in Dalemark, but so much earlier than the first two books that it has blended into their mythology. Several of the books feature worlds parallel to ours, separated by having taken a different fork in the road of history (e.g. the French won at Agincourt instead of the English, or Napoleon defeated Wellington at Waterloo). Depending on how long ago the division was, the differences may be great or small but Jones never lets a world get out of character, and in all of the worlds but ours magic works. Actually, magic is important in almost all of Jones's books. Even when the world seems to be ours, strange things happen.


The main characters are usually fairly ordinary children or young adults. Even in the Chrestomanci books Chrestomanci himself is never the main character. Important, yes, but secondary to Cat and Gwendden in Charmed Life to Tonlo in The Magicians of Caprona, and to most of Class 2Y in Witch Week. They are often from unhappy homes, or orphaned, or both. Kathleen in Dogsbody is living with unkind relatives while her father is in the maze Prison. Polly in Fire and Hemlock comes from a broken home. In The Ogre Downstairs the five children are part of a blended family, and the Ogre is an irritable stepfather who isn't used to living with active children (even his own). David in Eight Days of Luke is an orphan cared for by four unsympathetic hypochondriac relatives. In Cart and Cwidder one boy watches his brother hanged, and others see their father murdered. In The Homeward Bounders a twelve year old boy. is torn from his home and family in his own world and sent to travel through all the worlds, never to see home again. Many characters come from unhappy homes. In The Time of the Ghost the ghost is one of four neglected daughters (but which one?) of a couple who run a boys boarding school but have no time for their own children. However unhappy their situations at the start of the story, though, the characters usually manage to improve (or at least adjust to) it by the end.


Eight Days of Luke and Fire and Hemlock both draw on myth and legend. Eight Days of Luke uses Norse mythology, and half the fun is figuring out who Luke is and why he was imprisoned, and why Mr. Wedding and the mysterious Frys and Mr. Chew are after him. Seeing David get the better of his obnoxious relatives and discover that one of them isn't so bad after all is fun too. Fire and Hemlock goes back to Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer, and the stories of humans taken by the fairies and how they are redeemed.


One of the joys of Jones' books is her sense of humour. It takes a special kind of mind to come up with the chemistry sets of The Ogre Downstairs, with odd items like Vol. pulv. which makes living things fly, and Animal spirits which makes inanimate objects (like toffee bars and mechano sets) live. Or the story that Polly and Tom invent in Fire and Hemlock, spelling errors and all. Or the magical duels in The Magicians of Caprona, where the sky rains cowpats. Or the persecution of the Sykes family in Archer's Goon by the wizards who control their town—power outages, road crews, marching bands and all. It's marvellous.


Her inventiveness shows in the details. In Power of Three Jones uses a form of precognition which, while not a comfortable gift, would at least enable the person afflicted to live with it. With the Gift of Sight the holder can only foretell in response to a direct question. Of course, one has to ask the right question.


Charmed Life is one of Jones' best books. It tells of Cat, who has no magical talent, and his older sister Gwendolen, a witch with a huge appetite for power and no scruples. After they are orphaned, Cat and Gwendolen are taken in by Mrs. Sharp, a Certified Witch. She arranges for Gwendolen to be taught all that the local wizards and warlocks can manage, then Gwendolen, as part of a larger plot, gets them taken to live with Chrestomanci, the man who keeps the use of magic from getting out of hand in all the worlds. Gwendolen, feeling unappreciated at Chrestomanci castle, goes on a diabolically entertaining magical rampage, then escapes into another world, displacing all her counterparts in the other worlds. Janet is the counterpart drawn from our world into Chrestomanci's to replace Gwendolen. she and Cat must conceal that she is not Gwendolen, while trying to figure out what Gwendolen is up to, and the secret of Gwendolen's power, It's a lovely book, full of humour and unexpected twists, and the characters are very real.


A recent book by Jones is A Tale of Time City. In 1939 Vivian Smith is being evacuated from the bombing in London with hundreds of other children. On the platform of the train station she is abducted by two strange boys, Jonathan and Sam, and taken to Time City. Time City was built on a patch of time and space outside history by Faber John and his wife, the mysterious Time Lady. However, its patch of time and space is almost worn out, and it's going to be destroyed unless Faber John can be found and the city renewed. Unfortunately, Jonathan and Sam have kidnapped the wrong person, and they can't send her back because her era is unstable (events can be changed by interference) and somehow the start of World War II has been pushed back to 1938, and it's still changing. Also, Sam can't get his father's keys to the time lock again. They pass Vivian off as a cousin whose parents are observers in that era, and who has been sent home for safety, and they introduce her to the wonders of Time City, including the "time ghosts" and butter pies. They also find a disused time lock, and time ghosts of Jonathan and Vivian. Time ghosts are formed when someone in the grip of strong emotion does something, and they recur at the same time every day. Vivian must help Sam and Jonathan figure out how to save Time City and who is altering the unstable eras before she can go home, and the solution and conclusion are quite satisfying. As usual; Jones builds believable characters and motivations, and the story is involving. The major flaw is the concept of time—the renewal of Time City seemed to mean that it went on as before, but the normal flow of time and space was finite and circular. The eras did not flow together—they seemed to exist independently, like separate worlds, rather than as part of a continuum. How, for example, in a flow of time, can one alter an "unstable" era without changing the "stable" eras too? However, that aside, this is still a tale worth reading.


To conclude, a chronological list of Diana Wynne Jones' books:


Wilkins' Tooth (1973), The Ogre Downstairs (1974), Cart and Cwidder (1975), Eight Days of Luke (1975),Dogsbody (1975), Power of Three (1976), Charmed Life (1977), Drowned Ammet (1977), The Spellcoats (1979), The Four Grannies (1980), The Magicians of Caprona (1980), The Homeward Bounders (1981), The Time of the Ghost (1981), Witch Week (1982), Archers Goon (1984), Warlock at the Wheel and Other Stories (1984), Fire and Hemlock (1985), Howl's Moving Castle (1986), A Tale of Time City (1987), The Lives of Christopher Chant (1988).

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Canadian Fiction 1988

The following is a listing of the science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction published by Canadians in 1988. This list has been derived from the nominations list for the 1989 Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy (CASPER) Awards. We welcome any additions or corrections. We welcome all authors, publishers, and other knowledgeable individuals to keep us informed of works in the sf field by all Canadians so that we may publish as complete and comprehensive a list as possible each year.




Novels - English language


  • Addison, Joseph, Tesseract, Ballantine/ Del Rey
  • Coney, Michael Greatrex, Fang the Gnome, Signet
  • De Lint, Chales, Greenmantle, Ace
  • De Lint, Charles, Wolf Moon, Signet
  • Dorsey, Candas Jane, Machine Sex and other Stories, Porcepic/Tesseract Books
  • Drew, Wayland, Willow, Del Rey
  • Duncan, Dave, The Reluctant Swordsman, Del Rey
  • Duncan, Dave, The Coming of Wisdom, Del Rey
  • Duncan, Dave, The Destiny of the Sword, Del Rey
  • Gaddalah, Leslie, The Loremasters, Ballantine/Del Rey
  • Gibson, William, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Bantam/Spectra
  • Green, Terrence M., Barking Dogs, St. Martin's Press
  • Henighan, Tom, The Well of Time, Collins
  • Huff, Tanya, Child of the Grove, DAW
  • Hughes, Monica, The Dream Catcher, Methuen
  • Hutchins, Hazel, Casey Webber the Great, Annick Press
  • Kilian, Crawford, Rogue Emperor, Ballantine/Del Rey
  • Kushner, Donn, A Book Dragon, MacMillan
  • Luiken, Nicole, Escape to the Overworld, Tree Frog Press
  • O'Riordan, Robert, Cadre Messiah, Ace
  • Pasnak, Willian, Under the Eagle's Claw, Groundwood
  • Randall, Neil, Ultra Deadly, TSR Incorp
  • Stirling, Steve M., Marching Through Georgia, Baen
  • Vonarburg, Elisabeth, The Silent City, Porcepic

·         Wynn-Jones, Timothy, Fastyngange, Lester and Orpen Dennys


Short Work - English language


  • Beverly, Jo, "The Fruit Picker", Writers of the Future IV
  • Choyce, Lesley, "December Six", December Six,/The Halifax Solution, Pottersfield Press
  • De Lint, Charles, "Gipsy Davey", Mythic Circle #5
  • De Lint, Charles, "Into the Green", Sword & Sorceress V, DAW
  • De Lint, Charles, ""Maple Sugar", Mothering #50
  • De Lint, Charles, "One Chance", Werewolves, Harper and Row
  • De Lint, Charles, "Scars", Horror Show, Vol. 6 No. 1

·         De Lint, Charles, "The Skin and Knife Game" (collaboraton with Lee Barwood), Liavek: Spells of Binding,Ace

  • De Lint, Charles, "The Soft Whisper of Midnight Snow", Pulphouse, Issue One, Eugene: Pulphouse Publishing

·         De Lint, Charles, "That Explains Poland", Pulphouse, Issue Two, Eugene:Pulphouse Publishing

  • De Lint, Charles, "Tip & the Lion", Mothering #46
  • Dorsey, Candas Jane, "By Their Taste Shall Ye Know Them", Machine Sex and other Stories, Porcepic/Tesseract Books
  • Dorsey, Candas Jane, "Death and Morning", ibid.
  • Dorsey, Candas Jane, "(Learning About) Machine Sex", ibid.
  • Dorsey, Candas Jane, "The Prairie Warriors", ibid.
  • Dorsey, Candas Jane, "Sleeping in a Box", ibid.
  • Dorsey, Candas Jane, "Time is the School in Which We Learn, Time is the Fire in Which We Burn", ibid.
  • Dorsey, Candas Jane, "Wars and Rumours of War", ibid.
  • Meier, Shirley, "Peacock Eyes", Tales of the Witch World
  • Robinson, Spider, "The Paranoid", Pulphouse, Issue Two
  • Sawyer, Robert, Golden Fleece, Amazing, September
  • Skelton, Robin, "Openings", Sono Nis
  • Skelton, Robin, "The Parrot Who Could", Sono Nis
  • Skelton, Robin, "Telling the Tale", Porcupine Quill
  • Stirling, Steve M., "Necessity', War World Vol. 1, Baen
  • Rowland, Robin F., "Wait Till Next Year", Amazing, September
  • Weiner, Andrew, "The Egg", Amazing, September
  • Weiner, Andrew, "The Grandfather Problem", Isaac Asimov's SF Magazine, August
  • Weiner, Andrew, "This is the Year Zero", Full Spectrum, Bantam/Spectra


Novels - French language


  • Bernard, Evelyne, La Vaironne, Guerin
  • Boily, Carol, L'Odyssée sur Terre, Phidal
  • Bouchard, Guy, Les Gélules utopiques, Logiques
  • Chatillon, Pierre, La Vie en fleurs, XYZ Editeur
  • Couture, Yvon-H., Le Voyage de Zomlok, Asticou
  • Dandurand, Anne, L'Assassin de l'interieur/Diable d'esooir, XYZ Editeur
  • Escomel, Gloria, Fruit de la passion, Trois
  • Ferguson, Jean, Valdable, Asticou
  • Grosmaire, Louis, Un clown en hiver, Vermillon
  • Lecompte, Luc, Le Dentier d'Enée, L'Hexagone
  • Lienhardt, Michel, La Mémoire des hommes, Paulines
  • Martel, Clément, Magies du temps et de l'espace, JCL
  • Michaud, Nando, Les Montres sont molles mais les temps sont durs, Pierre Tisseyre
  • Montpetit, Charles, Temps mort, Paulines
  • Paradis, Nicole, Amitié cosmique, JCL
  • Péan, Stanley, La Plage des songes, CIDIHCA
  • Pelletier, Francine, Jardins de lumière, Graphicor
  • Pelletier, Francine, Mort sur le Redan, Paulines
  • Rajic, Négovan, Service pénitentiaire national, Beffroi
  • Roger, Danielle, L'Oeil du délire, VLB
  • Sernine, Daniel, Argus: Mission Mille, Paulines
  • Sévigny, Marc, Vertige chez les Anqes, VLB
  • Thellier-Vallerand, Des masques et des miroirs, Louise Courteau
  • Vac, Bertrand, Bizarres, Guérin litératures
  • Villemure, Pierre, Quand le diable s'en mêle, Laurent


Short Work - French language


  • Ainsley, Luc, "Pégariel le fou", L'Apropos, Vol 6-1
  • April, Jean-Pierre, "Coma-B2, Biofiction", Univers 88
  • Baillie, Robert, "Le Fleuriste", XYZ 14

·         Béil, Michel, "Au rythme du razz'n grou", imagine ... 45

  • Belil, Michel, "Treize à la douzaine", XYZ 13
  • Bergeron, Bertrand, "L'Autre", L'Année de la science-fiction et du fantastique québécois 1987, Le Passeur
  • Bergeron, Bertrand, "La Vraisemblance", Maisons pour touristes, L'instant même
  • Bergeron, Jean-François, "La Chambre", L'Ecrit primal 6
  • Berthiaume, André "L'Hiver en dessous", Le Sabord 19
  • Bouchard, Faustin, "Evasions programées", imagine ... 43
  • Bouchard, Guy, "Disruptions", imagine ... 45
  • Carpentier, Amanda, "L'Erreur", imagine ... 43
  • Carrier, Daniel, "Fugue furieuse", Moebius 37
  • Champetier, Joël, "Salut Gilles!", Solaris 79
  • Champetier, Joël, "Survie sur Mars", L'Année de la science-fiction et du fantastique québécois 1987, Le Passeur
  • Chatillon, Pierre, "L'Eau dèa", XYZ 13
  • Cook, Margaret, "L'Art des ponts de traversé", L'Apropos 6
  • Corbeil, Pierre, "Vive l'Empereur!", imagine ... 43
  • Côté, Denis, "So, Help me, God", L'Année de la science-fiction et du fantastique québécois 1987, Le Passeur
  • De Sève, Marie-Claude, "Vision de l'avenir", imagine ... 43
  • Dion, Jean, "L'Intrus", imagine ... 43
  • Donovan, Marie-AndrÅe, "Les Fraises", L'Apropos 12
  • Dubé Jean François, "SGV", Solaris 78
  • Duhaime, André "Une vie de êve", Solaris 79
  • Fortin, Simon, "La Veille du Jour de l'An", Hop 1
  • Gagnon, Daniel, "Ange à la prothèse", Possibles, Vol. 12-1
  • Gagnon, Denys, "Le Miroir au masque", XYZ 13
  • Godbout, Gaéan, "L'Espace du rêve", L'Année de la science-fiction et du fantastique québécois 1987, Le Passeur
  • Guay, Gisèle, "L'Araigné et l'enfant", Lurelu, Vol. 11-2
  • Jetté Daniel, "Mission temporelle", L'Apropos, Vol. 6-1
  • Karch, Pierre, "Crime bavarois", XYZ 13
  • Laroche, Marc-Raoul, "Marek Rejo Lodewik (? ‑ 2027)", Solaris 77
  • Lemaire, Marie-Claire, "Coin de Jardin au-dessus de Sarrapolis", Solaris 77
  • Martin, Michel, "Geisha Blues", L'Année de la science-fiction et du fantastigue québécois 1987, Le Passeur
  • Meynard, Yves, "Nouvelle vague", imagine ... 43
  • Meynard, Yves, "Sans titre", Solaris 80
  • Michaud, Nando, "Libido Blues", L'Ecrit primal 6
  • Miville-Deschênes, Fran., "Histoires à perdre la tête", Vidée-Presse, avril 88
  • Morin, Lise, "L'Apprenti-(s)-sage", XYZ 15
  • Normand, Dominique, "Mascarade", L'Apropos 12
  • Parent, Nathalie, "Info-fondu", Moebius 37
  • Parent, Nathalie, "Les Nains", Moebius 37
  • Parent, Nathalie, "Petit conte surprise", Moebius 37
  • Parent, Nathalie, "Tourbillon chaud", Moebius 37
  • Péan, Stanley, "La Bouche d'ombre", L'Ecrit primal 6
  • Péan, Stanley, "N'ajustez pas votre appareil", Hop 1
  • Péan, Stanley, La Plage des songes", Solaris 78
  • Péan, Stanley, "Le Syndrome Kafka", Moebius37
  • Perrot-Bishop, Annick, "Spirales de l'amout-mémoire", Dérives 5, Logiques
  • Pettigrew, Jean, "Biographie sommaire d'un émetteur-récepteur, Dérives 5, Logiques
  • Rochon, Esther, "Devenir vivante", Dérives 5, Logiques
  • Rochon, Esther, "Mourir une fois pour toutes",imagine ... 44
  • Sévigny, Marc, "Les Vents de Vénus", Vidéo-Presse, mai 88
  • Somcynsky, Jean-François, "L'Avenir bloqué", Solaris 77
  • Somcynsky, Jean-François, "Le Procès' Chronos", Dérives 5, Logique
  • Somcynsky, Jean-François, "Les Rescapés", imagine ... 43
  • Soucy, Jean-Yves, "LaTreizième baise", XYZ 13
  • Veilleux, Florent, "François Mercier ...heureux", imagine …43

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Since the appearance of the previous issue of Sol Rising, two valued friends of The Spaced Out Library have passed away. Even though some time has passed and obituaries have appeared elsewhere, these two gentlemen held a special place in our heart and we asked a friend of each to tell us a little bit more about them and their contributions to Canadian science fiction and fandom.



John Flint Roy



John Roy, a good friend of The Spaced Out Library, died on December 8, 1987. Those of us lucky enough to know him were aware that he was a bonafide gentleman—one of those quiet, gentle, generous humans that this planet could use more of.


Born February 19, 1913 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, John grew up an avid reader. While still in school he discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars novels in the local library. They must have made quite an impression because he never lost his love of science fiction and fantasy. Years later he authored A Reader's Guide to Barsoom (Ballantine, 1976), a book billed as "the intelligent reader's guide to ERB's fabled Mars."


John was accepted into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1937 and retired 34 years later as a Sergeant—the same rank as those other estimable Mounties, Sergeants King and Preston. After his retirement he and his wife, Evaleen, bought a 100-year old house in Ridgetown, Ontario.


Following his marriage in 1944 John began rebuilding his personal library. Eventually he became the proud possessor of an entire room of Burroughsiana, including some two hundred hardcover editions, hundreds of paperbacks, numerous pulps and fanzines, maps and other miscellania. It was a routine advertisement in the June 1957 Science Fiction Adventures that led him to the Burroughs Bibliophiles organization, where he soon became a leading contributor to such fanzines as ERB-dom and Erbivore. John was a long-time member of First Fandom, one of only three Canadians so honoured. In recent years he was an active supporter of the annual PulpCon and contributed numerous letters and articles to the burgeoning pulp fanzines. In 1985 he received the coveted "Lamont Award", and in 1986 the "Edgar Rice Burroughs Lifetime Achievement Award".


Friends and neighbours report that John's final year was an active and happy one, despite recurring heart problems. He spent the winter in Arizona, attended Burroughs group meetings in spring and summer, PulpCon in July, a Zane Grey Society meeting and Detroit's Classicon in the autumn. Now a widower, it was typical of John that he began donating many of his personal possessions to various charities. Only a short while before his death he drove down to Toronto in order to contribute much of his precious sf collection to The Spaced Out Library.


My favourite memory-photo of John Roy will always be that of him behind his "huckster's" table each year at PulpCon, dressed invariably but uncharacteristically in a lurid "Captain Canuck" T-shirt. I remember trading items with John. On two different occasions he sought me out later to give me some extra book or magazine because he was worried that perhaps he might have got the better of the original deal. Some huckster, John. He is truly missed.


Don Hutchison



R. Bruce Robbins



Bruce Robbins, "a fan of science fiction and fantasy, in all its forms", as he once described himself, died in Oakville, Ontario on November 2nd, 1987.


Bruce Robbins was born on February 2nd in Norfolk, Virginia, the eldest of a family of seven. After brilliant studies in mathematics, he crossed the border in the sixties—his father had been born in Canada—and established himself in Montreal, where he worked for the Sun Life Insurance Company.


From then until leaving for Toronto in the summer of 1980, he was active in the science fiction milieu of Montreal, whether French or English. As he said: "I have never restricted my attention to one language", and indeed he would always bring us to a wider, broader view of all the aspects of the fields.


Along the years, he published at least 9 issues of his fanzine Paradox, 5 issues of his book catalog, Fantasy Specialist, replete with data, criticisms and the occasional short story. He would occasionally rent a huckster's table in Toronto, to be present with French and Quebecois books and magazines, among which was Versin's splendid encyclopedia which he planned to translate.


He bequeathed his huge collection to The Spaced Out Library in Toronto and to La Maison d'ailleurs, in Yverdon, Switzerland. Thus, through the end, he was a man of generosity.


Esther Rochon



The July 27 appearance at The Spaced Out Library by Kim Stanley Robinson is made possible by the bequest to the Library by Mr. Robbins.

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© 2000 Friends of the Merril Collection