Dear Mr. Farmer,
I have enclosed an article which I am considering submitting for publication in the Doc Savage fanzine, The Bronze Gazette. It is an article on my impressions of certain elements in your novel, Escape from Loki. I saw your address listed in the Burroughs Bibliophiles directory and so thought the only considerate thing to do would be to run my ideas by you first.
In the February 1996 issue of The Bronze Gazette a brief article of mine was published in which I attempted to get Doc Savage readers to take a closer look at Loki, which I think deserves to stand right along with the original 182 supersagas. One of my aims in writing the article was to flush people out so that they would get at some of the deeper levels of the book, levels which I haven't yet seen addressed by anyone.
In particular, I refer to the John Sunlight/Baron Karl elements. As you may see in the following article, my theory goes that Baron von Hessel is Baron Karl and Lily Bugov, the Countess Idivzhopu, is none other than John Sunlight. There are so many leads in Loki which point to this conclusion that I can find no alternative explanation.
However, one fact is beyond me. In Loki, there is a scene in which the countess gives Doc "a small and exceptionally long-fingered hand in a black elbow-length glove." However, in Fortress of Solitude it states about John Sunlight that "His fingers, particularly, were so long and thin- the longest fingers being almost the length of an ordinary man's whole hand." I find it hard to reconcile the small hand of the countess in Loki with Sunlight's hand in Fortress, which seems to be freakishly large. Is this merely an oversight on your part or is Sunlight really not the countess, but perhaps one of her brothers from Russia? If the latter, then why the odd monocolor fixation? Is this a family trait which was passed on? Or perhaps the explanation is simply that we have different definitions of the word hand. My dictionary defines a hand as "the terminal part of the vertebrate forelimb when modified (as in humans) as a grasping organ." This would seem to me to include the fingers.
I leave many questions unanswered in my article. For example, who is Murdstone? Is he really what he appears to be? In your Dayworld Rebel you use entomology as a symbolfor a secret society. Is Murdstone perhaps an agent in a mysterious game about which Doc knows nothing? Cauchon and Duntreath are mysterious as well, and even Doc cannot reconstruct the events that led to their deaths. And the baron is even more of an enigma. If I could venture a guess, I'd say that all four men, five if you include Sunlight, are members of opposing secret societies, with an agenda hidden from regular mortals. Certain members are assigned to keep tabs on other enemy members. Doc may be a potential member (as in A Feast Unknown) and that is why the baron knows Doc's file. Perhaps the high up members are not of terrestrial origin. Or maybe they're of sub-terrestrial origin. They may be members of the race which Doc encounters in Up from Earth's Center or in your proposed Doc novel Invisible Nation.
In any case, those are my lines of reasoning. Any information which you can give me to confirm or shatter my theories will be greatly appreciated. If you have problems with me submitting the article as it is or in any form, let me know and I shall accommodate.
Thank you for your time and the many years of good reading.