LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dear Howard Wright & Michal Mims,

    Thanks for the latest issue of TBG. As usual, it's stimulating.
    Ben J. Francka points some errors in the chronology section of my Savage biography. Other Doconados have written me from time to time about errors in the chronology. I'm not surprised. It was written as an afterthought and with the deadline roaring like a tidal wave toward me. If I had to do it over again, I'd skip it, and if the book were reprinted, I'd eliminate it. A major problem was that so many tales were packed into within a relatively short time and that much of the timing of the sequence depended on references to weather at the time. Another is that the writers paid no more attention to chronology than Doyle did in his Sherlock Holmes stories. Now that Will Murray has continued the series within the same time frame, the problem becomes worse.
    By the way, "rememberance," which appears several times in this issue, should be "remembrance." Doc wouldn't misspell it, though I suppose Monk would.
    A note. If my TARZAN ALIVE hadn't done so well, Doubleday would never have given me a contract for the Savage biography. Its editor and publisher had never heard of him until I submitted my proposal for it. I know that such ignorance is almost incredible, but that's the way it was. And I couldn't, at that time, afforded writing it for a special press. But writing Doc's biography was tremendous fun and fulfilled a life long ambition for me (as did writing ESCAPE FROM LOKI).
    I have a bone to pick with the gentleman who doubted (in one of your issues) that ESCAPE FROM LOKI would be included in the Savage canon. Why not? It's a serious attempt to portray the young Doc's character, and it's based on the several novels by Dent to Doc's meeting his future aides in Europe during WWI. I'd planned other novels about Doc's pre-1933 years, including THE CRIMSON JAGUAR, set in the Amazonian jungle and showing why Doc decided it was too dangerous for any women he might be close to. But that project will probably never come about because of Bantams's financial problems.

          - Philip Josť Farmer

    [Actually, Mr. Francka was referring to some errors in the book by Larry Widen & Chris Miracle, Doc Savage, Arch Enemy of Evil. (And I must confess, I cannot find the reference that Mr. Francka mentions). As for the "remembrance" thing, oops! That's pretty embarrassing. My new mantra shall be "use the spell checker, use the spell checker..."
    I suppose that every Doc fan will have their own opinion about ESCAPE FROM LOKI. Here's my two cents worth. I believe that ESCAPE FROM LOKI was an accepted part of the Doc cannon or mythos long before it was written. Most Doc fans that I know of seemed to accept the idea that Doc met his men in a prison camp in WWI ever since it was first proposed in Apocalyptic Life. DC Comics certainly believed it, so much that they plageriazed Mr. Farmer's concept in their one and only Doc Savage annual. ESCAPE FROM LOKI is more a coming of age story than a classic Doc adventure and should be viewed as such.]