Our second candidate for big news of the month is last month's winner; the Ramble House edition of LOVE SONG. These books have been selling just about as fast as Ramble House can print them. Of the 70 unsigned $30 copies for sale; 33 have been sold, 12 are being held waiting on payment and 25 copies are left. Of the 25 signed $100 copies for sale; 16 have been sold, 5 are being held waiting on payment which leaves only 4 copies left! If you would like to get a copy, hurry up and email Mike before they are all gone.
It was Christopher Carey who first let us know about the Riverworld DVD and he also sent us some items of interest he found while looking through his collection of the Doc Savage fanzine, The Bronze Gazette. The first item is only marginally connected to Philip José Farmer but it should be of great interest to any Doc Savage fans out there. On the fan articles page you will find this funny comic strip and why we decided to put on the web site. Chris also sent us a scan of this really humorous letter that appeared in The Bronze Gazette, Vol 10 Issue #30.
Speaking of comic strips, we would like to bring to your attention Roland Trenary's fanzine Normal Bean where in the early 1980's there appeared a serialized comic adaptation of THE STONE GOD AWAKENS. Collector's take notice: the reason we are mentioning this now is that while recently visiting his website we saw that he now says "Back issues are still available at nominal cost, plus postage and handling." We can recommend this fanzine for both Farmer and comic collectors.
We added some reviews for the first time in a couple of months. Craig Kimber sent us two reviews from a magazine called Future Life, including the only review we have of RIVERWORLD AND OTHER STORIES. Dan Getz sent us three reviews from a fanzine called Constellation which are online, and a couple of other reviews that we still have not had time to type up. We now have 316 of 403 known book reviews online and we keep hearing from people what a useful and informative page it is. We're trying.
Last month we mentioned that Win Eckert's reply to the article The Wold Newton Theory Alternative Universe was going to be printed in an upcoming issue of Thriller UK. It appeared in the July 2004 issue, and Paul Spiteri, a British Farmer collector, sent us a scan of the cover for our articles page.
Speaking of Paul Spiteri, he just spent two weeks traveling across the United States and parts of Canada with his wife and two daughters. While they visited many places and saw many sites, the trip did have a heavy dose of the science fiction community. They started out in Seattle where they visited with Christopher Carey who took them to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. They worked their way to Illinois where they visited with Tracy Knight, author of THE ASTONISHED EYE before actually spending the day in Peoria visiting Phil Farmer himself. Their trip was concluded by four days in Atlanta where they visited with me and my family. Paul brought me several British paperbacks that I do not have on the website (and therefore did not own a copy of), and these will be scanned and added to the page in time for the next update.
We also spent some time talking about a Farmer Fan trip to England that we had hoped to do this past summer but has been put off until next year. If you are interested in traveling to England with a bunch of other Farmer fans and visiting such places as Stonehenge, Greystoke Castle, Wold Newton, Baker Street and other things mentioned in Phil's books, sign up for the PJF mailing list if you are not already on it. We will be talking about this soon.
You may be wondering why I am talking about the Spiteri's trip at some length instead of talking about more additions to the website. Well, that's just the problem, because of Paul's visit (just a few days before the 9th), I didn't have time to add enough stuff to the website to fill up this update!
The hit counter, as of just a few minutes before midnight, says 84,907 which is 2,335 hits since our last update.
Our old friend, artist Jason Robert Bell has a new edition of his comic book Caveman Robot out. Because it is dedicated to none other than "the brilliant Philip José Farmer", it has made it to our Miscellaneous page. Caveman Robot was at the San Diego Comiccon where he ran into Win Ekcert, webmaster of the Wold Newton Universe. Win, along with Wold Newton scholars Pete Coogan and Chuck Loridans, gave a seminar on Literary Archaeology and Parascholarship. Win has online lots of photos, an html version of the presentation and a review of the presentation. Soon he hopes to have a video version of the presentation on DVD, which will be available for a small charge, so keep checking his page for news about that. In addition to all that, Win further distinguished himself this month by letting me know about an article about Phil that we had never heard of; Is Tarzan Alive?
I mentioned in the last update that I (Mike) visited Phil and Bette Farmer in early July. Part of that visit resulted in the amazing one-of-kind manuscripts we now have for sale (I promise there will be some scans up soon). Another thing I discovered during that visit, but didn't have time to add to the webpage, is a very long letter that Phil wrote to Ed Connor, editor of the fanzine Moebius Trip. This letter is a rebuttal of a book review of FLIGHT TO OPAR that appeared in SF Booklog (we don't have that review online yet) that Phil took exception to. This letter is a great example of the amount of background work and detail that Phil puts into his books. It also makes you wish that Phil had written a dozen Opar novels as he had planned.
We had lots of scans sent to us this month and last month but some of them we still have not gotten to. Zacharias, as well us updating The International Bibliography sent us many scans of items we only had small scans of on the Short Stories page. We are slowly but surely updating all of these to larger scans and we really appreciate all of Zacharias' help. Dan Getz, another steady contributor to the web page, sent us scans of editions of four books that we did not have on the website; THE MAKER OF UNIVERSES, DARE, A FEAST UNKNOWN and THE FABULOUS RIVERBOAT. Dan also sent us scans of several reviews but we have not gotten to them yet so they will have to wait for the next update. Sam Leis, a fan in Australia sent us a scan of the same edition of DARE as Dan sent us along with a scan of the mass market paperback edition of A BARNSTOMER IN OZ. The latter cover needs some work before we can get it online.
Back in June we mentioned the article The Wold Newton Theory Alternative Universe that appeared in the British fanzine Thriller UK. At the time we recommended you just visit the Wold Newton Universe website for more accurate information about this great fannish pursuit. The story has not ended there. Win Eckert has written a Reply to this article which is going to be printed in an upcoming issue. The text of it is online here and well worth reading even without reading the original article first.
Speaking of Win, yet again, he has had a scan of Philip José Farmer's calling card online for a while now. I just added a web page for my own card which I just bought along with a very nice association copy of the first paperback edition of TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO. This copy of the book was given by Phil to Lester Dent's widow with this inscription, "For Mrs. Dent with thanks for her hospitality and cooperation in giving information for the Doc Savage “Life”. From Philip José Farmer P.S. I’ll send the sequel when it comes out.” The book also has a bookplate on the inside front cover with a picture of Doc Savage that says "the Lester Dent collection". I mention this not to brag (those of you new to the site have to understand that it is run by a pair of fanatical book collectors), but to bring up the subject of association copies and remind you of the inscribed Robert Block books we are selling for Phil.
The Scifi channel keeps showing the Riverworld TV Pilot, so we keep telling you about it. The next airing is on September 18th at 11:00AM.
The hit counter, as of this update, says 82,572 which is 2,737 hits since our last update, 700 more than the previous month.
We had a few scans sent to us by fans and other updates we were working on, but those will have to wait until next month. The first thing that occurred that disrupted work on the website were the further developments with the Ramble House edition of LOVE SONG. As we said in last month's update we need to get enough pre-orders for a $30 paperback printing of LOVE SONG in order to make the project big enough to get the book printed. In an effort to jump start this project I got Phil to agree to sign 25 or so copies! These signed copies are $100 and you need to email Mike if you want us to hold a copy for you. These books should be available in August. Now, if the number of signed copies pre-ordered goes beyond 25, we will try to get more signed, but we cannot make any guarantees. So if you want a copy, email me right away. So far 13 of the 25 signed copies have already been requested by some of the people who had already pre-ordered a copy of LOVE SONG.
It's almost a shame that this next disruption had to happen in the same month as us taking pre-orders for signed copies of LOVE SONG. But since it is one the biggest things to happen here in quite a while, we're not complaining. We don't usually have very many things for sale on this website but it seems that is about to change. I went and visited Phil and Bette Farmer at the beginning of July and we are now making available for sale some items that they have been thinking of selling for a while. All of this has caused me to redesign the PJF's Basement webpage and split it into several pages:
On the Books and Magazines for Sale webpage you can keep track of the number of signed copies of LOVE SONG that have been reserved. Reserve your copy, signed or not, and order copies THE GREEN ODYSSEY.
Then there is the Robert Bloch Inscribed Books webpage. Here you will find a great story about how Phil and his very good friend Bob Bloch began religiously inscribing and sending each other books and a few of these that are available for sale.
Finally we have the most exciting addition of the month, at least for serious collectors with deep pockets. The items we have for sale on the Original Manuscripts page are just that. These are not photocopies (with one exception as you will see), like we sell on the Photocopies of Unpublished Manuscripts page, but the actual typed pages with handwritten corrections. The ms. for The Adventures of the Three Madmen lets you see exactly how Phil went about changing and condensing the novel THE ADVENTURES OF THE PEERLESS PEER into it's shorter form. The ms. for the abridgment of JESUS ON MARS that never appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, but did appear in RIVERWORLD WAR, and all the related papers are a fascinating collection. Assuming these do not sell before I have a chance to do so, I will add some scans of these pages to the website in the next week or two.
The hit counter, as of this update, says 79,835 which is 2,037 hits since our last update.
Zacharias updated his International Bibliography on June 1st, and also sent us a review of FLESH in Fantasy & Science Fiction, December 1968 and a review of IMAGE OF THE BEAST in Amazing, July 1969. He also sent us a scan of the August 1960 UK edition of F&SF which contains Open to Me, My Sister and the Penguin 1984 reprint of TALES FROM THE VULGAR UNICORN, which contains Spiders of the Purple Mage.
Craig Kimber sent us three reviews that we didn't even know of; a review of A BARNSTORMER IN OZ in Analog, May 1983, a review of THE PURPLE BOOK in Analog, May 1983 and a review of MORE THAN FIRE in Analog, January 1994.
Rick Beaulieu also came up with three reviews we didn't know of; TIME'S LAST GIFT in Erbania 33 & 34, FLIGHT TO OPAR in Erbania 38 and THE ADVENTURES OF THE PEERLESS PEER in The Gridley Wave #74. He also sent us a scan of the 1992 printing of ALIEN SEX, which contains The Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod. The most interesting item added to the website this month also came from Rick; on the articles about page you will find the listing for THE HANSOMS OF JOHN CLAYTON. This booklet contains the history of the first ten years of the Peoria Sherlock Holmes Society, which Phil founded in 1977.
Rick and Paul Spiteri both sent in scans of The Wold Newton Theory Alternative Universe which appeared in two parts in a fanzine called ThrillerUK. We recommend going straight to the source, the Wold Newton Universe, for more accurate information about this great fannish pursuit.
Other additions to the website this month include information from Locus about two Conventions Phil was the Guest of Honor at in 1992. And finally I (Mike) bought a copy of A HOUSE-BOAT ON THE STYX, that is inscribed by none other than Philip José Farmer himself. I read the inscription to Phil over the phone and he is fairly certain that it is his old copy of the book. Since the book seller didn't state that this was Phil's personal copy I am more than a little pleased.
Last month's big news was the new Ramble House printing of THE GREEN ODYSSEY. So far we have sold about 20 copies of the book, but I know there are more Farmer collectors out there, so what are you waiting for, order one now! I now have three other Ramble House books, and I'm sure they won't be the last ones I buy. This is a great little publisher.
We didn't mention this on the web page last month but we did mention it in the monthly newsletter, if we can get enough people to say that they would buy a copy, Ramble House may just be able to print an edition of LOVE SONG. Most of you reading this have probably never read the book, as the cheapest copy now available is the hardcover reprint which sells for at least $100. If you would be interested in buying a copy of this book (the price would probably be $30), just email Mike so I can add you to the list. If there is enough interest Phil may let Ramble House print an edition of LOVE SONG, which will be the only affordable edition of the book.
The hit counter, as of this update, says 77,798 which is 2,401 hits since our last update.
We have added 25 new reviews, including some of the shorter Books Received notices, to the reviews page. An amazing ten of them came from long time contributor to this website Craig Kimber, including the only review we have online of THE ALLEY GOD. Once again, you can easily find these reviews by looking for the bright yellow NEW graphic.
Zacharias, webmaster of The International Bibliography, has sent us several items this month, including a great advertisement for the Fokker Press edition of A FEAST UNKNOWN, and two ads for Conventions that list Phil among the guests. He also sent us a scan of the new 2004 edition of WEIRD HEROES 1.
For the collectors out there, we have one new addition to the Publisher's Materials page. I bought this review letter along with a two page bio and a two page bibliography from John Langford at Gaabooks. John has a good selection of Farmer's books, including several uncorrected proofs and some signed books, and is one of the handfull of book dealers I have purchased from over the years who I really thought was a great guy. If you have been reading these updates monthly you know that I try to mention good book dealers and say thank you when I find them.
Rick Beaulieu, the mostly silent money man behind the scenes here, has the PJF Forum mostly fixed. You can get to most of the messages and you can once again post replies to messages.
On the off chance that someone reading this has not yet seen the Riverworld pilot it will be shown for the ninth time on June 1st at 11:00pm on the Scifi Channel.
And now on to what is by far the biggest news we have this month; a brand new edition of THE GREEN ODYSSEY! This brand new, slightly smaller than normal, paperback edition (with a dustjacket!) is by micro publisher Ramble House. Phil himself has long been a fan of Ramble House and their Harry Stephen Keeler books. Not only that, but the book has 12 interior illustrations by cover artist Gavin L. O'Keefe and an all new introduction by Roger Crombie! You may remember Roger from the August 2002, 50th Anniversary Celebration of The Lovers. He wrote an article about the event which was published in RG Magazine along with The Good of the Land, an unpublished short story by Phil that sat in the trunk for 47 years (a few copies of that are still available).
By now you should be asking yourself, "How can I get my hands on a copy of this new edition of THE GREEN ODYSSEY?" Nothing could be easier! Just send me $20 + $2 shipping. Ok, you may be wondering, "$20, for a paperback?" This is a hand made, no make that hand crafted, paperback book, with a dustjacket. I have one and I feel that is it worth every penny. Roger, who is a bit more eloquent than I, had this to say about the book, "The size and quality, the layout, just the whole thing, make it an absolutely worthy addition to my collection, one I am proud to own." Email me for an address to send payment to or you can always use paypal, just send the money to my old email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Books should be ready to ship by the end of the week!
The hit counter, as of 11:55pm on May 9th, says 75,397 which is 2,146 hits since our last update.
I literally walked into the bookstore at 3:59. After asking a few people I found Dunning tucked away in a corner still signing extra copies of BOOKED TWICE (a new omnibus edition of the first two Janeway novels). I looked around in dismay and then finally asked where the copies of the new book were. They had run out. My wife and I stood there in formal attire and I exasperatedly said to the store clerk, "We left a wedding early to be here and you ran out of books!" John Dunning looked up and noticed me at this point. After a moment of indecision I finally asked him, "I was just wondering, since the new book is about Richard Burton, if you have read a science fiction book called TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO".
He put down his pen and replied, "I had never heard of that book before, but a friend of mine told me about it a couple of weeks ago and I am reading it right now." Talk about timing! So I explained that I am Phil's webmaster and told him that I actually planned to buy four copies of the new book, for me, my mother, my father in-law and one for Phil, hopefully inscribed. So, since Phil has not read the first two books in the series I asked him to inscribe a copy of BOOKED TWICE to Phil. And he did! I was a little surprised he did this without any proof that I was who I claimed to be. For all he knew the book would wind up on ebay the following day as a $250 "association copy". Mr. Dunning was very nice and it really pains me that I wasn't at the bookstore at 2:00 since he gave a clinic on book collecting.
Now down to business as once again we don't have very many additions to the webpage. We have added two new items to the Miscellaneous page; Brian Herrmann sent us information about a new comic book called Alter Nation, of interest to us because the author states that his main inspiration is the Riverworld Series. Christopher Carey visited the Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle, and found in the Jimi Hendrix display acknowledgement of Farmer's inspiration for the song Purple Haze.
Dan Getz sent us a copy of the new SFBC edition of TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO. At this time it looks like they do not plan on reprinting the entire Riverworld Series. This edition is part of the 50th Anniversary Collection which appears to only be eight books.
We have a really nice addition to the Conventions and Programs page. Many items, including progress reports and a badge from the 10th World Science Fiction Convention, Phil's first convention. This took place in August 1952, the same month his first science fiction story, The Lovers, was published.
The rarest find this month, however, is a letter from none other than Kilgore Trout which was published in the SFWA Forum in November 1974. Many science fiction insiders thought the letter was actually written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
The The International Bibliography has not only been updated this month, but is has also moved to a new address: http://www.xs4all.nl/~rnuninga/.
The hit counter, once again inflated from people looking for this update since the 9th says 73,251 which is 2,446 hits since our last update.
So what does all this have to do with this update being late? Well, just like in college, a lot of the work on this website gets done the night before the deadline. Last Thursday I discovered that Christopher Paolini was going to be doing a book signing in Birmingham Alabama on Monday March 8th from 6:00 - 8:00pm. I took my daughter Kelly out of school an hour early so we could make the three hour drive from Atlanta. Paolini started a little late, and then read, talked and answered questions for about 45 minutes before he started signing books. We were number 210 out of about 270 in line so it was 9:00 before Kelly finally got her book signed. Click here to see a fuzzy picture and here to see an even fuzzier picture. It was worth the wait (and getting her home at 12:30am on a school night). Paolini was funny, interesting, gracious and really made the whole event something special for all the kids there. I was very impressed with him and even with the trip causing me to be late with this update, I'm very glad we went.
Now down to business: We have added scans of the final known Box Set, it's the British Riverworld set with 4 volumes (second from the bottom). Those came from Zacharias as well as scans of FIRST BLOOD and THE RIVALS OF KING KONG. Rick found a 1983 trade paperback edition of DANGEROUS VISIONS, that we had never seen before. We gleaned some information from The Proceedings: Chicon III (I love that cover) about the 20th Worldcon and added that to the Conventions page. We added an article about Phil in New York Review of Science Fiction to the Articles About page. Dan Getz sent us an ad for the new SFBC printing of TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO. And finally we added one Book Review that covered three books, FLESH, IMAGE OF THE BEAST and A FEAST UNKNOWN. This was sent to us by our favorite book seller Steve Ericson at Books from the Crypt (we also go The Proceedings from him).
Our last email went out in mid February and covered some things that are happening outside of this website: Jim Bauer has started a pjfarmer discussion group at yahoo.com. Zacharias' International Bibliography has been updated. Donald Mead was nice enough to let us know about his interview with Joe Haldeman wherein Joe says some nice things about Phil. Tracy Knight's book THE ASTONISHED EYE, (Phil wrote the introduction), has just been published in the US and you can get a signed copy direct from Tracy for $30 (including shipping) by just sending an email to email@example.com and asking nicely. Email him soon before he orders his next batch from the publisher.
The Riverworld pilot will be shown for the eight time on the Scifi channel on April 8th at 7:00pm. Speaking of the Riverworld pilot, it has been nominated for a Saturn Award in the category of Best Television Presentation!
The hit counter, hopelessly inflated from people looking for this update since the 9th says 70,805, which is 2,569 hits since our last update.
The most impressive addition to the web page this month is, without question, a new piece of Fan Fiction titled "On the Other Side" by Dennis E. Power. Dennis has written one Article and now three Riverworld short stories. As we said when we posted his second story, he just keeps getting better.
Last month we mentioned our experiment in contacting used book stores who have very large quantities of science fiction magazines listed for sale and offering them $1 per page for scans of the book reviews we need. This month we got three reviews from Rob and June Edwards. They have their inventory listed on Abe Books and I have bought many magazines and books from them over the last few years. They sent me some nice old reviews of THE GREEN ODYSSEY (from 1958), FLESH (from 1961) and STRANGE RELATIONS (from 1961). They also refused my offer of money and sent me the scans for free! These are some really nice people, who also, it should be noted, have a hardcover first edition of THE GREEN ODYSSEY for sale. However, don't bother offering them a $100 for it... I've already tried.
We have updated the Box Sets page with the addition of yet another British Riverworld boxed set. This one came out in 1985 and is the only one to include GODS OF RIVERWORLD (it's at the bottom of the page). According to Zacharias' International Bibliography, there was a British boxed set with the first three books (which we have), a British boxed set with the first four books (which we don't have) and now this one with all five books.
Just like last month we have an item for those of you collectors who are more interested in the old, harder to find stuff. We managed to find another copy of the old Peoria based fanzine from the 1970's, Moebius Trip #8. This issue contains the article, Philip José Farmer: Out of Confusion, Surprise by the editor Ed Connor. Some of us collectors had heard of this article but had no idea what it was about because it is so hard to find. It is mostly about Phil and Bette moving back to Peoria from Los Angeles and it reprints a local newspaper article about Phil's return and a couple of reviews from Locus Magazine.
Speaking of Locus Magazine, back in December Lee J Barrie posted a message on the PJF Forum saying that Locus was reporting that the Science Fiction Book Club is going to reprint TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO. Dan Getz has confirmed that by telling us that in this month's SFBC newsletter they say the book with be available in March.
Just in case you still haven't seen it, this is the last warning we can give you that the Riverworld pilot will be shown for the seventh time on the Scifi channel on February 28th at 5:00pm.
As we finish typing up this update at 11:40pm the hit counter says 68,236, which is 2,262 hits since our last update.
The only other review we added this month is a link to an online review of NIGHT OF LIGHT sent to us by Rias, webmaster of the The International Bibliography. He also sent us six more scans for the Short Stories page, which we still need to find the time to add more publishing detail to.
Thanks to Farmer scholar Christopher Carey, we have added links to seven ebooks. Unfortunately only THE GREEN ODYSSEY is entirely by Phil. The others are three different anthologies which contain his stories; DANGEROUS VISIONS 35TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, THIEVES' WORLD: FIRST BLOOD and THE ULTIMATE DRACULA. And finally the Dungeon Series, in which all six books have been reprinted in three volumes. We have also updated The Dungeon's thumbnail page to include the three double volumes that were printed in paperback last year.
Not that there is much to see there, but as you already know if you are on the PJF Mail List, just after last month's update we finally updated the Miscellaneous page. Farmer fan and collector Dan Getz sent us scans of the front and back of a Trivial Pursuit card which is of special interest to us.
For those of you collectors who are more interested in the old, harder to find stuff; we have acquired a copy of The Alien Critic #8 which contains a transcript of Robert Bloch's banquet speech from the 31st Worldcon. He pokes fun at many of the big names in the audience, including this excerpt about Phil. We've also added to our collection of Moebius Trip fanzines with issue #14. This reprints Leslie Fiedler's article, which began as a review of TARZAN ALIVE but wound up as more of a career retrospective, and was originally printed in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and was eventually printed in THE BOOK OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER. There is also a letter from Phil discussing some of the background of this article.
Just in case you still haven't seen it, this is plenty of warning that the Riverworld pilot will be shown for the seventh time on the Scifi channel on February 28th at 5:00pm.
As we finish typing up this update at 10:30pm the hit counter says 65,974, exactly 2,000 hits since our last update.
Three other additions around the page are the cover of the 1962 Worldcon Program added to the Conventions and Programs page. A great half page ad from the November 1983 issue of Locus for GODS OF RIVERWORLD on the Advertising page. And the item that once again, sort of keeps our streak alive. We've stopped finding out about pieces written by Phil that we never knew existed, but we do keep finding pieces that were never added to the website for one reason or another. The November 1994 issue of Locus is the Memorial issue for Phil's close friend Robert Bloch. Besides the many appreciations, Phil's among them, there is a long retrospective of Bloch's career. This has been added to the Articles page.
The most impressive addition to the page this month is a new piece of Fan Fiction by John L Thompson titled The Long Walk to Nowhere. He sent this note along with the story, which I am including here because he decribes the story better than I can:
Here is another story for the Fan Fiction Department, although it would be a hard one to classify. It is a story about Riverworld but with a different view.
What if the Ethicals had been experimenting long before the Riverworld concept? What if there were those that had been selected and used as an experimental model for Riverworld to live among us here on earth? Such legends and myths exist of the possibility such as the Legend of the Wandering Jew, The Flying Dutchman, etc., as an example.
The story that follows is one that follows along that vein and advances a theory into the Great Experiment by the Ethicals and their involvement here on earth throughout all history. The story is told in first person from Herdious Malchus who was selected by an Ethical (or Sentinel as he calls them) and was made (unwillingly) to live forever with the promise of death at the end of the experiment. He writes of his experiences and the many things he has seen in his quest to find the Sentinel and force him to give him eternal rest.
I also wanted to dedicate it to Barry Sadler and his Casca series as I've collected and read all his material on Casca since the early eighties.
Don't forget we are always looking for new fan fiction set in Phil's worlds or non-fiction articles about Phil's works. As you can see, if it wasn't for John and Rias I would have had nothing to talk about this month! I heard from a fan named Michael in California who is writing a college paper on Phil and how his life is reflected in his writings. Hopefully we will see this paper here online in a few months.
Phil had the flu this past month and has not given me an update about the new book. He may have gotten another chapter or so done before he got sick but I have not heard yet. Hopefully we'll have a progress report next month. The hit counter now says 63,974, only 1933 hits since last month. This might be our lowest hit total for a one month period since we became Phil's official website. Apparently when we don't get around to adding new material to the site, you don't come and check us out as often. Either that or our regular visitors have been too busy eating Thanksgiving turkey and doing early Christmas shopping to kill a few hours wandering around the site.
The streak (of adding some previously unknown rare item written by Phil to the website) is kind of still alive. We have added a new listing to the Articles page but it was not really a new find for us, just something we had not added to the web page. This is partially because we never had a copy and then once we did finally get a (photo)copy of this rare item we didn't really know where to put it on the website. Ok, enough rambling, we are referring to the lengendary Double:Bill Symposium. Eleven questions sent to ninety four science fiction authors and editors. It is a nice addition to the website, just not something we are really excited about because it is not something that we had not known of. This is really a great piece of science fiction history. Someone needs to reprint this.
We did not manage to add very much to the website this month. The biggest addition was the 38 new scans we added to the Short Stories page. All 38 of these came from Zacharias, webmaster of The International Bibliography, maybe if we hadn't gotten so many scans to deal with we would have gotten more done... just kidding Rias! We've also begun adding more publishing information on this page so that the lists of books make more sense when you see the same title over and over as books keep getting reprinted.
There are three new photos on the Photo Gallery page. One is from May 2001 taken on Phil and Bette's 60th Wedding anniversary and the other two came from Zacharias. They are both photos from conventions; CreationCon II in 1972 and Noreascon 2 (the 38th Worldcon) in 1980. Rias also sent us copies of magazines with reports on both conventions and we were able to add a lot of detail to the Conventions and Events page.
We only added 9 book reviews to the Reviews page this month. We now have the complete text of 262 reviews online, links to 15 reviews on other websites and we know of more than 150 other printed reviews still out there. If you have stacks of old science fiction magazines or fanzines hiding in the closet, do us a favor and look and see if you have any Farmer reviews we are missing. Type them up, send them in, and you could be famous for a month by having your name mentioned here. Ok, maybe famous is pushing it a bit...
A few people have asked why every month we update the Reviews page with next to the new reviews but we don't do it on any of the other pages. The problem is that for most of the rest of the website, we just forget the graphics are there, sometimes for several months. There is just too much to keep up with! However, on the Reviews page we do make it a habit to remove the gifs right after each update and then not upload the Reviews page until close to the next site update. So while most pages get updated a little at a time now and then, the Reviews page gets updated once a month, with all of the new reviews, in one shot. That page has just gotten so big that you need the graphics to help you find the new reviews.
The hit counter, as I type this at 11:43 pm, just barely making update on the 9th, says 62,041. That is 2,896 hits since the last update. Of course 700 or 800 of them might have come in today from people looking for this update...
Speaking of fans contributing... we have added 19 new Reviews, including a long review of BEHIND THE WALLS OF TERRA sent to us by Craig Kimber. Zacharias, webmaster of The Philip José Farmer International Bibliography, sent us 35 scans of book covers for the Short Stories page. In fact he sent us so many scans of second and third printings of anthologies that we are going to have to add the kind of printing detail we have on the Books page to the short stories page. We'll see how far we get with that this month.
The biggest contribution we got from a fan this month came from Paul Spiteri. While trying to find a copy of the poem In Common, which we have known of for years but have never been able to find a copy of, he found a copy of a poem called Black Squirrel on Cottonwood Limb's Tip that we never even knew existed! The streak continues, thank you Paul.
Rick, co-owner and mostly silent partner on the website, contributed scans and information from two Dallas Fantasy Fair programs which we added to the Conventions and Events page, and two great full page ads to the Advertising page. He also contributed one of the four new letters we have online this month, his coming from the Spring/Summer 1986 issue of Thrust, which talks about whether or not the Achievement Awards given out at the 1953 Worldcon are Hugos or not.
The most fascinating letter added this month pertains to "A Wild Weird Clime", which Phil has mentioned in print several times as you can see on the Announced Books page of the International Bibliography. In none of those mentions does he go into any detail as to what the story is about other than to say it is a fictional book about the science fiction world. In the very long letter which appeared in Science Fiction Review #38 he goes into great detail about a fictional book about the science fiction world he would like to write. He does not refer to it by the title "A Wild Weird Clime", but we have no doubt this is the same book.
Speaking of Hugo Awards (remember, up there, two paragraphs above) brings us to the biggest news this month outside of this web site. In 1994 Worldcons began awarding Retro Hugos for years prior to 1952 for which the first awards were given out. You might wonder what this has to do with Phil, since his first science fiction story appeared in 1952, the first year that awards were given for. In fact, at the 1953 Worldcon he won the award for Most Promising New Talent. As it turns out, at the 1954 Worldcon no awards were given for 1953. It was at the 1955 Worldcon that the awards were first officially called Hugos and they have been given out ever since. Here is a list of the NESFA 1953 Retro-Hugo Recommendations, on which you will find Phil's classic, and often reprinted, Mother in the Best Novelette category
Here's another reminder that the Riverworld TV Pilot, will be shown again on October 15th and October 19th. And finally, the hit counter, as I type this, says 59,199. That is an average of 2467 vistors a month, or 81 visitors a day (most of whom, like me, are probably poking around here when they should be working), over the last two years.