Sunday, February 1, 2009

Frederik Pohl's blog/ Updike/ Magazine schedule

1. I was fascinated to discover the relatively newly-started blog by sf great Frederik Pohl.  How to put this delicately...I wasn't sure until I saw it that Pohl was even still alive.  I didn't have any reason to think otherwise, but I'll it say it wouldn't have surprised me if I had heard that he had since passed on since so few writers whose careers reach back into the 1930s are still with us.  Truly a major writer and supporter of the sf genre with an amazing history, it is a treasure that he is still around and has decided to blog. Aside from his many, many novels and short stories, Pohl was in his earlier career a major editor as well. He edited the pulps Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories in the late 1930s-early 40s, and then in the 1960s edited both Galaxy and if. In the 1970s, he acquired novels for Bantam and also wrote prolifically. 

2. One writer who has recently, and rather suddenly, passed is John Updike. Not really the sort of writer who would be subject matter for this blog, I note it because of his significance to the contemporary American novel in general and because he was a gracious and entertaining interviewee when people in other media wanted him to talk about his craft. Some examples of this can be heard on the 1/29 installment of Terry Gross's Fresh Air which is compiled from some archival interviews from the 1980s onward.  I remember finding it annoying, years ago, that David G. Hartwell included in his anthology The World Treasury of Science Fiction (Little, Brown, 1989)  Updike's sole sf story "The Chaste Planet." It's neither a good example of Updike nor of the sf genre.  It absolutely would not have been in that book if it had been written by someone with less literary stature than Updike. It almost seemed like the Updike story was there just to pull up into mainstream "respectability" the much better stories by genre writers like Wolfe, Heinlein, Dick, Delany and Lem. Today I'll cut everyone some slack on that though.

3. I'm hoping to know soon as tomorrow when I can offer up the print M-Brane #1, and will go ahead and do so ahead of the 2/15 date if that is possible.  Depending on how it all shakes down, I might possibly move up slightly the rest of the schedule as well. I am considering moving #2 into Feb or maybe at least to March 1 (instead of 3/15) just so I can get it out sooner and also have the print "omnibus" of #1 and #2 available sooner.  If that happens, then the whole rest of the year will move up with it.  It shouldn't impact significantly any writers who have scheduled stories, other than their stories coming out a couple weeks earlier than planned, which I assume won't bother anyone.

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