AMAZING NEWS: You Just Lost An Hour Edition 3/14/21

Harlan Ellison and Trina Robbins

Video of the American Nazi Party Meeting at MSG (yes, it happened here)

Fifteen Underrated SF Films;  list depends heavily upon your definition of “underrated”

Octavia Butler just had a landing site on Mars named in her honor.  Here’s a link to other commemorative namings throughout the solar system

And speaking of – Pilot ordered for adaptation of Butler’s Kindred

The Shat will celebrate his 90th birthday on the bridge of the Enterprise

RIP Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth

More Dune influence on Star Wars?

Feige on Falcon and Cap’s shield

Beijing intends to “destroy” the Uyghurs according to the first independent report

Metallic Glass stronger than steel (still, “Man of Glass” doesn’t have the same ring)

YET MORE research suggesting FTL is possible

Portrait of a Chinese SF Star

A Little closer to home:  Sigourney Weaver confirms work on Galaxy Quest sequel

Never look down the barrel of a gun.  Or a light saber.

“Hacker-activists” create massive website for tracking January 6th insurrectionists

Wild Cards moves to Paramount

Two favorite SF People together:  Susan Wood with A. Bertram Chandler

Five new SF Adventure Novels

Take a look at NASA’s lead software engineer for Apollo (Better yet, look at the stack of code needed!)

An anti-matter particle collided with Earth!

Asteroid Passes Close Enough to Earth to Miss!

DC Warns about using their IP for NFT

NFT’s use blockchain to create a unique individual copy of an electronic file, such as an image.  Everyone should know that at the current time, anyone can submit content – they do not have to be the owner of the rights to the digital object.

UFO Publishing announces the release of issue 10 of Future SF


FANAC Fan History Project                       FANAC Newsletter 15

March 13, 2021

Welcome to a new year that has started nicely. Vaccinations are going up. Virus infections are going down. Fanac continues. Our FANAC Fan History Project has been very busy. Here’s our news. If you would like to read our formatted PDF version of this FANAC Newsletter 15, it’s here –  FYI, the Newsletter is 7 pages long.

ZOOM Into Fan History:  We’ve had lots of positive response to our Fan History Zoom sessions. Thus far, we have held three very different programs, and each of them had an involved and attentive audience. Since we’re not constrained by a convention time clock, the programs can be as long or as short as the discussion takes. We’re scheduling more Fan History Zooms, and have put up a schedule at If you miss any programs, you can catch the recordings on our YouTube channel.

The next Fan History Zooms: The Benford Twins, Fandom and the Larger Universe with Greg and Jim Benford. Greg and Jim will talk about their fanac over the years and about the important and interesting people they’ve met. What influence did fandom have on them? Did relocation change their interactions with fandom? How have their professional lives influenced their fanac, and vice versa? Join us, and expect a few surprises.
 March 27, 2021, at 2:00 pm EDT, (11 AM PDT, 6 PM London, 6AM Sunday Sydney). RSVP to  for the Zoom link.

Tentative future sessions:
• April 17, 2021 at 2pm EDT – Early Star Trek Fandom, with Ruth Berman and Devra Langsam
• May, 2021 – Interview with Erle Korshak by Joe Siclari
• June, 2021 – TBD
After June, we may switch to a Quarterly schedule.

YouTube Channel Anniversary: March 9 was the 5th anniversary of our Channel. We’ve uploaded 100 audio and video recordings, gained 783 subscribers, and garnered over 108,000 views. Recordings range from the 1960 Pittcon Guest of Honor speech by James Blish to the 1976 appearance of Mark Hamill and Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz at Big Mac to our recent Zoom session recordings. Our most viewed recording has over 30K views, and 8 audio recordings have had over 1,000 each. There’s a series of fannish interviews with folks like Bob Tucker, Forry Ackerman and Walt Willis. There are convention panels, GoH speeches, filking, fannish dramatic productions like Anti-Fan, and even Jon Singer’s very credible imitation of a mimeo. Thanks to everyone who helped by providing advice, recordings, format conversions, photos for the audios and everything else. More to come!

FANAC Fan History Project website
What Shall We Scan Next? Our top priority has been to rescue the oldest, most endangered fanzines and preserve their digital likeness. But as you can tell from a glance at the archive, we scan much more than those. Our scanning priorities have often been driven by our “special projects”. In 2017, we started the Newszine Project, intended to enable researchers to easily find contemporary reports of fannish events. Today, we have more than 3,700 newszines online, and an up-to-date chronological listing of them (link at the bottom). In 2019, we put together a core list of fanzines to scan (which you can see at We have now uploaded 77% of the issues on that list. In 2020, Mark Olson began an effort to put convention publications on line. We now have more than 2,380 on
In 2021, with the regular posting of homepage BNF spotlights, and the addition of the FANAC Zoom sessions, we’re adding in fanzines that support both. For the Susan Wood spotlight, with the help of Eli Cohen and John D. Berry, we added columns and additional publications by Susan Wood. For the Southern Fandom Zoom, we added close to 100 issues of fanzines published in the South (including over 60 Southern Fandom Confederation Publications). There’s more about what we want to scan at . If you have materials that you can scan, please let us know and we’ll set up a Dropbox for you to send them.
Recent additions: The most notable batch of recent additions comes from the able scanning of Perry Middlemiss and Irwin Hirsh. If you read the weekly updates, you will have seen a slew of fanzines by the late John Bangsund which they’ve scanned including Australian Science Fiction ReviewPerergon PapersPhilosophical Gas, and Scythrop along with a number of less weighty titles such as Les Souris DansentLodbrogNew Millennial HarbingerStunned Mullet, and Crog – a hint for you on an upcoming spotlight page.
You’ll also have seen some early Star Trek zines from the 60s and 70s in support of our April Zoom session with Ruth Berman and Devra Langsam including T-Negative and Spockanalia.
In addition, check out Lee Hoffman’s Self Preservation, Bruce Arthurs’s Godless, Dick Eney’s Speculative Review, Bill Rotsler’s Tattooed Dragon, Leigh Couch’s Sirriush and Dave Langford’s Twll-Ddu. There are many more worthwhile zines that have been added including those that fill in gaps in the runs we have. From our core list we’ve added 3 more issues to Fantasy Commentator (A. Langley Searles), 12 issues of Les Spinge (Darroll Pardoe), 5 issues completing the run of Minac (Ted White and Les Gerber), 2 issues plus Handbooks added to Operation Fantast (Ken Slater), 5 issues of Rhodomagnetic Digest (Don Fabun), 1 to ShangriL’Affaires, 2 to Spacewarp (Art Rapp), 3 to Stellar (Ted White) and 15 to Trap Door (Robert Lichtman), and all these just since the beginning of 2021. Links to all the fanzines:  
PDF Replacements: The reason for digitally archiving fanzines is to make them accessible to fans everywhere. When someone hears how wonderful a storied fanzine like Quandry or The Acolyte was, they can use the archive to read the issues instead of just wonder what they were like. Originally, in the 1990s, we started retyping issues (and hey, thanks Judy Bemis!). In the 2000s we started putting up JPGs of each page, so readers could just click their way through. Now, we’re putting up searchable PDFs. One of our projects is to replace those fanzines that were accessible in typed or JPG form with searchable PDFs. Since the last newsletter, we have replaced our complete runs of the following titles with searchable PDFs: Aporrheta (H. P. Sanderson), Bane (Vic Ryan), Double Bill (Bill Bowers and Bill Mallardi), Fanscient (Donald Day), Fantastic Worlds (Edward Ludwig and Sam Sackett), Granfalloon (Linda Bushyager), Hyphen (Walt Willis and Chuck Harris), Innuendo (Terry Carr), Mota (Terry Hughes), Slant (Walter A. Willis), Stellar (Ted White and Larry Stark), Toto (Walt Willis et al), and Void (Jim and Greg Benford, Ted White). We’ve also replaced all the issues we have of: Cry of the Nameless (134 issues, F. M. Busby, Wally Weber, et al), Outworlds (70 issues, Bill Bowers, except for a one page flyer), and Spanish Inquisition (8 issues, Jerry Kaufman and Suzle Tompkins).
By Country: Since the last newsletter, we put up a “By Country” listing. As of now, it shows fanzines from 16 countries from Argentina to the USA and for each we have listed the number of titles, issues and pages. The Country listing is definitely a work in progress. We’re gradually adding some new capability, and have started listing city along with country. Eventually we plan to have heat maps of where fannish activity has been concentrated. For now, it just looks a little funny as we add the data but haven’t got the formatting right yet. Watch this space.

Fancyclopedia 3 –
Fancyclopedia has grown to over 27,700 pages. In addition to new material, there’ve been some changes that we think make Fancy more interesting and useful.
Who is that guy? – You’ll see photos starting to appear on the Fancyclopedia people pages. For examples, see pages for Bob Tucker or Abby Lu Ashley.
Direct link – We’re putting links to the appropriate and YouTube Channel pages at the bottom of the Fancyclopedia pages. For instance, at the bottom of is a link to the fanzines themselves on The MagiCon page links to the MagiCon publications and to recordings from the con.
 Resolving thorny questions – As a special addition to this newsletter, we’ve included articles by Leah Zeldes Smith and Laurie Mann on using genealogical tools to resolve questions of Fan History. Leah has been tenacious about getting more detailed information on many fans, and Laurie has turned her genealogical skills towards helping.
We know that fans have used our sites for creating anthologies and collections and even to help write a family history. We’d love to get more pieces about how you use the resources we are providing.

FANAC Fan History YouTube Channel
We’ve added seven programs (in 10 pieces) since the last update. Of those seven programs, three are recordings of our Zoom programs and account for 6 pieces. When sessions are much more than an hour, we break them up. Let’s start with the non-zoom pieces.
Noreascon 3, the 1989 Worldcon, had a very robust masquerade. We’ve put the N3 official masquerade recording online in two parts. Due to copyright laws, YouTube required us to silence the music for a few of the songs. However, if you enjoy costuming, and admire workmanship, this is a particularly good masquerade, IMO. Thanks to Dr. Gandalf for format conversion.
“Science Fiction as Social Criticism”, an interview of Frederik Pohl by Fred Lerner was broadcast in 1963. This half-hour audio recording includes Fred Pohl’s opinions on advertising, the current SF scene, and his own work. From the description — It’s worth noting that this is the second interview Pohl did that day. Interviewer Fred Lerner tells us that “the recording engineer was so interested in what Pohl had to say that he forgot to turn on the recorder. Fred Pohl was gracious – and patient – enough to repeat the interview!”
If you enjoy filk, then check out the Leslie Fish concert from Tropicon 6 (1987). Leslie wrote her first filk in 1963, and is still writing today. The set list includes “Black Powder and Alcohol”, “Blue Bread Mold” and an evocative rendition of Don Simpson’s “Ship of Stone”. Thanks to Eli Goldberg for his help in putting this together.
In 1978, Harlan Ellison was the Worldcon Guest of Honor (Iguanacon). This audio recording is part of his “Burning the Phoenix” session, essentially a GoH talk. It’s full of anecdotes and casual asides, and very much Harlan in all ways.
The Zoom sessions were great and the recordings are faithful. Rob Hansen, British fan historian, gives a virtual tour of fannish Holborn (London) that includes decades of context related to the fannishly important places he visits. Ted White’s interview lasted 4 hours over 2 days, and the 4 videos that came from it are well worth watching. The notes on each help with a list of the important topics covered, so if you have a particular area of interest, you can focus on that recording. Our most recent zoom session, “An Anecdotal History of Southern Fandom”, brought about 200 years of fannish experience together to talk about the people, places, conventions and publications of this surprisingly cohesive group. More to come!

Donations: We’ve had offers of financial donations from folks who like what we are doing and want to support it. In response, we’ve put a “Donate” button on our front page. The button takes you to PayPal to contribute. All moneys go toward our projects, of course. We are a 100% volunteer organization.

Navigation – Access, Easy Access:
1. Feature Splash Page – Our homepage changes every 6 weeks or so, and spotlights a featured fan. Included are listings of all the material we have on our sites about that person, and even a few external links.
2. FANAC BNF and Special Topics Pages – where old Splash Pages go to live. It also includes references that were not splash pages.
3. Fanzines by Country – Sample the fannish vibes from different parts of the world. Most of the fanzines are in English, but there are a few non-English ones. Google Translate is a great companion to browsing the Country list. BTW, we have the first Japanese English language fanzine, and several early German fanzines.
4. Searchable PDFs. These not only preserve the look and formatting of the original material but they make ego-scanning even easier (and scanning for anything else of course). They are also easily downloadable so you can take the publications with you for later reading. We will eventually convert all our older publications to this format.
5. What’s New subscription – in addition to accessing our twice weekly ‘What’s New’ Updates at, you can get these updates sent to your email as they are posted. They provide a detailed list of all the material we have added with direct links. To receive these, send a note to FANAC-Updates+
6. Specialized directories on unique themes. Example: Cosmic Circle Publications lists titles produced by all of Claude Degler’s Cosmic followers. The Fanthologies, Collections, and Festschrifts directory puts together all those publications devoted to a single person (along with all the other Fanthologies).

FANAC by the Numbers. To give us some idea of the progress we are making to document our fan history here are the numbers as of today:
We have added 1,358 issues in the last 4 months, giving us 14,068 fanzine issues (covering 809 titles) with more than 236,015 pages. This is up from the 12,710 fanzine issues and 208,554 pages reported in our November update. This is still an undercount because many of the smaller size zines are often scanned two pages at a time as well as the HTML files which count as only one page.
Our new Convention publications listing has 2,381 publications from 596 conventions with 49,052 pages. From the 81 Worldcons, we have 1,243 publications and 29,971 pages.
Our YouTube channel now has 100 recordings with 783 subscribers, and 108,596 views, up from last time’s 89 recordings, 696 subscribers, and 98,146 views.
Fancyclopedia 3 has an enormous amount of information in its 27,722 pages, with entries for 5,991 people, 7,396 fanzines, 228 APAs, 1,293 clubs and 6,907 conventions. Fancyclopedia 1 by Jack Speer (1944) was 103 pages. Fancyclopedia 2 (1959) from Dick Eney was 186 pages. Fandom has grown a bit.

Anniversary Year – In many ways, this is an anniversary year. The website was started 25 years ago. Mark Olson took over Fancyclopedia 3 exactly 10 years ago. Edie Stern became FANAC webmaster 5 years ago (taking over from Jack Weaver, our webmaster for 20 years) and also started the Fan History YouTube channel. These last five years have seen wild growth of the Fan History Project. Look at the numbers in the section above.
We have the approval of hundreds of editors to put their publications online and have become a repository for many publications for various S-F organizations including ASFA, BSFA, BSFG, FACT, First Fandom, LASFS, Minn-Stf, NFFF, NESFA, Science Fiction Foundation, SFSFS, and WSFA. Could your organization be next?
This is a collective project. Hundreds of you are providing contributions from the small to the colossal. We are the coordinators but take a look at our list of Contributors at It keeps growing every month. If you’re not listed and should be, we apologize. Drop a note to .

We could use some help in two areas: Publicity and Correspondence
Publicity: Where should we send information on what we’re doing? Are you part of a club, or group that would be interested? Are you a social media maven who has a list of relevant sites? So many people are working hard on the Fan History Project, and we just want to honor that by making sure that we get the word out to those that would be interested.
Permissions: Are you an experienced fan with a heavyweight contact list? We need help in correspondence. Since we ask permission before we put material up, there’s a lot of scrabbling for email addresses, sending requests and responding to the responses. If you are willing to help with some correspondence, please send a note to me at  .

Coming Attractions: We will be adding many more non-US fanzines to, from Europe, Asia and Australia, mostly in English. We have large additions of Australian fanzine in progress. We have many recordings for our YouTube channel to choose from and our Zoom series is providing us with more.

Please pass this update on to any fan or list where you think it might be of interest. Those interested in subscribing can sign up on the home page.

We often close with a funny line about Fan History. This time, we’ll just say get your jabs and we hope to see you in person in the coming years. Stay safe!

Fanhistorically yours, Joe Siclari, Edie Stern and Mark Olson
PS from Edie – don’t forget that there are articles below the links!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Contributors this quarter: Again, we have received new material from many fans including: Mowgli Assor, Jim Benford, Ruth Berman, John D. Berry, Leybl Botwinik, John Bray, Bill Burns, Elinor Busby, Darah Chavney, Ron Clarke, Eli Cohen, John Coker III, Linda Deneroff, Alistair Durie, Leigh Edmonds, Ahrvid Engholm, Dr. Gandalf, Janice Gelb, Kim Gibbs, Eli Goldberg, Roelof Goudriaan, Anne Gray, Rob Hansen, Irwin Hirsh, Kim Huett, Robin Johnson, Steve Johnson, Jerry Kaufman, Dave Langford, Evelyn & Mark Leeper, Fred Lerner, Polina Levontin, Robert Lichtman, Andrew Lippert, Guy Lillian III, Michael Lowrey, Rich Lynch, Sam McDonald, Laurie Mann, Paul March-Russell, Gary McGath, Lori Meltzer, Perry Middlemiss, Murray Moore, Karl-Johan Norén, Joe Patrizio, George Phillies, Bill Plott, Andy Porter, Thomas Recktenwald, David Ritter, Robert Runte, Ell Schulman, Steven Silver, Leah Zeldes Smith, Dale Speirs, Alan Stewart, Matthew Strait, Bjo Trimble, Pat Virzi, Jo Lindsay Walton, Ted White, Peter Young, Taral Wayne, Jesse Weinstein, and input from Sandra Bond, Thomas Bull, Udo Emmerich, John Hertz, Bruce Mai, Tracy Poff, Suzle Tompkins, and Amy Wolfthal. If you belong on this list, and I’ve left you off, then my apologies.

Selected links:
Facebook Group
Fancyclopedia 3
FANAC Fanhistory YouTube channel:
Zoom schedule:

Core List: to Scan:
Chronological Listing:
Newszine Project:

Chronological Convention list
Convention Publications:
Worldcon Photos:

FANAC Fanhistory YouTube channel:
Noreascon 3 Masquerade (1989 Worldcon), part 1 –
Fred Pohl Interview by Fred Lerner –
Leslie Fish concert (Tropicon 6, 1987) –
Harlan Ellison at IguanaCon (1979 Worldcon –
FANAC Zoom programs playlist –

The FANAC Fanhistory Project is a project of The Florida Association for Nucleation and Conventions (FANAC) Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization recognized by the IRS. is archived by the US Library of Congress for long-time preservation and future availability.
Natter, by Leah A. Zeldes – Other people’s genealogy
(originally printed in Unsettled #69)

I am no genealogist. In fact I’ve harbored kind of a prejudice against them, ever since we went to Dick’s family reunion, run by genealogically inclined relations, and they gave him two nametags because he’s connected to the family in two different lines, but I wasn’t deemed to need any because I’m only married in.
I’m not even very interested in my own family, which is a good thing, because researching them would be nearly impossible — all of my grandparents came from places where they don’t speak English and records were largely not kept or destroyed — and finding out exactly how many of my forebears were killed in pogroms would likely be depressing. Enough other people have done research for me to know that my folks (and Trinlay and most of the other Jews you know) were all descended from the same “bottleneck” shtetl of some 350 people in Europe in the Middle Ages, and that’s good enough for me.
There’s no denying, however, that when you’re doing historical research, genealogical data can be helpful.
Fortunately, I know other people who do that sort of thing, and running up against some walls in the work I’ve been doing for Fancyclopedia, I reached out.
I’d found a photo of a grave of a Michael Farinelli, and I wanted to know if it belonged to our Mike Farinelli (a great guy, if you didn’t know him). After a lot of fruitless searching, I posted the pic to Facebook and tagged Laurie Mann, a mutual friend. She didn’t know offhand, but logged into and found out in seconds.
Our next challenge was Jonquil Leiber. I don’t understand how this woman is so little known. In the 1930s, she initiated a correspondence with H. P. Lovecraft, that would be a lifelong inspiration for her husband, Fritz. The letters have been collected in some books, Fritz wrote poetry to her, his novel Conjure Wife was inspired by her, they both hung around with LASFS and went to cons, they were married some 30 years, and her death sent him into a three-year drunken binge.
And I couldn’t even find her birthday on the internet. Nor much about her life after the ’30s, except that she once served Yorkshire pudding at a party. (She was English.)
Laurie easily found her birthdate, confirmed that she was born in England and turned up the interesting sidelight that Fritz had briefly been an Episcopal minister. We still don’t know much about her life, but more than we did. I got a few more details, but not many by phoning an L.A. friend.
Others have been more challenging. BNF Walter J. Daugherty introduced two young women, Eleanor O’Brien and Virginia “Jim-E” Laney to LASFS early in 1940, and both became active in fandom and the club. He married Eleanor in June 1941, according to a fanzine announcement. By 1945, he was married to Virginia. What happened? We can’t find proof, outside fanzines, that any of them, including Walt, even existed.
A woman named Evelyn “Lyn” Leipiar was credited in Fancyclopedia as having edited an issue of Shangri-LA, the LASFS clubzine. Louise Leipiar was the married name of L. Major Reynolds, a minor pro, whom a couple of fannish sources mentioned as the mother of June Moffatt, a well-known L.A. actifan, who died in 2018. Stood to reason that Lyn was a relative, right?
Not only couldn’t Laurie find out anything about Evelyn, she couldn’t find any evidence of a relationship between Louise and June! I checked the LASFS membership list and found an earlier name of June’s was Poulson, which just made things more confusing, since it turned out to be her birth name, Laurie found, and Louise was still using Leipiar after June was born.
Meanwhile, in a careful reading of the fanzine Lyn Leipiar supposedly edited, which is credited only to “LL,” I found a casual reference to Louise — making it clear that it was she who was editor. Lacking any other evidence to her existence I have concluded that Lyn is a figment, and we deleted her.
That still leaves us pondering the relationship between Louise and June, but since one of the sources saying they were mother and daughter was June’s husband Len Moffatt, we’re letting it stand.
Other meanderings through fanhistory:
* The term Big Name Fan was an invention of BNF Charles Burbee in 1948. I got a citation in the cool new Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction for tracking that down. (
* Transferring the list of names, I realized at least a third of the pre-reg members of Chicon, the 1940 Worldcon, were fictitious — alter egos of some of the others. Forry Ackerman accounts for at least seven of them.
* But none of them are as interesting as Dorcas Bagby, a first-class hoax I dug up
* Sam Moskowitz didn’t invent the phrase “sense of wonder” — he wasn’t even the first to use it about science fiction. I haven’t yet found out just what he did say that caused it to be attributed to him.
* That inordinately useful phrase, “All fandom was plunged into war,” turns out to be a coinage of notorious fan feudist Cosmic Claude Degler.

Using Genealogical Records to Find More Information on (Mostly Dead) Fans
by Laurie Mann

Sometimes, genealogical records are a useful tool for locating information about relatives…or fans.
Genealogical records vary dramatically from state to state and from country to country. Many people use tools that combine records from many sources like US Census records are a great place to start. Due to privacy restrictions, the most recent census records you can search are from 1940.     Recently, I’ve started to give Mark Olson & Leah Smith a hand with research for Fancyclopedia 3. We were trying to straighten out how some attendees of the 1939 Worldcon, Nycon 1, were related. There were a few attendees with the same last name ( Were they related?
Multiple Nycon 1 registrants had last names like Alberti, Racic, Sykora, & Unger. I searched in the 1930 census through to see what I could find.
The first page about Rose Alberti for Fancyclopedia just said “Rose Alberti’ attended the First Worldcon in 1939. We assume — but we don’t know — that she was somehow related to Frances Alberti…”
After poking around in the 1930 US Census, I found a 1930 record. There are two Alberti sisters who would be late teens/early 20s in 1939, with the same first name of two Albertis who attended Nycon 1: Rose and Frances. There’s also a “Mr & Mrs D. Alberti” on the reg list – there’s a Dominick Alberti listed as being the father of at least two daughters in 1930 census.
When you start to work on census records, particularly in a big city like New York, you will find a surprising number of people with similar names and ages. So you want to see if there are other connections between people you find and fans you may be more familiar with. While I didn’t find much other information on Rose Alberti, I decided to give Frances Alberti, the other registrant a search. And a Sykora draft card showed up pretty quickly.
Sykora looked like a very good match for Will Sykora, who was also at Worldcon in 1939. One slightly confusing piece of this was there were both a Frances Alberti & a Frances Sykora at Nycon 1. A little digging showed that Will had a sister named Frances and then he married Frances Alberti in 1940. And Will & Frances’ parents also attended Nycon 1. And Frances Sykora later married Mario Racic, Jr. whose parents were ALSO at the first Worldcon.
So there were not only several weddings that emerged from attendees at the first Worldcon…there were also several divorces. But while marriage records are generally findable online, divorce records often aren’t. If you search in Fancyclopedia 3 looking for Alberti, Sykora or Racic, you will now find how those people who attended Nycon 3 were related and whether they managed to remain married.
But, you can’t always find whether people are related or not. Take Beatrice Unger and Julius Unger. There were at least 3 Beatrice Ungers in the New York area in the late 1930s. There were a surprising number of Julius Ungers, and I gave up trying to track them all down. None of the Beatrice Ungers I found was married to someone named Julius or had either a father or a brother named Julius. So perhaps Beatrice and Julius were cousins, or perhaps they weren’t at all related.

Copyright ©  2020 Florida Association for Nucleation and Conventions, All rights reserved.



We’re finally seeing some spring weather here in Toronto, and I’ve already had my newly tuned and cleaned bike out for a couple of rides.

I’m getting this newsletter out a little earlier than recent mailings, primarily so you can take advantage of a few time-sensitive bits of news, should you want to.

Here’s what you’ll find in this month’s newsletter:

Your feedback and questions are welcome. Just reply to any newsletter.

Free March Read: Symphony (plus an interview)

Symphony coverI was recently interviewed via Zoom by Taipei-based writer, Todd Sullivan, about plot development, specifically in my short story, “Symphony,” and in my writing in general. The interview is on YouTube here, as part of Todd’s “Plotting in Fiction” series.

So I thought it made sense to make “Symphony” this month’s free ebook short story, giving you the chance to both read the story and listen to the interview that focuses on the tale. Todd uses voice-only interviews then adds supporting visuals. I think he did an amazing job with his selection of images for this one.

I wrote “Symphony” for a science-fiction short story contest the Canadian literary magazine, Prairie Fire, was running at the time. Prairie Fire is based in Manitoba, Canada, and the contest was to commemorate Manitoba-born “Golden Age” SF writer, A. E. Van Vogt. Appropriately enough, Canadian SF writing great, Robert J. Sawyer, was the judge.

“Symphony” took second place in the contest and was also a finalist for the Aurora Award for best short fiction the following year. I read the opening few paragraphs to start the interview

The story: The colony ship, The Last Chance, has fled a plague-poisoned Earth with the remnants of the human race. Launched before completion of its biosphere, the ship is only partly self-sustaining. Humanity has to find a new home—and time is running out. It isn’t called The Last Chance for nothing.

When they find the planet, it seems a dream come true. Earth-like, breathable atmosphere, unpopulated. They name it Aurora, for the beauty that dances in its skies. At least, it had seemed beautiful at the time. Now they aren’t so sure.

Now people are dying.

Gar Franck is the ship’s communication expert. When signs point to a non-human intelligence on the planet, Gar becomes the key to communicating with it.

But how can he communicate with an alien being when he can’t even talk to his autistic son, Anton, or his increasingly distant wife, Clara?

“There are two stories in “Symphony”…both converge in a spectacular, explosive finale. Smith’s prose is poetic and evocative. He creates an intricate fabric of light, color, and sound with effortless flair. The story’s fluid style and the abundance of complex, wrenching emotions [make this] another recommended story in this issue.” —Eugie Foster and Marsha Sisolak, Tangent Online

“A strong SF-nal story about a ‘sentient light symphony’ that objects to humans colonizing ‘its planet.’ How would you communicate with such and how would it react to a baby who lacks all ‘human baggage’ are some of the issues addressed here. (A+)” —Fantasy Book Critic

Download your free ebook copy of the story here.

These free stories are my “thank you” for subscribing. If you enjoyed this story, please post a review for this story on Amazon or Goodreads.

Expert Session on Marketing & Selling Short Fiction

Expert Sessions webinarI mentioned last month that I’ve been invited to give a number of webinars on writing-related topics in 2021, and that I’d post the dates and deets here when any were scheduled. Here’s the first.

I’ll be giving a free webinar on marketing and selling short fiction on Thursday, March 25 from 1:00-2:00 pm, as part of the Indie Author Project’s “Expert Session” series. You can register for free here.

The Indie Author Project’s mandate is to encourage strong relationships between indie authors, local libraries, and readers by partnering with curators and libraries across the U.S. and Canada to find the best indie-published books.

My presentation will be drawn from my writer’s guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, and will focus on rights and licensing, finding short fiction markets, a strategy for selecting markets, submission advice, key contract clauses, and all the ways to leverage second rights (reprints) to keep selliing your fiction.

Here’s the webinar summary:

Take your first step to becoming a professional short fiction writer: join best-selling author, Douglas Smith, for this Expert Session on how to leverage short fiction in your writing career. In an engaging and conversational style, multi-award-winning author Douglas Smith will share how to market and sell short stories—and much, much more. Even experienced writers will find value here as Smith takes you from your first sale to using your stories to build a writing career.

Again, the webinar is free, so if you’re a short story writer or always wanted to be, I hope you’ll tune in! You can register here.

BookBub Deal on THE WOLF

The Wolf at the End of the World
BookBub is currently offering a great deal on The Wolf at the End of the World, my urban fantasy novel set in my Heroka universe.

Up until March 16, you can pick up the ebook edition of the novel for only $0.99 (or the equivalent in your country).

The deal is available here and is offered in Canada, US, UK, Australia, and India, via Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo, and Google Play.

But it only runs until Tuesday March 16, so don’t miss it!

March Ebook Bundles

Just a reminder that the ebook bundle promotion I mentioned last month runs to the end of March, and the books in this one are free:

You’ll need to sign up for the author’s newsletter but you can always unsubscribe later if you’re not interested.

Your Monthly Store Discount Code

Heroka bundle coverRemember, as a subscriber, you receive a 25% discount for all titles on my online store. This includes the Heroka bundle, pictured to the right, available only from my store.

This month’s code:  MAR2021-TJT2KY (expires Apr 30)

The store offers ebook editions of all my books, but also signed, personalized print copies of my full-length titles. Scroll down through the titles, or use the filters at the top to narrow your search.

You can also get more discounts:

  • another 15% off if you use the “Share” button to share any title on social media
  • another15% off if you refer a friend (and they’ll receive 15% off, too)
  • Additional discounts for select combinations (e.g., buy one of my collections, get the other for 20% off)

Ebooks can be downloaded directly, but you’ll also receive a BookFunnel link. If you’ve downloaded my monthly ebooks, you know how BookFunnel simplifies getting your ebook onto your reader.

Note: You can also shop my other storefront and buy directly from a retailer of your choice in your own country, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, B&N, Google Play, Indigo, and many many more.

Want to Be a VIP Subscriber?

It’s easy. Show me you’re a fan. Buy my books (here or here). Post reviews (on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, B&N, iTunes, or wherever) and point me to them. Read these newsletters. Reply with comments, questions, or suggestions. Follow me on Twitter or Goodreads or BookBub. Simply put, VIPs are my fans. I hope you’ll become one.

Your Moment of Zen

Since this month’s freebie was my story “Symphony,” I thought it fitting that I leave you with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s YouTube site where you can enjoy ever so many stunning short performances for free. Enjoy!


As always, thanks for listening and for your interest in my writing!


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First Fandom Experience Publications Eligible for Locus Award

I am writing today to ask you to support the efforts of First Fandom Experience.  Two of their most recent books have been nominated for Locus Awards this year:

·         The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom: Volume One, the 1930s

·         The Earliest Bradbury

For the past several years, I have been a member of the FFE project team led by David and Daniel Ritter.  I am very proud of the half dozen books that FFE has published.  I hope that you’ll already be familiar with their work, which has been mentioned in several issues of the First Fandom newsletter, SCIENTIFICTION.
Attached is an introduction to First Fandom Experience and some information on how you can vote for FFE in this year’s Locus Awards.

Thank you,

John L. Coker III


Resource for Black Travelers

In an effort to support Black travelers with concerns of racial discrimination and to help ensure they have safe travel experiences, our team of experts at Million Mile Secrets created, Airbnb while Black: How to avoid racism while traveling — you can check it out below:

Our guide provides insight on Airbnb’s response to accusations of racial discrimination, tips on how to prepare for travel to ensure a safe and successful trip, and alternative lodging options for Black travelers.


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