Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Friday, June 11, 2010

The New F&SF

I mentioned the James Sallis review, the other day. The review appears on pages 33-38 of the July-August double issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction -- an issue apparently not yet on the stands, since Rick Bowes reported on Facebook this week that he had yet to receive either contributor or subscriber copies as of yet ... while I had received a copy in the mail at midweek, not too long after having received an electronic copy of the review.

The published copy arrived here in Cashton thanks to special attention from Gordon Van Gelder. He sent the copy first class from New Jersey, bless his heart, in a manila envelope spotted with The Simpsons stamps.

An amusing aspect of the review that escaped me, on first reading, was that Sallis calls the biography "imminently readable" -- which means the book will become readable, any day now.

No doubt most readers will wait for that to happen, before investing in copies of their own.

... but in any case I remain impressed with the heartfelt response that Sallis has, to the biography. I feel a bit humbled.

For those who have too little or no exposure to the fiction of Bowes, by the way, "Pining To Be Human" displays many of its characteristic strengths and beauties. The first paragraph is magically effective:

"So many years later I can still see the Witch Girls gliding over the grass amid the fireflies of a summer evening. I first saw them the July when I was four. That season in 1948 is the first piece of time I can remember as a coherent whole and not just a series of disconnected images. That evening I saw magic and told no one."

Do those lines not transport you elsewhere than here?

The phrase suddenly occurs to me: "shattered continuity." Are Rick's words so convincing because of the shattered aspect -- or the sense of over-arching continuity ... the latter which gives many pieces of his fiction their mythic feeling?

Cheers ...

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