Most Wanted

I happened to catch a bit of America’s Most Wanted tonight, and they were talking about a guy named John Adams. I started to watch the show, to see what else they said about the guy. Some odd similarities emerged.

(1) He claims to write science fiction novels and screenplays. One web site said he claimed to worship the god RAH (others said Ra, the Egyptian sun god). Could RAH mean Robert A. Heinlein?

(2) He was a state trooper in Fairbanks, Alaska. My mom was born in Fairbanks, Alaska.

(3) His arrest warrant for kidnapping and murder was issued on July 31 (1998). My birthday is July 31.

(4) He claims to have studied UFOs. I took an anthropology/critical thinking class in college that was about debunking UFOs (among other paranormal phenomenon).

It was starting to get creepy until I realized his name wasn’t Adams, it was Addis. But still… if I was living in a fantasy novel, that would surely signify something.

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Here’s a tip for you slush writers out there:

Don’t indicate that you’ve read the submission guidelines unless you actually follow them.

For example, don’t send our writers’ guidelines flyer back to us with your submission–indicating, one assumes, that you’ve read it–if you’ve printed it on canary-colored paper, didn’t include an SASE, didn’t double space, and didn’t put your name on each page of the manuscript (all of which are clear violations of the writers’ guidelines). It’s just a bad sign all around, and even the most forgiving or optimistic editor can’t help but be discouraged by such a portent. Though it’s not necessarily a condemnation of your writing skills, it certainly doesn’t say much about your reading comprehension.

Okay, so the SASE, the double spacing, the lack of a name on each page… we can chalk those up to carelessness. But what’s the deal with the canary-colored paper? I don’t know why anyone would think that’s a good idea. The only thing I can think of is that he was trying to match our guidelines flyer, which is printed on canary-colored paper. But it doesn’t say “Make your submission look like this flyer” on it anywhere, so it’s not much of an explanation.

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In Lands That Never Were

The new F&SF anthology,

In Lands That Never Were: Tales of Swords and Sorcery
, arrived at our
offices the other day, and I got to take home my very own copy, personalized to
me by "the legendary" Gordon Van Gelder.  (He was described as "the
legendary" on the cover copy of the previous F&SF anthology,

One Lamp: Alternate History Stories From The Magazine of Fantasy & Science

I was
quite delighted to discover that it is one-third dedicated to me:


This book is for three Johns:

John Joseph Adams
John G. H. Oakes
John O’Neill

brave warriors in the barbaric land
that is contemporary publishing.


This is, I believe, the first time my name has appeared inside a book.  Go
buy it.

Table of Contents

  • The Hall of the Dead
    by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp

  • A Hedge Against
    Alchemy by John Morressy

  • Ill Met in Lankhmar
    by Fritz Leiber

  • Counting the Shapes
    by Yoon Ha Lee

  • Firebird by R.
    Garcia y Robertson

  • Dragon’s Gate by Pat

  • After the Gaud
    Chrysalis by Charles Coleman Finlay

  • The Swordsman Whose
    Name Was Not Death by Ellen Kushner

  • The Island in the
    Lake by Phyllis Eisenstein

  • Darkrose and Diamond
    by Ursula K. Le Guin

  • King Rainjoy’s Tears
    by Chris Willrich

  • The Fantasy Writer’s
    Assistant by Jeffrey Ford

(Curiosity: I keyboarded "Ill Met in Lankhmar,"
"A Hedge Against Alchemy," and "The Hall of the Dead" in order to produce and
electronic edition of the text for use in typesetting.)

Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that we’ll have copies of this available at our table in the dealer’s room at Worldcon this year.

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What an excellent day for an exorcism

Oh my god, that fucking Exorcist ad at is going to drive me insane!

What an excellent day for an exorcism.”

Argh! What an excellent day to turn off my fucking speakers and disable java on my PC! That’s really good advertising man — I didn’t particularly care about the movie either way, but now this ad has made me want to avoid seeing the movie just out of spite.

But on the downside, it’s made me want to avoid visiting SCI FICTION.

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News Skim Comics

Worth reading for the riff on The Shawshank Redemption… and for the epic battle between presidential hopefuls Redemopublicratican candidate Morgan Freeman and and Green Party candidate Godzilla. Brilliant stuff!

News Skim Comics

Thanks to Marc Laidlaw for bringing this to my attention (via
the Nightshade Message Board). I reproduce the link here for your amusement.

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