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Michael Bishop
Posted on Saturday, March 08, 2003 - 01:34 pm:   

Again, I want to apologize to anyone who may have dropped in at this site, left a message, and had it go unanswered for . . . well, too long a time. I'm teaching at LaGrange College this semester, and I seem to have to reinvent even courses that I have taught before. Anyway, my apologies.

In June, Golden Gryphon Press will publish a new collection of hitherto uncollected Michael Bishop fiction. The book is called *Brighten to Incandescence: 17 Stories*, and it features a wraparound jacket by my son Jamie, remarkably meticulous editing by Marty Halpern, and a kind introduction by Lucius Shepard. I understand that for a brief time the book is on sale at Amazon.com for 30% off the regular cover price. I hope to see some advance copies in May, but don't know for sure if that will happen.

If anyone's interested, I'll post the table of contents. Right now I'm concerned that my last SF and/or fantasy title appeared some three years ago (*Blue Kansas Sky*, a collection of four novellas, also from Golden Gryphon Press) and that my last full-length category novel (*Brittle Innings*) is now at least nine years old. In short, I feel as if I may be typing these words in a solipsistic vacuum. Hello out there.

Mike
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Michael Bishop
Posted on Saturday, March 08, 2003 - 01:40 pm:   

P.S. By the way, I have a website courtesy of my friend Michael Hutchins. He devised it, set it up, and periodically updates it. It's thorough and much more impressive than anything I could do. In fact, I don't *deserve* a website as good as the one with which Michael has gifted me. You can find it at www.michaelbishop-writer.com, and I hope you'll check it out. Thanks.
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RobertW
Posted on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 08:03 am:   

Hi in there--don't worry, we haven't forgotten you!

I'm looking forward to your new collection. And your story in the Silver Gryphon anthology, which, having had the privilege of reading the manuscript of it, I can say that people are in for a treat. Great story.

Robert
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Ellen
Posted on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 10:47 am:   

Hi Michael,
We're here and watching <g>

Hope to see more sf/fantastical fiction from you soon.
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Lucius Shepard
Posted on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 02:17 pm:   

I thought the introduction was understated, However, I'll never forgive you for making me take the "loogey" out. :-)

Lucius
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Michael Bishop
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 04:40 am:   

Dear Lucius, Robert, and Ellen,

Please remember, now, that it was Marty who called upon you to, uh, remove the "loogey" reference. I'll have to admit that his intervention was a genuine relief to me, but I never would have made the initial request, so great was, and is, my gratitude to you for taking the time to write the intro.

I'm glad to hear from the rest of you. I had the sense that my late start in getting to this message board had alienated all those who showed up here early and that from henceforth I'd be talking pretty much to myself, if to anyone. In any event, once I've finished this semester's teaching, I do hope to get some work done. Meanwhile, there's "The Door Gunner" in the Silver Gryphon anthology forthcoming -- thanks, Robert, for mentioning it -- and a novelette called "The Sacerdotal Owl" scheduled for an anthology called *Thirteen Horrors* and edited by Brian A. Hopkins set to appear in April at the World Horror Convention in Kansas City.

Mike
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M. Bishop, Proprietor
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2003 - 05:44 am:   

But, you know, I do enjoy talking
To myself: the conversation's a bit
Predictable, sort of like walking
Along a long-ago-laid-down path of stepping stones
To a place utterly comfortable and known,
Either to the toolshed for a shovel or the outhouse for a shit,
But at least I can count on a certain level
Of experiential literacy and nearly total understanding
Of where I'm coming from, and I hardly ever tell myself that my nose hairs needs plucking
Or that my opinion of the president warrants nothing more respectful
Than a rough shove in the chest.
Hi-ho, despite my solipsistic pleasure in eavesdropping on myself, maybe I'd best
Rerack my rake, provision the oaken crapper with a fresh roll
Of toilet paper, and buy a set of headphones.
Even the jejune ditties of the Backstreet Boys would have to be
More stimulating than this. Turn out the light, and
Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.


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Ellen
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2003 - 07:36 am:   

Hi Mike,
I've just gotten The Silver Gryphon antho and am looking forward to reading it. Also hope to get the 13 Horrors for review in YBFH #17. I've contacted the folk at the KC convention by email but received no reply. Do you know who is actually in charge of it so I can contact him/her?
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Michael Bishop
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2003 - 10:28 am:   

Ellen,

Try getting in touch with Brian A. Hopkins, the editor, at brian_a_hopkins@sff.net, although I believe that Ken Keller is the ultimate contact person for *13 Horrors*.

Yours,
Mike

P.S. That's brian_a_hopkins before the remainder of the e-mail address, of course.
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Ellen
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2003 - 04:25 pm:   

Hi Mike,
I emailed him. He has passed my email on to Ken Keller and Jim Loehr.
Thanks.
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Robert W
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 06:13 am:   

Here's the first review. Very favorable about our Mr. Bishop, from a website called Wigglefish.

http://www.wigglefish.com/stories/0001_0005_0001.cfm?id=1250
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Michael Bishop
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 10:06 am:   

Thanks for providing the URL, Robert. The author is Kilian Melloy, who also conducted an interview with me. I'm not sure at this point where or when it's supposed to appear, but I'll check and report back. I don't think the author is responsible for the typos. . . .
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Wrecksler
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 12:49 pm:   

I didn't misspell your name, did I Mr. Beership?
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JeffV
Posted on Sunday, May 04, 2003 - 08:04 am:   

Mike:

I ordered your GG collection yesterday. Very much looking forward to it. Then found out that my very wise wife had pre-ordered a month ago, so now we each will have our own copy!

JeffV
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Vince Perkins
Posted on Sunday, May 04, 2003 - 08:21 am:   

Wow! All this talk about Michael Bishop's writing and the wonderful stories he has produced over the years makes me want to haul out my old copy of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine with "The White Otters of Childhood" in it. I've loved the imagery in that story since I first read it -- hmmm, many years ago, I guess. Michael's great stories stay with me while others fade into the mist of memory. "Death and Designation...," "The Gospel According to Gamaliel Crucis," "On the Street of the Serpents," "Within the Walls of Tyre." So, so many delightful and incredibly written stories. I still think about what would have happened if he had actually written THE ORANGES OF HIERONYMOUS BOSCH. Well, I can dream, can't I? Thanks for everything, Mike.
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Vince Perkins
Posted on Sunday, May 04, 2003 - 08:36 am:   

Sheesh....I apologize, Mike. In my haste, I've had you penning a collaborative effort with Henry Miller. The novel you were going to write was actually CAPTIVES of Hieronymous Bosch. Heheh. In my dithering old age, it's oftentimes difficult to recall the real books, not to mention the books that people once thought they MIGHT write. Oh, well, I'm still dreaming.
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Michael Bishop
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 04:52 am:   

I kind of like Mr. Beership, in that it sounds Like a galleon full of reality-obliterating ale,
Sloshing in the deeps, both of its own hold and of my most grateful belly.
And as for Mr. Perkins's unsolicited encomiums about white otters and the oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, the walls of Tyre and other such unpent,
As opposed to captive, dreams, well,
My heartfelt thanks, which I also extend to Jeff and his very wise wife
For ordering a pair of copies of *Brighten to Incandescence*,
Beer-shipping soon from Urbana, Illinois, but not from Bathsheba, Nevada. Selah.
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William Shunn
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 02:22 pm:   

Hi, Mike! The rest of the world is a solipsistic vacuum until a new Michael Bishop book appears. I'm glad to know about Brighten to Incandescence, and will immediately go order my copy.

-b
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M. Bishop
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 05:03 am:   

Bless you, Bill. How goes it? And where do you reside - somatically speaking - nowadays?
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William Shunn
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 02:56 pm:   

Somatically speaking, I reside now in Queens with my wife Laura Chavoen. We've been there for nearly two years. I'm still selling the odd story here and there and trying to rope in a publisher for my big missionary memoir. (A well-respected university press was all set to take it until we died in academic review.) Meanwhile I'm a computer jockey for the National Council on the Aging. And I just had the quite uplifting experience of serving as a judge for the 2003 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, SF/Fantasy category.

-b
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William Shunn
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 02:58 pm:   

Bob Howe says hello, btw. We see him quite frequently, usually for oddball little arthouse movies. I just lent him my copies of the Philip Lawson books.

-b
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Mike
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 12:00 pm:   

Thanks for the update, and give my best to Bob Howe when next you see him. Good luck resurrecting the memoir for publication. Sounds to me as if it definitely ought to find a house eager to take it, but I've had a similar experience trying to place a contemporary novel, so I know the frustrations. In any event, thanks for visiting this discussion board and for dropping by at this segment of it.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2003 - 02:16 pm:   

Hey, Mike, as per your request I posted one of the "prayers" on my New Stuff thread.

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Mike
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 05:50 am:   

Thanks for the tip, Lucius. I've checked it out, and I like it quite a lot. By the way, my own copies of BRIGHTEN TO INCANDESCENCE arrived this past week, after at least three friends wrote to tell me that they had received theirs and that the book looked great, and I was glad to be able to join them, finally, in making the same assessment. I still recall going to a library in LaGrange a good many years ago and discovering that it had already processed my novel CATACOMB YEARS, so that its patrons could check it out, and Berkley/Putnam still had not sent me even a single author's copy of the book. Golden Gryphon Press did a much, much better job with me on the story collection, of course, but I'm always a little surprised - naively, at this point, I guess - that authors don't get their copies before anyone else in the world (except, of course, editors, publishers, and their friends, families, and creditors).
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 06:37 am:   

Hi, Mike...I haven't gotten my copy yet. I'm assuming GG was going to send me one. Hmm. Maybe not. Well, I'll just grab one off Amazon. Probably what everyone should do, huh? :-)
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Mike
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 11:10 am:   

I'd say, "You're kidding!" - except that I know you're not. Gary Turner assured me that Paul Di Filippo and Jerry Page, collaborators of mine, had received their books, and I just assumed that you would have had yours in hand even before these two fellows. Want me to send Gary an e-mail?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 03:51 pm:   

Nah, I'll do it. I wasn't sure I was getting one, but if I am. I'll send him an email.
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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 04:24 am:   

Be sure to remind him. There's no reason in the world that an introducer - or a blurber, for that matter - shouldn't receive a copy of the book in question. And if Gary won't send you one, then I will.
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peterw
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 11:06 am:   

Looking forward to the new collection, Mr Bishop!

Have to say that "Blooded on Arachne" is still one of my all-time favorite collections. Esp. loved Solstice (as I am an "ex-zoomie" myself).

By the way, when were you teaching at the Blue Zoo? I think I missed you by a couple years -- I graduated in '84.
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 06:31 am:   

Glad you're looking forward to the collection and that you liked Blooded on Arachne, which is still in print, just barely, from Arkham House. At the risk of making myself look like a (slightly) prematurely senile muttonhead, I never wrote a story or novel called "Solstice," so far as I can recall, and am guessing that the Blue Zoo refers to the Air Force Academy. If my last assumption is correct, I taught at the Preparatory School, on the Academy grounds, all the way back in the late 1960s/early 1970s, when I was very, very, very young, indeed barely older than some of the cadet candidates under my tutelage.
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peterw
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 08:12 am:   

No, I'm afraid that I have to claim the mantle of senility. Apparently I had Pinon Fall mentally conflated with another story. Regardless, it's still a great collection; I still own the paperback and have been meaning to get a copy of the Arkham hardcover for some time now. And yeah, the Blue Zoo is USAFA.

Peter
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Mike
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 05:25 am:   

Thanks for the follow-up, and for confirming that you still like the collection even if it doesn't contain "Solstice." Are you, by any chance, still in the Air Force? If so, you could be approaching a twenty-year career, next year, and the possibility of retiring. Anyway, I appreciate your dropping by this message board.
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peterw
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 10:15 am:   

No, I left the Air Force some time ago; straitjackets and salutes, I realized, are not my thing. So I now work for NASA. Do have a lot of friends retiring this year though (and for that reason --only-- wish I was still in.)

Picked up Brighten to Incandescence yesterday and will probably start it after I finish a book by the "other Bishop" here (KJ). I got a big laugh out of the picture/caption on the dustjacket, btw. Nice cover, too!

Thanks again for the excellent stories and for taking the time to reply to my confused ramblings
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Mike
Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2003 - 06:36 am:   

No more confused than mine. Thanks for picking up the collection. (I'll have to check out K.J.'s message board.) And I'm glad you got a laugh out of the photograph on the inside back cover. It should have earned my wife Jeri a photo credit, but Jamie and I got to passing the photograph back and forth through the mails and eventually got it into Marty Halpern's hands without applying the necessary tag. Jeri has (almost) forgiven us. But her snapping of the photo at that precise moment (Kirk grimacing onscreen, Jamie grimacing in my arms, and My Younger Self likewise squinching up my face) was pure serendipity.

If you work for NASA, I'm guessing -- I could be wrong, of course -- that you've met Geoff Landis. He attended a Clarion workshop in East Lansing, Michigan, the year I taught there and went on to win a Nebula Award for a story that we critiqued in one of our sessions during my week on the University of Michigan campus.
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Mike
Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 04:50 pm:   

Put a comma after "there" in my previous message. It was Geoff who went on to win the Nebula Award, and my sentence, without the comma, perhaps suggests that I did. Sorry.
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peterw
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 02:57 pm:   

Well, I just looked up Geoff Landis, and apparently he does work at my installation (JPL, in Pasadena). I'll make a point of getting in touch with him!
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Deborah Layne
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 10:25 am:   

Hey, Mike, I just got a copy of BtI, too -- read a few stories already and I'm enjoying it.

Nice coverand the flap photo is priceless.

Cheers --

Deborah
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Mike
Posted on Sunday, June 01, 2003 - 03:23 am:   

Glad you like the cover and the photo, Deborah. And forgive me, I've got to run. Jeri and I are off to visit my mom in Arkansas for a few days. Ah, summertime summertime summertime.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Sunday, June 01, 2003 - 06:39 am:   

Peter W., Geoff Landis actually works at Nasa Glenn in Cleveland--but he flies out to JPL so regularly that you've got a good chance of running into him.

(I'm in a writer's group with Geoff in Cleveland.)
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peterw
Posted on Monday, June 02, 2003 - 08:53 am:   

Thanks Maureen. When I looked up his name, it didn't give me a section or anything, so I couldn't pinpoint which area he was working in.
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Mike
Posted on Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 12:58 pm:   

Just wanted folks to know that I'm back after a week away. Glad that Deborah was able to help Peter determine where Geoff Landis works. I was surprised to learn that he was in Pasadena, but didn't know but that he may have moved fairly recently. Anyway, cheers to all.
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Deborah
Posted on Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 01:16 pm:   

Mike,

That was Maureen who helped -- I know nothing of NASA and where it hides its employees. :-)

By the way, I just talked to my mama in Bama and she reports high temperatures in the 70s and rain. Here in Oregon it's going to hit 93 or so for the 5th day in a row.

Now you folks can't have our weather -- and you definitely need to take this mess back. I'm wilting here.

Deborah
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Monday, June 09, 2003 - 07:43 am:   

Mike,

I just picked up a copy of Brighten to Incandescence a couple of days ago after Jamie came over and showed me his copy. The book looks great (even if they did crop the cover a bit), and the author photo still cracks me up. Jamie showed it to me last year, and it's absolutely perfect. Big kudos go to Jeri for her timing. I look forward to seeing you again at Trinoc-con this year.
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Mike
Posted on Monday, June 09, 2003 - 08:05 am:   

Deborah, Maureen, Jason,

My apologies to both Deborah and Maureen for failing to note that it was *Maureen* who pointed out Geoff's current work place, and my thanks to you, Jason, for getting your own copy of the story collection. I'll pass along your praise to Jeri for taking the jacket photo, and I'll add here that we, too, look forward to reconvening in early August at Trinoc*Con.

Deborah, as far as the weather goes, Jeri and I saw it all traveling from Georgia to Arkansas and back again in the space of six days, both fire and rain, as Sweet Baby James would have it, and we just aint responsible, although we certainly had to find ways to cope . . .

Cheers,

Mike
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 07:59 am:   

For anyone who cares, I'll be at the library in Sandy Springs, Georgia, at two o'clock on Saturday, June 14, 2003, to speak to the Atlanta Science Fiction Association and presumably to sign a few copies of *Brighten to Incandescence*, some of which Mark Stevens of the Science Fiction & Mystery Book Shop will be bringing.
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JeffV
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 03:42 pm:   

Mike:

I loved "Thirteen Lies About Hummingbirds," which I hadn't read before. I'm still proofing the fake disease guide and so dipping into several different books, my attention strained, but I have started in your collection, and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Best,

JeffV
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 06:22 am:   

Jeff,

Thanks for this message. I talked to Jack Slay yesterday in LaGrange, and we both commented on how much energy and time you expend on staying up with matters in the field, from new story writers to a new edition of a classic novel by Avram Davidson to cutting-edge artwork, etc., etc. Your attention may be strained, but one can only envy your level of commitment to the enterprise that is shaping your life and not incidentally producing work for others to enjoy. Better close and get busy myself, but thanks much, Jeff.

Yours,

Mike
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Bill Householder
Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 07:32 pm:   

Mike,

Well now you've done it! I'm reading your most excellent novel Brittle Innings--it's summer, the perfect time for a baseball novel--and doggone it there's so much in there about Mrs. Shelly's masterpiece that I had to go and read the dern thing! And now I'm on a frankenstein kick! I feel like I'm in summer school, only taking a class I enjoy. Thanks, I mean it.

I hope to say "hi" to you and the lovely Jeri at Trinoccon this year and look forward to reading BTI soon. We'd spoken a little last year about the late R. A. Lafferty in the con suite, if that rings a bell.

At any rate, keep up the good work and I'll see you in August.

All the Best,
Bill Householder
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 06:51 am:   

Bill,

Glad you're enjoying Frankenstein via Brittle Innings (and sorry not to respond sooner) and thanks for trying to trip my memory with the reference to Trinoc*Con, although if we meet there again this year, you may have to jog it again, for which I apologize in advance. In any case, I appreciate your kind words and will pass along the greetings to Jeri.

By the way, I'm doing a sort of graduate-level summer school of my own, but centered on novels with a different highly provocative and mythic figure at their center, a fella hailing, early on, from Nazareth. The books include Saramago's The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, Mailer's The Gospel According to the Son, Jim Crace's Quarantine, A. J. Langguth's Jesus Christs, Kazantzakis' The Last Temptation of Christ, etc. This may sound weird, I know, but it's a genre all its own, with other titles by SF-associated writers James Morrow and Paul Park. I may wind up writing a paper, or a book.

Thanks for checking in. And be sure to grab me at Trinoc*Con if we do in fact make it, as, right now, we plan to do.
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 07:09 am:   

A new review of *Brighten to Incandescence* appears at this site:

http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue323/books.html

and you might want to check it out.
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S. Hamm
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 08:47 pm:   

MB,

If you don't get a kick out of QUARANTINE I'll be shocked. And, not to cross-pollinate with the Russian discussion, but you might think about squeezing THE MASTER AND MARGARITA onto your list.

Are you familiar with Guy Davenport's THE LOGIA OF YESHUA?

SH
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Mike
Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 05:46 am:   

SH,

Haven't gotten to Quarantine yet but much looking forward to it. I also appreciate the tips about both The Master and Margarita, which I've heard of but never read, and The Logia of Yeshua, which is a completely new title to me. These are very helpful suggestions. Thanks.

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S. Hamm
Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 12:21 pm:   

I dug out the Logia, a dinky volume that came out from Counterpoint Press in 1996. It's a translation by Davenport and Benjamin Urrutia (whose name I couldn't remember yesterday) of the original sayings of Yeshua, taken from the Q document, the gospels of Thomas, and various other "sayings gospels," with the familiar biblical context stripped away. Urrutia had this to say in the foreword:

The original logia were shocking and paradoxical, somewhat like Zen koans or Sufi anecdotes. The Orthodox evangelists softened the hard sayings and dulled their sharp edges by covering them up with facile explanations and simplistic morals at the conclusion of subversive parables. Worst of all, many logia were embedded in tendentious stories that served the purposes of the growing churches . . . Here are the logia themselves, freed from glosses and simplistic morals.

Leafing through the endnotes gave me a little jolt. I'd forgotten that, in the last of them, Urrutia lists his candidates for the three best literary portrayals of Yeshua: Oscar Wilde's "The Selfish Giant," The Master and Margarita, and (drumroll, please) Philip Jose Farmer's short novel Riverworld, "in some ways a sequel to Bulgakov's story"!

Now I'll have to read them back-to-back.
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 11:27 am:   

SH,

Sorry not to have replied before now. We took a 4th of July trip, and then we've had company, but I nonetheless wanted to thank you for your comments about Davenport & Urrutia's Logia, and for the news that Urrutia regards Farmer's portrait of Yeshua in Riverworld as on a par with Bulgakov's in The Master and Margarita. My concentration on fictional portrayals of Christ was broken, in any case, by an intense reperusal of Carroll's Alice books for a project that I currently have under way. In any event, please let me know your reactions to the Wilde, the Bulgakov, and the Farmer if you in fact read them all back to back.

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Andrew Fox
Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 07:50 am:   

Dear Michael,

I haven't yet finished making my way through Brighten yet, but I wanted to let you know I'm enjoying your stories tremendously. I "cheated" a bit and skipped ahead to the last story in the collection, "Help Me, Rondo," since I'm a big fan of pre-1960s horror films and have always been interested in Rondo Hatton's life and career. This was a magnificent story, one which both touched me and taught me many things about Mr. Hatton that I hadn't known. I thought you sustained a tone throughout that was perfect for your subject matter (I especially loved the voice you gave to Rondo's wife). I tried doing something a bit similar, tone-wise, with my story "The Man Who Would Be Kong," which I hope will appear in the not-too-distant future in an anthology of Holly-weird stories Kage Baker is editing.

I'll drop another note when I've read all of Brighten. Thanks again for welcoming me to the boards.
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mike
Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 06:14 am:   

Andrew, you're more than welcome for the welcome, and let me thank you for stopping by and commenting on the Rondo Hatton story. I'll look for your "The Man Who Would Be Kong" if you'll keep me posted about the anthology's appearance, and its title, and publisher, etc. Maybe we've seen the last of this season's hurricanes . . . and, unfortunately, maybe we haven't.

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