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Zacharias L.A. Nuninga
(Netherlands)


The Alley God, cover by Richard Powers
16 Oct 2019
 
Online I saw this picture on the website '70s Sci-Fi Art'. It is the cover art by Richard Powers for Philip José Farmer's collection The Alley God, a paperback published in 1962 by Ballantine Books.

It is typical cover art for that period of time, and I liked it —and still like it— very much. It is not illustrating any of the three included stories, "The Alley Man" , "The Captain's Daughter" and "The God Business", as far as I remember. But still a dark and strong picture.

The Stone God Awakens in Normal Bean
8 Oct 2019
 
The first part of Farmer's novel The Stone God Awakens was drawn and published as an underground comic in the 1980s. The artist was Roland Trenary, and he published the serialization in the issues #1 till #5 of his fanzine Normal Bean. In the Preview issue he published a poster, as he did also in the last issue, Number 6, of Normal Bean.
With part five of the story we see at the end "To be continued...in Normal Bean". But further installments were not published. The fanzine was discontinued.
It's a pity Trenary never finished the story.

It took me several years to find and buy the seven published issues of Normal Bean. Finally I could buy them from the publisher, Roland Trenary, himself.
When I received them, many years ago, I didn't have the time to add the information in this PJF Bibliography. The issues were laid aside for later inclusion, but —much to my shame— I did forget to do just that.

It was an email from Dan Getz (US) that reminded me recently of my omission. He asked me if I needed scans of the seven covers. I had to search for the issues where I had stored them in my huge Farmer collection. Of course I found them and added the missing information on the page Miscellany.
Many thanks for the reminder Dan!

If you want to read a recent, September 30, 2019, and interesting review of the novel The Stone God Awakens you can go to MPorcius Fiction Log: «...So, I've got a lot of complaints, but the idea of a guy being turned into a statue and being revered by a long succession of societies is a cool idea, and Farmer does serve up some fun monsters and weirdos, so I'm giving this one a mild recommendation...»

Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe
20 Sep 2019
 
Farmer's Tarzan novel, Tarzan and the Dark Heart of Time, entered the 'Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe'.

Meteor House, the publisher, had this news on their website:
«We were so thrilled when Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. announced at the ERB panel at San Diego Comic-Con on July 19, 2019 that certain previously published authorized Burroughs novels by other writers —specifically Philip José Farmer’s Tarzan and the Dark Heart of Time and Fritz Leiber’s Tarzan and the Valley of Gold— are considered official canonical novels in terms of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe™ (ERBU), that we immediately asked ERB, Inc. if we could add the ERBU logo to our next printings of Tarzan and the Dark Heart of Time.

With an enthusiastic “yes” from ERB, Inc. in response, we quickly ordered a new run of hardcovers. Softcovers won’t have the new logo until we sell through our current stock, and ebooks will be updated with the new logo soon.»
The second state dustjacket has been added on the book page.

The Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe will be expanded with a new series of canonical novels in 2020. See the ERB Universe website.
We see new novels by the well known names Win Scott Eckert and Christopher Paul Carey for instance!

FarmerCon XIV program book
8 Sep 2019
 
Every year Michael Croteau makes a small program book for the FarmerCons. They are for free for the attendees. And like the previous years Mike sent me a copy too, this time of FarmerCon XIV, held on August 15-18, 2019 in Pittsburgh, PA. Thanks Mike!

Every year there are some new items and reprints of older and rare material.
New this time are some anecdotes by Garyn G. Roberts, two drawings of R'li by Don Simpson, and an essay about Farmer's heroes by Paul Spiteri.

Reprints are a foreword and an afterword, both by Philip José Farmer. One of them is also included in the collection, mentioned in the previous entry.

The Mad Fokker Struck Again
7 Sep 2019
 
The above title is the first line in the Greatheart Silver stories. Thus starts a very funny series of stories, full with action and old great pulp heroes.
I loved the stories very much when I read them back in the 1970s, and again when they were published in novel form, as Greatheart Silver, by Tor Books in paperback in 1982.

It was high time to have these stories printed again!
And that is what Meteor House did with the new collection in a very beautiful hardcover, Greatheart Silver and Other Pulp Heroes.

Not only the three Greatheart Silver stories were included, but also two other 'pulp' stories, "Savage Shadow" and "Skinburn". Both these stories were intended to be the first in their own series of stories, but, alas, Farmer never came to write more.

Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D. wrote a very interesting introduction for this book, "Fibers of Pulpwood Ran in His Blood" (subtitled: "Philip José Farmer in the 1970s"): «...Farmer consumed pulp fiction from the time of his childhood between the two world wars until his passing in the early twenty-first century. At the end of the pulp era, Philip José Farmer was a bright light in the fading medium...»

Enough said, I think it is time to read and enjoy these stories again!

The Spirit of Science Fiction by Roberto Bolaño
30 Aug 2019
 
"The most significant Latin American literary voice of his generation" wrote The New York Times on 20 December 2012. Roberto Bolaño was praised for the eleven novels he wrote. He was only 50 years old when he died on July 15, 2003.

The Spirit of Science Fiction (El espíritu de la ciencia-ficción in Spanish) was completed by Bolaño in approximately 1984. It was published posthumously in Spanish in 2016 and in English in 2019. The novel is seen by many as an ur-text to The Savage Detectives, another of his novels, "populated with precursory character sketches and situations" and centering on the activities of young poets and writers living in Mexico City.

In the novel Bolaño published several letters of admiration to American science fiction writers, one of them to Philip José Farmer. He shared the same ideas about the use of sex in science fiction. Bolaño proposes several ideas about this in his letter: «In each story, there should be at least one sexual act.»

Alas Farmer never saw this letter, although he would have liked it very much in my opinion.
But Fred Fischer (US) bought and read the book and did see the letter. It prompted him to write an interesting essay about this, with the complete text of the letter to Farmer for which Fred and I got permission from Penguin Press. You can read the essay here on the site.

(The shown covers are of the first Spanish edition, 2016, and of the English translation, published in the UK by Picador, 2019.)

Campbell Award Renamed
29 Aug 2019
 
Locus, the Magazine of the Science Fiction Field, had on August 27, 2019 a news item about the renaming of the Campbell Award.
Jeannette Ng, winner of this year's Campbell Award, started a discussion about its name:
«John W. Campbell, for whom this award was named, was a fascist. Through his editorial control of Astounding Science Fiction, he is responsible for setting a tone of science fiction that still haunts the genre to this day. Sterile. Male. White. Exalting in the ambitions of imperialists and colonisers, settlers and industrialists. Yes, I am aware there are exceptions.»
The award's name changed to "The Astounding Award for Best New Writer".

In 1954 Farmer already was very critical about Campbell. He calls to Mr. Campbell to dare to publish more interesting and literary stories as he was publishing at the time in Astounding. And to open up Astounding to new types of ideas and for allowing his writers to use more mainstream techniques.
Farmer wrote this in his essay "Parables are Pablum: A Reply to Mr. Farmer, a Letter to Mr. Campbell" in the fanzine Skyhook #23.

«Farmer is applauding from the grave», writes Fred Fischer (US) in his e-mail to me. I fully agree!

FarmerCon XIV / PulpFest 2019
11 Jul 2019
 
Only a month away and FarmerCon XIV will take place. And as in the previous years again in conjunction with PulpFest. The convention will be held in the weekend of August 15-18, 2019 in Pittsburgh.
I won't be able to attend.



Of the program in this weekend (see here or here) is only one item for the FarmerCon attendees: FarmerCon XIV: Farmer of the Pulps: A Harvest of Influences (panel, moderated by Paul Spiteri).
See more information about this item on the PulpFest 2019 site.

If you want to join FarmerCon XIV you have to send an email to Mike Croteau, and also register with PulpFest.
Everyone who attends, have a great time!

Cover announcement for Greatheart Silver
12 Jun 2019
 
Two months ago came the announcement from Meteor House of the new collection Greatheart Silver and Other Pulp Heroes. This time they announced the cover.

The nice cover design is done by Keith Howell.

Table of Contents:
- Introduction, by Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D.
- "Greatheart Silver"
- "The Return of Greatheart Silver"
- "Greatheart Silver in the First Command"
- "The Grant Robeson Papers" (foreword)
- "Savage Shadow"
- "Skinburn"

There are other pulp hero stories, like "Doc Savage and the Cult of the Blue God" and "Extracts from the Memoirs of "Lord Greystoke"", that aren't included in this collection.

Greatheart Silver and Other Pulp Heroes will be released in hardcover at FarmerCon XIV, August 15-18, in Pittsburgh. The price is $33, but if you preorder it with Meteor House you will get a $5 discount.

Four more books from France
28 May 2019
 
Online I discovered the following publications, and ordered them. Three covers for four books? Of the first I found two printings, both from 1975, with the same splashing cover.

1975 2007 2018

La jungle nue (A Feast Unknown)
The first publication of this edition was in April 1974. But, as it turned out after nearly forty-five years, was reprinted twice:
- Champ Libre, January 1975, 2nd printing,
- Champ Libre, October 1975, 3rd printing.

Les amants étrangers (The Lovers)
The first printing of this book was published in January 2007, and it was reprinted with the same cover:
- Gallimard, July 2007, 2nd printing.

Le bateau fabuleux (The Fabulous Riverboat)
The publisher keeps this novel in print:
- Le Livre de Poche, November 2018, 10th printing.

Nice photo of the Farmers
27 May 2019
 
I was very much surprised some days ago to receive an envelop with a photo of Philip José Farmer and his wife, Bette Farmer. The photo is signed by both on the back. There is no information about the photographer, or the reason why, where, or when this picture was made. It is not dated, but my guess is —based on comparing it with other photos of the two— that it is from about 1993.



The sender of the photo, Fred Fischer (US), neither has any information about the picture. He received it a while back from someone who sold him a Farmer book online.
Many thanks for this nice photo Fred!

Farmer Sales on U.S. EBAY
20 May 2019
 
From Fred Fischer (US) I received an e-mail with a link to a web page on 'Euro Sports Network', with a blog entry of May 1, 2019 called: "Voices Against Time, Ebay Nationalism Part 3". The blog was written by GithYankee.

Fred writes: «My notion is that the author of the chart is trying to use it as an example of proof that the new movement towards diversity in science fiction authorship is doomed.  I guess this argument is part of the brouhaha that the Hugo Awards or perhaps their nominations and the nomination process were embroiled in a few years ago. Maybe it continues?»

The chart shows the Pringle Science Fiction 100 list of bestselling authors. Given are the names, ethnicity, orientation, gender, top 10 sales, and finally 'Last 90 days units'.
I'm not interested in the diversity issue of this blog. That's why I only took part of the chart with the first 16 names. The 16th is that of Farmer.

Author Top 10 Sales Last 90 days units
Herbert, Frank $11,796.00 981
Orwell, George $7,941.00 1368
Bradbury, Ray $7,410.00 1374
Wolfe, Gene $7,122.00 199
Moorcock, Michael $5,612.00 421
Asimov, Isaac $5,068.00 1304
Dick, Philip K. $4,796.00 980
Heinlein, Robert $4,645.00 681
Vonnegut, Kurt $3,917.00 1039
Clarke, Arthur $3,261.00 545
Burgess, Anthony $3,037.00 203
Burroughs, William S. $2,692.00 288
Le Guin, Ursula $2,389.00 407
Leiber, Fritz $1,994.00 191
Gibson, William $1,931.00 229
Farmer, Philip Jose $1,540.00 183

The only reason to show this chart is to give you an idea how PJF is doing in comparison with the other authors of the Pringle Science Fiction 100 list.
If you are interested in the blog or the complete chart follow this link.


History of the Hugos
30 Apr 2019
 
Jo Walton's earlier posts for Tor.com about the Hugo finalists have been gathered in the book An Informal History of the Hugos (A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards, 1953-2000).

As Farmer had won three Hugo Awards and three Nominations during his career I was curious what Jo Walton, or any of the other contributors, had to say about him. It is less than I expected, and hoped for.

1953 - Winner: Best New Author or Artist
A very short piece, about that Farmer wouldn't have been eligible by today's Campbell rules. He had  been publishing for longer than two years. (That was only one non-sf story in 1946.)

1960 - Nominee: "The Alley Man"
A comment by Rich Horton that this story was quite good.

1961 - Nominee: "Open to Me, My Sister"
Rich Horton: «The Farmer has a good reputation, but I've never read it, and I don't usually like Farmer as much as others do.»

1966 - Nominee: "Day of the Great Shout"
Jo Walton about all the nominees in the 'Best Short Fiction': «Great selection, good choice.»

1968 - Winner: "Riders of the Purple Wage"
Jo Walton: «You couldn't ask for two more different winners, but they are both wonderful in their own ways.»
Gardner Dozois: «...I never liked either the much-overhyped Riders of the Purple Wage or Weyr Search.» (the other winner).
Rich Horton: «I enjoyed the two novella winners in their way, Weyr Search probably more back then, and I don't think they are bad stories, but neither would get my vote.»

1972 - Winner: To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Jo Walton describes in short the story line, and writes: «It's a great book, and if the sequels are less great, it's only because no explanation can possibly live up to that premise. I loved this book with wild enthusiasm when I was a teenager, and it will always have a place in my heart. I think it's a fine Hugo winner.»

With most of the nearly 50 years there is review of the winner's novel, but that is not the case with To Your Scattered Bodies Go. A bit disappointing.
Nevertheless, it's a great reference work if you're curious about the Hugo Awards history, and you might read in it about an interesting work you've not yet read. Publisher is Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-7908-5 and the price $31.99.

Announcement from Meteor House
5 Apr 2019
 
The small publisher Meteor House, owned by Michael Croteau, brings since 2010 every year new collections of stories, new books, or new editions of previous published works. Nearly all of these works are by or in relation to Philip José Farmer.
And as always these books are released at the FarmerCon of that year. That will be no different this year, with the new collection Greatheart Silver and Other Pulp Heroes.
The cover at left is that of the first Greatheart Silver collection in 1982. The new cover is not yet shown.

From Meteor House:
Philip José Farmer had a life-long love affair with the pulps he read in his youth. They influenced nearly everything he wrote, but in the 1970s he paid special tribute to them with several stories. Greatheart Silver and Other Pulp Heroes collects these stories for the first time in hardcover! This collection also features an introduction by college professor and pulp historian, Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D., and artwork by Keith Howell!

Table of Contents:
- Introduction
- Greatheart Silver
- The Return of Greatheart Silver
- Greatheart Silver in the First Command
- The Grant Robeson Papers
- Savage Shadow
- Skinburn

Greatheart Silver and Other Pulp Heroes will debut at FarmerCon XIV this coming August. The hardcover price is $33, but if you preorder it now you will get a $5 discount.
Earlier news

New Publications
In 2019
 
August



Greatheart Silver and Other Pulp Heroes
(hardcover)
 
In 2018
 
November



Le bateau fabuleux
 
 
October



Le Monde du Fleuve
(omnibus)
 
 
September



The Philip José Farmer
Centennial Collection

(deluxe hardcover)
 
 
July



The Philip José Farmer
Centennial Collection

(hardcover)
 
 
July



The Philip José Farmer
Centennial Collection

(trade paperback)
 

July



Tarzan and the Dark Heart of Time
(hardcover and trade paperback)
 

July



Le Noir Dessein
 
 
February



Thoan, la saga des Hommes-Dieux
 
In 2017
 
July



The Best of Farmerphile
edited by Michael Croteau
(hardcover)
 
 
July



The Best of Farmerphile
edited by Michael Croteau
(trade paperback)
 
 
July



Man of War
by Heidi Ruby Miller
(hardcover and trade paperback)
 
 
May



Древняя Африка
(Russian omnibus)
 
 
March



The Adventure of the Fallen Stone
by Win Scott Eckert
(chapbook)
 
 
February



La Nuit de la lumière
 
 
January



The God Business
 

All New Publications in:
2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005

Forthcoming Books


The following are not yet confirmed, but these titles are mentioned in the past years. All from Meteor House:

The Monster on Hold, written by Farmer & Win Scott Eckert, in  2019-2020 (?).
---

Christopher Paul Carey will write a trilogy about Kôr, son of Hadon of Opar. Might be published in 2019-2020 (?).
---

Up From the Bottomless Pit 
No further info yet.
---

Read more >>

 

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