News & What's New - August 2008

German article
31 August 2008

Just before we went on vacation to the US came an email from Christian Endres (Germany) in which he asked for a photo of Phil Farmer. The photo would be published with his article in the magazine Zitty from Berlin. Phil's picture wasn't used, but the article "Down by the Riverside" has been published in Issue number 15-2008, of July.
The article is about, as the title already suggests, Farmer's Riverworld series, because of the new publications of the five Riverworld books in Germany by publisher Piper. Endres gives some background information about the characters in the novels, how Farmer already started the series in 1952, and mentions the strong but also the weak sides of the stories. He concludes that after 30 years it still is an interesting read: "...steht ein auch heute noch innovatives und faszinierendes Gedankenspiel, ambitionierte Abenteuer-SF mit einem großartigen Setting, die sich unter all dem Staub und aller Schwächen zum Trotz auch nach 30 Jahren noch interessant liest."

click to enlarge

New study of Farmer's work?
31 August 2008

After Farmercon 90 was over we, friends and family of Farmer, had a very nice dinner at the Ivy Sailing Club in Peoria on Saturday night. This is a favorite dining place for the Farmers, and I have to say they serve a very good meal. As I have written before Phil was too ill to attend, alas, but Bette was present this evening.

Of course there were several nice talks too. In one of these conversations I asked professor, and science fiction critic, Gary K. Wolfe, who is a very good friend of the Farmers, if he ever had thought of writing or editing a new critical study about Farmer and his work. Such a study is long overdue in my opinion. There are only two studies of his work, and both are from the 1980s.
Gary was very interested in the idea and promised to think it over and talk about it with some other people too. So maybe, after all those years we might see a new critical study that will shine some light on Phil's outstanding and sometimes complicated oeuvre. It would be great if this study could be found in every US library.

Dinner time at the Ivy Club. From left to right are Hans Kiesow (from Denmark), Gary K. Wolfe and Win Scott Eckert.

Gary K. Wolfe

Wold Newton beer
31 August 2008

People who were invited to the party at Farmer's house in the weekend of Farmercon 90 were surprised with a real Wold Newton beer, "Falling Stone".
Paul Spiteri had brought this beer with him from Great Britain and handed these out to everyone that wanted one. I even got a second bottle for a friend of mine that collects beer labels, but only labels from beer that he has been drinking himself. So, I had to take the full bottle back home. Another five US beers were selected and bought for him. See his marvelous website with more than 6700 beer labels from all over the world.

In 1795 the first recorded UK meteorite came down near the place Wold Newton. According to Farmer's story this falling stone was radioactive, and caused a genetic mutation to the people present. The mutated people became part of Farmer's Wold Newton Family. For more information about this read Farmer's Tarzan Alive, and for the expanded Wold Newton Universe see these interesting websites.

For more about the Falling Stone beer you have to go to the website of the Wold Top Brewery.
Frouwke and I shared one bottle and it tasted very nice, we nearly drank the second bottle too...
Thanks again Paul for the beer, from our friend Harry also!

click for the

Locus reviews Farmer online
27 August 2008

In the February 2008 issue of Locus has Graham Sleight written a column, "Yesterdays Tomorrows", with a look at four books by Phil Farmer. Two classic novels, To Your Scattered Bodies Go and Lord Tyger, and two collections with classic stories, The Best of Philip José Farmer and Pearls from Peoria.
I mentioned this publication on 10 February 2008, see here.

This interesting column can now be read online, since 21 August 2008, at Locus Online.
Graham Sleight: "...his enthusiasm isn't limited to one root story or setting. Farmer's most enthralling characteristic is the range of his enthusiasms: he seems like a fan of everything...."

click to enlarge

Three novels and a story
26 August 2008

At Farmercon 90 a special announcement was made by Michael Croteau at the start of the "Mystery Panel". Phil Farmer had given permission to finish four of his unfinished manuscripts by others writers. The four writers on the "Mystery Panel" were interviewed about their projects.

Paul Spiteri finished a short story, a 'Polytropical Paramyth', called "Getting Ready to Write". This story has been published in Farmerphile Issue No. 13.

Christopher Paul Carey has completed the fantasy novel The Song of Kwasin, an Opar (or the Khokarsa cycle) novel. An excerpt has been published in Farmerphile Issue No. 13. The novel is at Phil's agent.

Win Scott Eckert completed the novel The Evil in Pemberley House, a gothic horror and mystery novel. An excerpt will appear in Farmerphile No. 14, October 2008. The manuscript is now in the hands of Phil's agent.

Tracy Knight is completing the novel Cougar by the Tail, a western. Tracy is the author of Beneath a Whiskey Sky, a western, and the fantasy novel The Astonished Eye.

The four collaborators on the Mystery Panel, from left to right: Win Scott Eckert, Paul Spiteri, Tracy Knight and Christopher Paul Carey.

For more information about The Song of Kwasin see the website (blog) of Chris Carey and for more about The Evil in Pemberley House see Win Eckert's blog.
More background information can also been found in the program book of Farmercon 90 (see under) and in Farmerphile No. 13. Go to the Official PJF Home Page for the ordering info.

click to enlarge

Back from the USA
18 August 2008

We, my wife Frouwke and I, have returned from a holiday of three weeks in the USA. First we had a weekend in Peoria, because of Farmercon 90 on Saturday July 26th. It was nice to meet so many 'Farmerphiles', for the first time or again. People had traveled from as far as from Australia, Denmark, England, Netherlands, Germany and of course from several places in the US.
There was a dinner on Saturday night and on Sunday a party at Phil's and Bette's house for persons invited. Unfortunately Phil was too ill to attend any of the events.

There is a lot of news to tell: three new books started by Phil but finished by others, a new story by Phil and Paul, a new issue of Farmerphile, maybe a new Farmer study, and a report and photos of Farmercon 90.
I am still sorting out all the info and especially all the hundreds of photos from our holiday. Bought some Farmer books in Portland with Powell´s Books and also some beers —took the full bottles back home— for a friend of mine.

Once back home I found in the mail a German magazine with a new article about Phil´s Riverworld books.
So, watch this page the next days for more information to come.

click to enlarge

Added Books
No new or newly discovered publications have been added on the book pages in August.
Still no exact numbers right now. When the restyling is finished I will give these numbers again.

These are the about numbers, the last time - in November 2006 - they were counted:

1275 publications
750 different covers

© Zacharias L.A. Nuninga -- Page last updated: 24-06-2010