News & What's New - December 2011
The State Church knows it all
28 Dec 2011
Farmer's first science fiction story had a huge impact, at the time of publication. See the entry of December 12th.
Since the publication of "The Lovers" many readers were asking –no, demanding– a sequel. Nearly a year later, in June 1953, Starling Stories announced the sequel, "Moth and Rust".

But it was not a sequel at all. The only thing both stories shared was the same Earth culture, with the State Church, or Sturch for short.
Sam Moskowitz in his essay: "...Actually, it is a fast-moving cloak-and-dagger novel of the future, comparable in theme to 1984 ... Religion rather than sex is the major story ingredient. Farmer explores the rise and nature of hypothetical new religions of the future with the same scientific objectivity with which he previously outlined the sex life of aliens."
According to Moskowitz the 'sequel' received only a lukewarm reception upon publication.

Farmer expanded, partly rewrote and revised the story into the novel A Woman a Day (1960), also known as The Day of Timestop, or Timestop!.

Ed Emsh
A thing from another dimension
27 Dec 2011
Phil wrote three novels in the "Doc Caliban" series, starting with A Feast Unknown (1969), and continued in in Lord of the Trees (1970) and The Mad Goblin (1970).

The story wasn't finished yet and Phil had plans to write a fourth novel in the series, originally titled The Unspeakable Threshold (later titled The Monster On Hold).
Alas, Phil didn't write the planned novel. The series stayed unfinished, something that has happened to some of his other series as well. He had an outline and a finished chapter of the projected novel. Part of the outline and the chapter, "The Monster on Hold", were published in 1983 in the anthology World Fantasy Convention 1983, a souvenir book of the convention.

Farmer in his introduction: "The three novels above took place in the late 1960s. The events of The Monster on Hold begin in the late 1970s when Doc Caliban penetrates Tilatoc's supposedly impregnable fortress hideout in northern Canada. I won't describe the result because I don't want to reveal too much about the novel. But Caliban goes into hiding again. He hears that Anana has decreed that whoever kills Grandrith and Caliban will become Council members even if they are not candidates. (Caliban almost loses his life when he gains this piece of information.) When the second section of the novel begins (in 1984), Caliban is in Los Angeles and disguised as an old wino. Tired of running, he's decided to attack, but, first, he needs a lead. One night, a juvenile gang jumps him, thinking he's easy prey. He disposes of them quite bloodily, but he spots a man observing the fight. Later, he sees the man shadowing him. After trapping him, Caliban questions him, using a truth drug he invented in the 1930s. As Caliban suspects, the man is an agent of the Nine. Caliban allows him to escape and then trails him. This leads to a series of adventures I'll omit in this outline."

It is a thousand pities that Phil never wrote the novel. The published chapter promised a lot.

Rowena Morrill
How to tell your mother?
26 Dec 2011
The short story "Monologue" is a very unsettling horror tale about a boy who isn't able to talk but desperately wants to tell his mother something. How to tell her otherwise than to show it...
Roger Elwood –who published the story in his anthology Demon Kind in 1973– said this about the story: "Outright shock and horror".

The End of the World
20 Dec 2011
Over the years many people have predicted the end of the world. A prediction with the exact date and time, based upon calculations or based upon books, like the Bible. But so far, nothing ever happened... The world still exists.

What would it look like, the end of the world? According to Philip José Farmer's story "The Making of Revelation, Part 1" God himself wants the spectacle to be filmed, with Cecil B. DeMille –brought back from the dead– as the chief director. The script has to be written (and rewritten many times) by Harlan Ellison. And God as the producer, with at least a hundred thousand angels as assistant directors.
The result is a great action movie, really a spectacle! Even Satan has a role.

Love and Sex on Ozagen
12 Dec 2011
Philip José Farmer's first science fiction story shocked the world. The science fiction world, that is. It was rejected by two editors, before it was accepted by Samuel Mines, editor of Startling Stories.

t was a taboo breaking story in 1952, because there was not only 'love' in the story, but also sex. And on top of that, sex between a human and an alien. An alien in human disguise, but nevertheless an alien. That was something you didn't do in 1952.
But Farmer did it. And with success! For months after publication readers were writing letters to the magazines, most of them in high favor of the story. The story was "The Lovers", of course.

One of Virgil Finlay's illustrations for the story.

Mostly based on this novella Farmer received his first Hugo Award in 1953, as the Most Promising New Author.

Earle K. Bergey
Love Song excerpts
10 Dec 2011
Philip José Farmer's first science fiction story was the at that time –early 1950s– very controversial "The Lovers".
Controversial, because in the story a human had sex with an alien, although there were no explicit scenes about this in the story.

Farmer later proofed that he could write more explicit sex stories. He wrote several of these, like the very erotic, gothic novel Love Song (Brandon House, 1970).
The publishing house of this novel, Parliament News, Inc., published two different excerpts of the novel in two of their adult magazines, Last Date and Secret Hours, in 1970.

I still haven't found a copy of Last Date, but together with a copy of the magazine Puritan –see previous entry– I found a copy of Secret Hours. The excerpt comes with a two page illustration by an uncredited artist.

The Short Fiction page of the excerpts has been restyled.

Rip Van Winkle's Long Wet Dream
7 Dec 2011
Philip José Farmer wrote his own version of Washington Irving's story "Rip Van Winkle". He made it into a highly erotic and explicit, time traveling story.
The adult magazine Puritan, issue number 7 (1981) published it for the first time, with the title "Rip Van Winkle's Long Wet Dream". After many years searching for it, I finally found a copy of this issue of Puritan, and corrected the original title of the story. The few adult magazines with Farmer's stories in it, are not easy to track down.

Farmer rewrote the story only slightly after that, to introduce the 'purple haze'. The second version, "The Long Wet Purple Dream of Rip Van Winkle" was reprinted twice in two collections of Farmer's stories.

Howard Chaykin
Ten Farmer titles from Titan Books
5 Dec 2011
According to the December issue of Locus, # 611, Titan Books will publish a total of seven Wold Newton Universe (WNU) novels, and three standalone titles.
Two weeks ago we announced the first three known titles that are to be published by Titan Books: The Other Log of Phileas Fogg (WNU), Time's Last Gift (WNU) and Lord Tyger.

Other WNU titles that might be republished by Titan Books are: Escape From Loki, Ironcastle, Stations of the Nightmare, The Dark Heart of Time, Venus on the Half-Shell, and The Wind Whales of Ishmael.
Also, but not likely because of the SubPress omnibus, Hadon of Ancient Opar and Flight to Opar. And of course the fictional biographies where 'it all started with', Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalytic Life might be candidates.
We will have to wait and see what's actually coming up from Titan Books in 2012 and later. It's a great idea of Titan Books to publish a series of Wold Newton Universe novels!


Added Books
No new additions on the book pages in the month December.
These are the numbers for the book pages in December.

1748 publications
1148 different covers

© Zacharias L.A. Nuninga -- Page last updated: 8 May 2012