Volume 16, Number 4, Fall, 1998

LoC’s of Prometheus v15, #3 and v. 16, #'s 1, 2 and 3

Thanks for sending me the four most recent issues of Prometheus. I'll be looking forward to seeing my art in the October issue. Payment in copies is fine if that is the normal custom of your 'zine. I'll try to work up some more sf-oriented art to send to you. However of late it seems like I've been doing more rough work in my sketchbook and less finished work that reproduces well.

The review of The Merro Tree was interesting. I got to meet the author at Worldcon, and got a signed promo copy of the book from the Del Rey booth.

It is a very interesting book, and I read the whole thing that afternoon while sitting at a table at the dealers' room. I agree that it has flaws, but many of these seem to be the problem of a beginning writer tackling a theme that is just a little beyond her skills. I suspect that she may have included the Earth chapters because she felt that there had to be some visible relationship to Earth in it, whereas I felt that it might well have been more powerful if she'd left Earth out entirely and let us conclude the Mikk’s people were the far-future descendants of some long-forgotten colony planet, in a time when the very existence of Earth has been forgotten.

I also liked William H. Stoddard's review of the GURPS game system in issue 2. I’ve used the Space sourcebook as a jumping-off point for thinking about the various worldbuilding issues in creating an interstellar society as the background of an sf novel.

I also enjoyed Jeff Riggenbach’s retrospective review of Samuel Delany's Triton in v16, #3, comparing and contrasting it with other works of Delany and of other well-known sf authors such as Ursula LeGuin and Alfred Bester. I especially liked the point at the end, which is particularly relevant in this day and age in which people are becoming more and more dependent upon passive forms of entertainment such as television, rather than activities that involve one as an active participant.

William Stoddard also had an excellent discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold in v15, #3. A lot of people tend to dismiss Bujold's works, especially the Miles Vorkosigan books, as lightweight space-opera action/adventure. However, there are a lot of additional levels of thought in them, which is what gives them their staying power.

Leigh Kimmel
821 S. Park Ave Apt B.
Herrin, IL 62948

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