Monday, January 14, 2008

Earl Kemp


It's really a heavy, impressive zine. It's really crammed full of The Good Stuff! It's not only informative; it's enjoyable and a real keeper.

The Benfords' "Asia Emerging" was a very good read, at times almost making me want to have been going along with them on their fantastic trip. I have visited a few of the places they stopped at, but never Sri Lanka. I first met Arthur Clarke in 1952, I believe it was, at Beastley's on the Lake (a.k.a. Midwestcon) in Ohio. Our paths crossed a few times after that and, once he moved to Ceylon, we continued corresponding for a while. Hard to believe he's 90...and I'm still sooooo young. Great Charlie Williams artwork too.

"When Funny Got More Laughs Than Dirty," by Michael Resnick, was also a good read. I liked it better than "Homes Away From Home."

Your "A Show of Hands" was the most impressive piece in the whole issue for me. It was extremely well written...an example of what reporting should be like ... carrying all kinds of subtle undertones along with the narrative. I liked especially your comments about Alexei Panshin, both in the article and in the LoCs. To my way of thinking, Panshin is The No. 1 Authority on Heinlein, regardless of Heinlein's opinion. Besides, his doesn't count any more and mine does.

Alexei has done more than any single person to enshrine RAH as a master scribe ... only he made the mistake of being honest about it. Honesty is the one thing that RAH could never handle. Even now he's probably rolling around in his grave demanding total control. Such a pathetic person.

Alexei, Joseph Major, and I are currently having a bit of fun about the upcoming RAH major celebration for several days in two major big-time hotels. Going through the program book we're looking for things relating to RAH the man and find almost nothing...only things related to praising him as some sort of made-up mythical figure created by ass-kissers who have nothing better to do.

Of the entire list of names of people allegedly attending or participating, only three are recognizably old-line SF Related ... Arthur Clarke, Fred Pohl, and David Gerrold. I seriously doubt if Clarke will make the event and Pohl might not know why he's there ... leaving only one possibility and David's always there, pen in hand, ready to sign most anything...

Not one name known to be an authority on RAH and his works is visible anywhere.

It's sure to be a wonderful affair.

Something tells me you don't really mean that. The Heinlein Centennial is past, now. Anyone attend? How'd it go?

Gary Robe's "How I Escaped My Peruvian Kidnappers" was a delightful read, even though obviously tense for him at times. Fortunately he was ready to do physical battle if necessary. Something I was not able to contemplate when I was scooped up by the Dreaded Peruvian Secret Police (I'd rather face them any day than street hoods) in Lima airport awaiting departure, hustled into a bare interrogation room, searched and quizzed on the subject of why I had too much money on me.

Too much? I never knew there was such a thing, especially on a month long leisurely vacation. It actually involved much the same a Robe's problems, an inability to use Soles (Peruvian currency) any where except within Peru. It has no value internationally.

And I was leaving and I had my pockets full of Soles and going through the airport shops just buying things to get rid of it. That's when I was picked up and taken away.

After about an hour of that third degree, with the airplane waiting, loaded on the runway for me, the pilot and chief stewardess (Argentine Airlines by the way) came to the secret police interrogation room, pounded on the door and demanded either my immediate release or lock me up because the plane would wait no longer.

At the time I was loaded down not only with Soles, but with illegal pre-Columbian art (all erotic), pockets stuffed with cocaine leaves...and a money belt ... and a bunch of bills ... all legal and all mine. The police let me go and I grabbed up my stuff and ran, hand in hand with the pilot and stewardess to the plane, onto the plane, amid loud cheers from the irritated, waiting passengers, and it took off immediately.

With the Soles that I couldn't use at all anywhere else, I bought all the wine on the plane and had it passed out to the passengers.

It is not possible to not like Curt Phillips' "A Tucker Story ... and A Tucker Story." It is not possible to not like Bob Tucker.

What can I say except that you made my day?

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