It’s been a long time, as the song says.
There hasn’t been much activity on the Bob Shaw front. I’ve only got one of his books to get in hardback, Palace of Eternity, before my Gollancz collection is complete. I did try to buy it on eBay but my best offers kept getting knocked back.
Once the hardbacks are complete it is then on to getting all his short stories, which means various Science Fiction magazines.
But, bought from eBay, was the special edition of Interzone by and about Bob Shaw: number 67 from January 1993. According to the Editorial is was due to appear a year previously but was delayed due to the death of Bob’s wife: indeed the issue is dedicated to the memory Sadie Shaw.
There’s two Bob Shaw stories in this issue, A Time To Kill and Alien Porn. There’s an interview with Bob Shaw by Helen Wake, Brian Stableford does a review of Shaw’s work and finally there are extracts from Shaw’s non-fiction book How To Write Science Fiction.
The only thing new to me is A Time To Kill, seeing as the other piece of fiction, Alien Porn, is an extract from Warren Peace – which is nicely placed at the middle of the magazine, and therefore has the staples going through it.*
I’m saving A Time To Kill for later on in the week, when I can sit down, read and savour a brand new (to me) Shaw story.
There were a couple of interesting titbits throughout the magazine though. Apparently The Ceres Solution was heavily edited for the UK edition – I’ll have to buy a US version to re read it – and there was hint that a revised edition (‘new, improved version’) of this novel could be released in the UK. That never happened but there’s nothing stopping Gollancz doing it. Bob Shaw himself provided the cartoons for the How To Write Science Fiction section. Also revealed was that the character from Who Goes Here, Warren Peace, was to have appeared in two more novels after Warren Peace. One wonders how far, if at all, Bob Shaw got with these?
I was also able to compare Interzone past and present. Interzone is still going strong, although it doesn’t appear to number issues any more, and is bloody good value for money nowadays considering the cover price of the 1993 issue was £2.50 (put up that very issue) and the cover price for Interzone now is £3.95. I don’t think that’s much of an increase over nearly twenty years.
*You have to read either Warren Peace or the story to understand this reference.