postheadericon Overload, Novacon 25, BSFG, No ISBN

Overload cover

Overload cover

Printed to celebrate Novacon 25 and published by The Birmingham Science Fiction Group Overload contains work by Brian W Aldiss, Iain Banks, Harry Harrison and Bob Shaw. There were 500 copies printed, of which I have No 396.

Inside of Overload

Inside of Overload

As well as the story itself, The Mercenary Mirage, there is a short introduction by Bob Shaw. The copyright on the story is 1991 but Shaw tells us that it was written in the fifties and rejected by various magazine editors.

In fact Shaw states he had forgotten the story and only because of Forrest J Ackerman (very famous in SF) did the story survive. Ackerman had tried his hand at being an agent but failed to sell the story. Years later he sent it back to Shaw.

The story itself is well written and intriguing, but I can understand why editors didn’t buy it as the ending is not the greatest that Shaw came up with. A man, who has stolen money from his employer, tramps through the desert, dying of thirst. Someone appears and offers to sell him a drink for the exact amount of money he has stolen. The story is enjoyable but the ending is not relevant to the major character. I suspect that this would be the reason why the story didn’t sell.

3 Responses to “Overload, Novacon 25, BSFG, No ISBN”

  • Steve Green:

    By this point, Bob was one of three honorary presidents of the Brum Group (his predecessors, inaugerated in 1977, were Brian W Aldiss and Harry Harrison).

    He was also an honorary member (with Garry Kilworth) of the Solihull SF Group, and allowed several of his old fanzine articles to be reprinted in its newsletter.

  • admin:

    Thanks for the info. It’s always nice to hear additional information like this that helps build up a picture of Bob.

  • […] he had totally forgotten about The Mercenary Mirage – published a couple of times including Overload after it was sent back unsold to him by Forrest J Ackerman: perhaps he totally forgot about other […]

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