In the Drifts
We had an ice storm during this work weekend, an unwelcome change from the month of snowstorms that has given me eight snow days at home in four weeks. The storms have kept me out of the office nearly half the entire month, putting me behind in my work in a way that does not mix well with the sheer physical exhaustion of having shoveled really quite a lot of snow. In a surprising show of determination in the face of risky driving, the whole regular Work Weekend crew showed up anyway, along with Kathryn and the kids and the dog Sunshine and the cat Ambrose. And so this issue is prepared.
This is the March issue, and for the past few years we have made this our special ICFA issue, in honor of the support we get from the membership of the International Association forthe Fantastic in the Arts (especially in the form of subscriptions to NYRSF), and to help celebrate the annual March conference now held each year in Orlando, Florida. We’ll see you there. On the publishing front, the lack of news is at the moment most disturbing. Borders, the third largest bookseller in the US, has not paid its bills for the end of December or of January and is rumored to be discussing bankruptcy. If that eventuates, nothing else that I could imagine could make this a good year financially for book publishing in general. And for some, it will revise last year into a bad year. Having the uncertainty drag on week after week since early January has been like the snowpack on the roof building up and waiting to slide off onto you in one big foomph! Even if the metaphorical snow melts away, they have announced the closing of 150 bookstores in any case. We’ll have more to say about this next month, I think. Meanwhile, we are off to Boskone in a couple of weeks, a convention that is looking like great fun, with Charlie Stross, Joan Slonczewski, Charlaine Harris, guest artist Greg Manchess, and a special art show of old magazine cover originals. And then at the start of April, the Hartwell family goes to Ad Astra in Toronto. Department of Science Fiction in Real Life (in the future, we will all be older): Greg Benford called during the weekend to chat and gossip, as he often does, and that reminds me to advise those of you who are getting older that Benford’s life extension projects (he went emeritus five years back so he could go into business) have yielded their first product on the market: check out Stem Cell 100. This is an informal recommendation based on good impressions. It may reduce your blood pressure, lower yourcholesterol, and improve healing in some combination if you have the right genetic profile, and you won’t know that unless you try. Fortunately it appears to produce some quite noticeable results within a few weeks. I am thinking of getting a genetic profile done, since it has made me curious. The idea of living a long time has some real appeal, even if I already feel that I don’t have a good a memory as I used to (especially for proper names).The ancient and venerable craft of book reviewing needs more practitioners these days, and if you are so inclined as to want to review some sf, please contact us. The contact info is on page three. Also, our staff are getting stretched a bit thin; if you live nearby, give a serious thought to volunteering! (And when we say “nearby,” keep in mind that we have staff members in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts; andour crack Distributed Proofreading team lives even further afield than that.)
—David G. Hartwell & the editors