Bull on the Rampage
Paige Schroeder Born

Barry Malzberg on Fee Reading

In the June F&SF, the Special Barry Malzberg issue, there's a really great essay by Barry Malzberg about being a fee reader for the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. I'm only halfway through, but it's full of the kind of great back-gossip I used to stay up really late for at conventions. It contains sentences like this one:

"Ambition has been the undoing of better men than you and me," Bill Pronzini and were to counsel one another in later summers, but in 1965, all against my will, ambition was the only factor which stood between me and a career of HELPFUL ENCOURAGING letters, and slowly over the next year, as the Summer of Love held its breath and came toward us, as LBJ got increasingly sullen in his recently revealed conversations with Richard Russell about those Kennedy bastard who had put him into this Vietnam thing, as Scott summoned his entire staff into his office on the night of the Great New York Blackout of 11/65 and shakily insisted that we keep him company by candlelight . . . as all of this and so much else was happening I was teaching myself in the most painful way to write salable science fiction. [ellipses in the original.]

I'm tempted to yank Barry's chain by saying it's the best thing he's ever written.

MEANWHILE, there's a virus in my email inbox. I use pine to read my email, so I did not automatically download it:

May 27 [email protected] (76K) Your password

Suspicious, I typed "[email protected]" "Your password" into Google. Sure enough, it's [email protected] or a variant: it's listed on Microsoft Technet.

PETER QUOTE OF THE DAY: Mommy, why don't you get yourself a surfing board?