MABFAN NEWSLETTER # 14 (January 1999)

Michael A. Burstein's "Friends Across the Net" Newsletter

HEADLINE: End of Year Roundup

Hello, everyone, and happy new year! There's not a lot to report, but last year, I took the opportunity to look back at the stories I had published. I figured this year, I'd do the same thing.

It looks like 1999 may not have many stories by me published, mostly because I've been working on the novel. I am rewriting a few stories, so it is possible that a few may appear at the end of 1999; and of course, if you're reading this, you'll be the first to know.


In 1998 I published six stories (two were collaborations):

1. "Cosmic Corkscrew" (ANALOG, June 1998, short story)

2. "In Space, No One Can Hear" (ANALOG, July/August 1998, short story)

3. "The Parallels of Penzance" (with Stanley Schmidt) (PIECES OF SIX, Bucconeer Guest of Honor Book, August 1998, short story)

4. "Absent Friends" (ANALOG, September 1998, novelette)

5. "Nor Through Inaction" (with Charles Ardai) (ANALOG, October 1998, short story)

6. "Hunger" (HORRORS! 365 SCARY STORIES, edited by Stefan Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg, and Martin H. Greenberg, Barnes & Noble, October 1998, short story)

All of these stories are eligible for the usual possible award nominations next year (although obviously, not all are at that level). I will note that as I write this, "Cosmic Corkscrew" has made it to the preliminary ballot for the Nebula Award, so I have to admit that I'm feeling very hopeful for it. I'm also hopeful for "Absent Friends," the sequel to "Broken Symmetry," since "Broken Symmetry" was on this year's Hugo ballot. (It lost, as you all may remember, but it was still there.)


No fiction, I'm afraid, but as I mentioned last issue, the editor of SCIENCE FICTION AGE asked me to do an article about the reaction of the science fiction world to the end of the television show BABYLON 5. That article is currently available, in the January 1999 issue, and I am extremely pleased to note that the magazine devoted its cover to my article.

The editor of the magazine was so pleased, in fact, that he asked me for another BABYLON 5 article for another magazine. As a result, the April 1999 SCI-FI UNIVERSE, which will be out at the end of January, has an article by me in which I interviewed various fans of the show about the top ten episodes, as ranked by an Internet poll that has been going on since the beginning. Again, this is not fiction, but if any of you out there are BABYLON 5 fans, you might want to check it out.


Nomi and I will be at two conventions this winter:

Arisia (Boston, MA, January 8-10)

Boskone (Framinghman, MA, February 12-14)

If you come to either convention, feel free to find us and say hello. At this stage, it does not look like we'll be able to attend Lunacon in March, so our next convention will probably be Readercon in July. Although we may make it to the Nebula Awards in Pittsburgh in May.

I'd like to mention one tie-in to the Boskone weekend. Boskone is sponsored by the New England Science Fiction Association, of which I am Vice-President. Last April, we lost one of our members, Monty Wells, to cancer. I had enjoyed many conversations with Monty, as he was a high school Chemistry teacher and he had a lot of good advice to offer. Monty looked out for everyone in his life; when he found a stack of ANALOG magazines with one of my stories being sold at low prices a year after the issue came out, he picked them up for me and wouldn't take my money.

When I found out that Monty had died, I was shocked and upset. My reaction: "I wasn't finished talking to Monty yet."

Well, in his honor, NESFA is sponsoring the Monty Wells Project, an ongoing attempt to combine science fiction and teaching. Our first event, When Words Collide, is a special seminar for educators in Massachusetts, about how to use science fiction in teaching. We've got a few luminaries coming to speak, including Marvin Minsky as our keynote speaker.

I think Monty would have loved it.


One final announcement for the New Year. In November, my good friend Heather Greene did another redesign of my webpage. It now has a cool science fiction style background and an overall more professional look. If you haven't been there for a while, I urge you to check it out at And if, like me, you don't use a graphical browser, don't worry about it -- the page remains lynx-accessible.


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-- Michael A. Burstein