MABFAN NEWSLETTER # 6 (January 1998)

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

HEADLINE: End of Year Roundup, and a Look Ahead

Hello, everyone, and I hope you all had a good new year. Welcome to another edition of my newsletter; I hope people are enjoying it. You may recall, when I first set it up, that I said it would only be sporadic, sent out when I had important news to share. Well, despite my desire not to flood mailboxes, I've gotten quite a bit of e-mail recently from friends asking why I hadn't sent out another MABFAN recently. Note that this was in December, and the last issue had gone out in October.

So I've decided to try for more frequent updates. There's always something going on in my writing life, even if it isn't a new story being published, and I figure that one newsletter every two months or so should be acceptable for people's mailboxes.

I'd like to start this one with a look back. The year 1997 was a pretty good one for me; as all of you know, I won the John Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In addition, I had four stories published:

* "Broken Symmetry" (ANALOG, February 1997, novelette)

* "Heisenberg's Magazine" (ANALOG, March 1997, short story)

* "The Spider in the Hairdo" (URBAN NIGHTAMRES, Baen Books, short story)

* "The Cure" (ANALOG, December 1997, short story)

Of those four stories, "Broken Symmetry" is currently on the Nebula preliminary ballot, and "The Spider in the Hairdo" is probably going to make it onto the Stoker preliminary ballot (the Stoker is an award given by the Horror Writers Association). With luck, this won't be the last we hear of them...

I also had some nonfiction articles published, including one which I haven't mentioned before and would now like to bring to your attention. The fanzine MIMOSA 21 (December 1997) just came out, and it has my article "Asimov and Me," about my interactions with Isaac Asimov as I was growing up. Asimov was, and continues to be, a great influence on me, and in this article I finally had a chance to talk about how much he meant to me. You can get a copy of MIMOSA by sending a $4 check made out to Richard & Nicki Lynch, P.O. Box 3120, Gaithersburg, MD 20885. And check out their webpage at http://www.smithway,org/mimosa.


This year is looking to be even better than last. First of all, right off the bat, I know of five stories I have scheduled to appear, three in ANALOG and two in anthologies. In what I think will be the order of appearance, the stories are:

* "Cosmic Corkscrew" (ANALOG, June 1998)

* "In Space, No One Can Hear" (ANALOG, unscheduled)

* "Absent Friends" (ANALOG, unscheduled)

* "Collapse" (DIMENSIONS OF MADNESS, Avesta Blues Publishing, scheduled Fall 1998)

* "Hunger" (365 SCARY STORIES, Barnes & Noble, scheduled Fall 1998)

I'm particularly pleased about "Cosmic Corkscrew." All I'll say at this stage is that it's an anniversary tribute story and my first time travel story, and if you like Isaac Asimov you'll probably want to check it out.

I'm not just doing fiction, by the way. You all know that I've had the ocassional article in _TANGENT_, the short fiction review magazine of the science fiction world. I am extremely pleased to announce that David Truesdale, the editor, has asked me to become a regular columnist for the magazine. I'll be writing "The Heart of the Matter," a column focusing on the positive aspects of hard science fiction. Again, I'll let everyone know when my column starts. In the meanwhile, check out their webpage at


For those of you looking for Nomi and me, we'll be at the following conventions:

* Arisia (Waltham, MA, January 16-18)

* Boskone (Framingham, MA, February 13-15)

* Lunacon (Rye Brook, NY, March 20-22)

* Readercon (Westborough, MA, July 10-12)

* Bucconeer (Baltimore, MD, August 5-9)

But that's not all. Last September, Professor Henry Jenkins of MIT asked if I would serve as Coordinator of the Media in Transition Science Fiction Lecture Series. The Media Studies department is doing a year-long look at how media is transforming, and as part of it, Jenkins wanted to bring in science fiction writers to read and discuss their works.

The fall series was very successful. The writers who spoke included Fred Pohl, Jim Kelly, Gregory Benford, Joe Haldeman, Orson Scott Card, Allen Steele, Sarah Zettel, and Ellen Kushner. In the spring, we're getting Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Bruce Sterling, Nancy Kress, J. Michael Straczynski, Alex Jablokov...

And me. That's right. I'll be lecturing along with Nancy Kress, on the night of April 15th, at MIT, room 6-120, starting at 7 PM. I'm still in shock at the thought that I was asked to speak at MIT, but then again, so were some of the other writers. Anyway, if you happen to be in the Boston area that day, feel free to attend. And if you're interested in any of the other lectures, let me know and I'll give you times and places. Or you can check their webpage, at http://media-in-


Well, if this all isn't enough, I'm also running for Secretary of the Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). I'll let you all know how it turns out.


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-- Michael A. Burstein