Here’s a departure for you, sports fans!

And here to take it forward, I’m going to hand over to Preston Grassmann. Take it away, Preston.

Thanks, Pete.

As Nabokov said, “I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes.”

It was sometime in the mid-nineties at Dangerous Visions Bookstore in Sherman Oaks, when a seismic shift altered the foundations of the room. It wasn't the Northridge quake, but it was certainly a force of nature—in walked Harlan, the man who had written "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes" and "Repent Harlequin. . . ." and “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.” In walked the man who had met Bruce Lee, mouthed off to Sinatra, marched in Selma, had lived through the insanities of Hollywood producers . . . and, oh, so much more. Something had happened to the crowd, as if they had fallen into the path of a McCormick thresher—husks torn away to reveal something essential in their awe-struck silence.

I knew all too well how meeting one’s heroes can turn out badly (as it had for some of Harlan’s fans), but I was indefatigable in my youth and I told him what I thought of his work and he smiled and shook my hand and we talked for a while. I had told him my dream of putting together an anthology someday, with a table of contents that included some of the very writers in this book. “That’s a pretty nifty list,” Harlan said. “Do it, kiddo.”

As the years passed, I went on to write for Nature Magazine and became a contributing editor at Locus, and the dream kind of fell by the wayside, but Harlan never let me forget.

And though I wish Harlan could see it, the dream is finally here—a book full of memories and love—thirty-three international contributors who have joined together to celebrate his life. It’s strong and strange in ways I never expected, full of inspired ideas, anecdotes and stories of Harlan. Of course, to include everyone influenced by Harlan and the work he celebrated would more than fill The Lost Aztec Temple of Mars.

I’m proud to announce the final table of contents for THE UNQUIET DREAMER: A TRIBUTE TO HARLAN ELLISON

  • Introduction: Older Than Five, Younger Than Twelve
  • Foreword 1 – Second Father/First Child by Josh Olson
  • Foreword 2 – Harlan Ellison’s Influence on Me by Ellen Datlow
  • Aye, and Gomorrah by Samuel R. Delany
  • The Way You Came In May Not Be The Best Way Out by Paul Di Filippo
  • A Thin Silver Line by Steve Rasnic Tem
  • On an Old Man’s Contemplation of an Archway Sealed with Stones by Adam Troy Castro
  • Hums by Peter Crowther
  • The Re-Evolution of Cloud Nine by Nikhil Singh
  • The First of Many Shudders by Kaaron Warren
  • Break Into Three by Nick Mamatas
  • Twelve Letters to My Daughter on the Moon by Ian McDonald
  • The Last Shout of the Beast by Bruce Sterling
  • Alice’s by Lisa Tuttle
  • Split. by David Gerrold
  • The Wedding Gown by Jeffrey Thomas
  • And Everywhere That Mary Went by Anna Tambour
  • Amniocryptic by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
  • Build Your Own Monster by Rumi Kaneko (translated by Preston Grassmann)
  • Race Across a Vanishing Landscape by Gio Clairval
  • Rave On by Gregory Benford
  • The Collaboration by Allen M. Steele
  • The Man Who Saw Wakanda by Steven Barnes
  • The Starfucker Dyad by Rich Larson
  • With Frank and Lucinda Brewer at the East Pole by Gregory Norman Bossert
  • Perfection by John Skipp & Autumn Christian
  • Silicon Times e-Book Review by Greg Bear
  • The Seer by Chris Kelso
  • Live Inside Your Own Sky by D.R.G Sugawara
  • Various Kinds of Conceits by Arthur Byron Cover
  • Five Years Later by Scott Edelman
  • The Fragments of a Hologram City by Preston Grassmann
  • Flies by Robert Silverberg

And without further ado . . .

I’d like to share a few excerpts from THE UNQUIET DREAMER.


by Josh Olson

Photo of Harlan and Josh courtesy of Karen Faulkner

I’m writing this with a great blues album blasting.
     I’m writing this up against a deadline.
     I’m writing this extemporaneously.
     I’m doing that because—I tell myself—it’s how Harlan would have done it.
     To be fair, Harlan also would have banged out a masterpiece with his first draft, because that’s the kind of infuriating genius he was. I, on the other hand, will edit and revise, because that is - infuriatingly - the kind of non-genius I am. But otherwise, I’m doing this in the Ellison mode because it seems the right thing to do. Of course, being drunk or stoned would probably make it easier, but Harlan never did either of those things, and I’m attempting a tribute to the man, so we’re flying without a net today.
     So the great blues album I mentioned. It’s the soundtrack to the perfectly fine Dennis Hopper movie THE HOT SPOT Jack Nitzsche put together one of the greatest supergroups of all time - John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis, Taj Mahal, Earl Palmer and Roy Rogers (the guitarist, not the singing cowboy). Harlan was one of the greatest jazz and blues aficionados on the planet, and I am not. But this is the one album I was ever able to turn him onto that genuinely impressed him. Needless to say, this was a huge score for me. Buy the album. You’ll enjoy the hell out of it.
     As for this article, I make no such guarantees. There have already been countless essays on the importance of Harlan’s writing and the impact his work has had on the world (including a few in this book), and I wholeheartedly endorse the good ones. I have no idea what I can add to the critical conversation about the man. He was the writer who made me want to be a writer, and he was my best friend.
     That, I can tell you about. I’ll tell you about our first conversation and our first collaboration, and our last conversation and our last collaboration.


by Kaaron Warren

The evicted drifted back to see the place, sift through the rubble.
     Some of them had watched the demolition of their homes from across the road, belongings in garbage bags around their feet, because until then they really didn’t believe it was going to happen. Or they thought; they’ll stick up the condemned signs and we’ll move back in, because that had happened before, blocks of flats considered derelict but still livable if you had nowhere else to go.
     But the place was reduced to rubble and every day the rubble shifted, formed into something else, made of memories, good and bad.


by Adam Troy Castro

His name is Stick. He is an old man. He is not feeble. He is not confused. He is young in aspect because such is his nature. It is impossible to consider him old. But he is old, very old; old enough to remember when times were green. He knows that he does not have much time left. He avoids the end as best he can, as we all do. In the meantime, he does what he has always done, visit the worlds that he finds through the portals from the Gray. They are worlds created for him, and of him, that



by Steve Rasnic Tem

A thin silver line: color of moonlight, or morning fog, the highlight on your grandmother’s lips. The fading borders of the dream just before you discover it is morning. It's a separation keeping you from the dream, the day from the night, and the fantasy from nightmare. The division is less substantial than mist; you can cross it and not even know.


by Paul Di Filippo

The first time Sal Broome heard a Rigellian play the gnostic flute, he was ruined for all other music. His mind shattered into myriad tiny mirrored fragments, his soul melted down into a puddle of honeyed whey, and his gut suddenly hosted a whirling maelstrom that made the vortex that Arthur Gordon Pym encountered look like a bathtub drain.


by Peter Crowther

The waiting area was cramped but William found a seat. He eased himself between a man wearing a tweed jacket and an old woman whose spectacle lenses were so thick that there didn’t seem to be eyes behind them.
     He looked at the table alongside and scanned the books, magazines and newspapers. Several copies of Readers’ Digest, the morning’s Independent with what looked to be the word ‘sugary’ (although William decided it must have been ‘surgery’) scribbled above the masthead, a couple of well-thumbed copies of National Geographic (one which proclaimed “we are not alone” in large blue letters written on an interstellar gaseous cloud) and a coffee-ring stained Beano Book showing all of the comic’s characters in a bus whose side boldly proclaimed ‘Christmas Or Bust’. He opted for a Readers’ Digest that boasted a story about clairvoyant pets.


by Bruce Sterling

To witness the end of the world was a nightmare. Professor Echo knew he wasn't dreaming, though; the end of the world smelled worse than any dream ever could. 
     The Mogul's rocket-base stank of decomposing plastics, dead topsoils, arctic methane, and the ill-winds from bomb-cratered cities. Space-rockets towered on the desert horizon. Each colossal, gleaming missile had a sharp nose and four big hollow fins. They were ranked as neatly as literary awards. 


Nikhil Singh

They’re out there, friends. They are out there with their quadrophobes and their capsules of rotten time and their Eye-rooms. They say and we lousy mugs do. Their fingers are in your pie, Sunny Jim. So, what you gonna to do? Sit there with a stupid expression on your Happy Frank while Little Miss Eyeball and her bugs peel open your dreams like bananas? What’s this rotten egg they’ve sold you, Bubba? Why are things in the shitty state they are in? I mean, you can wave your anti-matter cyclons and your peace signs and your anti-retrovirals, but what you going to do? The clocks have stopped. Time is doing the geriatric tango and still you working for the Man. We have one great Age to duck and weave in kids, from the dinosaurs to the apocky-clips, and still you pumping checks for Daddy God and the great white picket fence in the sky…..

Artist Biography: Yoshika Nagata

Yoshika Nagata was born in 1977, and lives in Tokyo. After graduating from Tama Art University in 2000, she began working for a CM editing company, but left her job in 2003 to pursue her art full time. Her illustrations and paintings have appeared in various art galleries around the world. She currently illustrates for books and performs in live-painting events.

Editor Biography: Preston Grassmann

Preston Grassmann was born in California and educated at U.C. Berkeley. He began working for Locus in 1998, returning as a contributing editor after a hiatus in Egypt and the UK. His most recent work has been published in Nature Magazine, Shoreline of Infinity, and “Futures 2” (Tor). He is a regular contributor to Nature and writes a feature for Locus called “The Cosmic Village”. He currently lives in Japan, where he enjoys hiking, watercolor painting, and performing at live events throughout Tokyo.

Okay, that’s about it from Preston but I would like to close with this little extra piece.

There is a Convention in Japan—called Hal-Con—you really could have done to see but, alas, as you read this Newsletter, it takes place (or took place) on April 13/14. Preston’s first experience with Hal-Con Japan was back in 2012, when he interviewed Alastair Reynolds and covered the convention for the June issue of Locus Magazine. If you’ve read his articles on this event in various venues, you might remember that the stated goal of the convention was to encourage dialogue between international and Japanese fans. In the past few years, with the help of guests such as Hannu Rajaniemi, Ann Leckie, and Peter Watts, it’s come a lot closer to reaching that goal.

Preston will be reprising his role as one of the interviewers, along with Professor Andrew Adams. As in previous years, there will be parallel programming for fantasy and young adult fiction, which should appeal to a broad range of readers. Fandom can often be a terra incognita in Japan, with literary and pop-culture fusions that often leave foreign fans wandering the streets like Furaribi (an aimless creature engulfed in flames), but Hal-Con continues to be the country’s foremost literary convention for science fiction and fantasy. For those who yearn for a more bibliophilic approach, with a more intimate gathering, this is a convention you won’t want to miss. More information on Hal-Con can be found by clicking on the banner above.

Now back to Pete.

Thanks, Preston . . . And welcome to the PS family. Good to have you aboard. THE UNQUIET DREAMER is scheduled to appear at WorldCon in August this year but we’re  making both the unsigned hardcover and the deluxe slipcased signed edition (200 copies signed by contributors and housed in an illustrated slipcase) available for pre-order at £60 and £95 respectively.


Okay, that was a bit of a baptism of fire, Preston—

—certainly a heck of a way to start off your relationship with PS, fella. Can’t wait to see the final version of the book. There was another item we could have run with today—in fact maybe even TWO more items—but Nicky and Mike told me I hadn’t to be impatient. So I might just start next week’s letter a week early. But then I might take a wander to the sea-front instead and have a coffee. While nobody is exactly frying eggs on the sidewalk out there, it’s sunny and warmish and the Friday afternoon is calling. In fact, dammit, it’s screeching its fool head off. So have a fantastic weekend, look after each other . . . And happy reading.



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