Tuesday, February 20, 2007

...the parts left out of JAMES TIPTREE, JR....

Excised from the final ms., this fragment is from a chapter scheduled for publication in the May, 2007, IF.

After a brief interagency presentation about psychological warfare at Foggy Bottom, [Alice] Sheldon and a young college intern named Robin Wilson were among the most enthusiastic audience members who approached [Paul] Linebarger to ask questions, and Linebarger asked them to accompany him to lunch. For a brief period in 1947, this became an irregularly-scheduled kaffeeklatsch, wherein they discussed the progress of the Cold War, by no means yet cooled in Linebarger's beloved China, and, increasingly, their mutual engagement with science fiction. At one of their meetings, Linebarger brought rather smeared carbons of a jape it had occurred to him to type out the previous evening, a simultaneous parody of the "filler" articles that editor Ray Palmer published in the pulp magazines he edited for Ziff-Davis (they were usually semi- or quasi-factual, and clearly pseudonymous, means for Palmer and other favored contributors and staff to pick up a few extra dollars while also making the contents pages impressively long), and of the "Shaver Mystery," an odd combination of paranoia, mysticism and sf presented in Palmer's Amazing Stories as revelation more than fiction. Linebarger's jape involved Richard Shaver's villains, the Deros, and their attempts at mind-control among the skiing-crazed denizens of a Colorado resort town.

Wilson looked at the title line on his copy, and asked, around his pastrami sandwich, "'Scanners Live in Vain?'"

Linebarger laughed. "No, 'Scanners Live in Vail'...sorry about the blurriness..."

Linebarger looked thoughtful, and Sheldon noted that Linebarger's left hand tensed, as if he was digging his fingernails into the ball of his thumb.

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