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Dreaming Again

Grimes and the Gaijin Daimyo the first A Bertram Chandler story to be published in 24 year is now available in the Anthology Dreaming Again edited by Jack Dann.






















The Mentor

Grimesish Grumberlings, Susan Wood - A Tribute

Susan Wood - A Tribute

Susan was a person of great - enthusiasms, some of which I was privileged to share.

I first became aware of her either in 1974 or 1975; it was when I read something by her, a book review of sorts, in which she made mention of my love for airships. She indicated that she shared this love. So, naturally, I was keen to meet her at the Aussiecon in ’75. We found that we saw eye to eye on most things.

The next time that I met Susan was at the Seacon in Brighton in 1979. One of the troubles at this convention was that it was practically impossible to meet the people whom you wanted to meet. In any case, I didn’t know that she was at the Seacon. She didn’t know that I was there. One day my English agent, Leslie Flood, threw a champagne party in his suite on one of the upper floors- of the Metropole Hotel. It was a very crowded affair, with everybody talking and nobody listening. Eventually, in the company of many others, I left and managed to insert myself into a crammed to wall over capacity lift. As this descended people disembarked at various floors. Finally there were only two of us left on the downward journey.

We stared at each other in amazement.

In my case it was delighted amazement. I like to think that it was too as far as she was concerned.

I met her again towards the end of March in 1980 or, to be more exact, she met me, at the Vancouver airport. During ray stay in Vancouver she looked after me well, arranging for me to meet the local fans and to be shown around the city. Also I saw quite a lot of her at the NorWesCon in Seattle, where she interviewed me for Andy Porter’s STARSHIP.

She got herself embroiled in the Ned Kelly Project, telling me of an armed insurrection in Canada at just about the same time as my fictional Australian War of Independence. She was insistent that I should somehow incorporate this real life (but unsuccessful) revolution in my own rewritten history. She considered seriously writing a What If novel of her own, one in which Gabriel Dumont came out on top.

Now she will never write it - but I shall be using Dumont as one of the characters in the Ned Kelly novel.

There was one disappointment for both of us in Seattle. John Varley- another airship buff - should have been attending. For some reason he did not. Both Susan and I were disappointed that John Varley was unable to attend the NorWesCon. It had been our intention to get into a huddle with him to talk about airships.

I am only one of the very many who have memories, happy memories, of Susan.

She will be sorely missed wherever in the world science fiction is read and fans gather.
Originally Published in The Mentor No: 29 - Feb 1981