Editorial – December 2022

This issue is late. Very late. There was me thinking that most of the house move stuff was behind me. What I didn’t reckon with was the need to catch up on work. Nor did I expect to be offered a lucrative consultancy project. I did know that I was planning to travel to Montréal for a week’s vacation with Kevin, but I was expecting to have time to work on this issue en route, and while he was busy at SMOFCon. Instead I spent that time on paid work. Sorry, but getting paid comes first.

I still thought I could put an issue out when I got back, but the work and the house jobs kept coming, so I decided to abandon November. Surely I would have plenty of time over the holidays to get an issue done. Nope. I spent most of the holiday period working. The money will be welcome. I have, after all, needed to buy a lot of furniture.

So this is a combined November/December issue, and a little bigger as a result. I’m also thinking about putting out an issue in February to make up for the one I missed. I am normally quite busy with LGBT History Month, but it has also occurred to me that February is the very last month I should be missing, because people do their Hugo nominations in March.

Anyway, we’ll see. Having a home of my own for the first time in over 30 years is proving an interesting experience. There will always be another (expensive) project that needs to be done. I’m not complaining. I’d much rather be in control than have to rely on rental agencies and landlords, but I might not have as much free time as I used to.

Anyway, I had a fabulous time in Montréal, ate very well, and attended two conventions while I was there, neither of which was COP15. More about that in the SMOFCon report. And I have read a lot of stuff. Hopefully you will enjoy the issue now that you have finally got it.

While I’m here, I have a few things I need to talk about. Firstly there was the ongoing nonsense in which the folks at the Internet Science Fiction Database refused to accept Lee Mandelo’s change of name, in part because they worried that he might detransition and then they’d have to change it back. I wrote a thread on Mastodon about why getting your knickers in a twist about trans people changing their names, but accepting other name changes without question, is transphobic. Hopefully that’s sufficiently obvious that I don’t have to go into it again here.

However, the reason I bring this up is that not every trans person wants their name changed on old stuff. Billy Martin, for example, is apparently happy for his old books to continue to be listed as being by Poppy Z Brite. I run a bunch of websites. My policy is that I am happy to change things, but only on request from the person concerned. I won’t make a change because it is what I think the person wants, because I might be wrong. Nor will I change it because some concerned third party tells me I ought to. The request has to come from the only person who matters. And if it does, I am very happy to make the change.

Another issue that has blown up recently is that of AI-generated art. As far as I know, all of the covers I have used for Wizard’s Tower books are the work of the individual artists. Salon Futura, being a fanzine, doesn’t have an art budget. I get around this in many cases by using the covers for Wizard’s Tower books (Ben Baldwin has been very generous about this). But for a lot of issues I have used art that is freely available on the Internet. I’m now worried that much of this will be AI-generated. So I will be looking for an alternative solution. Thankfully I have a couple of months to sort that out.

Finally I have just been reading the new Locus, which is full of obituaries for Greg Bear. The few times I met Greg he was very lovely, and I enjoyed those books of his I have read. But I’d also like to mark the passing of Anne Harris, who was also very lovely, and produced some good books. For this issue I am re-printing my review of her Inventing Memory from Emerald City #105.