THE NUTMEG POINT DISTRICT MAIL

the Avram Davidson electronic newsletter

Vol. I No. 2
13 July 1789
ISSN 1089-764X

Henry Wessells, Editor.
Cooper Wessells, Honorary Secretary.

Published by whim and fancy at irregular intervals.
Contents copyright 1996 The Nutmeg Point District Mail and assigned to individual contributors. All rights reserved.

All correspondence to:
TEMPORARY CULTURE Post Office Box 43072, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043-0072

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WHAT SONG THE SIRENS SANG, etc.

While most of the contents of the alleged LAST DANGEROUS VISIONS may not see the light of day in this century, your editor has turned up the manuscript of AVRAM DAVIDSON's contribution, in the Special Collections of the Library of the California State University at Fullerton. The 9 page manuscript bears the title "Caretaker" but a handwritten note suggests, rather optimistically, that the story will be published in the second Dangerous Visions anthology, under the title "A Very Old Custom." To complicate matters still further, this piece has been previously reported under the title "The Stone That the Builders Rejected."
All right, get on with it.
Yes, it's a notable story by Avram Davidson, in the John Collier vein, and even if it doesn't see publication until 2008, it will not be in any way dated or stale. It looks at old customary practices in the building trades, and has a splendid, icy concluding image.

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FAMOUS HISTORICAL FIGURES IN AVRAM'S WORK

first of an occasional series

AARON BURR

Aaron Burr (1756-1836), son of an early president of The College of New Jersey (known in later years as Princeton
University), third vice president of the United States of America, was a man with vast political ambitions and quite a vision for America. Burr's political career suffered a minor setback when he shot and killed his long-time political rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel on the banks of the Hudson in July 1804. That much is fact.

Aaron Burr's ambitions are at the heart of "O Brave Old World!" (Beyond Time. Ed. Sandra Ley. New York: Pocket Books, 1976.) It's one of the best of Avram's many alternate history tales, delivered with a minimum of razzle-dazzle or hype.   Outrageous in its total reworking of American history, the historical figures remain true to their fundamental natures.
Frederick (son of George II), sent to America for his health, becomes widely popular and the center of a royalist revolt
against England when the purse strings are cut. America becomes the seat of the monarchy, the Continental Congress (under the leadership of Franklin and then Washington) supersedes Parliament. England is invaded and occupied, seething under the tax burdens inflicted by the most Roman dictatorship under Washington's successor, "that scoundrelly American prime minister-president," Aaron Burr.  Jefferson et al are refugees in London fomenting a war of independence from America.

What is less widely known is that Aaron Burr signed the Constitution of the United States of America. At least he did in
Michael Kurland's novel The Whenabouts of Burr (New York: DAW Books, 1975), a