the Avram Davidson electronic newsletter

Vol. III No. 4
30 November 1998
ISSN 1089-764X

Henry Wessells, Editor.
Cooper Wessells, Honorary Secretary.

Published bimonthly by whim and fancy for the Avram Davidson Society.
Contents copyright 1998 The Nutmeg Point District Mail and assigned to individual contributors. All rights reserved.

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Post Office Box 43072, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043-0072

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Lordie, what an occasion! Here it is, almost everything we might have wanted to preserve, in one portable volume. When in six months' or a decade's time some innocent enquirer puts in an appearance and asks "Who was this Avram Davidson, anyway?" we will be empowered to point jubilantly to the present book as all-sufficing answer. It really is that complete.
All right, I know `Dragon Skin Drum' was left out, and if I were to let myself brood long over that, it would lead me to snarling at the moon and snapping at publishers and other creatures of the night. Yes, there were things less worthy by far which actually did get included. `Author, Author,' for instance, is a piece of junk. And I have never been one of the admirers of Dr Morris Goldpepper.
The omission of these two would have cleared room enough for the absolutely seminal `Drum' [1] -- and then we could have seen, by lining it up in our minds with `Dagon,' what an extraordinary variety of things Avram could hammer out of the same basic experience [2] : as between `The Power of Every Root' here and Clash of Star Kings (which he called Tlaloc but confidently or jestingly expected the publisher would re-title Aztec Goddesses from Outer Space with Big Boobs); or between the unpublished Dragons in the Trees and the Limekiller stories, especially the extraordinary `Manatee Gal, Won't You Come Out Tonight' which is, glory be, included here.
In fact, `Author, Author' -- bad cess to it! -- affords such a remarkable variety of opportunities that the temptation to go on rooting about in it cannot be resisted. So let's, already (Could It Hoyt?):
Of course it is where the proof-reading errors proliferate most freely (this tends to be an intermittent problem, suggesting that a team divvied up the book to read proof, and that one of the team was, to put it delicately, Not Quite Up To The Job): and where Avram himself, bored to death I fancy and small wonder, could simply not be bothered to eradicate such clinkers as "fortuitous accident" (115, but in oratio recta) and "the four provinces of Northern Ireland" (116).
Whether we owe "Clemantina" (117) and "justicia" (122) to his hand or to the proof-reader's may be easy enough to determine if you have Strange Seas and Shores near at hand; but when we read "The rustic slowly hook his head" (113) and "risability" (115) and "proferred" (115) and "Pharoah" (117) and -- moving ahead now to other stories -- "deductable" (135) and "monastary" (309) and "Bhuddis