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My First Fan Letter (1981): The Foot Star Wrinkle

Still rooting in the basement (Magic Pig that I am) I found the first-ever fan-letter that I got, mailed to me in 1981 care of Ace Books who had just published White Light with a somewhat misleading cover.

The letter was from a guy in the penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. In response to my careful melding of literature, philosophy, and the mathematics of the infinite, he’d smeared ink on his foot and stepped on a piece of paper — to show me a star-shaped wrinkle. He wanted me to fund university research on the wrinkle and to write a book on the results with him.

“Thing we could go 50 50 on Writing Book on Star and on what university Researchs Writes out on Research part.”

My welcome by the class of people who read science fiction!

Actually I was pleased. It used to be that carnivals would come to the small towns we lived in and, say, the Ferris wheel operator would have a pulp paperback tucked into the hip pocket of his jeans, and he'd periodically read a page or two while letting the Wheel do its alloted cycles. I'd begun to dream of being the author of that book.

4 Responses to “My First Fan Letter (1981): The Foot Star Wrinkle”

  1. gamma Says:

    when i met yu in Brighton WHITE LIGHT was about 2 be published by VIRGIN (maxim J) at that time – i still like DONUTS & other stuff – but information makes me feel weirder than waht it is – if yu follow the thread

  2. Rudy Says:

    I well remember that trip to Brighton, that’s where I got the deal for White Light. And I remember hanging around with some British guys who were very kind and friendly. I’ve never been able to sort out exactly which one of them was you, though, Gamma. Were you wearing white boots?

  3. Shannon Says:

    “He wanted me to fund university research on the wrinkle and to write a book on the results with him.”
    So… did you?

  4. Steve H Says:

    Hey! That was me, but the star on me foot has now morphed into a blivet. More research needs to be done. We could split the profits 50-50.
    Just kidding – I don’t have a star on my foot but it DOES say 666 on my scalp. It’s the 7th wonder of the world.

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