Volume 15, Number 04, Fall, 1997

Guest Editorial

"D" is For Dembinski

by Brad Linaweaver

There is an important reason why Anders Monsen cannot write this editorial. His natural modesty would prevent the singing of his own praises. I'm sure that any Objectivists in the readership will appreciate the distinction between someone who isn't overbearing (unlike most libertarians) as opposed to someone who doesn't take pride in his accomplishments. Anders is rightly proud of what he has accomplished. He is the best editor Prometheus has ever had. This is an opinion shared by former editors of the journal.

Anders made a big difference at the world science fiction convention this year—a convention that was very important to us for two reasons. One is the holy crusade we continue fighting for Kings of the High Frontier. The other is that this was the Worldcon at which Free Space first appeared. How appropriate that this would occur on Anders' home turf, the great state of Texas, and that libertarians there assembled could make a pilgrimage to the Alamo.

Anders and his wife, Karen, went that extra mile to make sure that the LFS was a presence in San Antonio this year. They deserve a big THANK YOU.

Not surprisingly, I think that the Free Space issue of Prometheus is one of the best Anders has ever done. Who can doubt my objectivity? But considering the time crunch he faced and that my participation was largely over the phone, it's amazing that the issue came out so well. Even so, there were some oversights that I'd like to take care of now.

First, the Tor editorial assistant who did such a good job (he's moved on to another company since) is Tad Dembinski. Not Zembiski with a "Z" but Dembinski with a "D." The blame for this error falls squarely on the shoulders of little statist gremlins who bedevil all libertarian enterprises.

Next, three writers were left out of the final version of my interview. This will not do. First, I must single out William F. Wu. HE WAS THE VERY FIRST WRITER TO COME THROUGH WITH A STORY. And it is one of the most beautiful in the book. Thanks, Bill.

Next there's Peter Crowder. Along with Ed Kramer, he bought one of the weirdest stories I ever wrote for Tombs, so it only seemed fair to let him do the weirdest story in Free Space.

Finally, there's Jared Lobdell, long time associate of SEK3. I enjoyed working with him on The Agorist Quarterly. He also used to work with Bill Buckley on National Review, so I think he was a real asset.

Ed Kramer and I worked as a team on the book and it never would have happened without both of us. I invited many of the contributors, but there were many times when I had crucial help. Dafydd ab Hugh helped me persuade John Barnes to contribute. Ed Kramer is the reason we got Robert Sawyer. And both Victor Koman and I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Gregory Benford in the early stages of getting this rocket off the ground. We were delighted when Benford agreed to be master of ceremonies for us at the Worldcon.

As long as I'm throwing around gratitude like a drunken man, I want to thank Alexis Gilliland twice for things he did at Lonestar Con. The first reason may be seen on the cover of this issue. I remember how pleased we were at New Libertarian when Alexis did cartoons for us. Now Prometheus receives the same honor.

The other thanks to Alexis is that he was the high point of what was an otherwise down moment for Vanessa Koman at the con. Picture a thirteen year o1d all dressed up in an evening gown to go to a country club (via chartered buses courtesy of Bantam) and she discovers…a country club, as in country-and-western!!! She wasn't the only one in the same fix, but she was definitely unthrilled at the situation. She didn't forgive me until later that evening when I introduced her to the creator of Men in Black. In the interim, Alexis saved the day for her by telling funny stories and being his personable self.

Now there's a segue to Anders' review of Vanessa's starring vehicle before the pic is even released. (See page 7) Yes, it's a Prometheus exclusive preview of one of the best Fred Olen Ray movies ever Little Miss Magic. Again who can doubt my objectivity?

(I still remember the night Vanessa first acted for Fred as the little orphan girl in Cyberzone. He put her in one of the most expensive shots of the movie, a crane shot. She did a scene with old pro Marc Singer. He pronounced her a natural, as many have done since then. By the way, Victor and I were made up as mutant bums in this future world, the ultimate fate for winners of the Prometheus Award.)

Well, I guess that's enough sweetness and light from me. If I don't say something negative about someone, who will believe I really wrote this? I have a reputation to uphold.

Wait, I have an idea! A perfect notion for a typical Brad Linaweaver paragraph to wrap this up. Get ready now. Here it comes…

At Lonestar Con Connie Willis won another Hugo. She has now won more Hugos and Nebulas than any other writer. There is only one conclusion. Connie Willis is the greatest science fiction writer of all time. Greater than Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Sturgeon, Bradbury, LeGuin, Norton, Sheckley, Silverberg, Dick, Delany, van Vogt, Anderson…and on, and on. She is a titan of the imagination. Just think of future generations fondly remembering those first stories that made them see the world in a different way, or inspired them, or just got their brains to working overtime. As Welles and Verne shaped earlier generation, so will the future look back to the world brain we've been fortunate to know as Connie Willis. I stand in awe of her accomplishments.

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