Recursive Science Fiction

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Faig, Kenneth W. Jr., "Collector the First: Major Geoffrey Hopkinton-Smith (1857-1943)"

The (fictional) Lovecraft collector David Park Boynton in Mexico in 1943 meets a reclusive collector and former correspondent with HPL. The Major's collection includes proof that the underground civilization of "The Mound" is based on fact; he also owns the ring mentioned in the supposedly-also-factual "Transition of Juan Romero" (then still unknown; it was first published in 1944). The ring has powers that protect him from attack by the "Mound" beings, who realize that he Knows Too Much. When he loses the ring, he and his home and collection are destroyed in an earthquake.

EODapa August 1979-October 1981 []

Tales of the Lovecraft Collectors, 1989, Moshassuck Press [edition of 25]

Tales of the Lovecraft Collectors, November 1995, Necronomicon Press 0-940884-80-1 (pp.9-18) [revised]

Faig, Kenneth W., Jr. "Collector the Second: Dean Alan Edgerton-Noble (1876-1959)"

Philip David Boynton describes a 1930 visit to the mostly-drowned city of Dunwich (the real one, in England). A local Dean knows of HPL, and of one of HPL's ancestors who was "a libertine and a swindler, and a mage and a Druid priest."  HPL's father, Winfield Lovecraft, is thought to have inherited the occult writings of that ancestor, Thomas Luckcraft; Winfield may also have been Jack the Ripper, carrying out occult rituals.

EODapa August 1979-October 1981 []

Tales of the Lovecraft Collectors, 1989, Moshassuck Press [edition of 25]

Tales of the Lovecraft Collectors, November 1995, Necronomicon Press 0-940884-80-1 (pp.19-30) [revised]

Falconer, Stuart, "Fugue and Variations"

The frame is the story of a librarian who is working with notes and books from his grandfather's private library. There is a world in which Mozart did not die in 1791, but rather in 1825. Near the end of his life, he visited the Shelleys in Switzerland and told them a "ghost" story that served as the basis for Mary's novel. However, his attempted collaboration with Percy Bysshe Shelley on an opera Prometheus comes to naught and only notes and sketches are left. These serve as the beginnings of Richard Wagner's opera Frankenstein, written between 1871-74, and first performed in 1879. It is not often performed because the soprano must take the triple roles of Mary Shelley, another Englishwoman, and the bride of the monster.

Interzone 85, July 1994 (pp.46-57)

Fanthorpe, R. Lionel, "Curse of the Khan"

R. Lionel Fanthorpe, supernatural writer, is invited to Genghis Khan to Black Island, south-east of Truro. His curiosity piqued, he goes. Gathered on the island are also the supernatural, fantasy, and science fiction writers Oben Lerteth, Peter O'Flinn, Bron Fane, and Neil Balfort. Soon joining them are the writers Elton T. Neef and Rene Rolant. [All these people are pseudonyms of R. Lionel Fanthorpe.] They have been gathered by an ancient and immortal alien who has taken the form of Genghis Khan to relieve his boredom. The Khan creates seven monsters to fight the seven writers and destroy them for his amusement. However, because of their innate intelligence and specific skills, the writers are triumphant.

Badger Supernatural Series 105, 1966

Down the Badger Hole. R. Lionel Fanthorpe: The Badger Years (edited byDebbie Cross), Wrigley-Cross Books, 1995 (pp.85-129)

Farmer, Philip José, Blown

Forrest J Ackerman, "Mr. Sci-Fi" plays himself in this story of two sets of antagonistic aliens stranded on Earth for centuries who are each trying to get home. Farmer creates the character of Woolston Heepish, an alien collector, who is the counterpart of Forry.

Essex House 0139, 1969

Quartet 1239-5, August 1975; September 1976

Grafton 06211-4, October 1988

Farmer, Philip José, "Extracts from the Memoirs of 'Lord Greystoke' "

This is ostensibly an edited version of the memoirs of the famed ape-man, Tarzan. Tarzan explains his early life and upbringing and how he actually obtained his position in British society. He briefly discusses his relationship with Edgar Rice Burroughs and Philip José Farmer.

Mother Was a Lovely Beast, (edited by Philip José Farmer), Chilton, November 1974;

Pyramid 04071-1, January 1976 (pp.37-87)

Farmer, Philip José, Red Orc's Rage

In Dr. A James Giannini's Tiersian Therapy center, disturbed adolescents are treated via role-playing using the "World of Tiers" stories of the SF writer Philip José Farmer. Jim Grimson is placed in the role of Red Orc and must participate in Red Orc's interactions with his father, Los.

Tor 85036-0, October 1991

Farmer, Philip José, RIVERWORLD SERIES

This series is now five novels. The premise originally presented is that all of mankind (over five years of age) from 2,000,000 B.C. to 2008 A.D. (when the Arcturians regretfully wiped out almost all human life) have been resurrected in a river valley about 10 million miles long. It is believed that descendants of the surviving humans (in about 7000 A.D.) did this. The Ethicals claim this was done to give each person a chance for personal improvement. When people die, they are resurrected once again along the River. Since everyone is there, anyone can be a character in the story. The main thrust of the series is the humans' attempts to find out what happened and why. The solution may lie at the north pole. As the series progresses it becomes clear that some of this information is false.

-----To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Richard Francis Burton is the viewpoint. One of the people he meets is Paul Jairus Frigate, a science fiction author (see volume 3) who is, in some ways, a projection of Philip José Farmer—they were both born in 1918, grew up in Peoria, have the same initials, and write science fiction. Frigate Claims to have met Sharkko, a publisher who cheated him on Earth, and proceeds to bloody his nose.

Worlds of Tomorrow 2:5 January 1965 (pp.7-64) ["The Day of the Great Shout"] and

Worlds of Tomorrow 3:6 March 1966 (pp.5-53) ["The Suicide Express"]

Putnam, 1971

Berkley S2057-6, September 1971

Science Fiction Book Club 26765, November 1980

Easton Press, April 1989

-----The Fabulous Riverboat

Relates how Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) went about constructing a riverboat to sail up the river to its source to discover the secrets of Riverworld. Mr. Clemens had, in his previous life, authored the time-travel novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The ur-SF writer Cyrano de Bergerac is also a major character in this story.

Worlds of If 17:7 July 1967 (pp.6-39); 17:8 August 1967 (pp.127-159) ["The Felled Star"] and

Worlds of If 20:11 June 1971 (pp.4-68); 20:12 August 1971 (pp.122-175) ["The Fabulous Riverboat"]

Putnam, 1971

Berkley Z2808-9, April 1973

Science Fiction Book Club 26781, November 1980

-----The Dark Design

Sam Clemens has left with his riverboat. The industrial base left behind has begun work on blimps to continue exploration. In this book Paul Jairus Frigate discusses science fiction with Richard Burton. Frigate admits he wrote SF. Resurrections of the Riverworld inhabitants cease. It is shown that one Frigate is an Agent of the Ethicals. The other Frigate travels upriver with Tom Mix and Jack London. Cyrano makes a major appearance here also. Now the presentation is that Riverworld is a vast anthropological experiment that will be abandoned when the Ethicals have the information they need; all humans will be left to die.

Worlds of Tomorrow 3:5 January 1966 (pp.134-162) ["Riverworld"] part used in The Dark Design1977

Berkley 03831-9, July 1978

Science Fiction Book Club 26799, November 1980

-----The Magic Labyrinth

The Earthly Frigate makes his appearance here once again as does Sam Clemens.

Berkley-Putnam, 1980

Science Fiction Book Club 2585, November 1980

-----Gods of Riverworld

Wherein it is revealed that Frigate wrote a mystery story The Knave of Hearts in which Alice Liddell Hargreaves (at age 30) was the amateur detective. Alice is one of his companions on the quest to reach the tower at the North Pole. Later, Frigate revives Sophie Lefkowitz, a woman he met at a science-fiction convention in 1955. She wrote children's book under the name Begonia West.

Phantasia Press, 1983

Putnam, 1983

Science Fiction Book Club 3658 (N49), December 1983

Farmer, Philip José, "The Two-Edged Gift"

The overall title of these stories is "Stations of the Nightmare"; parts appeared in all 4 issues of Continuum (edited by Roger Elwood). A flying saucer infecundates a middle-aged man. His close friend and neighbor, Leo Queequeg Tincrowder, is a science fiction writer. The actions most involved with science-fictional activities take place in part 1 above. [According to Kilgore Trout's biography, he had one son named Leo - perhaps this has no connection.]

Berkley N2828-3, May 1975 (pp 3-33)

The other parts are

"The Startouched", Berkley N2864-X, June 1975 (pp 3-35)

"The Evolution of Paul Eyre", Berkley N3022-9, December 1975 (pp 3-24)

"Passing On", Berkley N3077-6, March 1976 (pp 1-28)

The complete story is in

Stations of the Nightmare, Tor, 1982

Tor 53773-4, November 1988

Farmer, Philip José (as Kilgore Trout), Venus on the Half-Shell

Kilgore Trout was a science fiction writer created by Kurt Vonnegut in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.  This book itself is a parody of the classic pulp space operas. The "Biographical note" and "list of books" is particularly amusing. The magazine version lacks the list of books but does have a photograph of Kilgore Trout.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, December 1974 (pp. 6-61) [Ron Walotsky has done a parody of the Modigliani painting for the cover] and January 1975 (pp. 26-83)

Dell 6149, February 1975; March 1975; April 1975; November 1975; January 1976;April 1976; December 1976; April 1977; January 1978

Star 39846-9, March 1976

Bantam Spectra 27531-3, September 1988 [as by Philip Jose Farmer]

Fedor, A. & Hasse, Henry, "The End of Tyme"

A time traveler from the future approaches a present-day (1933) science fiction editor B. Lue Pencill of Future Fiction. He assumes that the editor will be open and amenable to listen to his story. Instead, the editor has him committed to an insane asylum.

Wonder Stories 5:4 November 1933 (pp.337-)

Fedor, A. & Hasse, Henry, "The Return of Tyme"

B. Lue Pencill is editor of Future Fiction.  The sales of his magazine and his finances are driving him to suicide. The final straw is the manuscript of The Core, a superb novel of scientifiction by Prof. John S. Mith; he does not have the money to pay for it (3¢/word). The time traveler appears and stops the suicide and gives Pencill future copies of the magazine with circulation figures of 200,000. [Such a circulation figure would cheer up any SF editor in our present.]  There is an alternate ending by Mohammed Ulysses Socrates Fips (Hugo Gernsback) in which Mith tells Pencill he can save money by paying his authors half the usual rate since they will not actually have to spend time writing the stories he already has in the future magazines. The style is so similar to the main story that one wonders if A. Fedor might not also be Gernsback.

Wonder Stories 6:3 August 1934 (pp.294-304)

Feist, Raymond E. joint author with Mike Resnick, et al.

Feeley, Gregory, "Scatchophily"

Sam Beckett, editor of Astounding and Unknown, along with four of the Futurians is waiting for the arrival of the world's greatest fantasy writer—James Joyce. Joyce is widely known for his Ulysses, published first in the United States and still banned in other countries.

Alternate Skiffy (edited by Mike Resnick and Patrick Nielsen Hayden), The Wildside Press 1-880448-54-8, December 1997 [dated 1996] (pp.79-86)

Ferguson, Neil, "A Man From the Future"

Neil Ferguson is working in a hospital in England when he is visited by a man who claims to be from the future. He goes to the Unicorn Bookshop to buy a book by Philip K. Dick. He buys one but not the one he wants. He begins to believe that he is a character in a novel being written by Philip K. Dick and winds up in Kabul, Afghanistan. In a bookstore there he trades Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? for Ubik (all the books in the store are Ubik). Traveling to Sri Lanka, he runs into a pair of Palmer Eldritches; he tells them he is from the future.

Science Fiction Foundation, 1983

Welcome to Reality: The Nightmares of Philip K. Dick, (edited by Uwe Anton), Broken Mirrors Press 4-2, 1991 [limited signed edition]; 5-0, 1991 [trade edition] (pp.67-70)

Ferrat, Jacques Jean, "Reel Life Films"

Cyril Bezdek makes SF films—space operas about clean-cut heroes fighting evil aliens from Mars. He tells his banker, E. Carter Dorwin, that this prevents protests from minorities that would have to be the villains in non-SF films. However, a Martian stops the train to confront the men. The Martians are upset at how they are being portrayed. He hypnotizes Bezdek and Dorwin so that the villains will now be Venerians (who are, by no surprise, the enemy of the Martians).

Fantastic Universe Science Fiction 1:6 May 1954 (pp.134-140)

Fesselmeyer, Bill, "How the GRINCH Stole Worldcon"

Another story based upon Worldcon business meetings and how a small, organized group was able to capture the Worldcon and take it private and secret.

MidAmeriCon Progress Report 2, (edited by Reamy, Tom), February 1975 (pp23-26)

Alternate Worldcons and Again, Alternate Worldcons (edited by Mike Resnick), WC Books, September 1996 (pp.249-260)

Finlay, Charles Coleman, "A Game of Chicken"

Edward Bango, editor/publisher of a science fiction magazine is invited to Griffin Farm to view some biological and/or genetically engineered products. The specific items are paper produced from bison feces and ink from chicken urine. The developer wants him to print an issue of the magazine using these products to gain acceptance. Ed decides that he does not want to do this.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction 104:2 February 2003 (pp.55-60)

Finn, Mark, "A Whim of Circumstance"

Clay Stark, "King of the Gorilla Men", is an actor playing the role of a fierce gorilla in the Conan the Conqueror movie (being made by Ray Harryhausen). Two science fiction authors—Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp—are also there as creative consultants. After a murder, a person who is obviously the dead Robert E. Howard shows up. He reviles the two SF authors saying they know nothing about the real Conan.

Cross Plains Universe: Texans Celebrate Robert E. Howard (edited by Scott A. Culp and Joe R. Landsdale), MonkeyBrain Books and Fandom Association of Central Texas, October 2006 1-932265-22-8 (pp.96-114)

Flynn, Michael F. joint author with Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

Flynn, Michael, In the Country of the Blind

A marginal item. The protagonist stumbles across a number of secret organizations working in cliology—some merely use the knowledge to get rich while others are actively interfering in history. The heroine finds a collection of SF books based upon this subject in the library of the Utopian Research Associates, one of those organizations. They include Foundation (Asimov), No Truce With Kings (Anderson), etc.

Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact, 107:10 October (pp.10-68) & 107:11 November 1987 (pp.136-185)

Baen 69886-9, July 1990 (p.287)

Flynn, Michael F., "Spark of Genius"

Ken Armitage is a genre writer with six adequate novels to his credit. The genre is never specifically mentioned but the subject matter of his latest book implies that it is science fiction. His editor feels that his new submission Neural Life is superb and will be marketed as a mainstream book. What Armitage does not wish to tell anyone is that the book was actually written by a neural network. His additional anguish comes from the realization that human creative authors work just as the neural net did—only slower. His bartender-confidant jokes that the computer wrote about what it knew.

Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact 111:1&2 January 1991 (pp.139-145)

Ford, Jeffrey, "Bright Morning"

The protagonist is a fantasy author; people compare him to Franz Kafka. His career was inspired by a Kafka story "Bright Morning" which tells of a writer enervated by writing. He is is blocked and tries to get a copy to reread it for fresh inspiration. The story is included in an anthology which is being auctioned. His opponent in the auction is another fantasy writer named Jeffrey Ford who wins the book.

The Fantasy Writer's Apprentice and Other Stories, Urbana: Golden Gryphon Press, 1-930846-10-X, June 2002

Ford, Jeffrey, "Coffins on the River"

The narrator is an unsuccessful sf author suffering from writer's block, who, with an artist friend in like situation, takes a mysterious new drug in hopes of jumpstarting his creativity. The author's last (rapidly remaindered) sf novel Deluge is described in some detail. [summary by Dennis Lien]

Polyphony 3, (edited by Deborah Layne & Jay Lake), Wheatland Press 0-9720547-3-1 October2003

The Empire of Ice Cream, Golden Gryphon 1-93084-639-8, April 2006

Ford, Jeffrey, "The Fantasy Writer's Assistant"

Mary is hired by Ashmolean (Leonard Finch), the fantasy writer who created Glandar of Kreegenvale, a sword & sorcery hero, who has persisted through many a book. Her job is to research the corpus to make certain there are no contradictions that might be raised by fans at conventions. At one point Ashmolean seems to become blind to the world of Kreegenvale and has to send Mary there to observe the action and report back to him. The experience eventually leads her to become a fantasy writer.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction 98:2 February 2000 (pp. 7-22)

The Fantasy Writer's Assistance and Other Stories, Urbana: Golden Gryphon Press, 1-930846-10-X

Ford, Jeffrey, "High Tea with Jules Verne"

Jules Verne is being interviewed; he is an extremely rude man and refuses to speak French to the interviewer. He explains how a few characters escape from the stories and must be hunted down and killed by his wife and himself. He reveals that his latest book will be The City at the Center of the Sun. An American visits it by traveling in a cannonball shot out of a huge gun. The inhabitants of the city are all automatons. This Verne is not a person one would want to know.

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet 7 October 2000 (pp.2-4)

Ford, Jeffrey, "Summer Afternoon"

A writer-blocked author phones someone at random for advice and reaches writer Dara Melsh, who describes to him her sf novel Autumn Night, which contains a dream scene all-too-familiar to the viewpoint character. [summary by Dennis Lien] this a cat? (edited by Christopher Rowe), The Fortress of Worlds March 2002

The Empire of Ice Cream, Golden Gryphon 1-93084-639-8, April 2006


Ford, John M. joint author with Longyear, Barry B. and Scithers, George H.

Ford, John M., "Waiting for the Morning Bird"

The author is watching the launch of the shuttle Columbia on television. He is joined by a number of characters who are archetypes (or stereotypes) in SF literature—the Space Ace, the Professor, the Countess, and the Baron. They all make rude remarks about the inherent problems any bureaucracy has in doing something daring.

Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine 5:12 November 23, 1981 (pp.68-79)

Frahm, Leanne, "Reichelman's Relics"

A marginal item. Reichelman is assaying asteroid 1990BB when he comes across three alien artifacts, or eggs. After some unpleasant experiences, he destroys them. Reichelman tries to write SF to pass the time; his attempt are atrocious.

Amazing Stories 65:2 July 1990 (pp.46-67)

Friedell, Egon, The Return of the Time Machine

This continues the story written by H. G. Wells, telling of future adventures of the Time Traveler. Both H. G. Wells and the author Egon Friedell are characters in this novel.

R. Piper & Co. Verlag, 1946 [Die Reise mit der Zeitmaschine]

DAW Books No. 22 (UQ1022), September 1972 [first English translation]

Friesner, Esther M., "And Thereby Hangs"

Dr. Watson has a most peculiar visitor. One who joined forces with Orkin, a British merchant sailor, in Sumatra. He was trained by Orkin and, when they were tracked and trapped by Holmes, attacked Holmes at Orkin's order. However, all three were abducted by aliens to be tested to check on possible resistance to an invasion. Orkin goes mad and is used for a biological study. The narrator's intellect is enhanced. Holmes fails the tests, which are mostly maze-running; when later released, Holmes pays him to suppress the story. However, the narrator's love for his adopted England will not let him rest; so, he has visited Dr. Watson. Watson refuses to believe such behavior of Holmes and ejects the visitor after first giving him the address of Mr. Herbert Wells. The giant rat leaves to inform Wells of the impending alien invasion.

Pirate Writings 4:1 [Winter] 1996 (pp.14-19)

Friesner, Esther M., "A Life in the Theatre"

John Wilkes Booth—disguised as a relative—visits Bram Stoker at the Lyceum Theatre in London. He believes he has persuaded Stoker to produce a play about vampires. This will give people the mindset that vampires are fictional. Booth's master, Count Dracula, is pleased that Stoker will not write a book about vampires.

Dark Destiny III: Children of Dracula (edited by Edward E. Kramer), White Wolf Publishing 1-56504-813-X, October 1996 (pp.137-153)

Friesner, Esther M., "Love's Eldritch Ichor"

Robin Pennyworth is an editor for Columbine Press (publisher: Clarissa Ashley Smith). His editor-in-chief, Marybeth Conran, assigns him to a new author Sarah Pickman of Arkham, Massachusetts. Her book, Fires on the Sea, is based upon manuscripts of her ancestor H. P. Lovecraft. Pennyworth visits Arkham and falls in love with Ms. Pickman. When she visits New York, she is accompanied by her chaperones, some of the Great Old Ones. Ms. Conran winds up in the Dunwich Asylum and Mr. Pennyworth as editor-in-chief of Columbine Press.

World Fantasy Convention Program Book, (edited by Robert Weinberg), November 1990 (pp.64-76)

Fritch, Charles E., "If At First You Don't Succeed, To Hell With It!"

Author Peter Piper is unsuccessful in selling a deal with the Devil story to Ed Ferman at the Magazine of Fantasy.  As a result the Devil claims his soul. In Hell he tries to sell to Earth Stories Magazine but they will not accept any "pact-with-the-editor" stories.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction August 1972 (pp.112-115)

Frost, Mark, The List of 7

Arthur Conan Doyle signs on with a secret agent of the Crown to battle a cabal of evil . This cabal believes the Doyle has been spying on them based upon his submitted manuscript The Dark Brotherhood. The character and actions of this agent—Jack Sparks—forms the basis for Sherlock Holmes. During the course of the story, they encounter Abraham Stoker whose own interaction with evil will later be published in a fictional form dealing with Count Dracula.

Morrow 0-668-12245-0, August 1993

Avon 0-380-72019-1, March 1994 (international edition), September 1994

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