Recursive Science Fiction

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Hahn, Ronald M., "Philip K. Dick is Dead and Living Happily in Wuppertal"

German SF author (The Rock-Hard Guys of the Hard-Drinking Star Patrol series) Ronald Hahn is working for Science Fiction Times in Wuppertal when word comes from fan Benno Klabuster that he has seen Philip K. Dick alive, in town. Hahn is sent to investigate and he travels across a German city out of a Dick novel. Dick turns out to be a clone (made in 1959) and he hates science fiction—wants to write about the real world. Hahn returns to his SF world.


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.113-123) [translated from the German by Jim Young]

Haldeman, Jack C. II, "The Case of the Stuffed Simian"

At Discon II, the producers of the Planet of the Apes sequel have hired models to parade in gorilla suits as publicity. One of these is found dead and it is up to conchair Jay Haldeman to find the murderer before the Worldcon reputation is ruined.

Alternate Worldcons (edited by Mike Resnick), Pulphouse Publishing 1-56146-448-1, September 1994 (pp.57-64)

Alternate Worldcons and Again, Alternate Worldcons (edited by Resnick, Mike), WC Books, September 1996 (pp.57-64)

Haldeman, Jack C. II, "Enemy of the State"

Jack Haldeman is a science fiction writer. Profiles in the national computer data base reveal him a potential criminal (such acts as subscribing to Analog). Given the harassment he has no choice but to become a revolutionary.

Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact 111:10 August 1991 (pp.78-80)

Haldeman, Jack C. II, "History Lesson"

At Noreascon 12, an old-time SF writer and former SFWA president, recounts the story of the fist fight between Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein at the 1968 World SF Convention at Oakland, California. The battle was not over the Vietnam War, but whether Star Trek novels should be accepted as qualification for SFWA membership. This argument finally destroyed SFWA. Note: he is talking to a convention person called "Tony"; could this be Tony Lewis?

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


Haldeman, Joe, "Angel of Light"

In the future Ahmad Abd al-kareem, an adherent of Chrislam finds a preserved copy of the Summer 1944 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories belonging to an ancestor. After much soul-searching he takes it to the bazaar and barters it to an alien for an eternal light.

Cosmos Magazine 6 December 2005

Haldeman, Joe, "The SF Editor's Lament" [Song]

As an assistant editor the protagonist sees all manner of dreadfully clichéd stories. He finally mixes the pages and sends them back to the submitters at random. Instead of complaining they begin to submit these forced hybrids. In desperation, the magazine publishes them and the readers—apparently—find them acceptable.

Isaac Asimov's SF Magazine 15:2 February 1991 (pp.56-57)

Hall, Steve, "Einstein's Universe"

The viewpoint character is a science fiction writer whose best friend is an eccentric scientist, described by writer as comparable to the Nexialists of A. E. van Vogt's stories. The scientist relates time travel experiments that appear to prove that the universe will end in the near future; the writer finds an alternative explanation of the results which satisfies him that the scientist was wrong.

Science Fiction Adventures [British] 5:25 1962

Hamilton, Edmond, "The Exile"

Four science fiction writers are talking after dinner about creating worlds. One of them, Carrick, tells about a barbarous world he created that came into existence due to his proximity to a power plant. He imagined himself in this world and was transported there—Earth. Now, he supports himself with his old trade, writing science fiction.

Super Science Stories 4:4 May 1943 (pp.88-90)

Hamilton, Edmond, "The Pro"

Jim Burnett is a science fiction writer whose son Dan has become an astronaut. The father has a number of ambivalent feelings about his son venturing out into space. His strongest feeling is one of dismay that the SF world that was his (among others of the faithful) is now being invaded by the barbarians who do not appreciate it. Burnett, who once was the professional in this area is now reduced to an amateur; his work is shown to be irrelevant compared to the actual engineering achievements of his son. This concept of being forced out of one's own world is treated from the other side in Peter Phillip's "Dreams are Sacred" and Robert Lindner's "The Jet-Propelled Couch," among others. For a satire attacking the actualization of SF dreams see Ian Watson's "The World SF Convention of 2080."  This is one of the best stories ever written by Hamilton.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October 1964 (pp. 22-32)

Great Science Fiction Stories About the Moon, (edited by T. E. Dikty), Frederick Fell, 1967

The Best of Edmond Hamilton (edited by Leigh Brackett), Ballantine 25900-9, 1977

Nelson Doubleday SFBC 1561 H10, 1977

Inside the Funhouse, (edited by Mike Resnick), AvoNova 76643-4, August 1992 (pp.108-121)

Harness, Charles L. "1894"

Writer H. G. Wells has submitted a patent for Temporal Flux Adjustment in a universe where Britain intervened in the U. S. Civil War. The British government has built just such a machine and asks Wells to travel back to 1861 to cure the Prince Regent of typhoid so that his counsel will prevail and Britain will not intervene. Wells succeeds and returns to his altered present where he will write such adventures in fictional form.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact 114:10 August 1994 (pp.128-158)

Harness, Charles L., Lurid Dreams

William Reynolds is working on his doctoral dissertation on out-of-body experiences (OB) when college politics cause his thesis advisor to leave, along with his grant. Colonel Birch (of the Army of Northern Virginia, C. S. A.) offers to fund a chair if he will study why Edgar Allan Poe chose a literary rather than a military career. His computer simulations indicate that if Brigadier Poe has been supporting Longstreet, the South would have won Gettysburg. Reynolds travels back in time with OB and information provided by his leman, Alix Schell, who is doing her thesis on Freudian symbolism in Poe. There he meets and talks to Poe. He finds the decision point and, as part of his thesis defense, brings his committee there. However, Poe is not a passive object to be manipulated.

Avon 075761-3, October 1990

Harris, Arthur K., "True to Type"

Pascal Halmer recycles old pulp stories sufficiently so that it is not plagiarism. However, he neglects the maintenance and care of his old typewriter, going so far as to order a new one. The typewriter produces the original story with the original writer's name exposing Halmer. Unfortunately, he takes out his new status on the typewriter.

Fantastic Universe 2:3 October 1954 (pp.99-102)

Harris, David M., "Dear Contributor"

God submits Earth to Popular Planet-Building.  The editor tells him it has promise but sends it back for some revisions.

Swashbuckling Editor Stories (edited by John Gregory Betancourt), The Wildside Press, October 1993; lettered hardcover 1-880448-21-1;

numbered hardcover 1-880448-20-3; trade paperback 1-880448-22-X (pp.72-73)

Harrison, Harry, "A Fragment of Manuscript"

In the Bodleian Library at Oxford the author finds a fragment of manuscript by Shakespeare with a bit of A Midsummer Night's Dream written as a science fiction story. Appended to this is a note by the Bard to revise it as a fantasy since there isn't yet a good market for SF.

Microcosmic Tales (edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander),

Taplinger Publishing Company 0-8008-5238-9, July 1980

DAW 0-88677-532-9 (No.883), June 1992 (pp269-271)

Harrison, Harry, "Tragedy in Tibet"

Worldcon 2000 is held in Tibet. An avalanche strikes the convention facility and all the professionals are killed. They arrive at the Pearly Gates where their attitude annoys St. Peter and later God. They are sent to Hell in a crowded elevator. There they find that John W. Campbell, Jr. has already had a special section set aside for SF writers and authors. He invites them to an editorial conference with other passed-on editorial greats.

ConFiction Souvenir Book, Stichting Worldcon 1990, August 1990 (pp.39-40)

Harrison, Harry and Malzberg, Barry N., "The Whatever-I-Type-Is-True Machine"

Harry Harrison receives a powerful typewriter whose text becomes true. He decides to use it to get money, get health, and get rid of Malzberg—by long suffering. However, Malzberg has received a similar typewriter and the two of them write each other out of existence. God decides to withdraw this model from the market.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction 47:5 November 1974 (pp 142-149)

Hasse, Henry joint author with A. Fedor

Hasse, Henry, "He Who Shrank"

An archetypal "Mad Scientist" develops a shrinking serum and injects his assistant with it. He will shrink until he emerges in the next level of the universe down. This universe is just an atom in his original one. He continues to shrink, regressing through levels of universes, until he reaches ours. There he tells his history to a sympathetic science fiction writer Stanton Cobb Lentz who writes it down. Lentz tries to get it published as fact but the newspaper syndicate insists that it is fiction and will be published as such. The writer is a poorly disguises Stanton A. Coblentz.

Amazing Stories 10:11 August 1936

Famous Science-Fiction Stories: Adventures in Time and Space (edited by Raymond J. Healy & Francis McComas), The Modern Library, 1946

Adventures in Time and Space (edited by Raymond J. Healy & Francis McComas), Random House, 1946

Amazing Stories 42:4 November 1968

Before the Golden Age (edited by Isaac Asimov), 1974, Doubleday & Co.

Before the Golden Age, Book 3 (edited by Isaac Asimov), 1974, Fawcett

Before the Golden Age (edited by Isaac Asimov), 1974, Doubleday & Co. (Science Fiction Book Club)

Before the Golden Age, Book 3 (edited by Isaac Asimov), 1974, Fawcett Crest 449-2525-150

Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy 5: Giants (edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg & Charles G. Waugh), 1985,

Signet, 0-451-13922-4

Hawke, Simon, The Dracula Caper

Someone from the future is using genetic engineering techniques to create vampires and werewolves. These creatures are being set loose in England in late Victorian times. The Time Commandos are called upon to foil another of Drakov's plans. They have the unwanted assistance of H. G. Wells as well as that of Bram Stoker who plays Watson to the Sherlock Holmes of his friend, Arthur Conan Doyle. (Time Wars 8).

Ace 16616-4, October 1988

Hawke, Simon, The Nautilus Sanction

When the Russian ballistic missile submarine Vostochnaya Slava [Eastern Glory] is stolen from the late 20th century and deposited into the 19th, it is up to the Time Commandos of the 27th century to thwart yet another insidious plan. Along the way they enlist the aid of a French author, Jules Verne. Later Verne will write a fictionalized account of his adventures - Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.  (Time Wars 5—Hawke is a pseudonym of Nicholas Yermakov.)

Ace 56565-4, December 1985; 56566-2, March 1986; 56567-0, 1986

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, "The Devil in Manuscript"

The narrator visits his friend (herein called Oberon) and finds that he has a large collection on unpublished fantastic manuscripts. Oberon, believing he will never win recognition, throws them all into the fire. They blaze, exit through the chimney, and set the town on fire. There are some fine allusions to literary elitism and the perfidy of publishers that have not dated at all.

New England Magazine 1835

The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-Told Tales, Hobart & Robbins (for Ticknor, Reed & Fields), January 1852

Don't Open This Book! (edited by Marvin Kaye), GuildAmerica 1-56865-524-X, 1998 (pp.366-374)

Heidish, Marcy, The Torching

Alice Grey is the author of horror novels. Her latest one, The Torching, is based upon the 18th century Maidstone, Maryland witch Evangeline Smith. However, the writing isn't working out and Grey finds that what happened to Smith seems to have parallels in her life.

Simon & Schuster 74375-9, March 1992

Heinlein, Robert A., The Number of the Beast

The protagonists come up with a device to visit other universes: fictons. In "L'Envoi" they hold a grand convocation —The First Centennial Convention of the Interuniversal Society for Eschatological Pantheistic Multiple-Ego Solipsism. To this come Heinlein's characters from other stories as well as other SF writers and characters from their stories.

Fawcett Columbine 90019-3, August 1980

Fawcett Gold Medal 13070-3, November 1986

New English Library 0467503, October 1987

Heinlein, Robert A, The Rolling Stones

The Stone family lives on the Moon. Roger Stone brings in quite a bit of money writing episodes of a space opera The Scourge of Space.  When time presses his mother, Hazel, takes over and breathes new life into the show by treating it with contempt.

Boy's Life, September-December 1952 [condensed version Tramp Space Ship ]

Scribner's, 1952

Del Rey

Hemry, John G., "Agent Problems"

Harold McKenzie has been selling "Dragon Eye" stories and earning a good bit plus a reputation from them. A problem is that he did not write these stories; they were written by a dragon named Greganrian. Another problem is that the dragon wants his money and Harold has lost it on the commodities market. Faced with death, Harold gets the aid of Chrys, a member of the Order of Valkyr (they kill dragons) only to find that some solutions bring even more problems.

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine 10:1 Autumn 1997 (pp.14-17)

Hemry, John G., "Mightier Than the Sword"

In a fantasy world, the abstractions of writing—inspiration, writer's block, plot resolution, etc. are concrete. A barbarian swordswoman who wishes to become a writer finds that "the pen is truly..."

Turn the Other Chick (edited by Esther Friesner), Baen 0-7434-8857-1 November 2004; Baen 978-1-4165-2053-5 (1-4165-2053-8), March 2006 (pp.7-23)

Hernhuter, Albert, "Only Human"

At the Coroner's inquest, literary agent Martin Cole admits that he killed SF writer Sanford Smith. The reason—Cole is a Martian and Smith, like many SF writers, was inadvertently revealing invasion secrets. Fortunately, Martians already control 90% of the SF output as well as many other areas of society. When the Coroner tries to have Cole put away as insane, the police refuse to act and Cole kills him.

Authentic Science Fiction 33 May 1953 (pp.47-50)

Heydt, Meg, "Writers Talk Back: The Next Generation"

Alex Peterson is a young girl who wants to be a fantasy writer. Unfortunately, she has a situation without a plot, as her mother—a professional writer—points out to her. Fortunately, her cat Seamus is able to help her write and sell her first story.

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine 17, Fall 1992 (p.35)

Hill, Joe, "Best New Horror"

Eddie Carroll is the editor of a long-running horror anthology series. He discovers a breathtakingly disturbing story in a small literary journal that puts new life into all the old clichés. He tracks down the author to obtain permission to reprint the piece but this leads him into dark territory, from which only his knowledge of the genre may save him.

Postscripts 3 Spring 2005

20th Century Ghosts PS Publications 1-90461-948-7 (slipcased), 1-90461-947-9 (hardcover), 1-90461-946-0 (trade paperback), 2005

Hoch, Edward, "Murder at the Bouchercon"     Mystery

Not really science fiction but so many of the people involved peripherally have SF connections that it is being included. Bouchercon, named after SF and mystery writer and editor Anthony Boucher, began in 1970 as a peripatetic conference traveling about the country. These events ostensibly occur at Bouchercon XIV in New York (organized by Otto Penzler and Chris Steinbrunner—who has considerable SF credentials). Part of the convention is to be a memorial to deceased writer Conrad Kazer, whose will has kept his estate in limbo for a while. His publisher Monica Drews is murdered and writer Barney Hamet discovers the unpleasant truth.

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, 1983

Chapter and Hearse: Suspense Stories About the World of Books, (edited by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini), Morrow 04184-1, 1985 (pp.243-261)

Hodges, Larry, "Gremlin Gambits"

A young man is writing fantasy stories using standard magical techniques with an enchanted word processor. This has its downside when you get gremlins in the computer.

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine 2:1, Summer 1989 (pp27-30)

Hodgson, Sheila, "The Lodestone"

The fantasy writer M. R. James is the narrator and main character in this story. The illustrations for his (non-fiction) book are unacceptable because a large tombstone keeps appearing in them. James follows his illustrator, Francis Lippiat, through parts of England in search of this tombstone. When they finally locate it, it becomes apparent that Lippiat may be under some sort of curse dating from his ancestor's death as a witch. This is based upon a plot in James's essay "Stories I Have Tried To Write, " and is adapted from Hodgson's radio play [BBC Radio 4, 19 April 1989].

Ghosts & Scholars 13 (edited by Rosemary Pardoe), 1991 [annual magazine]

The Year's Best Horror: XX (ed by Karl Edward Wagner), DAW 0-88677-526-4, October 1992 (pp137-160)

Holder, Nancy, Out of This World [Romance]

Janet Madison plays the role of Kalinda, Queen of Space in the television series Defenders of the Galaxy.  (One of the villains is Count Tordaw.) At the FantaCon in Anaheim, California she meets Gary Wolf who is in charge of programming at the network that airs the program. They fall instantly in love. This is a problem because of the obvious conflict of interests. There are two more conventions pictured—LongCon (Long Beach, California) and an unnamed con in Charleston, South Carolina (one of the largest science fiction conventions in the country). It is at the latter that the cancellation of the show is announced. It is reported that many of the convention incidents are based upon the author's attendance at the 1984 World SF Convention, L.A.con II, in Anaheim. The Mad Tea Party costumes mentioned as being at LongCon were presented at L.A.con II (your compiler was in the role of "Tweedledee").

Dell (Loveswept Books 103) 21708-9, June 1985

Holmes, H. H. alternate pseudonym of Boucher, Anthony

Huan-Hua Chye, "The Envelope Gremlin"

In a fantasy writer's house, there lives a gremlin who eats envelopes. This makes it difficult to submit works for consideration. By mistake, the gremlin gets mailed to a magazine, where it settles in and eats all the S.A.S.E.s sent with the manuscripts. Therefore, no rejected manuscripts can be returned with comments; they are all discarded.

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine 8:3 (31) Spring 1996 (pg.27)

Hubbard, L. Ron, "Typewriter in the Sky"

An excellent example of a character being projected into a story and forced to live out the plot line. Horace Hackett, writer of melodrama, crime, love stories, etc. unknowingly sends his friend Mike de Wolf into a world of pirates on the Spanish Main. Not strictly SF but certainly close enough in feeling to be included, if only for the great last line.

Unknown 4:3 November 1940 (pp.9-) and 4:4 December 1940

Fear & Typewriter in the Sky, Gnome Press, 1951

Typewriter in the Sky & Fear, Kemsley CT409, 1952

Hudson, Jeffrey S. & Asimov, Isaac, "Half-Baked Publisher's Delight"

Giant typewriters appear in New York Harbor and San Francisco Bay. They are operated by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg. The paper output by the machines meet in Nebraska where the coil about each other in a DNA-like fashion and begin to replicate. Soon the entire world is destined to be turned into paper.

Worlds of IF 22:6 July-August 1974 (pp.39-43)

Hull, Elizabeth Anne and Pohl, Frederik, "Author Plus"

H. G. Van Veinlein is an SF writer who has not won any awards (doesn't attend conventions, either). His latest novel is overdue. The critical path of his output is apparently controlled by how fast his attendant brownie (or whatever) can write with a pencil.

Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine 5:7 6 July 1981 (pp.104-105)

Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Anthology 5 (edited by George Scithers) 1982 (pp.58-59)

Hunter, Evan, "The Plagiarist from Rigel IV"

A prospective unsuccessful writer buys a used typewriter for $5 (in one of those shops so common in SF stories). The machine can only write Poe. The writer discovers that this typewriter is being used by an alien from Rigel IV. He cons the alien—under the guise of requesting illumination—to print stories from the Rigellian libraries. These he markets as science fiction.

Imagination Stories of Science and Fantasy 5:3 March 1954 (pp 106-121)

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