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How often will the books be published?
At my current pace and making allowances for a fulltime job, putting out one volume per year is a reasonable estimate. I am planning to retire in about three years, at which point I may be able to produce two (or even more) volumes per year. On the chance that the series becomes popular and I can afford to hire help in putting these books together, then almost anything is possible.
How many people are involved in putting together FUTURUES PAST?
Believe it or not, just one…me! I have an extensive tech background and am well versed in all types of computer art and publishing software. I have always been a DIY guy, and so yes, I do all the research, writing, scanning, photo editing, artwork, page layouts, all myself. The only thing I don’t do, of course, is the actual printing.
Also, thanks to the vast resources of the internet, I am able to gather and collate information and images so much faster than years ago. Back in the 1990s when FP was an amateur magazine, I often had to drive 1, 2, even 300 miles just to photograph some pulp covers or research information at a major university library. Today, I am always just a few clicks away from whatever I need. So even though it is still lots of work, it has gotten considerably easier.
Will the series be published in sequential order or will they jump around in years?
The series will be done in sequential order rather than jumping around from year to year. There are two main reasons for this. First, even though I know quite a bit about the history of the field, I am still learning many things as I go. I much prefer to learn the history as a continuous narrative rather than as a disjointed collection of facts and stories. Second, by researching the history in a continuous narrative I am able to watch items and events pop up and develop into full topics that I might have missed doing piecemeal research. Moving forward in this continuous manner ensures not only that the full story is gathered and documented, but the readers (and myself) will enjoy watching this fascinating history develop in a clear and logical manner.
I live outside the US. Shipping charges for the books are astronomical. Is there any cheaper way to get the books to me, even if it takes a bit longer?
Believe it or not, after endless research, emails and calls, FP has now secured a very little-known option through the US Postal Service for shipping books internationally at a per-pound flat-rate cost. Thanks to these special rates, we are able to ship books ANYWHERE in the world for as much as 70% below regular international shipping rates. Delivery is usually within 1 - 3 weeks.
Why does the series stop at 1975?
To be honest, I guess I could go another decade or two in chronicling the history of the field, but by the 1970s the field had already been well established and a lot of the stuff of historical significance had already occurred. Besides, 50 years makes for a nice round number to work towards. If someone wants to continue my work after that point, 2026 will mark the 100th anniversary of the “official” start of sf. Whoever wants to pick up the gauntlet has my blessing to chronicle the next 50 years (1976-2025).
Are the books available at any bookstores or on Amazon?
My books are only available through my website. Bookstores, especially the big two – Amazon and B&N, demand deep discounts and returns on books they don’t sell. Unfortunately for me, FP is expensive to print and with small margins. I would quickly go out of business if I sold my books through the standard bookstore channels.
Will you be doing the convention circuit anytime soon?
Yes! I plan on doing some this coming year. As I nail down the details, I will be sure to inform FP readers of where and when those appearances will occur. Two conventions I will be attending in 2022 are the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention (May 6-8, 2022) and Chicon 8 – Worldcon (Sept 1-5, 2022), both in the Chicago area. I will have a booth at both events. Please stop by and say hi!
About the Author
I have always loved books in all the multitude of ways that you can love and experience the written word. I have been a collector all my life of both books and magazines. The first “book” that I ever wrote was at the age of five. The medium was construction paper and crayons, and since I had not yet mastered the alphabet to any stunning degree, my book consisted of several crude images of a spaceship cruising among the stars. My inspiration was an exciting new TV show called STAR TREK. Though I didn’t know what it was called at that point, I became a devoted lifetime fan of the science fiction genre.
My favorite authors include Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, George R.R. Martin, HP Lovecraft, and most recently Andy Weir. Though I continue to read about 6 – 8 books at a time, most of them are non-fiction. They include history, technology, productivity and an occasional novel which catches my eye.
In Jan 1992 I began publishing a small press magazine I called FUTURES PAST. It gained some traction and over the next few years I published a total of four issues and joyously got to meet/know many of the legendary sf authors whose works I’d absolutely worshiped. At my “day job” I spent nearly twenty years of my life working with delinquent teens and yes I have the scars to prove it!
In 2011 after decades doing my bit for mankind, I decided to be selfish and do something for myself. I went back to school and came out a librarian. Today I am a business librarian living and working in Indianapolis. I have resurrected FUTURES PAST as a full-fledged book series with the goal of creating a reference resource to both inform and entertain those fans, like myself, who either yearn to remember all the authors, tales and events they grew up with, or learn about them for the first time.