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From: "Nigel Price" 
Subject: (urth) Slippery Gene
Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 17:47:20 +0100

Taking a brief and guilty break from the world of literary SF, I'm currently
zipping my way through a cheerfully trashy volume misleadingly entitled
"Roger Zelazny's Alien Speedway Book 1", which is in fact written by someone
called Jeffrey A. Carver. As a devoted reader and hoarder of the works of
the late Mr Z., I picked up the paperback in question in order to fill in
one of the few remaining gaps in my collection. I have had books 2 and 3 in
this series for years, but had never been able to track down the missing
volume 1. The only bits by Zelazny in each book are the introductions, which
are fun. The stories themselves are hack work by various young hopefuls set
in a world apparently devised by the aforementioned author. So, ones to file
under Minor Works, Apochcryphal Writings and Pseudoepigraphia, but
moderately interesting for obsessive completists like myself.

I mention all this because early in Book 1, which is entitled "Clypsis", the
teenage runaway hero encounters a stout and mysterious stranger while vainly
seeking for work on some grimy spacedocks. Here is the unflattering
description of this stranger:

	"Facing him was a stocky man - no, pudgy he decided instantly and
uncharitably - dressed in faded blue spacer clothes. The man had dark
eyebrows and thinning black hair, and he wore smoked glasses. As he shifted
his weight to gaze at Mike face to face, it was obvious that he moved with a

Interestingly, the man gives his name as "Slippery Gene".

("Don't worry about it, kid. It's just a nickname.")

Good grief - could it be? Surely not? It can't be!

Is Our Favourite Author really making an unwitting cameo appearance as a
minor character in a decidely minor work? I wouldn't have taken the idea
seriously but for that limp - it's mentioned several times. I've no idea
whether GW limps, but so many of his characters do.

Nigel (who is now even beginning to wonder whether the Monkees were making
sly lupine digs in that song of theirs...)


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