Gegenschein 81 February 1998

Heartless Special

Jean and I arrived back in Australia on Wednesday 3rd December 1997, having survived the excesses of the Comdex computer show in Las Vegas. We had even relaxed for Thanksgiving at her parent's home in Lacey, Washington.

There is, I suppose, a very small chance, perhaps one in a hundred, that my subsequent problem was triggered by a thrombosis from being inactive in a plane for ages. But I doubt it.

Thursday 4th December 1997

My first day back at work, and every pressure to get things done immediately was present as usual, almost as if I'd never been gone. Given that most of the tasks I'd planned to do simply sit until I return, that isn't surprising. I was late for lunch, and late leaving work, as was Gordon, however I'd managed a reasonable quantity of urgent tasks.

Ran for the train, making a good pace, with the decade younger Gordon rushing for his train also. By the time I bought a ticket, and collapsed in a seat, less than five minutes and several blocks away, I was feeling more than slightly worse for wear. In typical macho male fashion, I dismissed my discomfort, and as I read, it eventually went away. Mind over matter - if you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

Friday 5th December 1997

At home alone for the first time in six weeks, I threw myself into preparing things for our not very planned move, by selecting and moving books and stuff into the garage. This was rapidly followed by chairs, bookcases, and lots of heavy stuff I carried down the stairs.

After lunch, I sat down and had a heart attack, complete with writhing on the floor in agony, nausea, profuse sweating and feeling faint. I phoned Jean and then emergency services on 000. An ambulance turned up at the door five minutes later. I was pretty impressed by the service, even if I did have to walk down the stairs to let them in. I wasn't at all certain I could walk down the stairs. I wasn't however thinking straight enough to pack a bag and some books.

They gave me glyceryl trinitrate tablets (Anginine), some 2.5 mg shots of morphine for the pain, and a smooth ride to Nepean hospital.

Nitrates like I was given in the ambulance help relax the coronary arteries, allowing increased blood flow. Anginine (Glyceryl Trinitrate), Nitrolingual spray, Isordil, Imdur, nitroglycerin patches, Nitrodisk, Transiderm Nitro are some of the brands, hence the references to nitrogycerin tablets in films.

The triage entrance at Nepean brought blood samples, enzyme tests, ECG, and lots of questions about potential risk factors for a heart attack. The only major risk factors I had were being male and over 50, and I couldn't do much about that. I have never smoked, my cholesterol readings were fine, and even my blood pressure was not excessive.

Well, maybe stress. Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, reports tests of heart rate and blood pressure increases in men challenged by mental tasks set up so that no more than 60% of tasks could be accomplished. The thickness of the carotid artery wall was measured by ultrasound, and the men most prone to blocking of the arteries were found to react most strongly to the stress. The one fifth of men who reacted most strongly had an average artery wall thickness of 0.89mm compared with 0.85mm in the calmest one fifth of men. Previous studies had shown an 11% increase in heart attack risk for each 0.1 increase in thickness.

The hospital emergency room gave me heparin from a drip to thin the blood, and TPA to help remove blood clots. The TPA (or maybe it was Streptokinase) seemed to be the new favourite drug for heart attack victims, but it apparently has to be given within six hours of the heart attack.

A beta blocker to treat angina, high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms. They reduce the workload on the heart by slowing the heart rate and preventing disturbances of rhythm. Atenlol (Tenormin or Noten), Metoprolol (Betalo or Lopressor),Sotalol (Sotacor) are the brand names, and if I read their charts right, I got Metapopolol. Unlike in the past, they no longer seem to keep you on beta blockers for very long.

Even the drips are high tech now, with a flexible plastic connector plugged into your bloodstream, rather than the old metal needles. Considering how long they stayed plugged in I'm glad they weren't metal needles.

Anginine again at 5:30 and 6:10 in hospital, and then I was off to the heart ward, and a nice private room with my own personal ECG, little electrodes all over me, a drip in each arm, and a plastic oxygen mask. It is a real pity Jean didn't manage to get a photo when she came to visit late that afternoon. That setup would have gotten me a lot of sympathy.

Blood pressure was 140/100 on admission, according to the chart I sneaked a look at, way up from the 110/70 it used to be. After all the drips and tablets, it is much lower these days, more like 100/65. I found an old note showing that it was 110/70 in 1984, but since I hadn't been to see a doctor in the past decade, I have no idea what it was normally.

On 150mg of aspirin daily. Aspirin helps thin the blood, and assists in preventing clot formation. Sometimes called Cardipri, disprin or Cartia, but as far as I can tell it is just aspirin. The hospital said that was for life.

The blood vampires came often, even during the night, stealing blood each time. Enzyme levels from damaged tissue kept getting higher for some considerable time after I was admitted, and they weren't too happy about that.

Saturday 6th December 1997

Some pain overnight, another fancier ECG, and increased doses of heparin. The blood vampires came around and stole blood at 3 a.m. I was not all that impressed by the 3 a.m. visit.

It was a very boring day, despite Jean visiting for very lengthy periods.

Sunday 7th December 1997

Sitting up, still on heparin, but at least the second drip was out. I was allowed to take a shower, still clutching the confounded drip.

On 600mg potassium chloride daily, because my blood tests showed potassium was low. Well, hell, I wasn't exactly eating a full meal at that stage, and the blood vampires kept stealing any blood I did have. I also gather that potassium levels drop a lot following a heart attack.

While Jean was visiting a pair of pigeons fluttered around outside on the balcony. One laid an egg on the fifth floor balcony. Pigeon brains!

Moved to room 3 late in the day, still clutching the confounded heparin drip. At least by then I had some books to read.

Monday 8th December 1997

Started on Enalapril as 5mg tablets morning and evening (ACE inhibitor). ACE inhibitors improve the heart's ability to pump and reduce blood pressure. The ACE seems to stand for angiotensin converting enzyme, whatever that means. Versions are Captopril (Capoten), Enalapril (Renitec which I think is called Vasotec in the USA), Lisinopril (Zestril). Costs about $10 a week, and that also is probably for life.

By now I was somewhat more interested in eating, but with the menu being collected around midday for the following day, I'd asked for far too little food, so I was often hungry. I was also on a low fat, no salt diet, which didn't help inspire me to eat heartily. The food was actually pretty good, given its restricted nature.

Carted off on my bed to the ground floor (they had run out of wheelchairs) for an echo cardiograph, a 4 MHz ultrasound probe that showed all the moving bits in my chest doing their job. Not, unfortunately, as well as they should be. Measurements showed right ventricle expulsion fraction (how much blood you move) was around 40 or perhaps a little below, against closer to 55 in a healthy heart, or maybe 25-30% function lost. I hadn't realised that they pressed the ultrasonic transducer against your ribs just about hard enough to leave bruises.

Three arteries branch from the aorta to feed the heart muscle. Right coronary artery, anterior descending artery (front of heart), circumflex coronary artery (lateral surfaces of heart). My blockage was to the anterior artery. The loss of blood flow kills off some heart muscle. If you are lucky, a tough scar forms. If you are unlucky, the scar isn't tough. Whatever happens, you have reduced heart muscle function. Over the following weeks, extra blood vessels called colaterals form, and these help distribute blood around the heart muscle past the original blockage, so the heart muscle gets sufficient blood supply. However you still lose some pumping capacity due to the scarring and loss of muscle. Of course, if you never reach any level of exertion that requires more than the capacity you still have, you never notice the difference.

The view from the new room included the demolition of the old hospital. It beat most of the alternatives as something to watch. Jean and I particularly liked the machine that grabbed pieces off the top of the 5 story high building. Got to watch a large water tank crash to earth. Some idiot building worker was standing on top of the next section of the building being demolished, watering to keep down the dust. I wouldn't have been up there for quids!

Tuesday 9th December 1997

Bored, but I was off the heparin drip finally, able to shower, get dressed and wander around a little.

The hospital dietitian came to see me, and made various helpful suggestions about diet. Well, there goes the bacon and egg McMuffins for breakfast (think bread or cereal), and the home made ice cream made with whipped cream (try gelatto or Vitari), and probably butter gone from bread (try substitutes). The dietitian wasn't originally going to see me, because my blood tests showed no problems. One of the nurses found out about my usual diet (probably from Jean), and insisted the dietitian set me straight.

Read lots of books. Jean was teaching nearby, so she didn't get in until nearly two.

Wednesday 10th December 1997

The big test. A light exercise stress test set for my 169 cm height and 72 kg weight. A treadmill, with yet another ECG. I managed the 10 or 12 minutes of slow walking, and mild hills. Since I didn't have another heart attack doing it, everyone was happy, especially me. The nurse running the treadmill told me that many patients didn't manage the full time on the treadmill - said most ran out of breath rather than having heart probems. That sure says something about the amount of walking most people do.

Blood pressure that day 111/81 102/65 122/80, but I didn't record which was taken under which circumstances.

On a new experimental drug called carvedilol at 1:25 p.m., second dose at 10. This is part of a double blind study I signed up for, over the next few years. They are testing whether it increases cardiac function. I sure hope so, especially if I am on the drug, and not the placebo.

Thursday 11th December 1997

Third dose of the new drug. Since I didn't show any adverse reactions, I got to go home with Jean after lunch.

I've been feeling pretty good, after the first few days. I've been told to take things easy at first, and have to admit that whenever I didn't take things easy, I rapidly tired. I've been back to the hospital once a week for checkups, as part of the tests on the carvedilol. I've also had find a doctor, something I've not worried about for over a decade.

Been walking each day, gradually increasing the distance. In mid January I start a cardiac rehabilitation program at Westmead hospital. I gather that after another (more strenuous) treadmill stress test, I will get to do a series of supervised exercises several times a week.

I've been back to work for an hour or so a couple of time, to do entertaining things like spend lots of their money on computers, and to turn off their Unix systems over the Xmas break when the air conditioning is off. Although I felt fine, it was tiring after an hour or so. Luckily I have a lot of accumulated sickleave from the past ten years, something over 1000 hours according to human resources.

Ditto Trip, 1997

Thursday 23rd October

Jean drove me to the airport for United flight 816 to Los Angeles. 25,000 frequent flyer points had put me upstairs in the Boeing, with lots of other people who had upgraded.

Seating wasn't as comfortable as I hoped, due to the bulkhead being too close, and the service wasn't startling by comparison with economy. Still, it had individual table clothes, real glasses for the wine, and a somewhat better meal. I did get to use the Red Carpet club in both Sydney and Los Angeles. That made the wait much more comfortable.

Once again my trip was plagued by computer problems before leaving. My Psion 3c started developing a bad display connection that blanked one vertical line in four. No spares available in Australia, and no time to send it off and get it back even if there were spares. It stopped being intermittent during the trip and became permanently bad. I got to spend an hour or so in the Los Angeles Red Carpet moving my entire life from a backup SSD into my old Psion 3a that I'd packed a spare. Then I got to delete stuff I didn't have room to keep.

It turned out that all my flights were upgraded. I'd been expected the short Chicago to Cincinnati leg to be in economy, and had misread the seat number as 16 rather than 1B. I still can't drink sufficient on a flight to cover the cost difference (I guess the airlines have figured that one out). The service on the internal flights was much better than on the international this time. I'm not complaining, because all were acceptable to me (but I have low standards - some other passengers on the international leg were grumbling).

I arrived at Cincinnati at around 8 pm, and had my luggage almost instantly. Pat and Roger Sims arrived soon after, and we hung around until George Flynn arrived on a later flight.

Pat and Roger took us in their fancy new Lincoln Towncar to the Blue Ash Hotel at 5901 Pfeiffer Road. It was a comfortable medium hotel, however I was on the fifth floor rather than grouped with other fans. Since hotels rarely manage to block, I wasn't real surprised, and it wasn't a problem. In fact, given others complained about party noise ... from mundane parties ... I may have had a better room than most.

There were only a half dozen early arrivals at the con, mostly locals, but we chatted until midnight. There was some thought of a pool as to when Dick and Leah Smith would arrive, as they were driving down after work. I think we settled on 10 p.m. as being a likely time for them to leave Chicago.

I was fading out by then after all the travel.

Friday 24th October 1997

I was up before there was any action at the con suite. Wandered about the parking lot and small shopping center. The only interesting store was an Office Depot with a wide range of palmtop computers at ruinous prices. I was amused to see a Psion 3c at $399, and a Psion 5 at$699, while the HP320 WinCE machine was $599 and the Casio and Compaq were down to $299. That seems to show the good systems are holding their value despite very heavy discounting of poorly thought out ones like the original WinCE systems. It will be interesting to see if that holds on Version 2 of the WinCE systems, due out for Comdex.

The committees at Octocon 34 (which was also Ditto 10) consisted of Bill Bowers, Pat and Roger Sims, with Dick and Leah Smith on Octocon, and Bill Cavin and the Sims the Ditto committee.

Lunched at the Bob Evens across the parking lot, on cheap food, with a half dozen fans, including Nicki Lynch, Linda Bushyager, Bill Cavin, Mark Linneman. Not startlingly good, but it sure was cheap.

We were concerned that there was still no sign of Dick and Leah, since our "worst case" guesses had them leaving Chicago around midnight. They appeared after lunch, having left work far later than any of us had guessed.

Leah Zeldes Smith had her traditional annoying game competition, as part of her programming. Match a clue with someone else. I got a prize the next day for matching "dictator to the CFG" with Murray Moore's Lou Tabakow clue. And then magaged to lose the prize (and Aussie flag tea towel). I hadn't realised that not attempting to participate would not stop Leah. She caught up with me at Dave Rowe and Carolyn Doyle's "remembering Lynn Hickman" party. There were a lot of the FLAP membership turning up (Lynn had been a member). It was a pretty good party, with plenty of opportunity for talking.

Got to bed at 5 a.m. and failed to get to sleep. That was a good start. I was sharing the room with Joel Zakem, DUFF candidate for 1997, but hardly even saw him.

Saturday 25th October 1997

Up at ten, which was in plenty of time for the minimal program. Roger Sims had done a one sheet, four page Ditto X program book,

Fanac on the web demonstration, showing the world wide wait. As is often the case, there were technical problems, but considerable surfing was done. I think most fanzine fans present figured paper was better.

The Nature of Fanishness was really about change to Minicon following a fannish revival. Karen Cooper explained why they were trying to halve the membership. Timothy Lane was a noisy presence at the panel. I hadn't expected to see him (or Joe Major) at Octocon, but it was good to put some faces to the names behind Fosfax.

There was a DUFF auction at 8:30 that evening, but things were a little slow, what with the small audience.

Sunday 26th October

The Ditto powers decided Ditto 11 would be somewhere in New England (Providence, Salem?) in Autumn (November?} 1998. George Flynn, Mark Olson, Poscilla Olson and Bob Webber the organisers. Memberships were $25 to 1 December payable to MCFI, PO Box 1010, Framingham MA 01701 or email

Bob Webber never did turn up, leading to concern since he had intended to drive from Boston. Leah determined that his frozen body hadn't been discovered on route, by phoning various state police. We eventually heard he'd had a crisis at work and had to cancel.

Richard Brandt was another who cancelled, with reports of a detached retina, but I was later to see him at Comdex.

Fans who did turn up included Judy Bemis, Bill Bowers, Linda Bushyager, Bill and Cokie Cavin, Karen Cooper, John and Michelle Donat, Carolyn Doyle, George Flynn, Chris and Neil Kaden, Tim Lane, Hope Liebowitz, Stephen and Denise Pasley Leigh, Mark Linneman, Michelle Lyons, Joseph Major, Murray Moore, Mark and Priscilla Olson, Tony Parker, Patty Peters (on crutches), Carol Resnick (who reported Mike stranded in Denver by a snowstorm), Dave Rowe, Tom Sadler, Bruce Schneier (who was to be in China when I got to Mpls), Nancy Tucker Shaw, Pat and Roger Sims, Leah Zeldes Smith and Dick Smith, Misty Tucker, Larry Tucker, Gail Walker, Joel Zakem.

Dinner with Neil & Chris Kaden, Dick and Leah Smith, Bill & Cokie Cavin, Pat and Roger Sims at Bennigans, a fine restaurant a mile or so up the road.

Only Neil and Chis Kaden left in the hotel that evening, so we posed for the smallest dead dog party photo available. Well, it helped keep the room nights up, and we didn't have to rush and pack. I don't think I've had a good talk with Neil since he was in Australia for Aussiecon Two, although I've seen him at a few cons since.

Monday 27th October 1997

The big excitement of the early morning (yawn) was walking along Pfiffer and checking if there were any restaurants in which to have breakfast. None to my liking, and the computer store I found wasn't open, but since I'd only intended tyre kicking it didn't matter. I checked the Office Depot (again), since I've been looking for makers of stacking desk trays with a full enclosed drawer rather than just an open tray. I figure my only chance at keeping my desk tidy is to lock each project away in its own space.

Met Cris and Neil Kaden, and we sat and chatted in the lobby until Bill Cavin arrived to do the final hotel negotiations. He drove us to the airport for the Kaden's flight. That airport sure is a long way away.

Lunch with Bill Cavin, at a Chinese buffet in Norwood. While their food wasn't great, it was more than acceptable, and was all you could eat, and a good price. The sort of place I'd have sought out, had I been more interested in food at any time in my life. We chatted about the effect genetic engineering and cloning might have on society. It seemed an appropriately sfictional topic.

We saw Carl Sagen's Contact at the $2 Central Parke cinema complex. I was impressed by how well a long novel (and often badly organised) had been compressed into film length. Jodie Foster did a fine job as the protagonist. The special effects had some wonderful understated moments that left me wondering how they had done it. The flashback to the child running up a flight of steps, transforming into a view of the same scene in the mirror, for example. This film will not appeal at all to some Star Wars fans, however I think it is the best adult science fiction film I've seen since 2001.

After the film, Bill and I waited at Pat and Roger's home. Cokie arrived soon after us, and Roger called from the hospital saying he would leave in a half hour. We chatted until Roger arrived, and then went to Macaroni's for dinner. I was not all that surprised to discover the pizza I ordered was about twice as large as I could eat. Back home it would have been sold as a family pizza.

To the hospital with Roger after dinner. Pat was looking terrible, although no longer under the influence of the anaesthetic.

That evening late I think Roger got me to check whether he could run run his old Wordstar. He was running out of low memory, and high memory, and all the routines in his config.sys and autoexec.bat appeared necessary. I finally just changed the PIF enough to start Wordstar. He also asked about Microsoft Word. After you get a hard drive larger than 100 MB was about the answer. How quickly things become obsolete.

Tuesday 28th October 1997

To the hospital as soon as we could. Pat now looked a lot better, although I told her she could go the CFG meeting on Saturday as the Bride of Frankenstein. She had a wonderful array of surgical staples, and had better not try to walk though one of those airport metal detectors for a while.

After the visit Roger took me to Staples, where I looked for something to keep my desk tidy. No, not a broom, although that would probably be appropriate to the dungheap of history on every flat surface at home. We visited Barnes and Noble, and discovered a nice range of $1 books, which neither of us could resist.

Nearby, at Kenwood Plaza, we visited Cyber Exchange, a second hand computer software store. I figure that is how Roger can get his software.

Back to the hospital at midday, where Pat was now ready to leave. The hospital wasn't as ready, so Pat even got a meal while waiting, however she was home by two.

Roger took me to Sams Club, and Office Max. Both had lots of interesting items, all in areas I didn't need, couldn't afford, or coudn't carry home. And I still couldn't find anything to keep my desk tidy.

Only one activity after that. Dump the recyclables from Octocon Ditto. It seemed really inappropriate to be hauling trash in Roger's flash Lincoln Towncar. That was probably the last of the Ditto Octocon tasks.

Finally got around to phoning a few fans, to try to organise times to meet them.

Wednesday 29th October 1997

A lazy morning, writing up my trip report. I went for a walk to nearby Glendale after a brief lunch, feeling that I needed at least some minimum exercise. I thought it was under a mile, Roger later measured it as a mere 1.2 kilometer. The little computer store there did have $100 hard drives somewhat larger than that Roger had, so there is a possibility of an upgrade from the 116 megabytes he presently has.

Visited Dave Locke and Jackie Causgrove across town. Jackie looked even more frail than ever, but joined in the conversation. Dave had heaps and heaps of neat internet stuff setup on his computer, including Opera, Columbine, CNotePad, CyberKit, AltaVista Personal Extension.

More visiting of stores like Office Depot and also hardware stores. Despite seeing many interesting storage ideas, I never did spot any paper sized stackable slide out sets of drawers. I figure that is what I need to keep my desk tidy, but haven't seen much evidence that anyone makes them.

Dinner was at Tommys all you can eat buffet, and they had more than I could eat by a considerable margin. Present were Mark and Lynne Aronson, Bill and Cokie Cavin, Mark Linneman, Mike and Carol Resnick, and Pat and Roger Sims. One topic Mike mentioned was even more authors having publishing problems. I'd not heard about Jack Chalker being in that group.

Thursday 30th October 1997

Visited the Cincinnati Zoo, second oldest in the country, with Roger leading the way. They had very well presented exhibits on insects, and also on reptiles. Roger told me Pat won't go in the reptile house. and certainly some of the snakes should't be encountered on a dark night. The elephants appeared, as always, far too confined. The bald eagles were magnificent, and a telescope (a quarter) was available for viewing or still photography. There was also a video camera connection to a telescope with remote positioning and zoom. Great idea. The cat exhibit had a wonderful variety, but cats are always popular. There was even a Tasmanian Devil, running around its pit, but not posing well for photographs.

We walked around for several hours in the autumn sunshine. To my surprise, it was around 70 degrees, shirtsleeve weather, and I certainly didn't require my jacket.

It was difficult not to find the number of species marked as endangered discouraging and upsetting. Although some were hunted out for fur, many simply couldn't cope with humans occupying and changing existing habitats.

I pretty much avoided eating all day, as we are heading for the Montgomery Road Rib King. As I write this I'm hungry, but whether this can translate into eating a whole slab of ribs is another thing.

In company with Roger and Don Carter, we each managed a full slab. I was astonished at this demonstration of the power of positive starvation.

After dinner Roger and I collected Pat from work. She really looked tired, and didn't attempt to come to Stephen and Denice's party.

At Stephen and Denise Parsley Leigh's new home, partying with Bill Bowers, Bill and Cokie Cavin, Mark Lineman, and Roger Sims (and a very energetic dog). Mark told me I should read my Aussiecon email; I reponded I wouldn't see it until December. I didn't realise then I wouldn't be reading it until mid January!

Friday 31st October 1997

Halloween. Why can't programmers tell Halloween from Xmas? Because Oct 31 is the same as Dec 25.

I had no idea that whole television news programs would go off promoting costumes and the Frank Baum Oz material (mainly the movies rather than the books, I admit). Roger went and got a large pumpkin to carve, so the front step here will eventually look like many other nearby front steps. And I'll admit that the candle illuminated pumpkins did look neat in the evening.

Don Carter phoned to say he would be over after midday. Meanwhile Roger took Pat back over to the doctor as a precaution, and Pat ended up with yet a different variety of antibiotic.

We drove in Tanya's fine Land Rover to Micro Center, where (as last year) I splurged on cheap CD-Roms, and computer magazines. Spent a lot of time there, looking mostly at CDs and books. Their pocket computer section had old prices, not at all competitive. They wanted $399 for the Cassiopia, and $399 for a 1 MB Psion 3a or the later 2 MB Psion 3c. I didn't bother to check the Psion 5.

Travel was interesting, as we did a series of manouvers to avoid traffic disruptions and construction.

To Tom Case's Debco Electronics, at 4025 Edwards Road. I'd never have found that myself. Lots of second hand computer gear, plus lots of electronics gear. I was real tempted by it all. Got one of their neat catalogs, just in case I couldn't resist.

Back at Pat and Roger's place, Mike and Carol Resnick dropped in to leave some review books for me. That is one reason there are so many fine Resnick books mentioned this issue.

I'm still having problems with time zone changes. Hope it eventually gets better, rather than me continually being almost asleep.

Saturday 1st November 1997

I awoke with a real sore throat which by the end of the day was obviously a cold.

Don Carter wasn't able to visit as planned, but Roger and I went to the computer show at Cincinnati Gardens, where Roger picked up gadgets for me to install. Lots of cheap stuff available for anyone who knows how to put together computers from slightly older equipment. I was tempted by CDRoms, but resisted during this visit. Pity, as back home they are still expensive.

Even copying Roger's 130 MB of material onto Zip disks took the whole afternoon. Very slow drives, when running via the printer port.

Roger's computer turned out to be a Dell, with an exceedingly inconvenient case design that made it impossible to easily get at anything. Why brand name computers are always designed to be a pain in the arse is a mystery to me, but the cheap clones always have an easier and more standard case layout.

There was a Cincinnati Fantasy Group meeting (my first, as far as I can recall) that evening at Bill and Cokie Cavin's home. Present also were Pat and Roger, Bill Bowers, Mark Linneman and the local CFG web site guru.

Sunday 2nd November1997

Definitely have a cold now, and tablets are helping only a little.

Spent much of the morning transferring Roger's stuff to his new drive. Took until 12:30.

We sought the Entec open day, where we were to meet Don and Tanya Carter (Tanya works there), They were accompanied by Don's parents, and their German exchange student. Got a little lost, much to Roger's disgust, so we arrived later than expected. That was a large place, with at least a quarter million sets of computer parts, running assembly and configuration in three shifts. I don't know anything at home even close to that size.

Don kindly gave us parts (5.25 to 3.5 converter brackets) to finish upgrading Roger's computer. Finishing it was still long winded, especially with me feeling terrible with congestion. Had to kluge more than I liked also, to do it at all.

Woke up after midnight, quite ill. Don't know if it was a reaction to eating pizza or anchovies, or to the medicine. Passed after a quarter hour, and I started feeling better overall.

Monday 3rd November 1997

Roger dropped me at the airport, so I could travel to Minneapolis. Said he would like to be involved with the daily Aussiecon newsletter. Not the best weather forecast - Mpls was showing 32O, and snow. I located my pullover and carried my coat. Inadequate, of course, but I'm just not used to cold weather.

My cold was slightly less noticeable than yesterday, so I figured it was over.

The United gate at Chicago had a free beverage cart. I thought that was pretty neat. Not exactly Red Carpet, but it would do. I couldn't locate the chocolate bar I thought I'd left in my bag, but figured there would be food on the flight.

Denny Lein collected me at the gate in Mpls, and took me home to meet Dover (the white cat) and Nellie (the black cat) before he returned to work.

I foolishly walked up to Uncle Hugo's bookstore nearby, despite the cold, but escaped after a single pass through the second hand books. Of course, I was planning to return.

Phoned lots of fans, and even reached some of them. As usual, I seem totally unable to adjust to the phone system, and mostly ended up leaving messages on answering machines. I just hope they were the right answering machines.

Tuesday 4th November 1997

Linda Lounsbury kindly collected me around ten for a tour of the city (not for the first time either). As an historian, she provided a wealth of detail, including an entertaining discourse on winter wheat and the nature of flour mills to deal with hard wheat. Through numerous scenic areas, rendered less attractive this time by gray skies, but still impressive.

As always I was amazed at the size of the Mississippi, a river that alone has perhaps ten times the water flow of all the rivers in Australia's dry heart. Seeing gigantic barges on it so far from the sea!

We visited Bandana (?), where there are several model railway shows, and a model railway built by the local club. It has an amazingly large layout, modelled upon the local area in the 1940's. I loved it; I've always thought Universities should encourage model railroad clubs.

By the turn of the Century, Summit Avenue was site of the most expensive houes in town, and the James J Hill house was the most expensive of these, costing nearly a million dollars when it was completed in 1891. Hill was the railway baron who from 1878 and for two decade pushed the St Paul and Pacific Railroad (renamed the Great Northern Railway) north into Canada, then across the Rockie to the Pacific.

The massive four story stone mansion included rooms for the Hills and eight of their nine childen, plus servants. It was obviously built as a family home that would also impress any visitor. The art gallery is two stories high, lit by skylights, and there was a large library, and a dining room with a table for fourteen. Most impressive to me was the hot air heating system, from a large boiler beneath the art gallery. In summer, many wide terraces provided outdoor living and exposure to any breeze.

We visited the Minnesota Historical Society building, where I discovered more about wild rice than I knew existed. Seeing details of how to harvest food reinforces how far most of our lives are away from the land that sustains us. Speaking of food, we hunted ours the modern Americn way, in the cafeteria. I was amused to be able to get a roast lamb sandwich - I thought beef was a requirement in the USA.

Finally there was a brief visit to the sprawing, four story high Mall of the Americas, near the airport. Linda told me some airlines were offering under $100 airline tickets, from places like Omaha, Nebraska, and Butte, Montana. Take you to Minneapolis on a 6 a.m. flight, bus you to the mall, collect you at the mall at 9 p.m. after a day of shoping, and fly you back home. I guess, if you are really into shopping, then it makes sense. I really just thought it was a neat place to walk out of the weather. I did buy a propellor beanie there,

Ethiopian dinner that evening. I started with the kind of puns I'm sure you can all predict when Denny suggested trying it. There were actually several African restaurants in the area near where Denny works. We got a sampler, nearly a dozen types of meat and vegetables, many highly spiced, but very tasty, served on a bed of thin bread. A dish of thin rolled bread pieces was provided as the utensils. You scooped up the food with a fold of bread. At the end, you ate the disk. It was a wonderful meal, albeit too much for me.

Wednesday 5th November 1997

Denny was home today, and started us off with a fine dish of bacon and eggs, hash browns and all that good fattening stuff. I was impressed.

Joyce Scrivner kindly collected me today, somewhat later than she had apparently intended, and promptly rushed me off to lunch. Strudel & Nudel is a German restaurant at 2605 Nicollet Avenue, open during lunctimes only. Given the quantity of food in even their smaller meals, I was pleased I wasn't facing a seven course German dinner.

We drove into Wisconsin to find a potter's gallery, so I got to see more of the countryide, despite the overcast skies. Lots of catching up on fannish acquaintances not seen by one or another of us for several years. To some extent this aspect of conversation is becoming less of a topic, as more and more fans get net access.

Lots of talk about Aussiecon Three, in which Joyce has considerable interest, having contributed much to the bidding with parties at Orycon, Minicon and Wiscon.

Both the potter's galleries we saw had open show rooms, with a basket in which to leave payment for any item that took your fancy. Of course, they were also far out in the countryside, not in the city. I got a small cup, which now prevents my heart medicine from falling off the table. I would now really miss it if I were to ever accidentally break that small piece of pottery.

After crossing the Mississippi, we travelled alongside it to Stillwater, seeking the famed bookshops. There was a considerable impression of a town aimed at tourists, but antique stores were more in evidence. The two antiquitarian (a fancy word for expensive) bookshops were interesting, but luckily I saw nothing I wanted.

We did stop at Tremblay's Sweet Shop on Main Street, a family store specialising in homemade fudge and hand dipped chocolates, and overbought.

Joyce wanted a modem, so we stopped at a CompUSA store, which was very large, and very full of new (but not precisely bargain) equipment. They did have a Toshiba Libretto palmtop on display, as evidence of just how small you could make a standard IBM Pentium clone. Joyce got software, and I avoided geting anything. Now that the barbarians of the computer world have won, I think my interest in this topic is on the wane.

Dinner at Bakers Square, standard US food, which meant lots of it. Having three square meals a day is far too much for me.

Thursday 6th November 1997

Geri Sullivan and Jeff Schales took me to a Gestetner demonstration this morning. Jeff told of the problems professional printers have with all the amateurs not understanding typography, but having lots of fonts available.

Gestetner demonstrated all the latest in automatic stencil cutting from a roll of stencils, water based inks replacing the older oil based ones, interchangeable ink cartridges, at a very low cost per copy. It was great stuff, if only you were printing up enough stuff to cover the high initial cost. I was very impressed, and could see it being perfect for several niche markets, including larger SF clubs with lots of potential editors wanting cheap fanzine repro.

A quick bite at a Burger King, where the quantities were fine, but the quality less so. Still, the company was great.

Geri droped me off at Gordy Dickson's home. It is hard to remember that Gordy is over 70, when he still writes so many novels, and is always so hard at work writing or correcting. It was wonderful to catch up with him once again.

Dave Wixon kindly drove me back to Denny's, so I did get to talk with him for a while. After my experiences with the phone system, I'd rather feared I wouldn't catch up to him.

Denny subsequently found me at Uncle Hugos, buying more books. So much for my plans to downsize my book collection.

That evening we drove to the Cattleman Co, thanks to gift certificates from Gestetner, with Geri and Denny. Had a long and exceedingly large dinner, helped by good conversation.

Friday 7th November1997

To downtown Mpls along Chicago Avenue on the #5 bus. I wandered down to the riverside, looking at the architecture. Decided I would get lost in their Skyway system. Checked out Barnes and Nobel, but resisted the temptation to buy everything.

This was followed by a long and not very well aimed walk, sans map. I eventually found myself out around 15th, and decided I would probably be as well off just walking the whole way to Denny's at 3149.

Peter Toluzzi collected me after two, for coffee at his favourite coffee shop, with music at his home, and talk of new age mysticism, singularities in trends, and other neat stuff. He seemed in fine form, and it was great to see him again after so long. He went out of his way to drop me in St Paul.

Met Jeanne Mealy at 5th and Market, and then caught up with John Stanley at the sale they wanted to attend. That was neat. Many tacky things I didn't want. Many neat things I couldn't have carried. I did get a dozen classic music CDs at $5 each, mostly obscure titles, so that pleased me greatly.

Dinner at a little all you can eat place at a motel, where I was amazed at how much Jeanne managed to get through for such a slim person. A visit to their new house, still packed with boxes from their recent move. I though I was very lucky to be able to catch them, given how much change had been in their lives of late.

Couldn't sleep that evening, and I had an early flight. Isn't it always like that. Next issue, I meet Jean in San Francisco, and we attend Comdex, the computer extravaganza.

Book reviews

Harvest the Fire by Poul Anderson

Tor, Nov 1997, pp 190, US$5.99

Third (and very much shortest) novel in this hard SF future series. Someone or something has penetrated the communications of the Teramind. A past personality is revived, and in a machine body seeks the Luna misfits most likely to have wanted to rebel. Nicol, a would be poet, is sought by the Luna cabal as a pilot, as his Earth raised body can take higher accelerations than they can handle. And perhaps he can hijack the antimatter the outer colonies of the Oort need for their long term survival.

Solis by A A Attanasio

Harper Prism, March 1995, 214pp, US$4.50

Charlie had his brain frozen when he died, but not being alive, he had no rights. A thousand years later unowned brains are valuable for control applications, and he awakes running an ore carrier in the asteroids. His cry for help reaches a robot. And the robot devises a plan. That is when things get complicated. Little that is new, but poetically presented, and very fast paced.

When Heaven Fell by William Barton

Aspect (Warner), March 1995, 343pp, US$5.50

The Master Race took over Earth with ease, one ship slaughtering eight billion humans. Now humans are slaves. Some working as mercenaries, conquering other planets for the cybernetic masters. And some of the races that have become trusted servants wonder if this too will pass. Atmospheric novel.

Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold

Baen, Oct 1997, 462pp, US$6.99

A Miles Vorkosigan novel, hardly SF, but a lot of clever plotting. Miles is suffering seizures after his cryonic ressurection. He tries to hide his affliction. If you like these stories, you should enjoy this one also.

Prodigy by Jan Clark

Roc, September 1997, 447pp, US$5.99

Why does a respected Fleet captain destroy an envoy ship under circumstances that may start a war? And who really set up the destruction?

Final Orbit by S V Date

Avon, December 1997, 342pp, US$5.99

Not science fiction, rather a murder suspense story set at NASA, with the protagonist an aging astronaut politicing to get his seventh and final ride on the space shuttle. First novel by a newspaper reporter who covered space topics for many years. Fine fast paced suspense, and the NASA tech stuff sounds fairly believable.

Present Tense - The Great Game by Dave Duncan

Corgi (Transworld), Feb 1998, 479pp, A$14.95

Part two of this Canadian fantasy writer's trilogy, set partly elsewhere and partly in WWI

The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert by Stephan Elliott

Currency, Sydney, 1994, 86pp

Screenplay and stills from the movie, thus finally enabling one to read some of the earthier expressions used. A very bitchy script, but about what could be expected of three drag queens taking empty lives across an empty desert in an old bus, looking for meaning? Cult film.

Zipper, An Exploration in Novelty by Robert Friedel

Norton, 1996, 288pp

Social and technological history, describing the invention of the precursor to the zipper by Whitcomb Judson in 1893. It moves through the problems of selling the unreliable Plako gadget, and the improvements and final design by Gideon Sundback in 1913 after nearly a decade of effort.

On the way it covers the need for inventors to link with both innovators and manufacturers, and also with inspired sales efforts. It covers the successful attempt to sell zippers for children's clothing so they could dress themselves, and the fashion discovery of the zipper in the late 1930's.

Commentary on the first use of the zipper as a sexual image in Aldus Huxly's Brave New World, in multiple films, and in much other fiction. Urban legends of embarrassing moments caused by recalcitrant zippers are also recounted. I thought the book was facinating, but then I would, wouldn't I?

People of the Silence by Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W Michael Gear

Tor (Macmillan), November 1997, 650pp, US%6.99 A$14.95

Novel of the Anasazi, very speculative historical account of why their 11th Century culture failed.

Echoes of the Great Songs by David Gemmell

Bantam (Transworld), January 1998, 350pp, A$24.95 TPB

Heroic fantasy and magic.

Winter Warriors by David Gemmell

Corgi (Transworld), Jan 1998, 412pp, A$14.95

Heroic fantasy in the Drenai series.

Beggars Ride by Nancy Kress

Tor, Dec 1997, 406pp, US$5.99

The conclusion to the series commenced with Nebula winner Beggars in Spain. Sleepless Jennifer Sharifi is out of prison, and the Sleepless are agin holed up in their orbital Sanctuary. And the Super Sleepless have stopped producing the Change syringes that let humans feed without needing crops. Don't expect easy or peaceful solutions.

The Chalice and the Blade by Glenna McReynolds

Bantam (Transworld), Dec 1997, 424pp, US$16 A$24.95

Damsels, dragons and magic in 12th Century Wales.

Knightshade Tower by Martin Middleton

Pan Macmillan, Jan 1998, 388pp, A$14.95

Third in the Living Towers fantasy trilogy by Australian author.

Myst The Book of D'Ni by Rand Miller with David Wingove

Bantam (Transworld), Dec 1997, 318pp, A$35

Fantasy series based on the well received computer game. Beautiful looking hardcover, glue binding, not sewn, despite appearances.

Myst The Book of Tiana by Rand Miller with David Wingrove

Bantam (Transworld), Jan 1998, 478pp, A$14.95

Fantasy series based on the well received computer game.

Phases by Elizabeth Moon

Baen, December 1997, 374pp, US$5.99

Fifteen stories, mostly SF, but maybe three fantasy. An excellent writer showing mastery of the shorter story.

The Bohr Maker by Linda Nagata

Bantam, April 1995, 325pp, US$4.99

A wonderful first novel, expounding the possibilities of unlimited nanotechnology, within a fast paced story of a man who has only weeks to live, his demise written into his genetic code when his father received the experimental permit that allowed him to be created. But Nikko will stop at nothing, not even bringing about the destruction of the human race, if he can live. And the Bohr Maker can rewrite anyone genetic code, if he can only find a way to steal it from the police.

Of course, just where extensive nanotech will get its energy from is touched but lightly, and nohing is said of just how the control structures will be designed, but it is still a great read.

Dark Skies: The Awakening by Stan Nicholls

Bantam (Transworld), Jan 1998, 300pp, A$12.95

Close adaption of the revisionist history TV series, in which aliens did crash at Roswell and keep kidnapping people through the 1960's. Based on the TV episodes The Awakening, Mercury Rising, Moving Targets, and Dark Days Night.

The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

Corgi Audio (Transworld), Dec 1997, 2 cassettes, A$18.95

The entertaining children's story, read by Tony Robinson

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Corgi Audio (Transworld), Feb 1998, 2 cassettes, A$22.95

A tale of the Discworld Xmas, read by Tony Robinson, exceedingly funny.

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Corgi (Tranworld), Dec 1997, 445pp, A$14.95

For this season, Pratchett tackles Christmass. Many of us are ill dispossed towards Xmas, but few hire the Assassins Guild to do something about it. After all, you can't just go and kill a legend like Hogfather. Well, Mr Teatime has other ideas, and perhaps the Assassins Guild should have enquired more closely as to just how he managed to lose both his parents at an early age. Never mind, Death does a pretty good job of filling in for Hogfeather, as long as you don't notice the skull behind the beard, or that, beneath the pillow, he really is somewhat ... skeletal.

Dog in the Manger by Mike Resnick

Alexander Books, 1995, 160pp, TPB US$12.95

The best PI novel ever set in the city of Cincinnati ... says Barry N Malzberg, but this is far too limited for a wonderful trot through all the cliches of the detective novel (even if the quote is aimed at a different mystery writer). True, Eli Paxton does have his traditional run down office in Cincinnti, but the action takes him to Arizona and Mexico.

Mike Resnick is a resident of Cincinnati, and the scenes set in that city ring very true, and evoke areas I know there. However the scenes set elsewhere seem equally true, and I have no idea whether Mike was even in those places.

Eli Paxton is searching for a dog. And before long, people are dying to cover up the loss of a dog that simply isn't worth as much as is being spent on the coverup. Trying to solve the mystery before it was revealed drove me nuts, but the clues were all there.

A Miracle of Rare Design by Mike Resnick

Tor, Dec 1994, pp 255, US$21.95

Xavier Lennox and redemption. The spaceship cover has nothing to do with the story whatsoever. Read it anyway; I don't think Resnick is capable of telling a story badly, even if what he writes are not the stories I think authors should write.

Solo Flights Through Shared Worlds by Mike Resnick

Dark Regions Press, May 1996, 172pp, TPB US$9.95

Stories set in shared worlds, with a Resnick twist. After the first one, he didn't want to do them, so they all share a contrarian viewpoint. Mike gets given the "bible" for the shared world, and then proceeds to write something that conforms to he guidelines, but is absolutely not what the editor expected. From Asimov's Susan Calvin, the origin of Dick Tracy, to Frankenstein at the football, to Hollywood casting for Shakespear. Almost all are very funny,

Future Earths edited by Mike Resnick & Gardner Dozois.

DAW923, August 1993, 316pp, US$4.99

A wonderful anthology of short stories set under South American skies. Included among the dozen stories are The Women Men Don't See by James Tiptree, Jr., Salvador by Lucius Shepard, Doomsday Deferred by Will F Jenkins (Murray Leinster), Trapalanda by Charles Sheffield, The World Must Never Know by G C Edmundson, Invaders by John Kessel, and The Sky People by Poul Anderson.

Widowmaker by Mike Resnick

Bantam, August 1996, 293pp, US$5.99

Widowmaker Reborn by Mike Resnick

Bantam, August 1997, 297pp, US$5.99

The first book reads like a series of short cowboy adventures, as the cloned hero bounty hunter proves he is mighty tough. The second book seems much more mature, and portrays a much more mature hero. Soon to be made into a movie, I understand.

Freeware by Rudy Rucker

Avon (Transworld), August 1997, 288pp, tpb U$13 A$22.95

Independent sequel to Software and Wetware. Lots of cybersex and anarchistic action with nanotech and biotech, plus an interstellar download of intelligence that is going to take over the Mouldies. Fast paced, but I couldn't raise any interest in the fates of the characters.

World War: Striking the Balance by Harry Turtledove

DelRey, Sept 1997, 547pp, US$6.99

Fourth and final volume in this lengthy (and inconclusive) alternate history series. I'm not sorry I read them, but the SF material is minimal.

Paris in the Twentieth Century by Jules Verne

DelRey, November 1997, 216pp, US$11.95

The never published 1863 dark view of a finance and science controlled Paris in 1960. Deserved not to be published.

How To Sneak Into The Movies by Daan Zamudio

Loompanics, 1995, 72pp

I haven't checked out Loompanics in ages, but it seems they continue to publish outrageous books. This covers the basics: Sneak in through the exit, sneak in with a larger group, buy one ticket and stay for several movies. Justification given is that most movies are overpriced and bad rip offs. My own method is to hardly ever go to the movies, and certainly never to first release stuff.

Original Cover

You don't smoke, your cholesterol level is normal, your blood pressure is normal; your only heart attack risk factors are you are male and over 50. -- Doctor

Well I can't do much about that! -- Eric Lindsay

I expect you both to outlast me and provide me with great role models for graceful ageing. -- Alyson Abramowitz

Try and think of this as an extended Christmas vacation, except that the bad heartburn come - before - the big Christmas dinner. -- Bruce D Arthurs

... _try _ not to flap your arms too vigorously as you fly back and forth across the Pacific, OK. -- David Bratman

Tell Eric to get hopping on that trip report! -- William Breiding

Eric seems the last person to get a heart attack - skinny and healthy and not smoking, You'd think it would be someone overweight like me... Hope it wasn't all that running around at Comdex that triggered it (and those cholesterol filled buffets!) -- Linda Bushyager

I have been a member in good standing (of the community of heart attack survivors) for about 12 years, and with very few changes in habits. -- Don Carter

If (Eric) fails to pay attention to you and his doctors, I will kick his skinny little ass with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. -- Al Curry

You're about the last person I would have expected to be hit with a heart attack! -- Moshe Feder

Tell Eric he is not allowed to get any sicker or else! Besides, I'm expecting him to pick up the first shout when I get over in '99. -- jan howard finder

Tell him to suffer in silence and not bitch & moan to you all the time so as to make you miserable. -- jan howard finder

Remind Eric, that if he doesn't behave, he can't make life miserable for everyone associated with Aussiecon Three. -- jan howard finder

I got a Palm Pilot and am now glad I didn't get a Psion, just in case that turns out that it was the cause of his heart attack. -- D Gary Grady

Jet lag with a vengeance... Wish I could be there to play Scrabble with him and make sure he hides his broccoli under the plate. -- Joe Haldeman

"But he was just in the USA and he looked fine" (fans at SMOFcon). Was the stress of travelling the culprit? -- Teddy Harvia

I've been praying for his recovery, whether he likes it or not. -- Marty Helgesen

"Well if anyone can get Eric to take (Doctor's) order it's Jean" (Seattle fans) - Marilyn Holt

I'm vastly cheered Eric is no longer a drip. Wait. Isn't that what you said? - Lucy Huntzinger

This isn't the first time a fan has made a cheap bid for attention, but don't you think you are over-doing it? This is a warning that no further heart attacks will be countenanced, so better make sure that there is no repetition. -- Arnie Katz

I've been feeling miserable over too many deaths of people I know this year, so it's very welcome to have good news of Eric so soon after the alarming report. -- Dave Langford

Is this what I have to look forward to when I turn 50? -- Lan Laskowski (49)

I was more than a little distressed when you mentioned Eric had none of the risk factors, aside from being male and over 50. That's me - except I'm not quite 50 - and here I have been thinking I at least didn't have to worry about premature heart attacks. -- Eric Mayer

No, no, no! It's the Guests who are supposed to die before Aussiecon Three, not the Board. --- Cheryl Morgan

People younger than me have G*O*T to stop doing things like this...! "... and over 50." Right! 10 MONTHS over 50! His credentials as an Old Coot (or something similar) are tenuous at best. -- Bruce Pelz

... tell him to stop chasing so many girls (or to chase them at slower speeds). --Mike Resnick

I would never want to accuse you of malingering ... but just how long does it take to recover from a fart attack? -- Mike Resnick

I should have known that having to carry around an extra 10 kg of Windows NT documentation was not the greatest thing for your health. Of course, it was your mental health I was thinking about ...:-) -- Alan Rosenthal & Janice Murray

I just heard that Nick Stathopolis had had a heart attack this summer. Is there something wrong with Sydney water? -- Dick Smith

Slow down, smell the roses (do they grow in Australia?) and reread all my great writing. (That should occupy all of 15 minutes.) -- Joyce Katz

Tell Eric to not try to organise the hospital on sounder operational procedures. -- Pauline Dickinson

Tell him not to wear the hip flask in his pocket when they are doing tests. It can fuck up the readings on the machines. -- Terry Frost

Tell him to keep his pecker up - ooer, that sounds rude - and his ticker ticking. Gunny and KPG

These days the survival rate from a heart attack, once recognised and treated, is almost 100%. Medical science can do things thereinafter to prevent further trouble that were only dreamt of a decade ago. -- Craig Hilton

They were going to have another patient at the hospital in the drug trial. But he had a shower and died before they could start the trial. -- Eric Lindsay

... he was the last person I thought would have a heart attack!!! -- Richard (now worried) Hryckiewicz

I'm not quite ready yet to deal with that stage of adult life, where the body starts to remind us of all the things we _ should _ have been doing for the last twenty years. -- Geoff Jagoe

Marc and I ... came to the conclusion that of all the fans we could think of Eric seemed the least likely - we said, patting our stomachs. -- Perry Middlemiss

A bloke in a user group was telling us he'd had to have cardiac tests. Two days later he was in hospital having a bypass operation. Thinking of stress factors, I've always felt your work was a source of stress. Or is it all just grumbling! -- John Newman

Tell the silly bugger to slow down. (We're not thirty anymore - none of us ...) -- Marc Ortlieb

Have a recovery-led new year -- Lucy Sussex

The email for this issue, formerly a seperate file.

From: Eric Mayer egmayer at servtech com
Glad to know that everything's going OK. I don't know how energetic I'd be. I think I'd be afraid to move.

If we get a copy we'll pass it along to Dave and Carolyn and Sam. This reminds me that I just did a new Groggy at our web site. If you have web access, as I imagine you must, you can take a look if you want, but, if not, I can email a copy.
Best, Eric

From: Crossfire Crossfire at aol com
Again, thanks for the update....

I'll be seeing all (or most...) of Vegas Fandom tonight at a Christmas party, so I'll be able to pass on the good news about the continued recuperation. I'll write over the weekend and tell you about the actual party.... And if you'd like a US publisher for that report, Eric... WH is definitely interested. And believe it or not, we have appropriate Rotsler illos to go with it!
Best, Arnie

From: Marty Helgesen MNHCC at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU
On Fri, 12 Dec 1997 01:50:26 -0500 you said:
Has an announcement been posted to rec.arts.sf.fandom? My system's link to Usenet has been down for several days, so I haven't been able to see. If it hasn't been posted and you want to post one, or have someone with a current link to post it for you, the subject line should say something like:
Eric Lindsay Recovering From Mild Heart Attack.
Too many times a posting with just a fan's name as the subject line is an announcement that the fan has died. A number of fans have written of their hearts sinking when they see a subject line like that. To avoid creating unnessary concern a subject line like the above sample is preferable.
Marty Helgesen

From: wbreiding at juno com (Wm. M. Breiding)
Bill Bowers has been forwarding your messages on to me. Eric (nor yourself) may know who I am, but I know who Eric is! I just wanted to pass on my best wishes for a speedy recovery--and tell Eric to get hopping on that trip report!! William Breiding 1037 E. Mitchell Tucson, AZ 85719-3024 wbreiding at juno com

From: Marty Helgesen MNHCC at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU
I was sorry to learn of Eric's heart attack and am glad he is recovering so well. I've been praying for his recovery /w/h/e/t/h/e/r /h/e /l/i/k/e/s /i/t /o/r /n/o/t. Marty Helgesen

From: John Foyster foyster at ntmrc.ncver edu au
Dear Jean
I've managed to be away from my e-mail access for all of this week, although I did hear while in Melbourne about Eric's Little Adventure. As a result I am rather relieved to get all the information in one hit, as it were. It sounds as though everything is going smoothly - although I do wonder about any possible colloquial meaning being attached to Eric being "disconnected from the drip".

I did find one really rather nice Chinese dish in Melbourne, courtesy my daughter; but Eric may not be up to barbecued suckling pig for a few weeks, or even longer. It doesn't have that much fat on it. Honest. Cheers to you both (and special regards from Yvonne, who had the info before me and was quite fidgetty about it)
John Foyster

From: Allen Curry keltoi at cinternet net
I'm now suffering from Atrial Fibrillation ... meaning that while the ventrical is doing its normal waltz, the atrium is doing a jig. Hence, I am fully aware of reduced blood flow and subsequent exhaustion and shortness of breath. While not, precisely, a picnic, it can be dealt with if one wishes to do so.

Give the little man my love, and remind him that I'm thinking of him.
Al Curry

From: d.bratman%genie at rock103.genie net
Get well, Eric! And _try_ not to flap your arms too vigorously as you fly back and forth across the Pacific, OK? [g] Berni and I both send our prayers and best wishes. And if we hear any more good news before this weekend, we'll sing Hallelujah at the annual Sing-Along Messiah with extra vigor.
David Bratman and Berni Phillips

From: LTutihasi LTutihasi at aol com
I'm so glad to hear he is doing better. Exercise sounds good. A friend of mine had a heart attack a few years ago that required bypass surgery. At that time, he was fairly overweight. Since he started exercising after the attack, he's in better health than he's been in in a long time. I hope Eric does as well.

From: D Gary Grady dgary at mindspring com
I'm picturing him wandering about the intensive scare unit with a screwdriver, tweaking all the hardware...Hope the news continues to be good. Is that reduction in blood volume likely to be something temporary, I hope?
D Gary Grady

From: Cheryl Morgan cmorgan at ceres.wallis com
Hi Eric,
No, no no! It is the Guests who are supposed to die before A3, not the Board... Take care of yourself, buddy. No sense in buying a pad in sunny Queensland and then not getting to use it. Love 'n' hugs and all best wishes,

From: hleibow at
That is great news. I was at SMOFcon when I heard, and there were a few bad moments when I heard his name but didn't know what had happened. The relief was so great when I found out it was a mild heart attack, that it was embarrassing. (It doesn't take much to make me cry!) Oops, here I go again.

Do what Jean tells you, Eric!! I hope to continue to see you at many, many cons to come. I didn't even know you were over 50. Thin, healthy looking people aren't supposed to have heart attacks! I'm sending this from work as I keep putting off logging on at home, so if I get fired, it is all for you!

Here is an opportunity to get caught up on your reading, etc., take advantage of it!!
Love, Hope From: Hope Leibowitz

From: joe.haldeman%genie at rock103.genie net
Hi, Eric! Just a note to let you know we're thinking of you. What a scare! Jean, thanks so much for letting us know and keeping us up to date. We really appreciate it. Love, Gay and Joe

From: kay at rsvl.unisys com
Send (give) him my best wishes, please!
The news of his heart attack was originally relayed through the Haldemans to Teddy Harvia on Saturday (lunch) of SMOFCON, where Dick Smith met it with such uncertainty (I'd just told him about Nick's heart attack earlier in the day) that Teddy was uncertain it really was Eric. Several people checked the email and verified it was Eric before we left. (However, I couldn't get to my email since it's behind a firewall until Monday and other things have kept me from a longer reply.)

I'm glad to know he's okay, getting better, (what a relief!) How in the world did he realize it was a heart attack? (And yes, he is certainly in better shape than I for instance.)

I wish you both well, and keep me informed.
Joyce Scrivner

From: "Dennis K. Lien" Dennis.K.Lien-1 at tc.umn edu
Jean and Eric: I printed out the previous messages and mailed text to Gordy Dickson earlier this week. / Denny Lien

From: joe.haldeman%genie at rock103.genie net
Dear Jean, dear Eric: We've been spreading the word. Rusty sends his best wishes! Hope you're feeling pretty well now, Eric. But _please_ be careful. Those of us who love you want you to stay around a looooooong time! Love, Gay and Joe

From: the.wombat at juno com (jan h finder)
The mind boggles! Remind Eric, that if he doesn't behave, he can't make life miserable for everone associated with A3.

He is probably driving everyone crazy. Quacks hate literate patients. He'll know more than they do in a few weeks.

Eric, I realize that it is a drag, but relax a little bit. We don't need you keeling over again. That would not be a good thing.

Eat lots of hot chicken soup and take vitamin C. I don't know if it will help, but it can't hurt. That is what my mum gave me for EVERYTHING!

Ciao and teggeddizzi! May the Ghreat Wombat smile on you!
jan (also at wombat at sff net)

From: JoyWorley JoyWorley at aol com
So glad to hear that Eric is out of hospital and feisty. Tell him I said to slow down, smell the roses (do they grow in Australia?) and reread all my great writing. (That should occupy all of 15 minutes.) -- Seriously, long naps, light reading and fannish thoughts should be about all the exercise he undertakes.

Give him my love, and let him know I'm thinking of him.... and of you, with hopes that your bedside manner isn't overtaxed. Joyce Katz

Roger Sims
That is great news!
I started this this morning and for some reason or other did not finish it! So I think that I should do so now! But then again I can't think of anything worth while to say so will just close with a message to Eric, take it easy! And then one to Jean, Don't let him wear you down!
Best, Pat and Roger.

From: "Terry Frost" hlector at netspace net au
I could lend you some illustrated books on the subject.... ;-)
Look forward to it.
Melbourne fandom's already been doing that.
Take care and hi again to the invalid curmudgeon.

From: "Richard J. Faulder" Richard.Faulder at agric.nsw gov au
Glad to hear Eric is now out of hospital, and I'm sure he can be persuaded to behave himself. (Then again....) At least sitting down at a keyboard is more sedentary than chasing computer parts across a city.

I'd send flowers, but I don't think the local florist could cope with the sort of arrangement that would be appropriate for you, Eric.
Unfortunately I couldn't check on my email til this afternoon. Spock, the Department's email server, must have been down.

Regards to you both, and I have an order for you, mate: Continue to improve.
Richard J. Faulder, Yanco Agricultural Institute, YANCO NSW 2703 Phone: +61 2 69512642, Fax: +61 2 69557580

From: Jack Herman pressco at fl net au
Cath and I have been away since 5 December - on vacation - away from all infernal devices - and so have just discovered Eric's illness.

Please pass on to him our regards and best wishes. I am glad to see that he is making a good recovery and trust that this continues.

I have no doubts that I will read all about his hospital stay RSN on the 'Net. Please keep us in touch with developments.

From: Craig and Julia Hilton docrat at altu net au
Julia and I have just returned from a week's holiday, so I've just learned of the news. This is terrible, and the thoughts of both of us are with you. I'm very, very thankful that Eric is still alive, which of course is not a thing to be taken for granted in a heart attack, even in this day and age. I'm also very gratified that he called an ambulance when he got the pain. I've seen the result too often when a person lets a day go by in the hope that it's nothing serious and it will pass with time.

These days, the survival rate from a heart attack, once recognised and treated, is almost 100%. Medical science can do things thereafter to prevent further trouble that were only dreamt of a decade ago.

I guess it might sound like science fiction. Perhaps it means the future is more ordinary than we think. In the sixties, when the vision of the turn of the millennium was all gleaming chromium, flashing lights and space ships. Now that we're here, it's still just folks facing mundane yet crucial things like ill-health with better drugs, better techniques and more precise knowledge.

Please tell Eric to carry our thoughts with him as he gets better.
Lots of love, Craig Hilton

From: Ken kforman at wizard com
Thanks, Jean...We're sooooooo glad Eric's doing better.

Can we send you a few of those 'straps, restraints, and handcuffs' you mentioned? Who knows what you'll discover.... :)
Please take care, both of you...and our prayers and well wishes to you both...
Ken and Aileen
P.S. I'll pass along the good news to all the Vegrants...

From: Carolyn Doyle cdoyle at starnews com
Thanks for your reports on Eric ... luckily, Mary Long phoned me on Saturday, as I was finishing up the FLAP mailing, and I was able to include a mention of it on the cover, for anyone who hadn't heard. (I only get email at work, so I didn't see the msg you sent me until Monday.)

Hope you get FLAP this month, or early in the new year ... again, thanks for your updates -- I've really appreciated them, and am glad Eric is on the mend.

Dave and I were so sorry to hear about your heart attack ... and so glad that you are doing well now.

I must admit, as soon as I knew you were recovering rapidly, I KNEW you would be watching and remembering as much as you could, as unpleasant as much of it must have been at the time. You are a keen observer, and I know I'll find your account of the whole experience enlightening and interesting.

I hope you continue your amazing recovery, and that we'll see you again soon ... maybe in '98?

From: ansible at cix uk (David Langford)
I've been feeling miserable over too many deaths of people I know this year, so it's =very= welcome to have good news of Eric so soon after the alarming report! Please do pass my best wishes to him, and hopes for rapid further recovery.

Martin Hoare also sends fervent good wishes. (More good news: Martin's wife Jean has been pronounced cancer-free after a full, horrible year of chemo- and other therapies. Ian Gunn likewise, says Ian -- but you'll have known that.)
best: Dave
David Langford ansible at uk |

From: "Tara Smith" tara at ois net au
Hang in there!
Give Eric our very best wishes for a speedy recovery. And try not to run yourself into the ground in the process!
Love and hugs

From: Carey Handfield cch at netspace net au
We heard about Eric's heart attack at Catherine Middlemiss's birthday last Sunday (followed up by your regular emails).

All the Handfield's wish Eric a speedy recovery. I am sure a lot of people have already said Eric is the last person that would be likley to have a heart attack.

We are looking out for any strange or interesting reading matter which will stop Eric getting too bored over the next couple of months. take care,
Carey, Jo, Phillip and Breanna

From: Crossfire Crossfire at aol com
Thanks for providing such frequent bulletins. They've meant a lot to Eric's friends here in far off Las Vegas.

Our thoughts continue to be with the two of you.
Arnie (and the Vegrants)

From: Gerald Smith geraldps at spin net au
Please tell Eric to get well soon, we're thinking of him. But above all, tell him from us to listen to orders.
Gerald and Womble

From: "Terry Frost" hlector at netspace net au
Give him my best again and tell him not to wear the hip flask in his pocket when they're doing tests. It can fuck up the readings on the machines

From: stephen at mtiame mtia asn au (Stephen Boucher)
It's indeed wonderful news, pass along my best. I'll also try and beat some free time out of MTIA next week and try to catch up with you guys.

From: Geoff Jagoe and Barb de la Hunty mastery at iinet net au
glad to hear everything is progressing well. I'm not quite ready yet to deal with that stage of adult life, where the body starts to remind us of all the things we _should_ have been doing for the last twenty years! We'll write more soon.
All the best, Geoff and Barb

From: huntzinger at mindspring com (Lucy Huntzinger)
I'm vastly cheered up to know Eric is no longer a drip. Wait. Isn't that what you said? Well, anyway, I think Eric ought to write up his trip report. I got a real kick out of reading the Gegenscheins he brought along to Alison's party.

Roger Sims [73473,2247]
That was very good news. We all hope that what ever is discovered will be easily corrected. And it goes with out saying that we are thankful for your updtates. Things continue to go well at this end. Pat still has not smoked a cigarette since the operation. This has made me very happy as you might surmise. Callie is still suffering the effects of being spoiled by Stephen Boucher. But when she gets to be to much at meal time, Pat puts her in the kitchen with the doors closed! As you can imagine this only keeps off the table until the next meal!

That is more then is needed for now, more later!

From: Karen Pender-Gunn and Ian Gunn fiawol at ozramp net au
Glad to hear Eric's better than he has been. Here's hoping he gets more betterer quickly.
Best Wishes from Gunny and KPG

From: xenolith at juno com (Bill Bowers)
It's really good to hear the continuing Good News re Eric.

I don't have anything particularly witty or profound to say, but this is just to let him know that I _am_ thinking of him -- and hope the recovery is speedy.

...and I can't help but reflect how instantaneous this "medium" is; six months ago I wouldn't have heard about Eric ... unless someone remembered to call me....

Thanks to you for keeping us all up to date.
Bill Bowers, xenolith at juno com

From: Sally Beasley sbeasley at carmen.murdoch edu au
I was shocked to hear about Eric's heart attack, and pleased to hear he seems to be recovering. Please give him my best wishes. (Just at the moment, it is hard for me to react properly to things as my father died suddenly and unexpectedly a month or so ago. Also a heart attack, as far as we know. He hadn't even been unwell. I'm finding the grieving process exhausting).

From: the.wombat at juno com (jan h finder)
-Eric's doing fine.
This is good news. I'm relieved to hear it.
- he's into the "restless and bored" stage. What fun.
You could also take him all those books he's been meaning to read, but hasn't found the time for.

- The ultrasound test on Monday showed a serious reduction in volume of - blood being pumped by the heart.

Any reason why this occurred?

- As I understand it, this doesn't mean an increase in risk of further attacks,

Good to hear.

- builds up his exercise program slowly).

This, of course, is very important. Yes, exercise eats into the time needed for everything else, but it is a good thing. He may have to get a treadmill, I think, they are referred to as "walkers" in Oz. [Dennis Stocks suffered a heart attack several years ago. He has to spend his time every day on the walker. Of course, a walker to me means one of those things a weakened person pushes in front of themselves to keep them upright and going.] They are probably one of the best tools to recover from a heart attack and prevent one you can invest in. You can get an attachment for the treadmill so that you can read while you walk. Hence, it isn't a total waste of precious time!

- Stress test today should tell more.

I hope the quack running the stress test is more of a human that the spherical anal sphincter muscle who did mine. He had me really cranking along and then decided they had seen enough and just shut it off. I nearly went over the handle bar. If I hadn't been in such a state, I would have decked the wretch.

Give Eric a hug for me. Tell him, follow the quack's orders and get well!

From: John Newman johnn at swpa com au
At 03:31 PM 9/12/97 -0500, you wrote:
- bored" stage. What fun. I'll take him one of his little computers today, so - hat might keep him resting a bit while he types his trip report or

...and a modem. Then he can hook up to work, and ...[ROFL]

It was a bit of a week for medical misadventures. A bloke in a user group I'm in was telling us at the last meeting (2 weeks ago today) how he'd had to have cardiac tests. He was pretty offhand, having apparently had 'episodes' over some period of time.

Two days later he was in hospital having a bypass operation. Today I got email from him so he's up and about, but he won't be at the UG end-of-year dinner tonight!

Thinking about stress factors, I've always felt your work was a source of stress. Or is it all just grumbling!
John Newman, Software Partners Australia Pty Ltd Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

From: "Middlemiss, Perry" PMiddlem at vcrpmrkt.telstra com au
This is good news and I sure hope it continues.

Eric's heart attack came as a big shock to a lot of us. Marc Ortlieb and I had a bit of a chat about it at my daughter's birthday party on Sunday and basically came to the conclusion that of all the fans we could think of Eric seemed the least likely - we said, patting our stomachs.

We all send our best wishes from down this end and from the A3 committee. There is no rush on anything that Eric is lined up for so he can forget about it until he's better. Ask him to contact me when he feels like it.

From: "Dennis K. Lien" Dennis.K.Lien-1 at tc.umn edu
Sorry this is late; I wasn't at work yesterday so just got this e-mail.

I think we Yanks obviously showed Eric much too exciting a time during his recent trip and while his sturdy stock showed in his ability to make it back to Oz before collapsing, it's still a bit of a near thing and we can only promise that the next time he comes over we shall do our best to be as boring and bland and dreary and unspeakably drab and awful as possible so as not to over-excite the poor dear. I blame only myself; while I can usually be counted upon to radiate sedentary placidity and REM-sleep to all around me, I did make the mistake last month of introducing him to the one splash of color in my couch potatoey life in the form of professional wrestling. While Eric held up well under the initial strain and even bravely made little jokes about missed dropkicks and alleged foreign villains with no accents and such, clearly he was touched and moved at some level of his being and this got his heart churning up his insides something fierce to the point where something had to give. So if Eric promises to be good and exercise properly and eat his num-nums and all that, I in turn promise not to upset his mental equilibrium with further tales of such mythic figures as Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Diamond Dallas Page, Lord Stephen Regal, the Disco Inferno and other larger-than-life heart-murmur-makers and instead will, on his next visit, go out of my way to scan the cable TV choices instead until I can come upon a nice placid intermural tiddley-winks first-round amateur qualifying match instead, which we can watch with the sound turned off for added safety. And perhaps the picture too.
Take care, eh?
Denny "chartered accountant at heart" Lien

From: "Richard J. Faulder" Richard.Faulder at agric.nsw gov au
Thanks for keeping us up-to-date about Eric's condition. Good to the hear about him being off the drip. Bit of a worry about the reduced blood volume. Valve problem or reduced fitness of the heart muscle, perhaps? Hopefully just a temporary thing. I didn't see Marc Ortlieb's name on the list, although I presumed somebody saw the messages before I did, and forwarded a copy on to him. Just in case, his address is: mortlieb at vicnet net au Please tell the invalid I'm glad to hear of his improving. Regards

From: s.clarke at nepean.uws edu au (Susan Clarke)
Cc: Graeme_Batho at agd.nsw gov au
Good news indeed.

Managed to pick up a bug of some sort and until I get the okay from the doctor, I won't be coming in to share it around.

Let Eric know we're still remembering him in our prayers and hope he gets stronger and better each day (and doesn't over do it! --- says she who the day she was taken off the drip after the last operation walked about a kilometre about the hospital, only to sit exhausted until someone got her a wheelchair to come on back again! I get bored without work although I will vege in front of tv when in pain --- comes from being a media fan right 8-) and I can say that, but you can't!
Lots of love to you both!
Susan Smith Clarke s.clarke at nepean.uws edu au
Note: my new Home Page address:

From Arnie Katz Subject: FOR ERIC LINDSAY
This isn't the first time a fan has made a cheap bid for attention, but don't you think you are somewhat over-doing it? This is a warning that no further heart attacks will be countenanced, so better make sure that there is no repetition.

I got the news from Jean moments before last Saturdays Vegrants meeting, Everyone is quite concerned about your health and safety, and I've been ordered to send best regards from all the usual suspects -- Tom and Tammy, Ben and Cathi, Ross, Marcy and Ray, Derek and Allison and all the other Vegrants.

We've got the special Rotsler issue of Wild Heirs to the proof reading stage. I expect to run it off later this week and mail it as quickly as possible thereafter. Your will, of course, be among the first mailed (as always).

I trust this finds you reasonably comfortable and on the mend. I'll write again in a few days.
Best, Arnie

From: David Hulan davidhulan at ntsource com
Thanks for the reports on Eric, and convey him our very best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. I've been out of town the past few days, so I only got both messages when I got home last night. Please keep us posted.

Judith Bemis
I was very sorry to hear about Eric's heart attack. Please relay Tony Parker and my sympathies, and our wished for a speedy recovery.

From: Suzi Nassen Stefl stf at umich edu
Please send our best wishes for a good recovery to Eric!

From: LTutihasi LTutihasi at aol com
When I saw the subject line of the message downloading, I got nervous. I was so relieved to read that he is all right.

I have been learning some nutritional things lately. There is some indication that increasing one's calcium intake may improve one's cardiovascular system. The best way to take it in is through one's food -- milk, yogurt, ice cream, broccoli, etc. If you use supplements, try to get it in ionized form or at least chelated form. Some companies here have been making liquid mineral supplements, and calcium is available now in microcrystalline form with the necessary boron and magnesium one must have to utilize the calcium.

Tell him I wish him well, and I'm looking forward to visiting him in his home ground in 1999.

From: Alan Rosenthal alanro at MICROSOFT com
I should have known that that having to carry around an extra 10 kg of Windows NT documentation was not the greatest thing for your health.

Of course, it was your mental health I was thinking about... :-)

Seriously, both of us are hoping that you make a swift and complete recovery and are up and on your feet again as soon as possible. In the mean time, do try to take it easy....

We'll probably try to telephone you in the next few days, after Eric is (hopefully) scheduled to be out of hospital.

And Jean, I hope you're able to get some rest too...

Both of you take care, and we'll be in touch shortly.

From: Pauline Dickinson P.Dickinson at library.usyd edu au
Jean, thanks for letting me know about Eric. My first reaction was "Uuhh! Nooo!" until I read on, and it sank in that Eric was recovering. A nasty shock for you both, though.

I should imagine that you'll be flooded with offers of help, so just add my name to the list.

Tell Eric I wish him a speedy recovery and a quick convalescence. Tell him to not try to organise the hospital on sounder operational procedures. And while it's hard to do at times like these, try and look after yourself as well.

From: Eric Mayer egmayer at servtech com
Just a note to say I hope Eric is doing better. I was more than a little distressed when you mentioned he had none of the risk factors, aside from being male and over 50. That's me - except I'm not quite 50 - and here I had been thinking I at least wouldn't have to worry about premature heart attacks. Well, it is all luck. I think too often we like to "blame" someone for getting sick because, after all, if it was that person's own fault, then we're safe! (Fat chance)

Anyway, Mary passed the news on to both Dave and Carolyn Rowe, and her ex Sam.

I have been very unresponsive and out of fandom for years now, for various reasons, but I begin to see how all this new electronic stuff might allow me to get back in a little, at least in cyberspace.

Again, Mary and I both send our best wishes. Eric

From: D Gary Grady dgary at mindspring com
Sorry to hear about Eric's heart attack, but I'm glad he seems to have come through so well. A friend of mine here had a similar sort of experience and has turned into Mr. Diet and Exercise Person and seems to be doing if anything better than before.

(I've been off email for a few days because of work pressure, so the first I heard of it was actually a phone call at my office on Saturday from Carolyn Doyle.)

The news makes me feel better about having had my car license plate stolen over the weekend. It could have been a lot worse.

I'm actually rather impressed by the way Eric handled it, having the presence of mind to call an ambulance and so on. A surprising number of heart attack victims, for one reason or another, don't seek help.

And yes, it is a damned good thing that it didn't happen in the U.S., not because medical care is substantially worse here than in Australia -- although our rate of iatrogenic infection is pretty scary; as many people die annually from diseases contracted in hospital as from automobile accidents -- but mainly because we still don't have a decent system of medical insurance!

I didn't realize Eric was over 50. He doesn't look over 50. In fact, he looks a lot younger than I do, which pisses me off no end. I did very much enjoy finally getting to talk to him face to face in Cincinnati. He's even more interesting in person than in print.

Please tell Eric to get well quick. Also tell him I got a Palm Pilot and am now glad I didn't get a Psion, just in case it turns out that it was the cause of his heart attack...
Best wishes to you both.

From: janiceg at marvin.Eng.Sun.COM (Janice Gelb)
Please send Eric my best wishes for a speedy recovery and tell him we are all thinking about him and wishing him well!

From: Clive Newall crn at bby com au
A shock. I realise with no little horror that we all are getting older.

Best wishes and all that. Take care. We hope this won't affect your future plans adversly.

PS: LynC has a new(ish) address: lync at acslink.aone net au From: "George Laskowski" george_laskowski at cc.cranbrook edu
Give my best to Eric. Tell him it is only logical to follow doctor's orders, even if he thinks he knows better. :)

Is this what I have to look forward to when I turn 50? At 49, being male and overweight with moderately high cholesterol, I guess I should do something to limit the possibility of a heart attack --won't do anything about being male or turning 50, so I guess it's losing weight and dieting so that my cholesterol comes down.

I hope all is well otherwise.

From: Moshe Feder moshe at
Both Gary Farber and Linda Bushyager were kind enough to pass along the upsetting news about you from Jean. My god, man, you're about the last person I ever would have expected to be hit with a heart attack! Coming after all the other bad health-related fannish news this year, it certainly starts one thinking. (E.g., I may stop playing dice with fate and look into getting new health insurance coverage. I'd given it up a year after losing my job at Doubleday when my eligibility for group coveage ran out and the monthly payments were eroding my bank balance too quickly.) In any case, I'm pleased to hear you're recovering well and I hope you don't find it too hard to behave yourself during the convalescent period ahead. :-) You can be sure you will be in my thoughts frequently in the days and weeks ahead.

If fortune should smile upon me and I'm able to make it down there for worldcon in a couple of years, I expect to see you as smiling, robust and energetic as you are in my memory.

P.S. to Jean: I'm glad you're there to look after him, but I know from experience that caregiver is not the easiest of roles either. You've got my empathy there. Happily, I suspect Eric appreciates how lucky he is to have you there as well. Hang tough. - M.

Richard_Hryckiewicz at compuserve com
Thanks for the info re Eric. I must admit that he was the last person I thought would have a heart attack!!! Although it would appear that it was genetic in nature, is there anything else that can be done to ensure he does not have another, other than listen to you???

From: "Richard H. E. Smith" rhes at enteract com
Dave Locke passed along your email to my new account, which beat any email from the Aussiecon committee.... Thanks, Dave.

Leah and I are shocked and scared for Eric. We just saw him a month ago in Cincinnati, and he seemed fine, was looking forward to this crazy Queensland thing you are planning, and so forth. We are glad to hear that he's really fine, and, I guess, also glad that he waited a week so that you were back in the land of organized medicine. Please pass along to Eric our wishes of a speedy recovery, and if he won't follow the doctors' instructions, hit him once for us.

We got the news at Smofcon, which was in Boston this year, and is a mess of Smofs and Would-be-Smofs doing boring panels about conrunning and stuff. We made an announcement during the con, because a lot of people who knew Eric were there, and everyone sends concern.

We may try to call in a couple of days, if we can figure out when it's a reasonable time there. In the meantime, here are new email addresses for us:
Dick Smith rhes at enteract com
Leah Zeldes Smith lazs at enteract com

We got these accounts because the connection to the "" system has become unreliable, and we wanted more modern connections. The "" addresses should be working again after I work out some new barter arrangements for our internet connection (which is important for the Timebinders' fan history mailing list which is running there) but we'll keep these for our main email because they will be faster, and let us do direct replies from the web.

My best to you, and anyone else in Australia. I just heard from Joyce Scrivner (at Smofcon) that Nick Strathopolis had had a heart attack this summer. Is there something wrong with Sydney water? Please take care, and stay healthy.

From: timothy.jones at (tim jones)
I was very sorry to hear the news about Eric, but glad that he's now recovering. Please pass on best wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery to Eric from myself and Kay.

From: EMiller nv EMillernv at aol com
I'm so glad that things are so encouraging. Again...anything that I can do to help, you've only to whistle. I'm sure your're being deluged with similar offers but [GRIN] mine still stands.

Actually, you've put your finger on the nub of the whole thing (and welcome to the club): what do those of us who love them DO to to make our at-risk men alter their "risky" life styles and change diets whatever to suit the demands of the situation? Good luck, m'Dear! You're gonna need every ounce of patience that you've got. And I do have to warn you (having been there with Hart) it's a BITCH!

Meanwhile...please give Eric all our love and tell him that he can and WILL get througthis "thing". Love n' Hugs, Ellie

From: Vicki Rosenzweig vr at interport net
Please tell Eric I said hi and give him my best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

From: Linda linda at netaxs com
I'm relieved to hear that Eric is sitting up and doing better. Two of the risks - male and over 50 - that is really something. I keep thinking that Ron is about in the same shape - and I think he is older than Eric (Ron is 57). I was thinking that it is good that Ron usually has 1 small drink a day. But then I realized that Eric likes beer and probably has had his "medicinal" share.

I wonder if Eric's doctor will recommend that he start taking 1 aspirn a day. They are now saying that is the first thing to take in case of a heart attack.

Ron sends his best as well.

Looks like I may go to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas after all. My sister has never seen Vegas and is interested in going. I found out the opening of the Star Trek Experience will be Jan. 3, unfortunately a few to many days before the CES show for me to attend the grand opening. But I will try to go and see it. I'll let you know how the final Experience really is.
Thinking of you both, Linda

From: s.clarke at nepean.uws edu au (Susan Clarke)
Thanks for keeping us in touch with what's happening with Eric. It really is appreciated. Unfortunately I was off line for four days and didn't get the message in time to go and visit this weekend. Will see when the hours are and try and call in in the next couple of days. Hospitals are damned boring (as I well know) and visitors are usually welcome.

Nick S made a remarkable and complete recovery after his heart attack. We really hope and pray that Eric does as well. Give him our love if you see him before we do and Ron sends his regards and best wishes for recovery as well.
Susan Smith Clarke

From: "l.edmonds" l.edmonds at cowan edu au
Thanks for the news. How amazing! We're glad to hear that it is only a mild attack and that Eric is likely to get over it relatively quickly. Send him our best wishes from the other side of the continent - we are not likely to be able to drop by to hear his story first hand.

From: John Newman johnn at swpa com au
Thank you for the notification Jean. Our thoughts are with you both.

He was able to walk to the ambulance...

Jan supposes this means he maintained a sense of humour... There's no way she would be walking!

From: vincentian at cix uk (Vincent Clarke)
Sorry to hear of Eric's misfortune. One of the old-timers who make the fanzine field what it is. Please pass on best wishes for a speedy recovery. And thanks for your message.

From: John Bangsund bangsund at pipeline com au
We're sorry to hear this. Please give Eric our fond regards and best wishes for a quick recovery.

From: Lucy Schmeidler lucys at panix com
Please give Eric my best wishes. He is certainly one member of the Australian SF fan community whom I hold in highest regard!

I would like to phone, and have a good grasp of relative time zones, but I don't think I have your phone number. So, may I have it?

P.S. The email address you used for me is one that I now regard as inactive. My current address is lucys at panix com.

From: Reg Hardman apower at ans com au
We are very sorry and shocked to hear this news! I hope Eric has a very speedy recovery and that the tests are all clear. Please let me know if there is anything at all we can do to help.

From: "Richard J. Faulder" Richard.Faulder at agric.nsw gov au
Thanks for including me on the notification list. Please tell Eric I was shocked to read the news, and hope he gets well as soon as possible.

From: the.wombat at juno com (jan h finder)
- I spent most of the day with Eric,

That must be relaxing, Eric being so relaxed and low strung. When they thought I had a heart attack back in 93 [They later said they couldn't figure out what had happened. I think, it was a reaction to a drug I was taking that nearly killed me.], while I had brought with me a mess of books to read, I couldn't concentrate and walked the halls constantly. The quacks said I could do that. I was going stir crazy within hours. Argh!

- he should be sent home on Thursday and then the fun begins -- making sure he acts sensibly for the next few weeks.

Good luck. Tell him to suffer in silence and not bitch and moan to you all the time so as to make you miserable.

- he's male and over 50. Needless to say, there's not much he can do about that! (He isn't sedentary, overweight, or a smoker. He doesn't even have high blood cholesterol!) But both of us could do with an improvement in our diet, so we'll be working on that.

Hmm, this sounds familiar. I fit the 2 characteristics, but my blood pressure is relatively low, but I'm stuck with some hereditary influences with C. I switched my diet, the level dropped about 15 % and then went right back up. It is only in the low 200's. However, I do work out about 3 times a week for 2 hours. So it is not as if I just sat around and typed on the toy.

Give him a hug from me. I've got my fingers, paws, etc. crossed for him.

From: b.arthurs at genie com
Just read your e-mail regarding Eric's heart attack a few minutes ago. Yikes! Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Tell Eric to try and think of this as an extended Christmas vacation, except that the bad heartburn comes -before- the big Christmas dinner.

From: "Marilyn J. Holt" mjholt at halcyon com
We were of course quite dismayed at reading of Eric's attack but relieved to see that matters were no more serious than they were and that he is coming along well. The news was passed along by myself and Marilyn, as well as by Janice and Alan at the Vanguard Saturday at Jerry and Suzle's. There were several initial cries of Oh, no followed by Oh, good at the further clarification. Moreover the news that Eric would be staying at your place to see that he obeyed Doctors' orders elicited "Well if anyone can get Eric to take orders it's Jean". John Berry, Anna Vargo, Stu Shiffman, Kate Schaefer and Glen, Jerry and Suzle, Andy Hooper, as well as others who I cannot in this tired moment recall, all expressed sympathy and best wishes. As do we.

From: Bruce Pelz bep at deltanet com
While I was alarmed to see the first message's Title Line show up, I was relieved that the results are no worse -- and I send my best wishes for Eric's speedy and uncomplicated recovery!

People younger than me have G*O*T to stop doing things like this.... ! "...and over 50." Right! 10 MONTHS over 50! His credentials as an Old Coot (or something similar) are tenuous, at best... .

Anyway, we will Hold The Good Thought; thanks for including us on the news-list.

From: Theodore Beauregarde Harvia eushar at
Diana and I heard the news in Boston from Gay and Joe Haldeman. Fans at SMOFcon could not believe Eric had had a heart attack. "But he was just in the U.S. and he looked fine," they said. Was the stress of traveling the culprit?

I'll send a proper get-well postcard to the ambulatory invalid as soon as I return to the States on Wednesday from my extended business trip to Montreal.

Take care of yourself, too. After corresponding with Karen Pender-Gunn over the last year, we know that the healthy spouse suffers as much as the ill one. Diana sends her love (she lost her first husband to a heart attack and knows well how you must feel).

From: Lucy Sussex lsussex at netspace net au
We're very sorry to hear about this. A card follows.

From: Marc Ortlieb mortlieb at vicnet net au

Sounds better than it could have been! Tell the silly bugger to slow down.(We're not thirty anymore - none of us...)

Pass Cath and my regards to the invalid, and add Perry's, Carey's and Irwins - we were at Catherine's 5th birthday party today.

From: "Terry Frost" hlector at netspace net au
Sorry to hear it. Give the bugger all my best and to yourself too. A copy of my tacky music Xmas cassette is on the way to make you both sicker

From: "living" living at zip com au
Sorry to hear about Eric - hope he is making a quick recovery.

This explains why you weren't at the editing lunch. There were only 8 people - Matthew Stevens and myself, Irene Wong, Mark Dando (I may have his surname wrong), Margaret Gutteridge (surname??), Sarah Clarry and a couple of her off-siders from her work. This is more than double the lunch last year, which was attended by Andrew and myself, Matthew, his wife and two kids, and eventually one other editor who dropped by later. I left about 2.30pm to go to the Mindless Body (aka Mind, Body, Spirit) festival, to buy Xmas presents.

I am now doing some financial homework re moving to Ballina towards the end of 1998. Have to decide whether to sell up, or whether I feel secure enough to take on a new mortgage and keep this place as an investment, or sell and re-buy here and in Ballina, etc.

I finally bought a laptop - a Gateway. It's great, and has a CD Rom drive. Gateway had good reviews, despite the disasters that Sarah Murray-White had with hers (the first one, and then the replacement).

From: Richard Brandt rsbrandt at cris com
Please accept our most heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery.

It was really great getting to see you guys again at COMDEX, I just wish I was telling you that under more pleasant circumstances.
Richard Brandt is at =====

From: EMiller nv EMillernv at aol com
Oh my dear...I am SO SORRY! Lady be praised that it wasn't fatal and the prognosis is so good.

Honey...I've been there...I know just how frightening it is...I'm praying for you both. Anything at all that I can do to help either of you, PLEASE don't hesitate to let me know. I'll be in touch again tomorrow but don't feel that you have to answer. All my love to both of you. Ellie

From: kforman at wizard com
Thanks for the work, there any way we can help?

Of course, our prayers and thoughts go out to Eric. I'm sure his recovery will be swift and complete.

Please keep us informed... Ken and Aileen Forman

From: huntzinger at mindspring com (Lucy Huntzinger)
I'm sorry to hear Eric is ill, but so happy to hear he's doing so well in light of the seriousness of it all! My warmest thoughts to you both.

Jean, just a note -- my current email address is huntzinger at mindspring com. I don't know when the Vanderbilt address will stop forwarding.

From: Don Carter tdcsys at one net
Thank you for notifying us about Eric. Our best wishes go out to both of you; please keep us advised on progress. Roger and Pat Simms called us (and many others) to help pass along the information.

For what it's worth, I hope you both find reassurance in the fact that the community of heart attack survivors is a robust and lively group. I have been a member in good standing for about 12 years, and with very few changes in habits (knock wood), have been getting good reviews on physical exams. But rest is important: keep a good supply of tranquilizer darts handy in case he insists on rushing off to some convention or expo.

As I mentioned to Eric when he was visiting Cincinnati, someday we would like to meet you as well.
Regards, Don and Tanya Carter

From: joe.haldeman at genie com
Good Lord, Jean! Jet lag with a vengeance.

Let Eric know that our thoughts are with him -- of course! -- and hope that the recommendations re diet, exercise, and sleep are not too onerous. One wouldn't call Eric "Type A" -- they don't _have_ a type for him -- but of course we all could benefit from a little calm and quiet in our lives now and then.

Of course Eric knows as well as his doctors what he has to do. I just hope he can get around it philosophically, and not sit gnashing his teeth, making lists of projects that _can't be put off_! That's what I'd probably do.

If I were religious I'd pray for him, but he's just going to have to be content with good thoughts coming his way. And the knowledge that a lot of people have these physical insults and rest up and then get on with life.

Wish I could be there to play Scrabble with him and make sure he hides his broccoli under the plate.

From: alyson l abramowitz ala at lunacity com
My Gosh. Please pass on my get well wishes to Eric.

And please hang in there yourself. I know the ups and downs I went through with my mom and that relationship was a distant one. I can't imagine how hard it is for you.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you or Eric. I expect you both to outlast me and provide me with great role models for graceful ageing.

From: Robin De Negri RBDN6ZPO at aol com
I just said, oh no! when I read your mail. Yes, I am glad you were home and Eric is fortunate he was able to summon help. I guess I couldn't be more shocked. All the more reason to move to the new condo and enjoy. I certainly send Eric all good thoughts for a speedy and complete recovery. Hugs to you both, R

From: Lucy Sussex lsussex at netspace net au
All the best, and have a recovery-led new year

From: xenolith at juno com (Bill Bowers)
Under the "assumption" that no news is good news, I trust that Eric is "home" ... and well on the way....

A query: At Ditto, I gave Eric a copy of the latest _OW_, #68. Dick Smith claims he mailed the two previous issues (#'s 66 and 67) along with the Aussiecon P.R. a week or so before that..... Did you ever get them? I've heard from several who were sent #68, surface/seamail, but nothing from anyone who should have got Dick's mailing..... (Just curious, don't you know!)

In the meantime, wishing you both a Happy Holiday season....

From: "Jeanne Mealy" Jeanne.M.Mealy-1 at tc.umn edu

I'd sent a note some time ago to Eric about the fires around Sydney, but hadn't heard. I didn't get Anzapa until recently, then finally opened it and saw the news about Eric! Wow. How is he? Please pass along my good wishes. Thanks.

From: "David R Grigg" drgrigg at ozemail com au
Thanks for keeping us all up to date on Eric's condition.

I hope he's doing fine and keeping fit.
Regards, David and Sue and Kathryn.
Visit my electronic fanzine GRILLED PTERODACTYL at

From: Mark.Linneman at (Mark Linneman)
I'm replying to Jean's message because mail to her address exactly as in the header bounced - twice. Replies never seem to bounce. I do not think I understand this e-mail system, putting it mildly. And Pat called with the news of your difficulties because Jean's mail turned up a day and a half earlier on their system than on my work e-mail. I'm just relieved that the problem isn't more serious or that it did not happen when the closest land was Easter Island. A friend of mine, a law prof at the Univ. of Kentucky, had what sounds very much like your situation. Nine years on (he's now 57) he may be getting tired a bit earlier sometimes (not quite sure, the difference isn't striking) but otherwise no changes. And he does not exercise and is a chain smoker. Could it be that we're not 26 anymore? At 47 I've just been informed that I'm now part of the great mass of those who need bifocals. That is at least one problem my doctor cant't claim that losing weight would help - but he probably will anyway. (fat eyes?)

Nothing incredibly exciting in Cincinnati recently. Resnick sold an option (a nice expensive one, apparently) on the Widowmaker series to Mirimax and is more than pleased. As the trades would say "Peter Hyams is slated to direct". Mike has never been much of a diffident introvert anyway, he's just being exuberantly chuffed about this. Went out with the Resnick's (Mike-Carol-Laura) on Thanksgiving and had grilled farm-raised ostrich - texture and taste is a lot like a less flavorful but very tender filet steak. Glad I did it once. would not spend the money again. Another mark on my checklist of life experiences - still have a few things left. Despite rumors to the contrary none of them involve Kim Basinger.

Trust your recovery will continue unabated. I'll keep in touch.

From: Harriett Hardman hardman at ix netcom com
Loads of sympathy about Eric's health! I'm sorry that I didn't get to meet him when you were here last, and I hope this doesn't mess up your plans for the move to the new house in the boonies. Maybe the more relaxed lifestyle will be a blessing.

I may have mentioned that I saw an herbalist a few months ago and he lectured me sternly about vegetables. It really helped me a lot--the first time that an actual M.D. had seemed even slightly interested in real issues of diet. He gave me lists of specific vegetables and "prescribed" a very extensive set of food/recipes for a 3-week health improvement program. Anyhow, it helped me a lot to get my diet straightened out, and I seem to have developed a new set of dietary habits that include lots of fresh fruit and veggies and virtually no processed foods. I'm hoping that the change is a permanent one--changing food habits is just about the hardest thing for me to do!! Anyhow, you might find that an herbalist, an Ayurvedic doctor (like the guy that I saw) or a Qi Gong doctor would be helpful about being very specific with dietary recommendations and support for changes in your food methods and habits. My experience with conventional doctors is that they don't know enough about nutrition to be specific, and consequently while their recommendations are interesting, they don't provide a lot of support for meaningful long-term changes.

If you want to talk about low-fat diets loaded with veggies, I have LOTS more stuff to say, but I expect you're pretty busy right now. Let's connect when things settle a bit more.

From: RBDN6ZPO RBDN6ZPO at aol com
I certainly hope no more mechanical events befall you. And, hopefully Eric will not be too limited in activity. It is amazing what some of the heart drugs can do to strengthen the heart pumping. And, I am sure Eric should see some improvement as he recovers. There is some data around that implicates a bacteria that hides in the arteries that may contribute to heart attacks in people with low cholesterol...One can't win. Anyway, give him a big hug for me. R

From: Allen Curry keltoi at cinternet net
I'm really sorry to hear about Eric's recent attack, but it's good to know he appears to be on the mend. Give him all my best, and tell him we're all keeping him in our thoughts.

From: Eric Mayer egmayer at servtech com
I'm sorry to hear this news and I hope things will be OK. Ironically, I just came in from having a tooth pulled and was peeved it had broken off, I'd have to sit around for a couple days etc. Now I guess I should go kick myself for not keeping things in perspective. Mary is going to call Dave and Carolyn Rowe and let them know.

From: Dave Locke and Jackie Causgrove davelocke at fan net
Your message came in just as I was headed to bed but, as I copied you, I forwarded it on to some obvious folks who would want to know (plus I copied Roger so he wouldn't automatically do the same).

Jackie just got up and I passed along the news and then read her your email.

We both send along our very best wishes to the both of you for a speedy recovery. This is the kind of thing you can rehab out of pretty well, I know, so we'll both keep our fingers and toes and eyes crossed that it's indeed just a "mild" heart attack (as heart attacks go...). Hang in there, kiddo.

From: xenolith at uno com (Bill Bowers)
I'm sorry to hear the news, but relieved to note your "optimistic" prognosis.

I've known the "little fella" a long time, and although we don't always "talk" that much in the absence of another as catalyst -- I consider Eric one of my most valued friends.

Please convey my Best Wishes to him, and my hope that his recovery is swift and complete.

I doubt if there is anything I can "do" from this end, but if there is ... please don't hesitate to ask.

On a totally less important priority:

Eric mentioned that you are the Keeper of the Mailing List.

As of the end of the month I'm giving up my P.O. Box, and any future snail mail should be directed to my home address:

Bill Bowers
4651 Glenway Avenue
Cincinnati OH 45238-4503

...and thanks for being a friend to my friend.


Get well messages on cover

A personal and science fiction fanzine, written and published by Eric Lindsay, when I have enough material and time to do an issue. ISSN #0310-9968

Front Cover: Extracts of comments via email on Jean's reports about my recent heart attack. David Stirrup turned up at the door, and shouted, "Bring out your dead", to which I responded with the traditional Monty Python reply, "I'm not dead yet!"