Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Robert Shea anecdote

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been re-reading the "Illuminatus!" trilogy of Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. (I'm in the second book, "The Golden Apple," right now.)

I never got to meet Wilson, and a fan letter sent to the address listed on his web site, mailed a few months before his death, came back to me.

But I did get to meet Shea once before he died. As I recall, it was at the 1989 Worldcon in Boston, at a party for members of a libertarian amateur press association, and it was great to be able to meet him and tell him how much I liked "Illuminatus!"

I had noticed that the omnibus edition of the work which reprints the three novels in one volume left out the synopses which began the second and third books in the original Dell mass market paperbacks. That bothered me, because the synopses have good material which isn't found in the novels proper (for example, the synopsis for the second book explains the self-destructing mynah birds, birds taught to say "Here, kitty kitty kitty" and turned loose in New York City.)

Shea told me he and Wilson wanted to keep the synopses but were unable to convince the publisher they were little literary works in themselves.

The official Shea web site, maintained by his son Mike Shea, is here.

1 comment:

Interrociter said...

I have the omnibus (as yet unread). Do you suppose the synopses are relatively easily/cheaply available? Perhaps, dare I say it, online?