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Many Thanks (1983)

1983-12-06 Starlog 078 p65.jpg


When I read the announcement for an essay contest, I decided to write words of thanks to some people who have influenced my life. I'm not sure that people who create science fiction realize how important their work can be to the audience. The following people have influenced my life and I would like them to know it.

Thank you, Robert Heinlein, for writing so many good books—but special thanks for writing Have Space Suit, Will Travel. I first read that book when I was in the fifth grade. Kip's description of the joy in understanding math and science inspired me to study those subjects. Because of this book, I have a degree in Chemical Engineering and now earn my living working for a major chemical company.

I read Have Space Suit, Will Travel so many times (using the library copy) that a friend finally gave me a copy for my birthday. It was the first science fiction book I ever owned. I still have that copy, well worn, of course.

Thank you, George Lucas, for creating Star Wars.

One day I got off day shift (I put myself through college working as a laborer at an iron ore processing plant) and came home to find my Mother had bought me a present: the novel Star Wars. I read the book that night, and when I was finished, I thought that this could be something special.

The week after I had read the book, the movie came to town. I was on night shift that week, so I went to the early show. My memory is of leaving the theater in a state of blissful contentment.

That pleasant feeling stayed with me for the rest of the summer because I went to see the movie once a week. Star Wars helped me to endure working in that grubby place. I still think that the first entrance of Darth Vader is a classic for a movie villain—dressed in black, hissing and towering over his troops.

Thank you, Spider Robinson, for recording the tales of Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. Whenever I need a lift, I can reread those stories which tell of a place where life is lived with love, compassion and laughter. Also, thank you, Mr. Robinson, for teaching me the meaning of the word "antinomy."

Thank you, Jean Airey, for writing the fanzine The Doctor and the Enterprise. Having received my copy during the first day of a week-long hospital stay, I can say that reading your story was the nicest thing that happened to me that week. You took my favorite character, Tom Baker's Doctor, and matched him with a very believable crew of the Enterprise in a well-thought out tale of adventure. Should I ever become independently wealthy, I would do everything in my power to have your story made into a movie.

Thank you, Harlan Ellison, but blast you at the same time. You write stories that reach parts of me that I don't wish to acknowledge exist. You have a pessimistic view of the world, Mr. Ellison. However, I understand that you enjoy Doctor Who and I can agree with you on that statement.

Thank you, Glen Larson, for Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers. I think of these two TV shows as "junk food" science fiction. I mean no disrespect in that description because I really enjoy "junk food."

Thank you, Ray Bradbury, for writing Dandelion Wine. The story of a summer fever cured by a junkman's jars of cool clean air is my favorite tale. There are hot, humid summer days when I read that story just so when I've finished, I can gulp my own lungfuls of fresh air.

Thank you, Jeff MacNelly, for the newspaper comic strip Shoe. You've shown that anthropomorphic birds can have a great deal to say about human beings. I find that very often I'll cut out one of the Shoe strips and bring it in to work to put on the bulletin board. When something is as enjoyable as your work is, Mr. MacNelly, people feel compelled to share it with others.

Thank you, Tom Baker, for your marvelous portrayal of The Doctor. At a time in my life when reality was "no fun," I could look forward each night to the fun of watching Doctor Who. Additionally, I find the show to be unpredictable, exciting, uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable. Mr. Baker, you are an excellent actor, and I'm very glad you chose to play The Doctor.

The last two people I'm going to thank have never created any science fiction, but they have helped me to enjoy what other people have created.

Thank you, Dad, for a long time ago, helping me learn how to read.

And finally, thanks, Mom. You don't understand why I like science fiction, but you knitted me a 13-foot-long multicolored scarf anyway!

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  • APA 6th ed.: Brumm, Margaret (number 78 (January 1984)). Many Thanks. Starlog p. 65.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Brumm, Margaret. "Many Thanks." Starlog [add city] number 78 (January 1984), 65. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Brumm, Margaret. "Many Thanks." Starlog, edition, sec., number 78 (January 1984)
  • Turabian: Brumm, Margaret. "Many Thanks." Starlog, number 78 (January 1984), section, 65 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Many Thanks | url= | work=Starlog | pages=65 | date=number 78 (January 1984) | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 December 2018 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Many Thanks | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 December 2018}}</ref>