Bewildering Stories

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...Happens to us all

by Don Webb

It’s time for me to add a postscript to Jerry’s note and for us all to pull together. Jerry’s son is lucky to have survived the accident. He’s also very fortunate that Jerry lives close by and can come to the aid of him and his family. Jerry is in for the long haul as his extended family’s guardian: a broken wrist may heal in a couple of months, but back injuries are painful, slow to heal, and may be... debilitating.

We may not be able to help out Jerry’s extended family directly, I don’t know, but the least we can do at the moment is ease Jerry’s mind about his responsibilities as our publisher while, in effect, he works two day jobs and tries to take care of finances and insurance, too. If we do that, then we can rightfully hope his son recovers, and we can look forward to welcoming Jerry back to a bigger role at his publication some day.

When the captain must attend to duties off the bridge, the first mate must “take the conn” as they say in Star Trek. Jerry, you’re indispensable for keeping the server running; without it, we vanish. Meanwhile, I can take care of the weekly updates to the home page and to the Contents and Archive pages as well as the Index and Readers’ Guide.

It’s a lot to expect of Jerry to continue to stay up late Sunday nights writing reviews and editorials. He may consider it a welcome distraction; if so, so much the better. However, that’s a role I can’t fill; others will have to pick it up. By good fortune, Danielle Parker had already sent us a nice supply of reviews for the Reading Room. Hopefully, other readers will, too. And guest editorials are welcome.

Jerry asks that I update the “Info” page to include Danielle and Ian Arbuckle. He rightly emphasizes that they have already earned the distinction; they’ve been there when they were needed. But in his soft-spoken way, Jerry is also calling for help.

I can monitor the e-mail: which I think involves mostly deleting spam and handling submissions. But it’s too big a job for one person, and that’s where the Crew comes in. I’m asking Ian and Danielle to accept official positions as Review Editors. You will be on the front lines: I forward submissions to you for review; you return acceptances to me for scheduling and posting. And you have the onerous duty of explaining why some submissions can’t be accepted.

As Jerry’s quotation aptly says, “time and chance happens to us all ” (emphasis mine). Chance has happened to someone we don’t even know, and it affects us all. Now time is happening to me. At my end, we’d made plans to visit my father, some 5,000 km (3,000 miles) away, at the end of April. But he’s just turned 91, and though he’s always been in good health we learned yesterday that we may have to pick up and go at a moment’s notice. We have to look ahead: what happens to my role then? That’s something our starship Crew can talk about.

Yes, Bewildering Stories has grown; I think we and our contributors have earned it. But the ship can’t be crewed solely by Jerry and Don any more; in fact, the time is long past when it could be.

Don Webb, copy editor
Bewildering Stories

Copyright © 2005 by Don Webb for Bewildering Stories

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