Bewildering Stories

Change the text color to :
White   Purple   Dark Red   Red   Green   Cyan   Blue   Navy   Black
Change the background color to :
White   Beige   Light Yellow   Light Grey   Aqua   Midnight Blue

The Issue at Hand

by Robert Allen

173489 Bradbury Avenue
Ula Nova, Mancini Sector
Mars 7739064
May 17, 2784

Box 13116
Philadelphia, PA 19101
United States Sector

Dear Sirs and Madams:

We are endeavoring to keep calm about the matter at hand, as we have in the past, but it is INDEED trying. We must have an answer immediately. As we have written to you, we are quite aware that you are in possession of the last remaining IONIAN UMBRA Asimov Commemorative Issue. We must have that stamp to complete our renowned and justifiably praised collection. Surely you can understand how important this acquisition is to us.

We know that you have been in communication with the SSS Co., and we wish to inform you that to allow them acquisition of such a treasure as the IONIAN UMBRA Asimov would be to allow it to displayed to those who have no real appreciation of its philatelic worth.

We are quite prepared to offer the equivalent of 50,000 Egyptian gold shekels for the ISSUE. We know that such an amount is far more that the entire worth of the SSS Co. We know that they not only do not have sufficient funds for purchase, but they certainly haven’t the funds for adequate display for the UMBRA stamp.

Naturally you will be able to rest assured that we are sufficiently financially sound to purchase and display the stamp as well as to accord it the dignity it deserves. We will be able to cancel all references to it by the despicably ungracious nomenclature it has been subjected to in popular publications of late.

Of course, you will realize that our handling of the stamp will bring the dignity of your organization to the fore. What better way to commemorate Mr. Asimov’s illustrious memory.

Our gallery would allow only the better quality and more financially stable members of the Philatelic world to see the IONIAN ISSUE. Naturally, we will send to your organization a suitable fee for each visitor viewing the stamp.

We plan to issue brochures in the name of both the MARTIO-JOVIAN PHILATELIC SOCIETY and THE ASIMOV COMMEMORATIVE SOCIETY. These brochures will give the history of the stamp, the history of both our most worthwhile societies and a paragraph or two about Mr. Asimov.

Think, Sirs, of the tremendous publicity it would give your cause. Surely Because of our promotional efforts, everyone will realize Mr. Asimov’s great contribution to the annals of children’s literature. I personally have read all of his books, and I cry incessantly at the thought of all BAMBI’s trials. Such genius should be remembered.

Waiting expectantly,
Jonathin Farnabou III
Secretary M-JPS

Box 13116
Philadelphia, PA
United States Sector
June 7, 2794

173489 Bradbury Avenue
Ula Nova, Mancinni Sector
Mars, 7739064

Dear Sirs and Madams:

We received you kind letter of May 17, 2794 and were indeed glad to hear how much you liked BAMBI. It has been one of our favorites for a long time, too. I am sure that “Mr. Asimov” probably found it entertaining. We have considered your proposal and are quite impressed with the importance of the Ionian Umbra ASIMOV Commemorative Issue.

We, as you have stated, have been in touch with the “SSS CO” and have received an unusual offer from them.

Naturally, your offer was more financially generous, but theirs was more interesting. We have had a very hard decision to make; especially since we find ourselves, as I’m sure do all non-profit organizations, to be financially stressed at times. What we have had to do is ask ourselves what OLD ISAAC # 1 would do.

After searching all his writings and trying to get direction from, not only his great wisdom, but his equally great sense of humor, we believe we know what to do in this situation. So you may better understand our decision we are sending you an Electro-Phile copy of the offer we received from the “SSS CO.”

They should be receiving the stamp as you receive this letter.

Peter Shickingham


Steve’s Stamps & Stuff & Co.
2273 Io Way
Chicken Lane, Nevada 89007
United States Sector

Box 13116
Philadelphia, PA 11901
United States Sector


I have recently heard that you have in your possession a very rare and valuable stamp, the Ionian Umbra ASIMOV Commemorative Issue.

I am sure that you have heard from the people at Martio-Jovian and I am equally sure that they could offer you more than I could even dream of for possession of the issue. You can’t give it to them! They will never let anyone but the bigwigs of “Philatelic World” see it. It would make old Isaac #1, a man who liked humorous things, flip in his urn.

I have read all his stuff and I am quite sure that he would not pussyfoot around with those people. You could tell them that he was an illustrator for the Walt Disney-Mickey Mouse Complex and they wouldn’t know the difference. Besides they would go around calling it “THE ISSUE” or the “IONIAN UMBRA” or some other stuffed shirt bologna.

What we here at Steve’s Stamps & etc. would like to do is make the thing really available to everyone. We would have copies made so that all could see the faintly discernable sketch of ASIMOV’s face on the moon Io. They could see how the artist put the moon is such a position in the picture so that it seemed to rest at the bottom of a downward arc made of the orbits of the other moons, and with Jupiter peeking out from Io’s shadow. We could offer you 50% of the gross profit of all the sales of these copies.

Think of the thrill of people to be able to see the only remaining picture of old ISAAC #1 on the face of that stamp, best known as ASIMOV’s IoU.

Thanx for your consideration,


Copyright © 2005 by Robert Allen

Home Page